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Two-loss day for Team Canada creates dogfight at Scotties

SYDNEY, N.S. – Monday was a rare two-loss day for Jennifer Jones, a result that left Team Canada now in a dogfight to advance into the Championship Pool at the 2019 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

A sharp-shooting Team New Brunswick (2-2, Saint John), skipped by Andrea Crawford handed Team Canada (2-2, Winnipeg) an 9-6 loss in the evening draw after Suzanne Birt and Team P.E.I. (3-1, Charlottetown) had beaten the defending champions 8-6 in the morning draw.

“Hey, it’s not over yet,” Jones cautioned afterwards. “You can’t lose two in a row at the Scotties. We’ve put our backs against the wall, but we’ll come out grinding tomorrow. We’re not out of it, we just have to put some wins together.”

Crawford, with third Jillian Babin, second Jennifer Armstrong, lead Katie Forward and coach Charlie Sullivan, got a deuce in the third, stole one in four and got three in the sixth to build a 6-2 margin that allowed them to withstand Team Canada scoring three in the ninth and one in the 10th.

“It was probably the fifth end when you got a lot of nerves,” Crawford said of her feeling as the game progressed. “And then the sixth end when the score gets a little bit bigger of a gap. It’s so hard to hold that now, but I knew the girls were making great shots ahead of me.

“A loss probably meant things were pretty close to being over for us for Championship Pool so a win like this is huge.”

Jones took some responsibility for the team’s early problems.

Casey Scheidegger and her Wild Card team maintained pace at the top of Pool B with a 8-5 victory against Newfoundland and Labrador on Monday night. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver)

“I missed a couple of shots early and we got behind,” the six-time Scotties champion said. “They played really well and we’re just not as sharp as we need to be.”

They had a chance for four in the ninth with her runback double, but her shooter rolled just inches too far.

“I thought we were going to get four in nine and make it interesting, but it just rolled too far…just one of those days you just want to forget.”

Jones, third Kaitlyn Lawes, second Jocelyn Peterman, lead Dawn McEwen, alternate Jill Officer and coach Viktor Kjäll now sit in a three-way tie in Pool B with a 2-2 record behind Team Wild Card, Prince Edward Island and Northwest Territories tied for top spot at 3-1.

Casey Scheidegger and Team Wild Card (3-1, Lethbridge, Alta.) scored three in the second and three in the eighth to beat Kelli Sharpe and Team Newfoundland and Labrador (1-3, St. John’s) 8-5.

In the other two games in the evening draw, Kerry Galusha and Team Northwest Territories (3-1, Yellowknife) knocked off Robyn Silvernagle and Team Saskatchewan (2-2, North Battleford) 9-4 and Suzanne Birt of Team P.E.I. doubled up on Nicole Baldwin of Team Yukon (0-4, Whitehorse) 8-4.

The 2019 Scotties Tournament of Hearts continues with draws on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (all times AST).

Live scoring, standings and statistics for the 2019 Scotties Tournament of Hearts are available at www.curling.ca/scoreboard/

TSN and RDS2 (streamed on ESPN3 in the United States) will provide complete coverage of the 2019 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. CLICK HERE for the complete schedule.

For ticket information for the 2019 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, go to www.curling.ca/2019scotties/tickets/

This story will be available in French as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/2019scotties/category/nouvelles/?lang=fr