PAISLEY, Scotland -- What started as a perfect day for Jennifer Jones ended with a great deal of hand-wringing on the part of the Canadians.
The Winnipeg skip shot 100% in Team Canada's 11-1 victory over China yesterday morning at the world women's curling championship but had little left to offer in the evening when the team got thumped 10-5 by Sweden.
At the end of the day, the Canadians found themselves starting to lag behind the leaders, having suffered their second blowout loss in as many days and still looking baffled by the inconsistent ice conditions.
"It definitely had a lot of ups and downs," Jones said of Day 3 at the Lagoon Leisure Centre. "We played well (yesterday) morning, came out flat (last night) and gave up a bad three in the first end and didn't really bounce back.
"We'll have to have a big day (today)."
Canada now sits fourth in the standings with a 4-2 record. The United States (Cassie Johnson) is first at 6-0, Sweden (Anette Norberg) is second at 5-0 and Norway (Dordi Nordby) is third at 5-1.
Despite the big win over China -- an also-ran at best in this field -- Canada didn't look much like a world championship contender. They were badly outclassed by Sweden and still have games against the United States and Norway to come.
"We're going to have to play better, but we'll get there," said Jones, who is supported by Cathy Overton-Clapham, Jill Officer and Cathy Gauthier. "I can guarantee it."
Jones shot just 46% against Sweden, while Norberg shot 83%, and the Canadians had difficulty getting any rocks to move on a sheet of ice that is straighter than some of the others in the arena.
"Bad ice is definitely an equalizer but no excuses, we just have to play better and that's the bottom line," Jones said. "The ice is inconsistent and it's like you are playing a new bonspiel every game, so it's hard to be consistent out there, but we have to do it."
The United States beat Japan 12-1 and Russia 5-4 yesterday to take over top spot, while the Swedes also topped China 7-6. Norway had an 8-7 win over Scotland and a 9-2 victory over Finland.
All of those teams appeared to be heating up as the playoffs approach, but Canada seems as likely to put in a stinker as a gem every time out.
"It's frustrating as a team that works so hard at the game to come here and find it so hard to play well," Gauthier said. "(Last night) there was no excuse. We struggled with weight, we struggled with throwing the rock well, we struggled with where the broom should be, and at the end of the day the other team made a whole lot more shots than we did, and they won."
Canada has a good chance to get back on track today with games against Japan and Denmark.