Jones ready for rematch

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 6:47 PM ET

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. -- They won the playoff with double revenge on their minds.

Manitoba's Jennifer Jones pasted P.E.I.'s Suzanne Gaudet 9-4 in the Page playoff three-four game of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts at the Enmax Centre last night.

That eliminated Gaudet and advances Jones to today's 1:30 p.m. semifinal against Team Canada's Kelly Scott in a repeat of last year's national women's final.

Saskatchewan's Jan Betker beat Scott 8-5 to advance to tomorrow's 12:30 p.m. final, where she will play the winner of today's semifinal. The loser will be eliminated.

"We're down to the wire now, backs against the wall," Scott said.

Tomorrow's champion will represent Canada at the women's world championship, to be held in Aomori, Japan, March 17-25. It will also get $15,500, a berth into the Olympic trials qualifying tourney, 40 CTRS points, invitations to both the Canada and Continental Cups, diamond rings and other jewelry.

Both Scott and Betker had beaten Jones in the round robin.

"I don't think we gave either of those teams our best overall effort and I'm looking forward to playing whomever it is we've got to play," said veteran Manitoba lead Janet Arnott.

But Scott has been Jones's nemesis for the past two seasons and Manitoba third Cathy Overton-Clapham is relishing another crack at her.

"It's always nice to play the defending champion," she said. "Obviously, we'd like to play well, whomever we play, and have some fun again."

Scott had finished alone in first with a 10-1 record in the round robin while Betker and Jones tied at 9-2. Betker was awarded second by virtue of beating Jones in the round robin.

Jones had had a chance to finish alone in first but Scott beat her squad in the last game of the round robin, dropping her from first to third after Betker won her last match. Scott had beaten Jones, who was then at the Hearts as Team Canada, in last year's final.

"They're a great team and we'll just go do our thing," Jones said. "Obviously, if we go on to win this thing, we'll have to beat both of them so, whomever we play, we'll have to play well. They're both great teams."

Second Jill Officer was just happy to still be alive on the weekend.

"We're excited, we're playing semifiinal Saturday, we couldn't be happier," she said.

"We needed to come out and play well, and we started the game off strong, which is what we wanted to do, and we never let them get back in," Jones said. "I'm happy to play in the semifinal. That's great. That's what we wanted to start off the week to do -- to keep playing on the weekend."

Jones was aggressive from the get-go, taking advantage of a corner guard to jump to a 2-0 lead. Jones upped her lead to 4-0 in the second when Gaudet was heavy on a draw attempt facing three Manitoba counters. Jones then cracked a three in the sixth to take an insurmountable 8-2 lead.

Gaudet, a former junior women's world champ, had advanced to the playoff by eliminating Alberta's Cheryl Bernard 5-4 in a tie-breaker.

Bernard had bounced Ontario's Krista Scharf 13-6 in the morning tie-breaker.


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