SYDNEY, N.S. – Don’t count us out, Team Canada skip Jennifer Jones cautioned after back-to-back losses Monday at the 2019 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
True to her word, the defending champions from Winnipeg kept themselves in the thick of the fight for a berth in the Championship Pool with a strong bounce-back performance Tuesday afternoon.
In a draw that saw a Scotties record 25 points scored in a 13-12 extra-end win for Team P.E.I. (4-1, Charlottetown) over New Brunswick, Team Canada (3-2, Winnipeg) scored a closer-to-normal 9-7 win over Team Yukon (0-5, Whitehorse).
After losing both their games Monday – games in which Jones herself had uncharacteristically low shooting percentages of 58 and 63 – the defending champions rebounded with a vengeance on Tuesday.
Jones, third Kaitlyn Lawes, second Jocelyn Peterman, lead Dawn McEwen, alternate Jill Officer and coach Viktor Kjäll scored five in the first end to get off to a dynamic start.
“We just wanted to come out and make some good shots and we did that for sure in the first end,” said Jones. “All in all I’m pretty happy how the week is going, it’s just our record isn’t indicative of what we would like.”
Jones, seeking a record-breaking seventh Scotties title, had a letdown in the middle ends when Baldwin, with third Hailey Birnie, second Ladene Shaw, lead Helen Strong and coach Wade Scoffin, scored two in the fourth and stole singles in the fifth and sixth. But Canada regained its momentum with a deuce in seven.
“We wanted to try a couple of new things so we did that,” Jones explained. “We were able to get up and try a couple of other things. We kept some rocks in play when we wouldn’t normally.”
One of the things they tried was inserting Officer, the team’s long-time second until deciding to step back this season, in place of lead McEwen at the fifth-end break.
“She’s been great as a fifth player so we wanted to get her some ice time and today was one of those games,” said Jones. “You may see her again.”
It was a tired-sounding P.E.I. skip Suzanne Birt who came off the ice after a record-breaking game in which her team scored five in the second end, three in the fifth and deuces in the seventh and ninth and still needed an extra end to nip New Brunswick (2-3; Saint John).
“You score a big end early, with this five-rock rule you can never, ever lift your foot off the gas pedal, you have to keep going with it,” Bird said after New Brunswick scored three deuces along with triples in the eighth and 10th ends.
“You just take a deep breath and do what you’re familiar and comfortable doing and just stick with the process,” Bird said of her thoughts as the game progressed.
Casey Scheidegger and Team Wild Card (4-1, Lethbridge, Alta.) scored three in the seventh end to beat Kerry Galusha and Team Northwest Territories (3-2, Yellowknife) 6-5. Robyn Silvernagle and Team Saskatchewan (3-2, North Battleford) doubled up on Team Newfoundland and Labrador’s Kelli Sharpe (1-4, St. John’s) 8-4.
The results left Wild Card and P.E.I. tied atop Pool B at 4-1, with Northwest Territories, Canada and Saskatchewan right behind at 3-2.
The 2019 Scotties Tournament of Hearts continues with tonight’s draw at 7:30 p.m. AST.
Live scoring, standings and statistics for the 2019 Scotties Tournament of Hearts are available at www.curling.ca/scoreboard/
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This story will be available in French as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/2019scotties/category/nouvelles/?lang=fr