Jones manages to live another day at Scotties

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:18 AM ET

The Comeback Queens arose from the dead once more.

Staring almost-certain elimination in the face, Team Canada's Jennifer Jones stole her way to a 6-5 extra-end victory over P.E.I.'s Rebecca-Jean MacPhee in a tie-breaker at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Victoria yesterday.

"I'm very excited, actually," Jones said from Victoria moments after yet another dramatic comeback.

Jones made a come-around draw that led to the tying point in the 10th end, then did the same thing in the extra end to pull out a come-from-behind victory over P.E.I., which led 3-0 after three ends.

Robyn MacPhee, who throws the last brick for P.E.I., nudged the Canada counter both times but was a centimetre short of shot rock.

"This team just seems to come together and pick it up a notch whenever we get into these situations," said Jones, supported by third Cathy Overton-Clapham, second Jill Officer and Dawn Askin. "It's so much fun to be a part of. We just make the big shots whenever we have to.

"It's just so amazing. This was just a tie-breaker but we wanted to keep playing because we like to play so much."

Survivors

Late Thursday, the reigning Canadian and world champion did much the same thing as she beat B.C.'s Marla Mallett 6-5 by drawing to a piece of the four-foot with the hammer in an extra end.

But it looked like the women from a province named after a prince were about to dethrone the curling champs in a city named for a queen yesterday.

"No, it wasn't looking good," said Jones, who trailed 4-2 at the break of a must-win game and was forced to take one after a draw attempt barely bit the rings with her first shot in the ninth.

"We just felt like things weren't going our way," Jones said. "It felt like that game against Japan (at last year's world championship) but we battled back."

The Prince Edward Islanders certainly impressed this week with their unexpected 7-4 finish.

"Of course we're disappointed because we wanted to make it into that (Page playoff) three-four game," said Rebecca Jean MacPhee, who calls the game and throws third rocks.

"They played outstanding," Jones conceded. "A shot here or there, it could have gone either way."

Jones also won that semifinal over Japan in an extra end to advance to the final. That was just another in a series of comebacks that started in last year's Scotties when Jones won eight straight to win the Canadian crown.

Jones advances to today's three-four playoff against Saskatchewan's Stefanie Lawton at 1:30 p.m. (TSN).

Although tricky ice seemed to have Jones off her game at times, she would not admit it.

"I have a ton of confidence," she said. "I thought I played great even if the stats say something different."

Yet her foursome will have to play better if it wants to get to the final.

"We're going to have to pick it up a notch," Jones said. "We came out a little flat in a couple of ends (yesterday) so, we'll have to pick it up a little bit, but it's starting to feel pretty good."

Lawton stole one in the 10th end to beat Canada in the round robin. "That was the worst 10th end we played all week," Jones said.

Mallett was playing Quebec's Marie-France Larouche in the Page playoff one-versus-two last night.

The winner will advance to tomorrow's final. The loser will drop into today's 6 p.m. semifinal against the winner of the three-four game.


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