Kaitlyn Lawes survived a scare while Jeff Stoughton put it altogether when it mattered most as both Manitoba teams recorded victories on the opening draw Wednesday morning at the 2012 Canada Cup of Curling in Moose Jaw.
Lawes -- who is skipping the Jennifer Jones team while Jones recovers from delivering a baby daughter earlier this month -- cracked a four-ender in the fourth end to jump out to a 7-2 lead and then hung on the rest of the way to eke out an ugly 9-7 victory over Calgary’s Crystal Webster.
Lawes curled just 51 percent in the winning effort, while third Kristen Wall curled just 60 percent.
The Jones team returns to tManitoba teams win he ice this evening, when they take on Winnipeg rival Cathy Overton-Clapham.
In men’s action, Stoughton got a deuce in the ninth end and then stole two more in the 10th end to grind out a 9-5 victory over Howard in a nationally televised game that saw both teams struggle with confusing ice conditions.
Stoughton plays his next game this evening against Edmonton’s Kevin Koe.
In the other games on the opening draw, Saskatoon’s Stefanie Lawton (1-0) defeated Colwater, Ontario’s Sherry Middaugh (0-1) 10-4 and Edmonton’s Kevin Martin (1-0) scored two in the ninth end and then stole one more in the tenth to defeat Toronto’s John Epping (0-1) 7-6.
The remaining three Winnipeg teams in Moose Jaw will all see their first action on the 2 p.m. draw today: Chelsea Carey plays Webster, Overton-Clapham plays Middaugh and Mike McEwen plays Newfoundland’s Brad Gushue.
The men’s and women’s winners in Moose Jaw this Sunday will be awarded berths into next December’s Canadian Curling Trials at MTS Centre, provided they are not one of the four teams who have already qualified -- Jones, Howard, Edmonton’s Heather Nedohin and Martin.