Draw takes odd turn

STEVE GREEN -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:32 AM ET

She's seen a lot of unusual things in 20 trips to the national women's curling championship, but Colleen Jones would be hard-pressed to top what happened yesterday -- in the 13th draw of the Scott Tournament Hearts, no less.

First, the six-time national champ lost second Mary-Anne Arsenault to an allergic reaction during the fifth-end break in an afternoon game against Janet Harvey of Manitoba.

Then, after falling behind 6-4 after eight ends, Jones stole two in the 10th for a 7-6 win when Harvey committed a hog-line violation on the game's final stone.

"That was totally bizarre. Call it divine intervention, dust in the air, whatever you want," Jones said. "Something happened to look after us."

With Arsenault back for the night draw, Jones beat Suzanne Gaudet of P.E.I. 6-1 to share the lead at 7-2 with Jennifer Jones of Team Canada and Kelly Scott of B.C.

"My memory's so bad, I've probably had days like this before, I just can't remember them," Colleen Jones joked. "But this certainly has been one for the memory books. It was a weird day and certainly an eventful one."

It was a credit to Jones's experience that she didn't let Arsenault's illness get the better of her, though Harvey did take a 6-4 lead with steals of one in the seventh and eighth ends.

"The round-robin always provides you with a roller-coaster," Jones said. "You just ride it out the best you can."

Scott kept pace with an 8-5 night win over Kerry Koe of the Territories. With games today against Canada and Cathy King of Alberta, Scott couldn't afford to slip up.

"We had to fight for that win," Scott said. "We didn't have much going in a couple of ends, but we managed to get some good placement on a few rocks that showed up as twos on the scoreboard, which was nice.

"Now it's like we have almost four or five days of playoffs. We play two very smart skips (today) who have been in this position before, and so have we. It'll be a dogfight out there. Bring it on."

Scott said the teams haven't had much time to themselves this week, but that was fine with her.

"We came here on a business trip, really. We didn't come here to shop or see the sights."

Jennifer Jones, who had the night draw off, was the first to seven wins after beating Krista Scharf of Ontario 8-5 in 11 ends in the afternoon.

"This was a must-win game for us," said Jennifer Jones, who plays B.C. and Alberta today. "We were in control for the most part and the extra end went perfectly.

"Everyone seems to be playing great against us and it's not a bad thing to have to win a lot of tight games."

Joining Alberta at 6-3 was Heather Strong of Newfoundland and Labrador, who won her fourth and fifth straight games yesterday, the latter an 8-7 afternoon decision over Alberta despite giving up a steal of three in the first.

Strong bounced back with a steal of three of her own in the sixth and stole another in the seventh when King wrecked on a hit and roll in.

Andrea Kelly of New Brunswick, who beat Ontario 13-9 in 11 ends in a thriller last night after giving up a steal of two in the 10th, and Eve Belisle of Quebec are bubble-surfing at 5-4. They meet this morning, with the loser almost certainly eliminated.

Nova Scotia plays Quebec and New Brunswick today, while Newfoundland and Labrador meets P.E.I. and Ontario, and tiebreakers for playoff spots remain a distinct possibility.

Ontario, Manitoba and P.E.I. are 3-6, while the Territories and Tracy Streifel of Saskatchewan are 1-8.


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