Manitoba hopes alive

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

REGINA -- Manitoba's Jennifer Jones got her mojo back.

At least for one day.

The Buffalo gals won both their games at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts yesterday to re-ignite that flickering flame of hope.

Jones defeated Saskatchewan's Michelle Englot 7-5 at the Brandt Centre last night to improve to 5-4 and a shot at playing on the weekend.

"It was a winning Wednesday, which is what we needed to have," said Jones. "That was probably our best team game all week so, it's nice having that going into tomorrow. We have to have a terrific Thursday now."

TERRIBLE TUESDAY

But that came after such a terrible Tuesday that the team popped the cork on a bottle of wine and just relaxed. And when they got back to the rink, their mojo came with them.

"We played like our old selves out there and just played really well," said Manitoba third Cathy Overton-Clapham, who shot 91%.

And just where were their old selves?

"I'm not sure but we're back," she replied. "Obviously, we feel good. Our goal (yesterday) was to have two wins and we got two wins and we played well. We fought for those wins and we played well as a team."

Jones concurred.

"We just capitalized on our opportunities," said Jones, who had beaten Newfoundland's Heather Strong 8-7 in the morning. "We were on the right side of the inch and when one person missed the other person made their shot and we just didn't see that on Tuesday."

Jones cracked a three in the seventh end and stole two in the eighth to take a 7-4 lead, then held on for the win.

Not only must they keep this modest streak going, Manitoba will need help if it wants to make the playoffs.

"We need to keep it going and we need the right people to lose," Jones conceded. "But we can only control what we can control. We'll come out and try to make some shots and see what we can do, and hopefully, get a couple of Ws up on the board.

"We're just trying to focus on winning and there's a chance that four losses can't even make it so we'll just try to do our thing and hopefully, things go our way."

Englot fell to 4-5 and was praying that 6-5 might get her into a tie-breaker.

Yesterday was the first time the Manitobans won two straight since opening day.

"(Yesterday) was like the first day," Overton-Clapham said. "We need someone else to lose, yeah. (Today's) going to be a big day."

Manitoba plays B.C. and Team Canada (both 4-5) today.

In the morning, Jones made a raise-back double-takeout to crack the winning three in the 10th end versus Strong -- her best shot since opening day.

"Absolutely we needed to make that (last) one," Jones said. "We lose and we're done so, it kind of gets the adrenaline flowing. I was just happy to have the opportunity to have a shot to win."

Jones lucked out because Strong only had five ticks left on the clock when she went into her backswing for her last shot.

"We ran out of time and there's no question it cost us the game, simple as that," Strong lamented.

SENIORS: Vic Peters will go right from the men's provincial playdowns to the senior men's that begin today in Beausejour. The senior women's provincials also start in Swan River.


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