Jones on track for three-peat

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:27 AM ET

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. — Jennifer Jones is on the verge of writing another chapter in the curling history books.

The defending champ clipped P.E.I.'s Kathy O'Rourke 8-5 in the Page playoff one-two game of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts at the Essar Centre Friday night.

Jones advances to Sunday's final where she could win her third straight Canadian crown and fourth overall, which would both be Manitoba records. Only two teams anywhere have ever won three straight before.

"It's exciting. You dream of winning one and you never know if you're going to," Jones said. "Now, we've won three and the opportunity to win four is quite something. Just playing in the final is going to be fun. That's really what you work for all week and we'll see if we can capitalize on Sunday."

Jones capitalized on some rare mistakes by young Erin Carmody, who throws skip rocks for P.E.I.

"I got a little frustrated and a little mad at myself out there," said Carmody, 21. "I was a little nervous out there the first couple of ends but I was pretty relaxed by the last five. I think (today), we'll just come back and now that we know what it's like, we'll be fine. And they played great, too. I mean, they didn't miss anything."

O'Rourke drops into Saturday night's semifinal (6 p.m.) where she will play the winner of Saturday's three-four playoff between B.C.'s Kelly Scott and Ontario's Krista McCarville (noon).

"Now that (Erin's) had a (playoff) game under her belt, she'll be ready to go," said O'Rourke, who calls the game and throws second stones.

McCarville eliminated Manitoba's Jill Thurston 10-3 in a tie-breaker earlier in the day and is hoping some Maple Leaf magic rubs off on her squad after meeting Cheryl Bernard, who is in town before representing Canada at the Olympics.

"I rubbed her Maple Leaf so hopefully, that will give us luck for here," McCarville revealed.

"Step 1 is done but we still have a few more games to battle and we'll have a tough one (today)," said McCarville, who clipped Scott 7-6 on Monday. "This year, we've beaten them more times than they've beaten us so, it's a little scary thinking of that because you think, 'How many more times can we beat such a strong team?' But I think if we play like this, we'll definitely give them a good game."

Scott was pleased with her team's performance after a poor showing at the Canadian Curling Trials.

"There's been a lot of chatter about me, post-baby, if I have the same potential as I had in '06 and '07 and definitely not doing as well as we had hoped at the trials," said Scott, who won the Hearts crown both those years. "There were many naysayers after that event as well. So, we're out here on a mission and hope to prove to ourselves and maybe prove to a few others along the way what we're still capable of doing."

Thurston, meanwhile, proved to be competitive, despite skipping a team of rookies here.

"I'm disappointed," she said. "Obviously, we would like to have ended it off not only with a win but just to have played better. That wasn't really indicative of how we played all week so, it's disappointing to go out there and be flat like that. But we had a great week, we played really well and for a first-year team and I hadn't curled for two years. I'm pretty happy with the week."

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos