A bright morning for Manitoba's two women’s skips, as both Jennifer Jones and Chelsea Carey won their first game of the Roar of the Rings Olympic trials fourth day.
Jones continued her roll, as she dispatched Saskatoon’s Team Stefanie Lawton 8-3 in the opening draw. The win raised Jones to 4-1 on the week and put her atop the leaderboard, after Edmonton’s Val Sweeting fell 7-6 to Ontario’s Sherry Middaugh in the morning.
The Jones rink broke open the game with a big three-point seventh end. "I felt we were sharp, and we made big shots when we had to, and that was key," Jones said after the win, describing her team as feeling a bit of fire coming down the stretch of the round robin. "Things are going the way we want them to go."
Meanwhile, the pack underneath Jones tightened after the morning draw. Carey scratched out a "scary" 6-4 win past Grande Prairie’s Renee Sonnenberg to improve to 3-2, while reigning Canadian champs Team Rachel Homan beat Heather Nedohin 5-3.
The Carey foursome battled hard to get past Sonnenberg, a game that came down to a nailbiter 10th end. Down by one, Sonnenberg blanked the ninth frame to carry the hammer into the final end, but Carey managed to steal a point to take the game. "Thank God, we came out of the right side of it, because I was nervous for awhile," the Winnipeg skip said after the win.
The morning shakeout now has Jones atop the leaderboard, with Homan, Sweeting and Carey all tied at 3-2. Lawton, Nedohin and Middaugh trail 2-3, and Sonnenberg, at 1-4, is well out of playoff contention. The top three teams after seven games will move on to the playoffs to determine the eventual Olympic representative.
The Roar of the Rings continues Wednesday with a men’s draw at 1:30 p.m. – their fifth game of the trials – and another women’s round starting at 6:30 p.m. Among the evening match-ups: Jones will take on Homan, Carey will face Sweeting, Nedohin will play Lawton and Middaugh and Sonnenberg will battle it out.