Getting it done

TED WYMAN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:36 AM ET

ST. JOHN'S, Nfld. -- She clobbered the four-time defending champion, squashed the upstart, battled a nasty head cold and got in the middle of a controversy. All in a day's work for Manitoba's Jennifer Jones.

Jones and her Winnipeg foursome of Cathy Overton-Clapham, Jill Officer and Cathy Gauthier, are sailing along nicely after two days of play at the Scott Tournament of Hearts.

After an 8-5 win over Colleen Jones and Team Canada and a 9-2 drubbing of Ontario's Jenn Hanna yesterday, Manitoba is sitting pretty with a record of 3-0 and is tied for first place at the Canadian women's curling championship at Mile One Stadium.

"It feels good, really good," said Jones, who was bothered by cold symptoms throughout the day. "That's the best we could have done so far. We are only three games in so we've got a while to go, but we are playing well and hopefully we'll just keep getting stronger."

Manitoba and Saskatchewan are the only unbeaten teams in the tournament, with the Jones foursome set to square off against B.C. (7 a.m.) and New Brunswick (5 p.m., Country Canada) today.

Jones has put tremendous pressure on her opponents in all three games and has dominated the early ends. In all three games they have led at least 5-1 by the fifth end. That's no small accomplishment when you are playing the likes of a six-time national champion like Colleen Jones.

"We come out stormin', but our biggest challenge this year has been holding a lead," said Gauthier. "We're figuring it out.

"What I look into it is the teams we have beat are teams that are good. But I'm looking ahead at the teams we have yet to play and there are some tough ones. I'm happy where we are, but I don't think you can go to the bank with what we've got so far."

There was controversy in the game against Hanna after Ontario lead Steph Hanna clipped a rock with her brush while sweeping on a come-around tap-back for one in the fifth end.

The lead immediately admitted her error and the Jones team declared the rock to be burned -- even though it did not appear to move on replays -- resulting in a steal of two and a 7-1 Manitoba lead.

"I hate when stuff like that happens," said Jones. "It was very tight to the guard and I thought they were just going to rub, so if she moved it ...

" I just don't like having to do that. It was our call whether it was going to get by or not and both Cathy and I thought it was going to be really tight. That was our gut feeling but if I thought it was by, I would have definitely given her the point."

The Ontario players handled the situation with the utmost class.

"She did say she touched it," Jenn Hanna said of her lead and sister. "I don't know how much, but a rule is a rule and none of us have a problem with that. At least it wasn't on the last shot of a game that really counts for something at the end of the week. We're over it."

Hanna lost a pair of games yesterday -- to Manitoba and Newfoundland (by a score of 8-2) after upsetting Colleen Jones Saturday.

But losing early in a tournament is nothing new to the Ottawa curler, who went 1-4 in the Ontario provincials before storming back to win. Her secret game plan may just be to start 1-4 here and then go on a run.

"We're actually going to call in a loss tomorrow morning," she said, obviously kidding. "We're not even going to show up. I feel like sleeping in."


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