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Jones wins opening game at Scotties

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KINGSTON, ONT. -- Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones overcame an early 4-1 deficit to win her opening game here at the Canadian women’s curling championship 8-6 over Prince Edward Island’s Suzanne Birt.

"We got fooled by the ice a little bit and we were just a little bit off," Jones said after the game. "But I thought we turned it up after the fifth end and played well."

A string of misses by Manitoba in the third end left Birt needing nothing more than a tapback for a three-ender and a 4-1 lead. Jones was then held to a single with the hammer after another poorly played end by Manitoba in the fourth end.

But the game ultimately turned on the fifth end, when Birt flashed a hit and gave Manitoba a game-tying steal of two. The Jones foursome never looked back after that, controlling the final five ends.

While it wasn’t exactly a piece of art by Manitoba, Jones said she liked what her squad did today in the face of adversity.

"It’s never a bad thing to have close games, absolutely -- and to have to make shots to win games. It’s how you get on a roll. I wish we would have played better early, but I’ll take it."

In other games on the opening draw at the K-Rock Centre, Saskatchewan defeated NWT/Yukon 7-2; Ontario drilled Newfoundland 8-1; and defending champion Heather Nedohin hung on for a 9-6 win over New Brunswick.

Manitoba is now done for the day. The Jones foursome returns to the ice for two games on Sunday, taking on rival Kelly Scott of BC on the morning draw and then Newfoundland’s Stacie Devereaux on the afternoon draw.

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