Work left for Jones

TED WYMAN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:38 AM ET

PAISLEY, Scotland -- If Canada is going to win another world women's curling title this year, it will have to travel the long route.

Winnipeg's Jennifer Jones saw her chances of winning the world curling championship diminish considerably yesterday when her team lost 10-7 to Cassie Johnson of the United States at the Lagoon Leisure Centre.

The Jones foursome is now 7-3 and can finish no higher than third place. If things don't go right today, they could miss the playoffs entirely.

"We never envisioned going into the last game of the round-robin having to win to make the playoffs and it's not a position we are really comfortable with," Canada lead Cathy Gauthier said.

"Our backs are against the wall now and we play a very good team who plays tremendously against Canadians all the time."

Standing in the way of a playoff berth for Canada, which won the title last year with Colleen Jones at skip, is two-time world champion Dordi Nordby of Norway, who is also 7-3.

BIG GAME

"I'm looking forward to that ... because it's Canada," Nordby said. "It's a very important game for both teams."

The winner of this morning's game will make the playoffs while the loser could drop to a tie-breaker, or fall right out of the playoff picture if 6-3 Russia (Lucy Privivkova) can win its final two games against Denmark and Scotland.

The Jones foursome will definitely need help if it loses today.

"I don't want anybody's help, although a shrink would be good right about now," Gauthier said.

The win guaranteed the United States a berth in Saturday's 1-vs-2 Page playoff game against Sweden's Anette Norberg (9-0).

At best, Canada will play either Norway or Russia in Saturday's 3-vs-4 game, where the winner advances to the semifinal and the loser is eliminated.

Canada looked to be set up to score two in the 10th and upend the Americans (earning a berth in the 1-2 game themselves) when Johnson made a brilliant draw with her last rock to kill their chances.

Johnson, a 23-year-old from Bemidji, Minn., came through a port to get shot rock by an inch and force Jones to try and angle-raise takeout with her last one for the tie or possibly the win. Jones couldn't make the shot and the Americans scored two for the victory.

"It was nice to be able to throw that kind of shot for the game," Johnson said.

"It has been really incredible. Being a young team and never having been here before, it's really great how we've done so far."

Members of the Jones foursome, while disappointed, had to tip their caps to the American skip.

"She made a peach," Gauthier said.

"We'll go in with our backs against the wall and we have to win out now," added Jones. "We have to get on a roll. Absolutely, it's disappointing because we had a chance to win that game."

Canadian third Cathy Overton-Clapham put the loss to the Americans on her own shoulders after curling just 49% and coming up heavy on some key draws.

"I didn't have a very good game at all," Overton-Clapham said. "I was off on my draw weight.

"Absolutely, if I could have put a couple more shots together it would have put a little more pressure on their skip."

While Canada could still make the playoffs with a loss today, they shouldn't expect any favours from the young Russians, who are coming on strong.

"That's the most underrated team in this championship," Gauthier said.


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