Buffalo gals shaky

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:39 AM ET

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. -- She may have won two of her opening three matches at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts but the question on everyone's lips here is: What's wrong with Manitoba's Jennifer Jones?

Jones suffered a 9-3 drubbing to Saskatchewan's Jan Betker, whose best years were supposed to be behind her, in Saturday's opener.

Then she was forced to make one of the most incredible comebacks in curling history when she erased a 7-1 deficit to overcome Yukon/NWT's once-lowly Kerry Koe 12-8.

And she followed that up by eking out an 8-7 victory over Nova Scotia's winless Jill Mouzar at the Enmax Centre yesterday afternoon.

'STRUGGLING'

"Obviously, we want to play a little bit better and be a little bit sharper," said Jones, who drew to the back eight-foot for the win. "We're not playing as well as we'd like. We're making a couple of uncharacteristic misses, but we know we're in not a bad position. We just have to keep getting better."

The good news is Manitoba's 2-1 record keeps them within reach of the top teams. The bad news is the Buffalo gals have yet to meet the better teams here.

"It's the beginning of the week and our goal is to get better with each game and I thought we've done that," said Jones, whose team curled 77% against Mouzar. "This was our best game, I thought.

"We were kind of struggling with the ice on the first day. We picked it up a little bit better (yesterday) and the ice was different. It curled a lot more, so if that continues I think we'll be a lot sharper (today)."

Jones plays Newfoundland and New Brunswick today.

"There's lots of room for improvement," said Manitoba third Cathy Overton-Clapham. "We're not playing like we can. The ice was a lot better for us (yesterday). There was more movement, which is what we're used to and that was nice. Our confidence is getting a little bit better. (Saturday), I didn't have a lot of confidence but I felt great out there (yesterday).

"The first game, I don't remember when I played that poorly, and the second game, I played better. We had a pretty consistent year this year and it's tough when you don't play well."

NATIONAL DEBUT

Mouzar, meanwhile, is making her national debut.

"Obviously, the outcome isn't what we've hoped for but we're building as a team, which is really important," she said. "We're building and not going the other way. We're having a good time with that and we're learning a lot about the ice. It's really different than what we're used to at home so that's a challenge."

BITER -- Manitoba's win over the Territories late Saturday tied for the biggest comeback in tournament history (Newfoundland, 11-8 over the Territories in 1984).


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