KINGSTON, ONT. -- Manitoba’s Jennifer Jones will play Ontario’s Rachel Homan for the Canadian women’s curling championship here tonight.
Down 4-2 and with her team getting badly outshot by a Team Canada foursome who were much the better through the first six ends of Sunday morning’s semifinal, Jones dug deep as she has at this event so many times before and simply found a way, authoring a deuce in the seventh end and then stealing two more in the eighth to escape with a 6-5 victory.
"I thought we hung in there and fought for that win," said Jones. "And those are the ones you come off and feel really good about -- because you hung in there and made enough shots to win. We played well coming home and hopefully we carry that through to tonight."
In an event in which Manitoba and Ontario have been the best teams all week long, Sunday night’s final (6 p.m. CT, TSN) has the potential to be one for the ages.
Manitoba defeated Ontario 9-7 during the round-robin on Thursday morning -- Ontario’s only loss this week -- while Ontario defeated Manitoba 8-5 in Saturday night’s 1 vs 2 game for Manitoba’s only loss of the week.
Tonight’s Academy Awards might not be the only program that runs into extra time.
"It’s going to be a sold out crowd tonight, I know it. We’re in Ontario and we’re playing Ontario, but it’s still a fun atmosphere to be in. And we’re pretty pumped to be there," said Jones.
"We want to have a great game for us, for TV, for curling, and hopefully that happens."
Only one team was having a great game during the first six ends of this morning’s semifinal. While Canada’s biggest lead of the game was only two points, the Canadian foursome were in complete control from the very first rock, with Canada out-shooting Manitoba 93-81 through the first six ends.
The battle on the back-end was particularly lopsided, with Nedohin out-shooting Jones an eye-popping 98-75 and Manitoba third Kaitlyn Lawes also getting schooled by her Team Canada counterpart Beth Iskiw, 88-73.
But just when it seemed most dire, Jones found her draw weight and manufactured the seventh end deuce to tie things up. That seemed to give the Manitobans some life and when Nedohin went to throw her last rock of the eighth end, she was staring at a Manitoba counter in a cluster of rocks around the four-foot,
Nedohin attempted a tapback for what likely would have been a Canada deuce, but she rubbed another Manitoba stone instead and pushed it in for a second Manitoba point and a back-breaking steal of two.
Nedohin said afterward she felt like her team left it all out on the ice.
"I thought our team played really solid that game. We came out with great intentions and I thought we executed really well," said Nedohin.
"The steal really hurt in eight. I really thought we showed great character, we kept grinding and it was a great battle."
Nedohin will now play BC’s Kelly Scott in the bronze medal game here Sunday afternoon (1 p.m. CT, TSN2).