January 16, 2018

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Jones headed for Manitoba Scotties playoffs

TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES</p><p>Darcy Robertson</p>

TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Darcy Robertson

KILLARNEY, Man. -- Jennifer Jones is bound for the top Page playoff spot tonight at the 2018 Manitoba Scotties.

Jones burnished her record to 6-1 on Saturday afternoon, with a 9-4 win over Briane Meilleur in the last draw of the round robin. The only blemish on her week at Shamrock Centre was an opening-day loss to veteran Joelle Brown.

That's good enough for first place in her round robin pool, and a berth to face Kerri Einarson in the 1-vs-1 game.

"We had a really good day yesterday, and a little bit sloppy this morning," Jones said, of the team's arc. "We're going to try to be a little sharper tonight... We're in a better spot than when we started. I feel like we're playing well."

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KILLARNEY, Man. — Jennifer Jones is bound for the top Page playoff spot tonight at the 2018 Manitoba Scotties.

Jones burnished her record to 6-1 on Saturday afternoon, with a 9-4 win over Briane Meilleur in the last draw of the round robin. The only blemish on her week at Shamrock Centre was an opening-day loss to veteran Joelle Brown.

That's good enough for first place in her round robin pool, and a berth to face Kerri Einarson in the 1-vs-1 game.

"We had a really good day yesterday, and a little bit sloppy this morning," Jones said, of the team's arc. "We're going to try to be a little sharper tonight... We're in a better spot than when we started. I feel like we're playing well."

This 1-vs-1 match-up is familiar. Einarson — who blazed through the round robin undefeated — has tackled Jones in many high-stakes games. But in 16 career tries at stopping the 2012 Olympic champ, Einarson has yet to beat her.

Brown had a chance to cement herself in the 1-vs-1 game; all she had to do was beat Carberry's Alyssa Calvert in her final match. But she stumbled for just the second time this week, falling 7-4 to Calvert, and that slipped away.

Still, Brown has a chance to move forward; she'll face Darcy Robertson in Saturday night's 2-vs-2 Page playoff game. It's the first time that Brown has made the playoffs proper since a 2011 tiebreaker and a 2010 2-vs-2 appearance.

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES</p><p>Jennifer Jones </p>

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Jennifer Jones

Robertson and her Assiniboine Memorial team clinched second place in their round robin pool, and finished 6-1 with a 7-4 Saturday morning win over Jenn Clark-Rouire. She'll move on to the 2-vs-2 game tonight at Shamrock Centre.

It's the next step in a strong season for Team Robertson. They were the buzz of the 2017 provincials when they upset Einarson and Jennifer Jones en route to the final; they were stopped there by a strong outing from Michelle Englot.

On that note? Before this week, Robertson had played 161 games at a Manitoba provincials — just one behind sister Spencer, tied for the all-time record of 162. With her playoff game tonight, Robertson will leapfrog her sister.

When asked about those record-setting numbers on Friday night, Robertson laughed.

"I wasn't aware they were so high, actually," she said. "I was like, 'oh gosh, I've been playing this game forever.'"

Prior to this week, Robertson was also just four games behind Spencer's record of 108 total provincial wins. She cut that lead in half during the round robin. With a strong playoff run, she could tie or beat Spencer's lifetime record.

The Page playoff games kick off at 7 p.m. tonight.

The 2018 Manitoba Scotties Tournament of Hearts winds up on Sunday, with an 8:30 a.m. semifinal and a 2:30 p.m. championship game. For those who can't make it to Killarney, both matches will be broadcast live on Sportsnet.

melissa.martin@freepress.mb.ca

Read more by Melissa Martin.

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