Drama queens reign

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:40 AM ET

Team Canada's Jennifer Jones discovered yet another dramatic way to win her fourth national title in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., on Sunday.

Down 6-3 to P.E.I.'s Kathy O'Rourke after surrendering an uncharacteristic steal of two in the sixth end, Jones rallied, then she won it with the hammer in the extra end, picking out P.E.I.'s shot rock without jamming.

She knew she had the shot made before it hit the house and started to celebrate.

Back in 2005, Jones won by executing an in-off for the winning four with the hammer in the 10th end. In 2008, her foursome rattled off eight straight wins to get into the playoffs, then Jones won the Scotties Tournament of Hearts final by drawing perfectly around cover to steal the winning point. The 2009 final was not as dramatic but Jones needed to win some sudden-death games to get into a tie-breaker and won out from there.

This year?

"It was kind of how we did in 2005, it was very similar to that," recalled Canada third Cathy Overton-Clapham. "We got out-played early and just kind of stuck around and stayed together as a team. We got a few fortunate breaks and misses from them. That got us back in the game and gave Jen a shot to win, and she never misses those."

BIGGEST SURPRISE

P.E.I., of course. Not even Kathy O'Rourke expected her team with a pair of 21-year-olds playing back end, namely Erin Carmody and Geri-Lynn Ramsay, to be in the final.

Honourable mention to Manitoba's Jill Thurston, who made it to a tie-breaker despite skipping three Scotties rookies -- with third Kristen Phillips and second Leslie Wilson named to HeartChart's rookie all-star squad.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

Saskatchewan's Amber Holland, fresh off an impressive performance at the Canadian Curling Trials, failed to even threaten for a playoff spot.

Then there was the poor attendance early in the week and the HeartStop Lounge, which was on top of a hill somewhere.

BEST SHOT

Ontario skip Krista McCarville executed a long-raise tap-back for one facing three buried counters in the ninth end of her game against Saskatchewan. Yet, McCarville was awarded Shot of the Week for her soft raise-takeout for three versus Manitoba in the tie-breaker.

WORST SHOT

How do you pick one out of some of the most pathetic shotmaking we have ever witnessed early in the week? But the draw that Saskatchewan skip Amber Holland attempted facing three in the seventh end versus Ontario was not only short but her choice of shot was unforgivable.

Holland was leading 5-2 and could have blasted Ontario's wide-open three and may have given up a single. But she chose to go for one instead and surrendered a steal of three.

MOST QUOTABLE

Lots of quoteable skips in this field but I'll give the nod to P.E.I.'s Kathy O'Rourke, with a forthright Jill Thurston of Manitoba coming a close second. Gee, wonder where she gets her gift of the gab from?

Then there was McCarville. But the most engaging skip is still Newfoundland's Shelley Nichols.

BEST QUOTE

Canada second Jill Officer was asked what she thought about being referred to as 'A Weapon' by TSN.

"I guess they say I'm the best peeler her," responded Officer, who then realized the double entendre and burst out laughing.

KINDERSLEY FIRE

Yes, the story of the Kindersley Arena -- next to the curling club -- burning down and forcing the Saskatchewan women's provincials to move to nearby Eston midway through the event has been well-chronicled. But what you may not have heard is that organizers took the advertising bumpers to Eston. Trouble was, every time a rock hit the bumper, a little puff of smoke would rise after absorbing the heat in Kindersley. So, the bumpers had to be removed from the ice and sat alongside the action.

SWEET SO LONG

The average curling fan may have never heard of her but those who have been around the Hearts tourney for any length of time are dreading the loss of co-ordinator Robin Wilson, whose contract was not renewed by the title sponsor. Wilson named the event, introduced the Team Canada concept and came up with the idea of awarding diamonds to the winners.

The classy woman may stick around in another capacity. If not, so long, old friend.

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


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