This is a big weekend in Alberta curling. Edmonton’s Heather Nedohin will try to win Alberta’s first Canadian Women’s Curling Championship on Alberta soil in Red Deer. She has the capability and overall team skill. Nedohin just has to put it together and notch three victories against Team Quebec, Team Manitoba and Team British Columbia.
A major reason for Alberta’s success this week has been the solid play of their overall team. Lead Laine Peters was second to Manitoba’s Dawn Askin in overall shooting percentage (87%). Alberta’s Jessica Mair was second among seconds at 83% and Alberta’s Beth Iskiw was second among thirds at 84%.
But one area where Team Alberta needs to improve is they need to get on the same page. Too many times the more conservative Iskiw has disagreed with a call the more aggressive Nedohin has made. That is something to watch out for as the weekend progresses.
The 3-4 page playoff game between Team Alberta and Team Quebec, skipped by Marie-France Larouche, is at 11am today, with the winner facing Team Manitoba and Jennifer Jones in the semi-final today at 4pm today. The semi-final winner will then face Team British Columbia’s Kelly Scott in the final at 2pm on Sunday. All games can be seen on TSN.
Here are the other events I’ll be watching this weekend:
Saturday & Sunday–World Golf Matchplay Championships–(Sat–10am-12pm on Golf Channel, 12pm on NBC, Sun–7am-12pm on Golf Channel and 12pm on NBC)–In a very unique head-to-head format, the quarterfinals are set in today’s World Golf Matchplay Championship. Lee Westwood will play Martin Laird, Rory McIlroy plays Sang-Moon Bae, Peter Hanson plays Mark Wilson and Matt Kuchar plays Hunter Mahan in the only all-American matchup. The semi-finals and finals go tomorrow. If McIlroy or Westwood win this week, they will pass Luke Donald into first place in the World Golf Rankings.
Saturday & Sunday–ATP–Regions Morgan Keenan Tennis Championship–Sportsnet One–2pm–Canada’s Milos Raonic is in the semi-finals today for the third time this season. Yesterday in the quarterfinals, Raonic defeated Belgium’s Olivier Rochus, one of the shortest players on the ATP Tour, 6-3, 7-6. He’ll be playing Germany’s Benjamin Becker. Austrian Jurgen Melzer takes on Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic in the other semi-final. The final goes at the same time tomorrow.
Saturday–NHL–Phoenix Coyotes @ Edmonton Oilers–Sportsnet–2pm–In a rare Saturday home matinee for the Oilers, it will be interesting to see the reception for Ales Hemsky, who signed a two year deal worth $10 million last night. Phoenix is in seventh place in the Western Conference and leading the Calgary Flames by five points for a playoff spot. One thing to keep in mind however is that the Coyotes have the worst power play in the NHL.
Saturday–NHL–Philadelphia Flyers @ Calgary Flames–CBC–8pm–Even though the Flyers are currently safely in a playoff spot, I think they would be disappointed with their performance in Edmonton this week. The Flyers lost 2-0 and simply didn’t show the offensive spark they’ve shown this season. The Flames meanwhile are two points back of the Dallas Stars for a playoff spot. This week the Flames lost defenceman Chris Butler for three weeks with a thigh laceration during Calgary’s embarrassing 6-1 loss to Edmonton.
Tags: 2012 scotties tournament of hearts, ales hemsky, ben becker, beth iskiw, calgary flames, dawn askin, Edmonton Oilers, heather nedohin, hunter mahan, jennifer jones, jessica mair, jurgen melzer, kelly scott, laine peters, lee westwood, marie france-larouche, mark wilson, martin laird, matt kuchar, milos raonic, peter hanson, Philadelphia Flyers, phoenix coyotes, radek stepanek, rory mcilroy, sang-moon bae, world golf matchplay championship