Jones steady atop Scotties

Manitoba skip Jennifer Jones reacts to a shot against British Columbia at the Scotties Tournament...

Manitoba skip Jennifer Jones reacts to a shot against British Columbia at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Red Deer, Alta., Feb. 22, 2012. (TODD KOROL/Reuters)

CON GRIWKOWSKY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:40 AM ET

RED DEER, ALTA. - There seemed to be only one certainty when this Scotties began.

This year, the event was Jennifer Jones’s to lose.

Team Canada, the Amber Holland-skipped team Jones had lost to in the 2011 Scotties, was struggling.

B.C’s Kelly Scott had some lineup changes.

Wednesday, Jones stood alone in first place, the only steady foursome as the other contenders have taken their turns dealing with various issues.

Jones is riding a win streak since losing to Holland Monday night and the team’s steady play reflects its determination to get back into the winner’s circle.

“First place?” said Jones after knocking down former junior teammate and rival Scott down to the chase back by stealing a pair in the extra end for an 8-6 win in Wednesday’s morning draw.

“I had no idea. We knew it was a big game. Obviously, they (B.C.) had a good record as well so we wanted to beat those teams and get a on a bit of a roll.”

It was the second extra-end win in two days for Jones, who’s finding ways to win.

“I thought we really fought to win that game,” said Jones.

Jones’s crew have been this week’s percentage leaders and there’s a good chance they’ll sweep the all-star selections for the second straight year.

“I’m pretty happy with where we’re at, but there’s still a long way to go,” said Jones. “You want to be at your best in the playoffs. If you can be two percentage points better, it’ll give you a better chance.”

With one more round-robin day left in this shindig, it seems the only question left is which team will be left standing for Friday’s playoff round.

Scott’s regular third Sasha Carter missed both games and underwent IV treatment as she continues to battle the flu. Still, the two-time Scotties champ is only one game back.

“My thinking is we need to solidify a few things,” said Scott, who played fifth Sherry Fraser at third in Carter’s absence. “There’s a lot of juggling going on and it’s tough when there’s a lot of outside factors we’re dealing with right now.”

New Brunswick’s Rebecca Atkinson is also making a charge after a 1-2 start, but had to play without lead Jody DeSolla, who pulled a stomach muscle.

Atkinson calls the game while former Canadian junior champ Andrea Kelly throws last rocks.

“It took us a few games to get comfortable, but it’s getting better every game.” said Atkinson. “I know she’s confident with her role.”

Amber Holland’s Team Canada stayed in contention, getting a win after dropping back-to-back extra-end games.

Second Tammy Schneider suffered the double whammy. She played in Tuesday night’s loss after missing a couple of games with a hamstring injury. Wednesday, Schneider played two ends before she was hit by the flu bug.

“I don’t have the flu and my legs are OK, so all is good with me so far,” said Holland, who seems unconcerned that she’s dropped out of the lead pack. “We try not to (look at the standings). We can only control ourselves. We just know the games we have left, we have to go out and do what we need to do.”

Quebec’s Marie-France Larouche, who lost the 2004 final here to Team Canada’s Colleen Jones, has also crawled into the mix.

con.griwkowsky@sunmedia.ca


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