Jones squad loses twice

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:48 AM ET

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. -- It was almost as if Jennifer Jones went to bed in The Soo and woke up back in Edmonton in December.

Just like the Canadian Curling Trials, Jones looked like a mere shell of a team that won back-to-back Canadian crowns yesterday.

First, Jones was felled by the Yukon/N.W.T.'s Sharon Cormier, of all people, and it wasn't pretty. Cormier, who does not travel the women's cash tour, clobbered Team Canada 10-4 in a Scotties Tournament of Hearts match at the Essar Centre.

Then, Newfoundland's Shelley Nichols battered Jones 8-4 last night.

So, is that Edmonton deja vu creeping in all over again?

"This is a little bit different," countered Jones, who fell to 3-2. "A few more wins here. The speed's good. It was just one of those days. I don't know what happened but if you're going to have one of those days, it's good to have it early in the week and hopefully, we'll rebound (today)."

Jones readily admitted she played poorly -- just like she did at those trials where she finished 2-5.

"It's very disappointing," she said. "I played very badly (yesterday) so, I'll have to come back and play better (today). It was not a very good day for us but it's the way it goes."

Jones fell into a five-way tie for third place.

"We're still in it," she said. "We still only have two losses but we're not in the place we want to be and just disappointed in our play. It would have been better to lose a couple of close games but I'm sure we'll bounce back ... We've done it (won) a bunch of different ways so, you never know what's going to happen."

OFF DAY

Nichols suggested that Jones just had an off day.

But it started when Jones decided to insert alternate Jennifer Clarke-Rouire against Cormier so she would not get cheated out of any bling due to some cost-cutting measures. Yet, Jones denied being overconfident facing the northerners.

"No, no. Not with our team," she objected. "We never look at who we're playing. We just came out flat (yesterday).

But, did inserting their fifth mess with their karma?

"I don't know," said Canada second Jill Officer. "It was a bad game, bad game all around."

Not for the Northeners.

"We're very excited because it's the team that everyone loves to beat because they're the champions two years in a row and it's nice to come out with a win, for sure," said Cormier. "The Territories beat them last year as well so we're trying to make it a regular thing."

Cormier was the fifth for Kerry Galusha when she defeated Jones 8-5 at last year's Hearts.

"They made the Shot of the Week to beat us," she said. "Maybe it's an omen."

Jones did rebound from that one to win her second straight Hearts title.

Meanwhile, Manitoba's Jill Thurston rebounded from a frustrating 7-6 loss to P.E.I.'s Kathy O'Rourke to post a 9-7 extra-end victory over Saskatchewan's Amber Holland.

"We're a team like that," said Thurston, who is also tied for third at 3-2. "We dig deep and we believe in each other and we said after (the P.E.I.) game, you just have to forget about that and go play a brand new game.

"Everybody's kind of helping us out. We know we have to be in control of our own destiny so we're going to go try to do our part and see what happens."

Both Canada and Manitoba play Alberta and B.C. today.

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


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