Jones retains her crown

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:37 AM ET

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. -- Jennifer Jones slid into another chapter of Canadian curling history.

But it wasn't easy.

The girls from Canada's royal island attempted to steal the thunder from Team Canada's Jones but she snatched her crown right back from them.

The drama queen scored an incredible come-from-behind 8-7 extra-end victory over Prince Edward Island's Kathy O'Rourke in the Scotties Tournament of Hearts final before 3,911 fans at the Essar Centre yesterday.

Jones became only the third to skip in history lead a team to three consecutive Canadian women's curling titles and adding her name to the game's legends. It was also her fourth Canadian title, a Manitoba team record. Colleen Jones is the only Canadian skip to have won more.

"Unbelievable. Just winning one is what everybody dreams about," Jones said emotionally. "It's pretty incredible and the way we won (yesterday), the way we came back is pretty awesome.

"It blows my mind (making history). It doesn't seem like I never, ever in a million years dreamed that this would happen and here I am standing in a dream come true."

Both second Jill Officer and third Cathy Overton-Clapham have been with Jones for all four championships.

"I can't believe it," Officer said. "I'm not sure about it. This is the one I felt the most shock about right away. I just can't believe that we did this. Like, three times back-to-back, I just can't explain it. I'm totally beside myself that we were able to come through in the end."

It is also the fifth title for Overton-Clapham, also a Manitoba record.

"Yeah, amazing," said Overton-Clapham, who won her first with Connie laliberte in 1995. "Unbelievable. I don't know, I still can't believe it."

O'Rourke had built a 6-3 lead, taking advantage of Canada's poor play in the first six ends. But Jones took one in seven, stole one in eight, then stole another deuce to take an 7-6 lead in nine when Erin Carmody, who throws skip rocks for P.E.I. was light on a draw facing two. O'Rourke tied it 7-7 in 10, forcing the extra and Jones picked out shot rock with the hammer for the win.

"We were disappointed in how we played but we still had four ends to go and we're the type of team that never gives up and make shots when we had to," Jones said. "So, we just wanted to hang in there and make them make the shots to win and it worked out well for us."

The loss spoiled P.E.I.'s chance to win its first Canadian women's curling championship.

"I'm pretty disappointed," said Carmody, 21. "We had chances out there and they played played really well, though. They're amazing We played really well at the the first half of the game, then we had trouble holding it together and they really came on strong in the last half."

Carmody was not sure if her attempted draw in nine caught a sticky spot or if she just threw it light.

"We gave it our best and it just turned out to be a couple of inches short," O'Rourke said. "I knew when we got up, it would never be enough against a great team like the Jennifer Jones team. I knew they would keep coming at us and that's what a really, really good team does. We took it to the very end and that's kind of where it was."

Also supported by lead Dawn Askin, Jones will represent Canada at the women's world championship in Swift Current, Sask., March 20-28, and earn berth into the Canada Cup.

Both finalists also get $35,000 each.


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