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Manitoba’s Carey wins two in a row at Canada Cup

Unsung Chelsea Carey and her young team from Morden, Man., won their second straight match at the Capital One Canada Cup of Curling on Wednesday, defeating two-time champion Shannon Kleibrink of Calgary 7-6 in an extra-end.The veteran Kleibrink required a spectacular 10th-end runback split-double takeout to stay in the game but left Carey, 27, with a routine draw for the win in overtime.

It was Kleibrink’s first outing of the tournament which runs through Sunday. She faces four-time Canadian champion Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg during today’s 7 p.m. MT draw at the Cranbrook RecPlex.

Team Jones at the 2011 Capital One Canada Cup

Jones won her opener, 9-6 over Heather Nedohin (1-1) of Edmonton, during the afternoon shift. Defending Canadian champion Amber Holland of Kronau, Sask., stole two in the ninth end which proved the difference in a 7-5 win over cross-province rival Stefanie Lawton of Saskatoon.

Lawton, the defending champion, lost her second game of the tourney.

In men’s play, Olympic gold-medallist Kevin Martin of Edmonton savaged Steve Laycock of Saskatoon 9-4 while defending Canadian champion Jeff Stoughton of Winnipeg handed Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie his second loss of the event, leaping in front 5-4 with a sixth-end deuce, then stealing a pair of singles en route to a 7-4 decision.

“We felt pretty good out there and had good draw weight which is the key,” said Stoughton. “I think our confidence level is good and we can build on this and get better and better.”

In other late-shift matches, Stoughton plays Winnipeg rival Mike McEwen (0-1), defending champion Glenn Howard (1-0) faces Laycock (0-1), Martin and Calgary’s Kevin Koe tangle in a battle of 1-and-0 teams and Holland goes against Rachel Homan (0-1) of Ottawa.

“This was the start we were looking for,” said Carey following her second success on the RecPlex freeze.

“It was a little scary out there. We had a couple of bad shots. But we hung in there and pulled it out. It’s a good start, a long week, we look forward to tomorrow.”

Nedohin kept pace with the Jones team until the Winnipeggers cracked a four-ender in the seventh end.

“It really wasn’t necessary that we win,” offered Jones, “but I was happy with way we played. With the exception of one end I thought we played well.”

The Holland-Lawton affair was a tight fit until Lawton, looking at a threatening steal by Holland in the ninth end, wound up bumping her opponent in for another counter which tore the issue.

“It was good to get out there and get a good feel for the ice,” said the Canadian champ. “And obviously the win. We played a pretty good game. We have a comfort level in the arena, we love playing on this ice. But I think most of the teams here do.

“We’ve always had good battles (with Lawton) and I think we’re about even in terms of wins and losses. It doesn’t matter where you get the W as long as it’s a W.”

Lawton struggled to keep her chin up facing a long road back in what is a six-game qualifying affair.

“It’s not the start we were looking for but we can definitely come back from this,” she said. “We’ve been 0-and-2 before in other events and have come back to win so we know we can come out firing now and do it again

“I think we’re making things a little too complex for ourselves. We need to make some big shots. Also some more shots. We’re making it tough on ourselves. We have to make it easier.”

Martin, meanwhile, registered a couple of three-enders in making life miserable for the Laycock squad.