Rookie stuns Team Canada

TED WYMAN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:35 AM ET

ST. JOHN'S, Nfld. -- Holy Hanna! What a day it was for the rookie Ontario skip at the Scott Tournament of Hearts. Jenn Hanna, 25, and her Ottawa teammates pulled off a stunner on the first day of the Canadian women's curling championship at Mile One Stadium, upending four-time defending champ Colleen Jones 7-4 on the opening draw.

The victory came in the team's very first Scott appearance, just hours after the skip won a two-year car lease in the Hot Shots competition.

"Beating Colleen first game ... how much better does it get?" Hanna said. "This is so cool. This is my dream and to be here and to be doing it is still surreal. This is odd, it's the Scott Tournament of Hearts and I'm not home watching it. It's awesome."

The game turned in Hanna's favour in the seventh end, when she made a beautiful angle-raise to score three and go up 5-2. Team Canada, seeking an unprecedented fifth consecutive title, had no answer and the upset was well underway.

Ontario punctuated the victory when Hanna made a double in nine to score a deuce.

"It happens," a philosophical Jones said. "She made some spectacular shots and when that happens you are going to lose."

It was almost inconceivable that an unknown Scott neophyte would bring down a living legend, but Hanna played with no fear and it paid off.

"I think there's a lot to be said for coming out with that nothing-to-lose attitude," said Jones. "You have a lot of confidence playing that way, but they also throw pretty well and they are legitimate contenders. She obviously had a hot hand today, what with winning the car and everything."

Hanna said the key was aggressive play with the hammer and a conservative style without it.

"We decided we'd try to take some chances with last rock to get some multiple ends and played fairly conservative without last rock and it worked out for us," said Hanna, who curls with Pascale Letendre, 24, Dawn Askin, 24, and Steph Hanna, 22.

As for Jones, she's viewing the loss as a small bump in a long road.

"It's no fun losing," she said. "We had some shots that we wish we could have back. We've lost (the first game) before and won them before and you just have to remember it's only one game."

Also opening with victories yesterday were ex-Winnipegger Kelly Scott of British Columbia, who topped Brenda Nicholls of Quebec 7-4 and Stephanie Lawton of Saskatchewan, who upended 1998 champion Cathy King of Alberta 6-3.

In the evening draw, B.C. improved to 2-0 with a 6-3 win over Alberta, now 0-2, while Saskatchewan is also 2-0 thanks to a 5-4 win over Quebec.

"I don't know if two games will establish our names at the Scott, but we are definitely proud of ourselves today," said Scott.

Nova Scotia's Kay Zinck opened with an 11-3 win over Kerry Koe of the Yukon-Territories and Sandy Comeau of New Brunswick scored five points in the last two ends to beat Rebecca-Jean McPhee of P.E.I. 8-7.


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