Shot promotes curling events

STEVE GREEN -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 10:22 AM ET

The Shot.

That's all most Canadian curling fans remember of the 2005 Scott Tournament of Hearts final in St. John's, when Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg made a spectacular shot with the last rock to score four and beat Jenn Hanna of Ottawa 8-6.

Jones made a hit and roll on her own stone off the rings and removed Hanna's counter on the button. It was a shot similar to one played by the late Sandra Schmirler in the 1997 Olympic trials and ranks right up there with the infamous Al Hackner cross-house double in the 1985 Brier final against Pat Ryan.

Yet somewhat overlooked was the play of Hanna, 25, whose rink was the youngest in the competition. She won four playoff games to get to the final, reminiscent of a run at the Ontario Hearts, when Hanna was 1-4 at one point in the round robin but then won eight straight.

"That was all part of the plan," she said jokingly yesterday at the London Curling Club after a news conference to promote both the 2006 Scott Tournament of Hearts Feb. 25 to March 5 at the John Labatt Centre and the ninth annual Southwestern Ontario Women's Charity Cashspiel, which opens today.

"But the one big thing I can take away from last year is the fact anything's possible, just don't count yourself out."

Jones' shot was replayed as part of a promotional video, but Hanna wasn't perturbed.

"I'd never take that shot away from Jen and her team," Hanna said. "We played the best we knew how and we came home happy with that. I do believe in fate and it was meant to be for them."

Seen by many as the heir apparent to perennial Ontario contenders such as fellow Ottawan Anne Merklinger and Sherry Middaugh of Coldwater, Hanna acknowledged last year's run raised the bar, but she's not worried about being a one-year wonder. "It was always a dream and a goal to make it to the Scott Tournament of Hearts and I still find it unbelievable we made it so soon."

EVENT GUIDES

Southwestern Ontario Women's Charity Cashspiel

Draws -- Today: At Highland and St. Thomas, 9 a.m., 2 p.m., 7 p.m.; at Ilderton, 9 a.m., 2 p.m. Tomorrow: At Highland, 9 a.m., 2 p.m., 7 p.m.; at St. Thomas, 9 a.m., 2 p.m.; at Ilderton, 2 p.m., 7 p.m.; at London CC, 7 p.m. Sunday: At Ilderton, 9 a.m., 2 p.m., 7 p.m. (quarter-finals); at Highland, 9 a.m. Monday: At Ilderton, 9 a.m. (semifinals), 1 p.m. (final)

Admission: Free, although donations to the London Regional Cancer Program would be appreciated.

Website: http://sowcc.isp.ca/2005

2006 Scott Tournament of Hearts

When: Feb. 25-March 5

Where: John Labatt Centre

Ticket and volunteer information: www.hearts2006.curling.ca or call 645-2875; tickets available at JLC box office


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