Hot Shots win a good omen

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 10:58 AM ET

LONDON, Ont. -- The Nova Scotia legend is hoping she has lured Lady Luck back to her side.

With a new pair of glasses to improve her aim, Colleen Jones won the Ford Hot Shots contest yesterday and hopes it is an omen for winning her seventh Scott Tournament of Hearts this week.

"The car winner has had luck in the past," noted Jones, who got a two-year lease of a 2006 Ford Explorer XLT. "So, it's not a bad thing."

B.C. skip Kelley Law won the car in 2000, when she won her only Scott title and Alberta's Randy Ferbey won it before one of his many Brier belts.

But Jones was just thrilled to win the vehicle.

"My No. 1 job when I went home was to buy a new car because my 1989 Volkswagon died," said Jones, who beat Manitoba third Jill Thurston 14-11 in the final with both her parents watching her curl for the first time since 1998. "So, I've been renting cars because my son (Zach) is old enough to drive and he works out in Sackville, and I have biked more kilometres -- even in the winter. And it's friggin' freezing.

"So, nobody needed a car more than me. I'm just so excited, I can't believe we won. Maybe it was the glasses or maybe it was God knew I needed a car."

Jones, who plans to split the prize with her teammates somehow, then blasted Alberta's Cathy King 8-2 in her opener.

"It couldn't get any better," Jones said. "Give me chocolate and I'll have died and gone to heaven. It's been a really, really good day."

Jones, 46, arrived here determined to rebound from a poor showing at the Canadian Curling Trials in Halifax.

"That was hard," she admitted. "We had geared up for the trials for so long. It was all about the trials. It was all about getting to the Olympics. When you lose, you go, 'Wait a minute, what just happened?' Then you have to get a little perspective on it and say, 'All right, it was just one little bonspiel you're not going to.'

"Just because you lose once, it doesn't make you a has-been. Sometimes, you take your licks in this game and come around to play again. So just because we lost at the trials or last year at the Scott, it doesn't mean the run is over. Shake yourself off and try again."

MANITOBANS CASH IN: Thurston earned $3,000 as the Hot Shots runner-up.

"I have a perfectly nice car at home so, I'm not too terribly upset," Thurston said. "So, the $3,000 is good. That way, everyone can share it. I'm happy with it.

"Certainly, playing in the Hot Shots makes me a little bit more comfortable for the rest of the event."

Team Canada skip Jennifer Jones got $1,500 for finishing third.

WILSON HUMBLED: For 25 years, Scott co-ordinator Robin Wilson has been the lifeblood of the Tournament of Hearts and was recently inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame. Wilson received a standing ovation when honoured at the opening banquet here Friday night.

"I'm totally blown away," said an emotional Wilson. "I'm truly blessed. I love this sport and I love this sponsor. I was able to take curling and make it my life. And I get paid for it."


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