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Patient Team Canada wins two straight at Ford World Women’s Curling Championship

NORTH BAY, Ont. — Jennifer Jones and her Team Canada mates outscored a stubborn Team Switzerland 6-1 in the final three ends to score a 10-5 victory Saturday evening to finish the opening day of the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship with two straight victories.

“We weren’t as sharp as we would like to be,” Jones said. “The ice was a little heavier than our other game, but we played a good second half. Playing two on Saturday, the opening day it’s always busy in this event so it’s nice to get two wins under our belt.”

Jones, third Kaitlyn Lawes, second Jill Officer, lead Dawn McEwen, alternate Shannon Birchard and coaches Bryan Cochrane and Elaine Dagg-Jackson rolled over the Czech Republic 11-5 in the afternoon but had a much tougher time against two-time world champion Binia Feltscher and Team Switzerland in the evening at the North Bay Memorial Gardens.

The teams traded singles in the first two ends, Switzerland stole one in the third, but Canada got two in the fourth. They traded singles through the next three ends before Jones made a pivotal last-rock hit-and-stick for three in the eighth and a 7-4 margin.

“We just kept saying, ‘let’s be patient, let’s keep learning (the ice),’ ” Lawes said. “I was struggling a little bit, making one shot but not both shots early on.”

Skip Anna Hasselborg and her Olympic gold-medal Team Sweden continued their success by winning their opening game, 8-2 over Angelina Jensen and Team Denmark.

Sweden gave up a steal of one in the first when Hasselborg’s last rock draw was heavy, but they came right back with two in the second, a steal of one in three and a deuce in five to take control of their opening game of the championship.

U.S. skip Jamie Sinclair watches her shot on Saturday night. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

Sometimes it takes a miss to get the mind refocused, said Hasselborg, who slammed her broom after the first-end miss.

“I was not where I wanted to be. I was a little bit unfocused. We talked about it coming into this game, that it will be difficult maybe to go into this first game after the Olympics. When I slammed my broom I think I refocused and after that it was good.”

The young U.S. team skipped by Jamie Sinclair made its world championship debut with an impressive 8-1 victory over Italy and Japan got by Germany 6-5 with a 10th-end deuce.

Sinclair, who twice skipped Ontario teams in the Canadian junior championships (she grew up in Manotick, just outside of Ottawa), blanked the first two ends before the U.S. got the opportunity it wanted to jumped on it to score three in the third. The U.S. stole two in the fourth, one in the fifth and two more in the sixth.

“It was the plan to blank the first end, not so much the second,” said Sinclair. “It’s my first worlds so we just wanted to get out there, play with the crowd, figure out how loud it was going to be.

“A little bit of a home game. Nice to have a lot of Ottawa people who came up to cheer for us.”

The 2018 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship continues Sunday with draws at 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (all times ET).

Live scoring, standings and statistics for the 2018 Ford World Women’s are available at www.worldcurling.org/wwcc2018/livescores

TSN and RDS2 will provide complete coverage of Canada’s games at the 2018 Ford World Women’s. Go to www.tsn.ca/2017-18-curling-broadcast-schedule-1.593081 for the complete schedule.

For ticket information for the 2018 Ford World Women’s, go to www.curling.ca/2018worldwomen/tickets/

This story will be available in French as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/2018worldwomen/?lang=fr