Skip hands Jones first loss and im­proves to 5-0 at Cana­dian Olympic curl­ing tri­als

Ottawa Citizen - - SPORTS - TED WYMAN Twyman@post­media.com Twit­ter.com/Ted_Wy­man

On the day one of her big­gest fans was laid to rest, Chelsea Carey had a game that would have made him proud at the Cana­dian Olympic curl­ing tri­als.

Carey’s grand­fa­ther, John Demkiw, died at the age of 93 Satur­day in Win­nipeg and his fu­neral was Wed­nes­day. At the same time, Carey was on the ice at Cana­dian Tire Cen­tre against Jen­nifer Jones in a bat­tle of un­beaten teams at the Roar of the Rings.

Soon enough, Carey was the only un­beaten skip left af­ter her team scored a 7-5 win over the 2014 Olympic cham­pion.

“He was one of my big­gest fans for sure,” Carey said of her grand­fa­ther.

“He would have been watch­ing, yeah. It was a tough day, but I knew he’d be there with me. I’m sad I couldn’t be at his fu­neral, I’m sad I can’t be with my mom. My dad and I are both here.

“He would have wanted me to be here and he would have wanted me to pour all my en­ergy and heart and soul into that game and that’s what I did.”

Carey im­proved her record to 5-0 and moved closer to clinch­ing a play­off spot. Two of her wins have come against the tour­na­ment favourites, Jones and Rachel Ho­man, which will work in her favour if there are ties in the stand­ings.

Jones fell to 5-1, los­ing for the first time in her team’s last 20 games. Ho­man joined her at 5-1 by mak­ing a through-the-port pocket dou­ble in the 10th end to beat Casey Schei­deg­ger 10-7. The shot brought one of the big­gest crowds of the week at the CTC to its feet.

“It’s a nice one to have at the end and make a great team shot,” Ho­man said.

“We missed a bunch of shots by a mil­lime­tre, which was frus­trat­ing, but we stuck with it and be­lieved in each other and had a shot for the win and we made it.

“It felt so awe­some to have ev­ery­body there go­ing through all the emo­tions with us in the crowd. It’s fun to make your last shot, that’s for sure. We needed that win, a huge win for us.”

Carey took ad­van­tage of some rare misses by Jones, who came up light on two draws that led to a to­tal of five stolen points.

“I don’t know that it was nec­es­sar­ily as well played a game as ei­ther team would have liked, but we’ll take it,” Carey said.

Jones said she is strug­gling with the line calls on tricky ice. Her speed was OK, but she’s go­ing to need to fig­ure out where to put the broom if her team is go­ing to make the play­offs.

“I think we’re made of some­thing a lit­tle bit more than just crum­bling af­ter one loss,” Jones said. “It’s hard to go through this thing un­de­feated — but ob­vi­ously we don’t like to lose that way. It was not our best ef­fort.”

On the men’s side, Cal­gary’s Kevin Koe be­came the first team to clinch a play­off spot. Koe ran his record to 6-0 with a 6-4 win over John Ep­ping of Toronto.

“Our goal was six wins and we got there a lit­tle quicker than we would have an­tic­i­pated,” said Koe’s third, Marc Kennedy. “That was our best game as a team and we feel pretty good.

“But we’ve all been here be­fore. We know we haven’t won any­thing yet.”

Win­nipeg’s Mike McEwen and world cham­pion Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L. are tied for sec­ond place at 4-2. Gushue beat McEwen 8-3 on Wed­nes­day night.

“Things are def­i­nitely go­ing bet­ter and I feel each game we’re pro­gress­ing and it’s turn­ing into wins,” Gushue said. “We set the bar pretty low in our first game, but started that up­ward trend. Tonight was a great game, we got a cou­ple of breaks on Mike’s misses, but as a team we re­ally put the pres­sure on them and didn’t give them a whole lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

Teams with three losses are still alive on both sides of the draw, but can’t af­ford any more slip-ups. The round robin con­cludes on Fri­day and the top three teams will make the play­offs on each side, with the top team earn­ing a bye di­rectly into the Sun­day fi­nals.

Carey has three games left and can earn the bye with two more wins. Her team plays Julie Tip­pin (1-4) and Krista McCarville (3-2) on Thurs­day and Michelle En­glot (1-4) on Fri­day.

“We don’t nec­es­sar­ily need to win all of those, but it would be great if it hap­pened,” Carey said. “I’m not wor­ried about end re­sults, I’m not wor­ried about record. You think five or six wins will get you some­thing, so Step 1 ac­com­plished.”

He would have wanted me to pour all my en­ergy and heart and soul into that game and that’s what I did.


Jen­nifer Jones, left, lost Wed­nes­day to Chelsea Carey, mid­dle, and her team at the Roar of the Rings in Ot­tawa.

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