Second place a logjam

STEVE GREEN -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 10:37 AM ET

At least Eve Belisle's team is holding to form.

The Quebec skip and her rink of Pamela Nugent, Martine Comeau and Saskia Hollands wasn't considered one of the favourites heading into the Scott Tournament of Hearts, but they're right in the thick of things so far.

Despite a 6-5 loss to Team Canada's Jennifer Jones in the fifth draw last night, Belisle stands in a five-way tie for second at 2-1 behind Colleen Jones of Nova Scotia.

"We just had a couple of bad ends," said Belisle, whose last-rock draw was a shade heavy in the 10th. "My team played great. I just wish I could throw that last one again. I was just three feet heavy."

Belisle said it was too early to read anything into the second-place logjam.

"Our goal today was to win one of our two games and we did," she said. "We're always seen as darkhorses in our province, so I guess we're doing our job here, too."

Jennifer Jones was thankful to rebound from a 9-3 loss to Heather Strong of Newfoundland and Labrador in the afternoon.

"You always come into this event saying you can't lose two in a row. That game had big shots both ways. It was a great game to play.

"We're not playing as well as we can, but we're playing well enough for this point in the week."

There could have been a seven-way tie for the lead at 2-1, but Ontario's Krista Scharf was heavy on a last-rock draw in the 11th, allowing Colleen Jones to steal an 8-7 win.

"We were definitely lucky to win that," the six-time national champion said. "We had trouble with the rocks. We had great draw weight until tonight. Everything was gliding. I thought we threw well tonight, we just weren't getting a lot for it.

"But 3-0 feels miraculous right now. You don't like to win that way, but we'll take it."

Scharf (1-2) admitted a little too much adrenalin may have been partly to blame on her last shot. "Maybe, but I was heavy all game. This was a hard one to lose, but it's still early and there's lots of games still to play.

"We definitely picked up our game from this morning," she said of a 10-2 loss to Alberta's Cathy King, another of the 2-1 teams. "All of us struggled in that game. I'll just have to pick up my game a little bit more."

Also at 2-1 are Kelly Scott of B.C. and Andrea Kelly of New Brunswick, who met in their only game of the day in the fourth draw. Scott stole two in the fifth and held on to win 5-4.

"I heard them on TSN introducing me as a 1995 Canadian junior champ and them as the 2005 champs and I thought, 'Oooh, that does make me sound old,' " laughed Scott, who's only 28 while the New Brunswickers are all 20 or under. "I remember being that age and being fearless and thrilled to be playing against the women, so I knew we had to be sharp for that game."

Keeping in touch with the leaders, even this early in the week, is important, Scott said.

"Especially starting off with a loss in the first game like we did," she said of a 6-5 extra-end loss to Saskatchewan's Tracy Streifel, who stole the winning point.

Kelly, meanwhile, said her team was "pretty off" in the game.

"We couldn't get anything going, but that's one of the tougher teams I think we're going to play this week, so at least we got it out of the way even if it is a loss.

"And usually we get a loss earlier than this."

Joining Ontario at 1-2 are Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, Janet Harvey of Manitoba and Suzanne Gaudet of P.E.I. Kerry Koe of the Territories is 0-3.

In the other fifth-draw games, Alberta stole its first four points in a 7-4 win over the Territories, while Manitoba held off Newfoundland and Labrador 8-6.

In the other fourth-round games, P.E.I. got its first win with an 11-6 win over Saskatchewan and Quebec stole one in the 10th to edge Manitoba 8-7. In the other morning game, Nova Scotia doubled the Territories 8-4.


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