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Roar of the Rings

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Home ice not an advantage

At least, not unless your name is Jones or Carey

Posted: 12/3/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

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Results provided by: Canadian Curling Association
For full scoring information, go to the Canadian Curling Association Site.

The dominating home ice advantage the four Winnipeg teams were hoping the MTS Centre would provide at the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings has mostly failed to materialize.

With a record of 4-6 through the first 10 games, the four Winnipeg teams skipped by Jennifer Jones, Chelsea Carey, Jeff Stoughton and Mike McEwen have hardly been dominating their out-of-province competition despite the advantage of large partisan crowds.

But the two Manitoba-based women's teams have at least been finding other ways to win, something their 0-4 male counterparts cannot claim this morning.

Carey was the most creative on Monday in finding innovative paths to a pair of victories, scoring the last five points in a 8-5 extra-end win over Heather Nedohin on the morning draw and then outscoring Rachel Homan 4-1 in the last three ends to squeak out a 9-8 victory Monday night.

Carey is 2-1 this morning and in a tie for second place with Jones, who split her games on Monday, winning 9-7 in an extra end over Sherry Middaugh on the morning draw but then losing 9-6 to Val Sweeting in a sloppy affair at night.

Carey, who got third Kristy McDonald back in the lineup on Monday after McDonald missed the team's opener on Sunday with the flu, said she was thrilled to be 2-1 after a start to this event that saw her team play three of the last four Canadian women's champions in Homan, Nedohin and Jones in succession.

"I'll take it -- we said if we could get through this stretch 2-1, it'd be really good. And even 1-2 wouldn't have been too bad with these three teams to start," said Carey. "We had a couple of squeakers today, but we're getting breaks when we need them and we're playing pretty well."

The Jones foursome followed up a thrilling come-from-behind win over Middaugh with a stinker against Sweeting in which Jones, drawing against four, sailed the final rock of the seventh end to the back of house to give Sweeting a decisive steal of four.

"We battled back and won one this morning," said Jones, "and then kind of let one slip away tonight... Sometimes it's a good kick in the butt a little bit and we need to come out sharper (on Tuesday)."

The Manitoba women play just one game on today -- Jones plays Sonnenberg (1-2) and Carey plays Lawton (1-2) on the 1:30 p.m. draw.

The win over Jone was the third straight for Sweeting and sends her upstart foursome -- the last to qualify for this event -- into Day 3 of this competition as the last remaining undefeated team in the women's field at 3-0.

"We think we're playing pretty well," said Sweeting. "But the record's kind of a bonus. We're just kind of focusing on making shots when we need to... You've got to be careful out there -- it's not over until it's over."

Homan found that out the hard way against Carey. Leading 7-5, Homan surrendered a deuce to Carey in the eighth end and then a steal of two more in the ninth to head for home down 9-7.

And then, needing nothing more than a routine draw to the full 12-foot with her final rock of the 10th end to score a game-tying deuce and send the game to an extra end, Homan pulled the string and her rock came up well short of the rings.

Homan -- who was almost robotic in winning her first Canadian women's championship last February -- blamed ice conditions for her team's second loss in their first three games.

"You can't play in the middle the last end -- I had to throw it to the wings," said Homan. "It's just sludge, you can't throw it hard enough. But that's alright -- we'll learn from that and move on the next game."

Homan heads into today in a five-way logjam for fourth place at 1-2.

Only the top three teams at the end of the round-robin advance to the weekend playoff round.

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 3, 2013 D2

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