Three strikes and you're out

Skip Jennifer Jones doesn't look happy during the third draw against Team McCarville at Rexall...

Skip Jennifer Jones doesn't look happy during the third draw against Team McCarville at Rexall Place on Monday. (Sun Media/Amber Bracken)

TERRY JONES, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:50 AM ET

Membership doesn't have any privileges.

Not in the Double Defeat Club.

Not in the Twin Non-Win Society.

Not when you join Oh No Co..

Rexall Place is no place for a nervous person today if you're on one of the teams at the Roar of the Rings Olympic curling trials that has been bounced back-to-back in the first two days of the event.

This isn't a game of Las Vegas blackjack. You don't want to double down.

With only three playoff positions, once you become a two-time loser under the new eight-team, seven-game round-robin format, you start curling from the edge of the cliff.

And the way they're headed to the cliff early in this tournament, it'll probably look like Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump here today.

Women's No. 1 seed and event poster girl Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg was the first member to sign up for Double Defeat Club yesterday morning.

Wayne Middaugh of Victoria Harbor, Ont. and Jason Gunnlaughson of Beausejour, Man. became men's members in the afternoon draw.

And Kelly Scott of Kelowna, Amber Holland of Kronau, Sask., Crystal Webster of Calgary and Sefanie Lawton of Saskatoon joined up in the evening.

"It's not an exclusive club. There are a lot of people in it right now," said Lawton.

It was not unexpected to see young Gunnlaugson or Middaugh become endangered species squads here.

Few had even heard of Gunnlaugson, the fun-loving, pint-sized, 25-year-old poker-playing skip who became a crowd favourite in his first game, taking legendary Kevin Martin to last rock for openers on Sunday night.

He was the 12th seed at the Road to the Roar event in Prince George and nobody expected to see the team wearing Shrek Green to be around for the playoffs.

"Even the guys who've been doing this for 25 years have had this happen to them," said the guy they're already calling Gunner for short, even if he isn't likely to be alive in this for long.

"I've never felt this bad after playing cards," said the semi-professional poker player.

"I know there's something weird about curling. It looks like such a simple game. You know you can do this, but when you screw up there's something amazingly frustrating about it.

"That game was so frustrating ... and I still had fun."

Middaugh never has any fun at this event. His second loss hereleft him at 5-15 in three trials appearances.

With the favoured Jones crew in the glue early, the women's event for the trip to Vancouver is anybody's to win.

"We put our backs in a really bad spot this time," she said after losing to McCarville in the morning to make it back-to-back breakdowns out of the gate.

But Jones, who has had a habit of getting back on track after early trainwrecks in major events the last two years, kept the losses to two, cracking a five-ender on the eighth for a 11-5 win over Scott as the 2007 world champion joined the 2008 world champion with a pair of losses.

"It's never over until it's over. It's just one win. You can't look at your record.

"It's a tough field. It's a tough grind," said the Winnipeg skip, setting an event record for jamming the most cliches into one sound clip.

"As long as we can stay at two losses," said Scott, who had the double whammy yesterday, losing both games.

"With three losses, you just don't know.

"I guess we have to look at it as a good kick in the butt for us," she said.

"It is what it is," said Holland who also lost both on the same day yesterday. "We can't take back what we did today."

Winners were more happy that they didn't have two losses than that they had two wins.

"It looks like two losses is going to get you a playoff positions for sure," said Calgary's Shannon Kleibrink, who is 2-1. "You'd love to avoid that second loss for a long time."


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