Ottawa Citizen

Jones rink chases hammer

Canada wants perks of finishing in first

- BY MURRAY MCCORMICK

With a playoff berth in her pocket, Canada’s Jennifer Jones has set her sights on another prize.

Jones defeated Russia’s Anna Sidorova 7-4 on Thursday at the Ford world women’s curling championsh­ip to clinch a berth in the Page Playoff 1 vs. 2 game on Friday. Jones, who is 9-1, is to play Scotland’s Eve Muirhead in Thursday evening’s f inal draw of the round robin for both teams.

Muirhead is to play Russia later Thursday and could also be 9-1 with a win, heading into the final draw. If the teams are indeed tied, the winner of the Scotland-Canada match would earn hammer and choice of rocks in the playoff game.

“ It would be a big deal to have hammer in the playoff game,’’ said Canadian second Jill Officer. “If we don’t, that will be the way it goes. But how great would it be to improve our record to 10-1? We’ve never done that before.”

Jones is excited about the prospect of finishing first and earn- ing all of the perks that go along with that spot.

“ That’s two times in a row that we’ve played in the one-two game,’’ said Jones, who is also curling with Cathy Overton-Clapham and Dawn Askin. “We’re looking forward to going for the hammer.’’

Jones also played in the 1 vs. 2 Page Playoff game en route to winning her fourth Canadian women’s curling championsh­ip and third straight in Sault Ste. Marie. Ont. Even with one game remaining in the round robin, Jones is looking forward to the playoffs.

“ The biggest thing is usually you’re the only game out there,’’ said Jones. “You’re a little more intense, but we’re pretty feisty competitor­s and we would like to end the round robin on a positive note. Hopefully we’ll be sharp tonight and use that momentum in the playoffs.’’

Jones and her Winnipeg foursome has been sharp throughout the championsh­ip. Her only loss was an 8-7 extra-end defeat at the hands on Germany’s Andrea Schopp on Wednesday.

“We put a little more focus on certain days this week and it seemed to work out for us,’’ said Officer. “We didn’t lose our f irst game until Wednesday, which is a pretty big deal for us because we didn’t want to get into a situation where we were playing tiebreaker­s. … We had a bad day at the Scotties but we still managed to get into the 1-2 game. That was really nice.’’

The top four teams following Thursday’s final round-robin games, barring tiebreaker­s, advance to the Page Playoff games. The semifinal is Saturday. The bronze-medal game is to played Sunday morning followed by the gold-medal match.

 ?? MICHAEL BURNS PHOTO ?? Jennifer Jones hopes to finish 10-1.
MICHAEL BURNS PHOTO Jennifer Jones hopes to finish 10-1.

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