'An amazing feeling'

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:56 AM ET

REGINA -- The Buffalo gals snatched victory from the brink of elimination one last time.

Manitoba's Jennifer Jones stole a point in the 10th end to beat Alberta's Shannon Kleibrink 6-4 in the final before 5,170 witnesses at the Brandt Centre yesterday, completing the most miraculous comeback recorded at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Jones escaped with the win after Kleibrink barely failed to negotiate a runback double for multiple points with the hammer in the 10th end. The shot jammed, leaving Jones the point to put the championship away.

Jones looked down and out after she fell to 3-4 on Tuesday night but capped off the comeback with her eighth straight triumph.

"It felt absolutely amazing to win," said Jones. "Like, total adrenaline rush. It doesn't get old. It felt as good as it did when we made that great shot to win in 2005. It can't compare. It's an amazing feeling."

Jones made an in-off for four to win her first Canadian crown in 2005. With her last shot in the 10th, she drew around a centre guard facing four Alberta counters.

'ON THE LINE'

"That one (yesterday), we absolutely had to make and we had to put it exactly where we put it to make her think about it," Jones said. "In '05, it was probably the harder shot. But still, the game's on the line and you've got to make it and we made them as good as we could and it worked out well for us (yesterday).

"It wasn't a shot to win, it was a shot not to lose whereas in '05, it was a shot to win the game. I compare '05 to the bottom of the ninth with two out and hitting a grand slam. This one was like the bases are loaded and you strike somebody out."

Kleibrink, who lost only once all week in reaching the final, was close to making the shot.

"All you can ask is for the shot to win," she said. "I have no regrets with how I threw it. If I had completely missed it, I'd feel worse but I have no regrets about how we played that game or how we threw any of those last shots.

"It (draw by Jones) was an amazing shot."

Jones needed an Ontario win over Newfoundland-Labrador in the final draw just to squeak into the Page playoffs, then beat the same Newfoundland team in a tiebreaker and Quebec in the 3-vs.-4 game to reach the semifinal against Ontario.

There, a last-shot miss by Ontario's Sherry Middaugh put Jones into the final for the third time in four years.

Supported by third Cathy Overton-Clapham, second Jill Officer and Dawn Askin, Jones will represent Canada at the women's world championship in Vernon, B.C., March 22-30. The foursome also gets berths into both the Canada and Continental Cups, diamond rings and well as $144,000 in sports funding. Jones will also be Team Canada at next year's Hearts in Victoria, B.C.

Because she won her third major event, Jones gets the first bye into the 2009 Canadian Curling Trials. Kleibrink clinched a spot in the pre-trials qualifier by getting to the final. Both sides get $15,500 in appearance money.

Manitoba third Cathy Overton-Clapham, who outshot Alberta third Amy Nixon 89%-74%, was named MVP.

"I knew I had to play well," said Overton-Clapham, who had kicked herself for a poor performance in the semifinal. "Amy was having a great week and I didn't want to have any regrets after the game. So win or lose, we were going to be OK with the way we played because we all had a good game."

For Askin, it made amends for being on the losing end to Jones in the 2005 final when she played for Ontario's Jenn Hanna.

"This is a completely opposite feeling," she said. "I was quite upset after that '05 final. And this is the best feeling in the world. This is unbelievable!"


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