Women’s Trials Winners!
Extra-end steal gives Team Jones Tim Hortons Curling Trials title
It is often said that experience tells you what to do, and confidence allows you to do it.
Team Jennifer Jones has long demonstrated that they possess both experience and confidence. That combination carried it to the 2021 Tim Hortons Curling Trials championship final, presented by AGI, and a return to the Olympic Games.
In an extra end, it took a steal when Team Tracy Fleury’s final stone rubbed on a guard to give Team Jones the winning point in a hard-fought 6-5 victory over Team Fleury in the Sunday morning final at SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon.
Jones, vice-skip Kaitlyn Lawes, second Jocelyn Peterman, leads Dawn McEwen and Lisa Weagle and coach Viktor Kjell out of the St. Vital Curling Club in Winnipeg needed every bit of experience and shot-making to subdue Team Fleury, the number one ranked team in the world that went 8-0 in round robin.
“It was a dream come true to get to do this twice,” Jones said of getting back to the Olympics. “It’s such a privilege to do it with these girls. We’ve had our ups and downs and worked our butts off, just to see what we can do on the ice and to support each other. It’s just phenomenal.”
Jones won the 2014 Olympic gold medal, is a two-time world champion and six-time Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion. So playing the final of the Tim Hortons Curling Trials against Team Fleury was not a daunting challenge. But it certainly was a difficult one.
Team Jones stole a single in the first end after Jones buried a draw behind cover that Fleury couldn’t get to. Team Fleury got one of its own in second shot position and then had to concede a deuce in three rather than run the risk of giving up three.
Team Fleury got their own score of two in four. Team Fleury looked at a possible steal in five until Lawes made a triple that turned the end and allowed Team Jones to blank.
Trailing 5-4 after nine, Team Jones appeared to have the game won in 10 until Jones was off with her final hit for two.
“I couldn’t believe I missed that shot in 10,” said Jones, adding she “never would have forgiven” herself if they had lost the game.
But that didn’t delete the veteran team, and Jones said that ability to shake off a miss was key to their victory.
“I believe that’s one of our strengths,” she said. “We really worked hard on making sure we’re there for each other no matter what, and being a true team. I knew when I missed that one, I knew they were going to pick me up.”
It was an emotionally disappointing loss for Team Fleury, including vice-skip Selena Njegovan, second Liz Fyfe, lead Kristin MacCuish, alternate Chelsea Carey, and coach Sherry Middaugh.
“We thought we had lost in the tenth for sure. Jen makes that 99 per cent of the time that shot, so lucky to go to an extra,” said Fleury, who took the blame for her final stone in eleven that left Team Jones escape with the win.
“It felt close, but it caught the curl,” she said. “I wasn’t positive enough with it. “
The winners in both women’s and men’s will represent Canada in four-person team competition at the Winter Olympics Games in Beijing, China, Feb. 4-20.
The 2021 Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials will continue this evening with the men’s final at 7 p.m. CST.
Live scoring, standings and statistics for the 2021 Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials are available at www.curling.ca/scoreboard/
All draws from the 2021 Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials are being broadcast in Canada on TSN and RDS. CLICK HERE for the broadcast schedule in Canada.
As well, streaming coverage will be available on ESPN3 to fans in the U.S. with valid U.S. cable or satellite accounts.
This story will be available in French as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/2021trials/nouvelles/?lang=fr