A year ago at Moncton at the Ford World men’s curling championship, Canada’s Kevin Martin beat everybody in town except…he couldn’t beat Scotland’s David Murdoch in three tries — in the round robin, in the Page One-Two playoff, and in the championship final.
Question today: Is Canada’s Jennifer Jones headed down the same path in the Ford World women’s slugfest?
Can Jones and her team lose three times to Germany’s Andrea Schoepp if, indeed, Canada gets another shot at Schoepp in the championship final?
Does lightning really and truly strike twice?
Jones missed a last-rock out-turn tap-and-roll shot at a most inopportune moment Friday night at the Credit Union iplex, yielding a huge four-ender in the ninth end to the veteran 45-year-old Schoepp, who is playing in her 17th world championship.
As a result, Schoepp executed an open last-rock hit for the killer count and won 6-3, in the championship’s Page One-Two playoff match.
The win moved Germany directly to Sunday’s championship final at 3 p.m. Canada drops to the championship semi-final Saturday at 5 p.m. against the winner of the Page Three-Four playoff, slated for 12 noon, between Scotland’s 19-year-old Eve Muirhead and Sweden’s 22-year-old Cecilia (Cissi) Ostlund.
Canada led 3-2 playing the ninth end and appeared in a safe position until Schoepp executed an in-turn hit-and-slight-roll in the four-foot with her first stone, leaving her foe a tap-and-roll with the other turn.
But Jones’s rock over-curled through a hole and made no contact.
“When I made my first rock I thought we had a good chance to get out of the end because everything was so close together,” reasoned the victorious German skip. “I thought she (Jones) looked nervous in the beginning and I thought if we could survive the first five ends we’d have a good chance as it got close to the end.”
This will be Schoepp’s first world championship final since she won the title in 1988 when defeating Heather Houston of Thunder Bay .
“For the Euros we waited 10 years to get back,” said the skip, who won the 2009 Euros in December. “For the Worlds, it has been more than 20. I don’t know if I’ll make again in another 20.”
Jones stole a single for a 2-0 edge in the fourth end when Schoepp was heavy on a four-foot draw. But Schoepp took a point in the sixth and stole the tying point in the seventh when Jones nosed a hit and lost the point on a measure. The Canadian skip then nestled into the button with her last rock of the eighth after traversing a narrow port for the 3-2 advantage.
“If we rub at all we probably steal one,” said Jones of her ninth-end miscue. “We needed to tap it a foot and roll in. That hole was barely big enough for a rock to go through. I don’t know, it was just bad luck.” Jones followed the same route to win her previous world title two years ago in Vernon, losing the Page One-Two to Bingyu Wang, then rebounding to win twice.
“We’ve done it before,” she said. “It’s OK to play in the semis, it’s not a bad thing to play in the semis. It’s just disappointing to lose after I thought we controlled the whole game and we had the bad ninth end. It was sort of how it happened in the round-robin game, too. We have to play one extra game to get where we wanted to be. Playing the semi is never a bad thing if you win it.”