Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Blue Monday takes big toll

Team Canada sees two losses as Manitoba manages split

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SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. -- It's clear, at least this week, that Jennifer Jones and her Team Canada crew members don't like Mondays.

The day took an incredible toll on the Winnipeg foursome, which took back-to-back defeats at the 2010 Scotties Tournament of Hearts national women's curling championship.

Jones, with third Cathy Overton-Clapham, second Jill Officer and lead Dawn Askin, lost decisively to a couple of the Scotties underdogs -- falling 10-4 to Sharon Cormier of the Territories and 8-4 to Shelley Nichols of Newfoundland and Labrador -- dropping to 3-2 in round-robin play.

Team Canada meets Alberta's Valerie Sweeting and Kelly Scott of British Columbia today.

Meanwhile, Manitoba split a pair of games and is also at 3-2. The team, with Jill Thurston at skip, Kristen Phillips at third, second Leslie Wilson and lead Raunora Westcott, fell 7-6 to Kathy O'Rourke's spectacular foursome from Prince Edward Island but bounced back to beat Amber Holland of Saskatchewan 9-7 in an extra end in the evening draw.

Manitoba also plays B.C. and Alberta today.

P.E.I. and Ontario's Krista McCarville are tied at 4-1 to lead the pack.

McCarville made two great hits in the 10th end to score a deuce and defeat Scott 7-6 on Monday night. Scott is also at 3-2 with Jones, Manitoba's Jill Thurston, Quebec's Eve Bélisle and Alberta's Valerie Sweeting.

Beginning the day, Canada could have created some separation from the field, but in the end nothing went right at the Essar Centre.

"I don't kmow... very disappointing. I played very badly (Monday), so I'll have to come back and be better (today)," said Jones, who shot just 46 per cent against Nichols. She is fifth among skips here at 73 per cent, the same mark as Thurston, through eight draws.

"I just didn't execute the way I need to. It's just one of those days. And if you're going to have one of those days, it's good to have it early in the week. We only have two losses but it's not the place we want to be."

Jones got clobbered by Cormier's Yellowknife team on Monday afternoon in a shocker. It's the second straight year Canada has been nipped by the underdogs from the North. Last year, Jones fell 10-8 to Kerry Galusha when the Territories' skip made the shot of the week in Victoria in the 10th end.

Reminded of last year's loss to Galusha, Jones quipped, "Maybe it's a good omen." Undeterred, Canada went on to win the 2009 Scotties.

Cormier's team, which includes her daughter, Megan Cormier, at lead, is 2-3.

"It feels great. It's the team that everybody loves to beat because they're champions two years in a row. The Territories beat them last year, so we're trying to make it a regular thing," Sharon said, with a laugh.

"My lead (Danielle Ellis) idolizes their team, and she said at the end of the game, 'I still love them.' "

Sharon was the fifth player for Galusha in '09. That memorable night, Feb. 20, not only did the Territories beat Canada, but Sharon became a grandmother when Megan had a little boy, Kobe Orlando, back in Yellowknife.

But there's no grandkids on the way this year.

"That's why I brought (Megan) with me!" she said.

Thurston, meanwhile, gave up a three in the 10th end against P.E.I., and then let a 7-2 lead slip away against Saskatchewan before hitting for two in the extra end.

"We have to be a little bit more careful and a little smarter and use our heads more in those final ends," said Thurston. "We had that (evening) game well in hand but we let it slip a little bit."

O'Rourke, 45, who holds the broom for P.E.I. but has a pair of 21-year-olds, Erin Carmody and Geri-Lynn Ramsay, on the back end, said she likes the rather unfamiliar view from the penthouse.

"Pretty impressive for little P.E.I., isn't it. It feels pretty good," said O'Rourke. "I didn't realize were were in first place."





O'Rourke (P.E.I.) 4 1

McCarville (Ont.) 4 1

Jones (Canada) 3 2

Thurston (Man.) 3 2

Scott (B.C.) 3 2

Bélisle (Que.) 3 2

Sweeting (Alta.) 3 2 Holland (Sask.) 2 3

Cormier (NWT/Y) 2 3

Nichols (N.L.) 2 3

Kelly (N.B.) 1 4

McConnery (N.S.) 0 5




Draw 6

Holland (Sask.) 7 McCarville (Ont.) 6

Bélisle (Que.) 9 Nichols (Nfld./Lab.) 3


Draw 7

Scott (B.C.) 8 Kelly (N.B.) 3

Cormier (NWT/Y) 10 Jones (Can.) 4

Sweeting (Alta.) 8 McConnery (N.S.) 5

O'Rourke (P.E.I.) 7 Thurston (Man.) 6


Draw 8

Philips 8 (Nfld./Lab.) Jones (Can.) 4

Bélisle (Que.) 9 Sweeting (Alta.) 1

Thurston (Man.) 9 Holland (Sask.) 7 (extra end)

McCarville (Ont.) 7 Scott (B.C.) 6




Jones 010 100 110 X -- 4

Cormier 104 012 002 X -- 10


Thurston 001 010 022 0 -- 6

O'Rourke 010 001 200 3 -- 7


Nichols 100 221 110 X -- 8

Jones 021 000 001 X -- 4


Holland 000 110 021 20 -- 7

Thurston 020 002 300 02 -- 9




Draw 9, 9:30 a.m.

P.E.I. vs, N.S.

B.C. vs. Man.

NWT/Y vs. N.B.

Alta. vs. Canada


Draw 10, 2 p.m.

Alta. vs. Man.

Ont. vs. Nfld/Lab.

B.C. vs. Canada

Que. vs. Sask.


Draw 11, 6:30 p.m.

Que. vs. NWT/Y

N.B. vs. Sask.

Ont. vs. P.E.I.

N.S. vs. Nfld/Lab.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 2, 2010 B7

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