'Kick in the pants'

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:56 AM ET

VERNON, B.C. -- The Canucks may no longer need a crutch.

Although Team Canada's Jennifer Jones had struggled through her previous four games, she capped off the round robin of the women's world championship in a big way.

Jones cracked a three in the eighth end to take a 7-2 lead and coast to a 7-3 victory over Sweden's Stina Viktorsson before 2,667 witnesses -- the biggest and loudest crowd of the week at the Greater Vernon Multiplex -- last night.

And even more importantly, the Manitobans looked a lot more like the squad that rattled off eight straight wins to win the Canadian crown last month.

'ALL PLAYED GREAT'

Jones improved to 9-2 and second place, clinching a berth in tonight's Page playoff one-two game against China (8 p.m.).

"It was our best game," Jones said. "We were a little disappointed in how we played (against Denmark) and we knew we had to step it up and that's what we did. We had fun out there.

"We always give ourselves a kick in the pants and play better. Sometimes, losing's not a bad thing for us. From lead to skip, everybody played great and that's what we need going into (today)."

Canada got off to a quicker start for a change.

"We got out of the gate well and got good play from skip to lead, so,that was good," said Canada second Jill Officer. "We felt better about things, too, and it was a good way to end the round robin and go into the playoffs with some momentum."

Canada also got a boost from the boisterous crowd.

"It's always fun to get the adrenaline going when everyone's on your side and it's fun to hear the roar," said third Cathy Overton-Clapham. "And we had fun out there. We're at our best when we're having fun, when we're executing well and we're enjoying it."

China's Bingyu Wang nipped Germany's Andrea Schoepp 6-5 to also finish at 9-2, tied with both Canada and Switzerland. China is awarded first and the hammer because it won the pre-tourney skills test with Canada second.

China beat Jones in the round robin.

"Obviously we want to win that game but it's great to have a second life," Jones said "It was a really well-played game by both teams. I felt we controlled the last half of that game and I screwed up on that one. Hopefully we'll have that shot to win again and make it this time."

Jones was heavy on a draw attempt to win and the excited Chinese team celebrated as if they'd won the gold medal.

Switzerland's Mirjam Ott defeated Russia 9-4 for her ninth win. But since Ott finished behind both China and Canada in the pre-tourney draw to the button, Switzerland dropped to third.

Ott will take on the winner of this morning's (10:30 a.m.) tie-breaker between Denmark and Japan, who both finished 7-4, in the three-four playoff (3 p.m.).

Earlier, Denmark's Angelina Jensen defeated Canada 6-3.

"I was so worried (about playing Canada), you just wouldn't believe it," said bubbly Madeleine Dupont, who throws the last brick. "I was so afraid we'd go out and get our ass kicked. We did a pretty good job.

"It's such a relief. Seriously, I didn't think we would beat them (yesterday) because we were not so confident. I'm just so happy ... It was pretty amazing. Jennifer didn't make all her shots (yesterday), maybe that was the difference."

Denmark then dropped an 8-6 decision to Sweden, falling into a tie with Japan, who beat China 8-7 in an extra-end in the afternoon draw.


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