Hotshot Hanna rocks champs

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:36 AM ET

ST. JOHN'S -- First she won a car. Then she beat the reigning world champion. Just another day in the life of Ottawa Curling Club skip Jenn Hanna.

If the Ontario champion thought she'd be able to get through the Scott Tournament of Hearts by flying under the radar screen, that plan's pretty much gone out the window.

Hanna opened the women's national championship tournament yesterday with an impressive 7-4 win yesterday over five-time Canadian champ Colleen Jones at Mile One Stadium.

Earlier in the day, she won a two-year lease on a new minivan by winning the Ford Hotshots skills competition.

"Jenn's at the top of her game right now," said Ontario second Dawn Askin. "She played awesome in the provincials, and she's keeping it going through this."

Hanna made key shots at the right moments to beat Jones, winner of four consecutive national titles.

KEY SHOT

In the seventh end with the score deadlocked at 2-2, Hanna completed a difficult angle raise to score three, breaking open what had been a rather dull match.

Then, after Jones responded with two points in the eighth, Hanna executed a tricky double to score a deuce in the ninth, moving her opponent's stones off the four-foot.

"I love this," said Hanna after making her debut at the Scott. "The fans are so awesome. The noises, looking around. We played Colleen first game. I mean, how much better does it get? This is so cool. This is my dream, and to be here and to be doing it is still surreal.

"Halfway through the game, I'm like, 'I'm playing Colleen in the Scott Tournament of Hearts. This is odd. I'm not at home watching it on TV.' "

The performance by Hanna's team -- the youngest here -- and the poise it displayed in the first game at the Scott for all the Ontario players, impressed Jones.

"You kind of hope maybe they'll be a little nervous, but you don't ever count on it," said Jones. "She made some spectacular shots out there."

Hanna's team has won nine straight games, the last loss coming during the round-robin of the Ontario championship when their record dropped to 1-4.

They won eight straight sudden-death games to win the provincial title and now have gained a confidence boost by beating one of the most successful teams in curling history.

"It proves to us that we can play with the best because Colleen is the best," said Hanna. "That doesn't mean that on any other (day) she would beat us, but today we played better."

Hanna had a bye during last night's evening draw and continues the tournament this morning against the home team, Newfoundland's Heather Strong.

barre.campbell@ott.sunpub.com


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