Jenn Jones keeps pace

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:22 AM ET

LONDON, Ont. -- Team Canada's Jennifer Jones kept pace with the leaders, while Manitoba's Janet Harvey is still swimming with the bottom feeders.

Jones cracked a three in the 10th end to escape with a 7-6 victory over Saskatchewan's lowly Tracy Streifel at the John Labatt Centre last night.

Although Jones improved to 5-2 and a four-way tie for first at the Scott Tournament of Hearts, losing to Saskatchewan would have been crushing for the defending champs.

"It was huge for us," said Canada third Cathy Overton-Clapham. "(Yesterday) morning, we lost a heartbreaker. We struggled the first five in that game, then came on strong but lost that game. But losing this would have hurt big, yeah."

Nova Scotia's Colleen Jones nipped Canada 7-6, thanks to the benefit of a measure that gave her the winning deuce in the 10th end.

"It was a long day," admitted a relieved Jennifer Jones. "Two close games that went back and forth, and we never like to lose two in a row. So that was a huge win for us."

Jones tapped a Saskatchewan rock through a back port to score the winning three.

"We did (pull it out)," said the skipper, who shot only 57%. "We had a few opportunities earlier in the game, and I just missed them, so I really wanted to make that one, (because) I felt like I let my team down earlier.

'Wasn't sharp'

"It was the same as the game against Janet Harvey. I wasn't sharp and you need to win a few of those. You just need to make the right shots when you have to and we did that (last night)."

Although Streifel is only 1-6, she did gave Team Canada a scare.

"Everyone's tough to play, and they rise to the occasion against us," Overton-Clapham suggested.

That would even include Colleen Jones, who admitted that playing the reigning champs added to the drama of their match -- but the former champ stopped short of demanding her Canada jackets back.

"No, those jackets look just fine on them," she said. "The thing we had when we were Team Canada is that we knew that every team got up to play you, and everybody should get up for everybody at an event like this. But there is something about playing somebody with a Canada on their back that makes you just that little more hungry.

"They definitely have the target. And you know you have to play great against them because they've got a lot of experience."

Jones had better be much sharper when she takes on N.B.'s Andrea Kelly (4-3) and Ontario's Krista Scharf (3-4) today, then finishes with games against B.C. and Alberta tomorrow.

Meanwhile, B.C.'s transplanted Manitoban Kelly Scott skewered Manitoba's Harvey 8-3 to drop her to 2-5 and all but kill her fading playoff hopes.

"It's (2-5) not very good obviously," said Harvey, who had beaten Scharf 10-7 earlier. "We're trying our best out here, and we'll just keep plugging away (today). There's always hope ... until somebody tells me we're out."

And her foursome certainly will not call it quits.

"At this point, we're just going to try to play well and win our games," Harvey said. "We're doing our best out here, we'll keep doing it (today) and see what happens. You know, five (losses) often isn't out, might not be out. The record, obviously it's disappointing, but not for a lack of effort and giving it everything out there. It just hasn't been going our way this week."

And that is almost shocking since Harvey can boast one of the best seasons curled by any Scott competitor here. They are not getting the breaks they were earlier in the year. But nor are they forcing the breaks in their favour.


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