Spencer trips Jones

JIM BENDER, STAFF REPORTER

, Last Updated: 10:38 AM ET

MORRIS -- The women's curling universe failed to unfold the way some people felt it should here yesterday.

St. Vital's former national champion, Jennifer Jones, was finally felled and is in danger of dropping into a tie-breaker at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

And Fort Rouge's defending champion Janet Harvey was hanging on to faint hope heading into last night's late draw.

Fort Rouge's fourth-seeded Barb Spencer won only her second game of the week when she upended Jones 9-7 in an extra end at the Southern Manitoba Convention Centre.

That dropped Jones into a first-place tie in her pool with Fort Rouge's Darcy Robertson at 5-1.

"I missed a couple of shots in the first five, so it could have been a different game," Jones said. "But we came back, and we're happy with that. Hats off to them, they played well.

"We're 5-1, and we've played well. We have high expectations, and we like to be as sharp as possible. We just have to go out and win (today). It's a big game for us."

NOT SHARP

But they have not been as sharp as possible in each game and will play Robertson in a first-place showdown this morning. A loss could drop them into a second-place tie.

Robertson has quietly gone about her business with a new third, Lana Hunter, replacing Julie Bueckert here.

"We've been kind of laying low, and nobody's noticed us, I guess, but we've just been plugging along," Robertson said. "We've had a lot of close games, we've just been able to pull them through and win them. So it feels good.

"I hope we'll play our best (against Jones). I'm sure it will be a good game. I'm sure there will be a lot of rocks in play, and it will be a barnburner."

Another Fort Rouge squad, Joelle Brown, felled Harvey 8-7 after Harvey battled back from a 7-3 deficit to tie the score 7-7.

"I give them credit," Brown said. "They played an unbelievable second half of the game, just like defending champions should, and they made us earn that win, for sure.

"We were not sharp in this game, and I think the nerves got a little bit up there today, for whatever reason. I mean, we've played Janet before and it's not like the final or anything. But I guess the closer you get, the nerves are going a bit."

Brown moved into a first-place tie in her pool with clubmate Shauna Streich and St. Vital's Kristy Jenion, all at 4-1 heading into the late draw.

"We're not there yet," said Brown, who was playing Streich last night. "We've got a long road to go but we're really pleased with where we are. We've had a fantastic week. We've had so much fun."

Harvey fell to 2-3 with just a mathematical chance to make a tie-breaker before the late draw.

"Obviously, you want to make playoffs," said Harvey, who was playing Jenion last night. "I feel like we've played well enough to do that but nothing's really gone our way. Other teams are making huge shots against us and I guess we have to be that much better, and I guess we're not this week."

Streich, meanwhile, ambushed Jenion 9-3.

"We finally played the way we can play," Streich said. "It's nice to bring her back to the pack."

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ROCK TALK

GAME OF THE DAY

Fort Rouge's fourth-seeded Barb Spencer had been reeling, but she returned to form when her foursome handed St. Vital's top-seeded Jennifer Jones its first loss, edging Jones 9-7 in an extra end.

TODAY'S FEATURED MATCH

Jones now faces Fort Rouge's Darcy Robertson -- Barb Spencer's older sister -- in a first-place showdown today at 8:30 a.m. Should Brandon's Liza Park beat Thompson's Denise Podolski on the same draw, she would play the loser of the Jones-Robertson match in a tie-breaker.


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