Canada’s Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg hit for a key four-ender in the sixth end to overhaul a three-point deficit and advance to a thrilling 10-9 victory Monday night over defending champion China at the Ford World women’s curling championship, presented by Monsanto.
The victory left Canada at 5-and-0 in the tournament, one game in front of Scotland’s Eve Muirhead and Erika Brown’s U.S. champions. Scotland won its third in a row, 7-3 over Sweden’s young and talented Cecilia Ostlund, in a replay of the 2008 world junior championship final. Sweden dropped to 3-and-2 alongside Germany, Denmark and Russia.
Jones needed an in-turn raise takeout to score two in the 10th end for the critical win after Chinese skip Bingyu Wang missed her first shot completely and eliminated only one Canadian stone trying for a double with her last stone.
“It was a big win for us,” said Jones afterward. “It keeps the momentum going. To not play our best and still come out with a win is good. You want a couple of those along the way.”
Wang was disappointed in losing what she thought was her team’s best game of the week.
“I feel so sad about this game,” she said. “We had so many chances to win that game. I really think it was a good game for us. But we should have been careful of some little things.”
China scored two in the third for a 3-2 lead and stole singles in the fourth and fifth ends to cement control. But Wang flashed in the sixth, leaving Jones a free draw for a go-ahead four.
Wang then stuck trying to blank the seventh and Jones went up two in the eighth, only to surrender three in the ninth. Wang actually had a chance for four with her last rock but rolled her shooter too far.
Trailing by one in the 10th, Jones succeeded in getting two rocks counting behind a guard and made them stand up for the decision.
“A close game is always fun to play,” said Jones, “and we haven’t had one that’s gone to last rock. You want to have to make a couple of last rocks to win games and we had to do that. It’s great for us and builds confidence. It’s good heading into the latter part of the week.”
Wang added: “We need our confidence so it’s better to look at the good side than the bad. We still have a chance at the playoffs but we only want to think about the next win.”
Muirhead was ecstatic with her team’s third straight powerhouse performance. “We made the right shots at the right times, all of us executed well and we had control with the hammer and kept them to one without. It’s nice to get a jump early and that’s what we’ve been doing. Added the 19-year-old Scottish skip, “We’re a pretty good team with the lead. If it goes to the last end we have to deal with it. But we like to take control and then just keep the four-foot open when we have the hammer.”
Elsewhere, Germany’s Andrea Schoepp thumped Norway 10-4 and hot-and-cold Denmark whipped Switzerland 8-3.
Tangling in Draw nine at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Canada goes back at it against Denmark, Sweden faces Germany, China plays Switzerland and Scotland tackles Norway.