Fortune smiling now

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:31 AM ET

REGINA -- Lady Luck hopped across the street from the casino facing their hotel Wednesday morning, and the Buffalo gals have kept rolling sevens ever since.

Earlier this week, Manitoba's Jennifer Jones was like the gambler who lost all her money playing the one-arm bandits, But it seems like some kind of fate or karma is riding on the foursome's shoulders now.

Jones, who finished the round robin at 7-4, won her seventh straight game at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts at the Brandt Centre yesterday to earn her way into the final for the third time in the last four years, this time against Alberta's Shannon Kleibrink.

But Manitoba needed a miss from Ontario skip Sherry Middaugh with the hammer in the extra end to luck out a 9-8 victory in the semifinal.

"You've got to be good to be lucky and lucky to be good," said Manitoba lead Dawn Askin. "Early in the week, we weren't getting any breaks, nothing. We weren't playing up to our potential. But now I feel like we're getting better and better and we're getting a couple of breaks along the way, too. So it's going really well. I'm excited."

This is in stark contrast to the squad that had fallen to 3-4 and had nothing but lint left in those pockets on Tuesday.

"Earlier in the week, all the breaks were going against us and I said, 'Either we're not going to get any breaks at all or they're going to start coming in waves,'" said Manitoba second Jill Officer. "Now we're fortunate we've had a few. I don't think you can win this game without getting a few breaks here and there. So we're fortunate that we are where we are.

"We still have to make our shots and we're going to have to be sharp against Alberta (today)."

Just the other day, Jones said her team had started to get the hit-and-rolls and shots papering guards that they weren't getting when they looked like a mere shell of themselves.

ALL EVENS OUT

"(Bad breaks) usually all even out by the end of the week," Jones said. "You just hope the good breaks come along sooner than all the bad breaks. We're putting our rocks in good spots, making teams make hard shots, and (our opponents) are missing a couple along the way, which helps."

But the Albertans have not missed much all week, losing only one game.

"Shannon's team is a great team and obviously, they're playing well and they like rocks in play," Jones said. "So I anticipate a really exciting game against them."

And it could come down to the battle of the thirds with Alberta's Amy Nixon, the first-team all-star, against Manitoba's Cathy Overton-Clapham, a second-teamer who is being bothered by a sore knee.

"I didn't have a very good game but Jennifer came to play and that's huge for us," said Overton-Clapham, who was outshot 89%-81% by Ontario third Kirsten Wall yesterday. "The girls had a good game but I struggled. I didn't have any misses outright but I didn't come up with the big shots when we needed them.

"I get mad when I don't play well, then I come out strong. So I'll have a bad sleep (last night) and that's good, I'll be ready to play (today)."

Overton-Clapham, you may recall, shot the lights out in the Manitoba final against Barb Spencer -- after what she called a poor effort the night before.

Kleibrink kicked Jones 10-3 during the round robin.

"We weren't really ourselves when we played them," Askin said. "But we're up for this and we're playing a lot better. It'll be a good game and we want to redeem ourselves."

Win or lose, they already have redeemed themselves.


Videos

Photos