Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Jones ready to battle the boys

First time for women's team at skins event

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TORONTO -- This weekend's TSN Casino Rama Curling Skins Game boasts an impressive field of past and present world champions, but that is not what makes it enticing.

This year, for the first time in the event's history, a women's team is in the mix against the men.

Reigning world champion Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg leads her team against world champion Kevin Martin and former champions Randy Ferbey and Glenn Howard.

"It's a huge honour. We're so happy that they decided to include us," Jones, 34, said.

Martin, 42, the winner of the last two skins games held in 2004 and 2007, is excited about having female competition, but pointed out that Jones's team will have to play more aggressively than they're used to.

"A skins game is all about aggression," the Edmonton skip said. "Women don't usually play as aggressively as men, but they'll have to if they want to win."

Jones is aware that success in this format demands aggressive play and the ability to make big shots. She enters the weekend as an underdog, but is still hopeful about her chances.

"We're going to have to play as well as we can, and get a few breaks along the way," she said.

The $100,000 event kicks off Saturday with Jones against Howard and Martin playing Ferbey. The teams that win the most money in each of the semifinals move to the final on Sunday.

Jones says she will approach this weekend as she does all curling events.

"We'll just go out and do our best and see how it goes. The big part is just to have fun, and everything that goes along with it is just a bonus."

 

-- Canwest News Service

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 9, 2009 C3

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