Lawes squeaks into playoffs

JIM BENDER

, Last Updated: 8:15 AM ET

The defending Canadian junior women's champ stared into the face of elimination and survived. And thrived.

Manitoba's Kaitlyn Lawes rebounded from two straight losses that left her on the ropes to clinch third place at the Canadian Junior Men's and Women's Championships in Salmon Arm, B.C. yesterday.

Lawes beat New Brunswick's Ashley Howard (Russ Howard's daughter) 7-3 to finish the round robin with an 8-4 record and sole possession of third spot.

"We really hung in there," Lawes said from Salmon Arm. "We weren't too worried (after falling to 5-4). We played some good teams, hung in there and really battled."

Supported by third Jenna Loder, second Laryssa Grenkow and Breanne Meakin, Lawes beat Nova Scotia's Marie Christianson 9-6 on the morning draw.

"Our first goal was to get to the playoffs and it doesn't matter how you do it, as long as you do it," said Lawes, who finished first with a 10-2 record at last year's nationals. "And we're in the playoffs (today)."

Lawes will face either Alberta or Ontario in today's 5:30 p.m. semifinal, depending on the results on last night's draw.

Although Lawes lost to both teams, Alberta was forced to beat her in an extra end.

Meanwhile, Manitoba's Sam Good dropped a 4-3 decision to N.B. to finish out of the playoff picture with a 6-6 record.

BITERS: Because Fort Rouge clubmates Kristy Jenion and Karen Porritt clinched playoff spots at the Manitoba Scotties Tournament of Hearts yesterday, the rest of their pool have to play three meaningless games today ... Three teams were still winless heading into last night's draw ... The MCA has called a press conference to announce the top seeds for the Safeway Championship in Selkirk next Thursday. You can guess the top five will be defending champion Kerry Burtnyk, Jeff Stoughton, Mike McEwen, Pete Nicholls and Reid Carruthers, likely in that order.


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