Shot through the Hearts

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:30 AM ET

ST. JOHN'S -- No other word can describe what happened to Jenn Hanna and her Ottawa Curling Club teammates in the championship game at the Scott Tournament of Hearts yesterday.

Leading 6-4 in the 10th end and their opponent down to her last rock, Hanna and her curling sisters were poised to win the national women's title at Mile One Stadium.

Then, their dreams of becoming the first Ottawa rink to win the Scott were shattered by one of the best shots in curling history.

Manitoba skip Jennifer Jones delivered the knockout blow with a circus shot that removed an Ontario counter on the button after bouncing off a Hanna stone on the right side in front of the rings.

Jones scored four and posted an improbable 8-6 win.

The Manitoba players raised their arms and leapt about, and the crowd of 5,500 cheered wildly as the Ontario rock rolled out of the rings.

Meanwhile, Hanna kept her head up and stared straight ahead, as if she couldn't believe what had just happened.

It was the most crushing way any team could have lost a national final.

"When you get beat on a shot like that, I'm not taking that away. That was an amazing shot," said Hanna.

"As far as I'm concerned, that's shot of the week, for a Canadian championship."

On her last shot, Hanna opted to guard her stone on the button and left her own stone on the right side in front of the rings.

Hanna thought about putting a corner freeze on her rock in the house, but worried about missing it and leaving her opponent an easier shot.

"I thought I left her a pretty difficult shot," said Hanna. "I did. She made it."

Jones and her teammates Cathy Overton-Clapham, Jill Officer and Cathy Gauthier will represent Canada at next month's world championships in Paisley, Scotland.

They also gained a berth at the Olympic Trials at Halifax in December.

Hanna and her teammates Pascale Letendre, Dawn Askin and Stephanie Hanna appeared on their way to the title, outplaying the Manitoba squad for most of the game.

The game began well for Ontario, with Hanna stealing a deuce in the second end after Jones missed a takeout on her final shot.

Hanna had a chance to make a comeback difficult for the Manitobans in the third, but missed a draw with her final shot and left Jones a hit for a deuce.

After taking a single in the fourth, Hanna stole one in the fifth when Jones was light on a draw to the four-foot.

Hanna, who dazzled the crowd with great shotmaking all week, wowed it again in the sixth when she got through a narrow port in front of the rings on her final stone to remove a Manitoba counter for shot stone, and stole the end when Jones crashed on a guard.

Jones took a point in the seventh and stole one in the eighth when Hanna flashed on a takeout attempt of a guarded Manitoba rock in the eight-foot.

Hanna got into trouble in the ninth but salvaged a point with a draw on her final stone to take a two-point lead heading home.

But Jones wasn't to be denied in the last end.

"Is it a little disappointing? Sure. I mean, we're a shot away from winning Canada," said Hanna. "But it wasn't meant to be."

Hanna leaves St. John's without the title, but she did earn loads of respect from her fellow curlers, and the fans who cheered her on.

"People here made me feel like a celebrity. I've never had that in my entire life and I will never forget it."


Videos

Photos