Keepin' up with the Jones

ANGELA MacISAAC -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:51 AM ET

KAMLOOPS, B.C. -- Colleen Jones is off to a roaring start at the Strauss Canada Cup of Curling, jumping to 2-0.

Calgary's two women's entries, however, struggled on the first day of play with Cheryl Bernard going 0-2 and Shannon Kleibrink ending up 1-1.

For Jones, yesterday was a much better feeling than when she walked away from the Scott Tournament of Hearts in February in St. John's, Nfld., without her seventh title.

But Jones, third Kim Kelly, second Mary-Anne Arsenault and lead Nancy Delahunt got over that experience within days of getting back home to Halifax, said Jones.

"Maybe it was divine intervention, nature's way of making sure we get a breather," said Jones, who had won five straight Scotts. "Streaks come to an end. It would have been harder if we'd won the Scott this year because the target would just keep growing for us to be knocked off."

She'd like to avoid that target at the Olympic trials in her hometown Dec. 3-11 and win the right to represent Canada at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy.

Jones beat Ottawa's Anne Merklinger 9-8 in an extra end in yesterday's morning draw and, in the afternoon, got past Marie-France Larouche of Quebec 5-4.

Larouche had her in a tight spot, going up 3-2 after the eighth end. The 24-year-old skip seemed to have the best of the seasoned vet, sitting two on the button.

But Jones threw a pistol for a double takeout to sit three and take the lead.

Larouche hit a guard too thin on an angle-raise attempt in the 10th end and could only come up with one, instead of two to tie.

Jones pointed out she and her crew learned from their losses at the Scott.

"We always get stronger after losses," she said. "If you're able to sit back and be honest about mistakes you made, you'll get better. But if you brush off a loss and say, 'oh well, it just wasn't our day,' then you're not going to keep improving and get better."

Bernhard opened with a 10-6 loss to Jo-Ann Rizzo of Brantford, Ont., in the morning and then dropped a 5-4 nail-biter to Jan Betker of Regina.

Kleibrink beat Halifax's Heather Smith-Dacey 6-3 but lost 10-9 to Merklinger.

While the champion earns a berth outright, Bernard can finish no worse than third to get the necessary points and beat Cathy King for the Canadian Team Ranking System berth at the Olympic trials.

The pressure's on them, said Bernhard.

"We're pretty good at getting our back up against the wall and coming through," she said. "We just gotta be on the other side of the inch."

TUCKERED OUT: Forgive the Ferbey 4 if they seem tired.

Earning his sixth Brier title in Edmonton Sunday night -- fourth with Dave Nedohin, Scott Pfeifer and lead Marcel Rocque -- has left Randy Ferbey and Co. wiped.

"This is hard to get into," the skip said. "We're still tired. We had some functions on Monday, went home, did a couple of loads of laundry and got packed to come here."

Ferbey has bailed out on the World Curling Tour championship next week. The team chose to rest for 10 days before the world championships in Victoria, B.C.

But Ferbey didn't show any fatigue last night, dispatching his former boss Pat Ryan 5-3. Ferbey scored deuces in the third and fifth ends to stay ahead of the skip with whom he won two Briers in the late '80s.

"We'll be chatting with each other out there," Ferbey said before the game. "We always have great chats out on the ice."


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