It was all over in the sixth end as Jennifer Jones scored six against fellow Winnipeg skip Chelsea Carey on Sunday to open the Canadian Curling Trials with a commanding 10-2 win.
“If we could score a six in every game, obviously I would be pretty excited,” Jones said. “It’s a long week but a short week. It’s a pretty short round robin from what we’re used to so you don’t want to get behind the eight ball early.”
Carey, curling without third Kristy McDonald who was out with the flu, said she wasn’t letting the loss get to her and felt they played well, including alternate Breanne Meaken
“We were just the wrong side of the inch,” said Carey. “My last rock picked in three and we were just off on everything after that. We were throwing it real good and the weight was really close and it would just rub a guard and we’d just miss the runback and my double in the fourth end just doesn’t quite move it far enough.”
It wasn’t the only lopsided game as Edmonton’s Val Sweeting defeated reigning Scotties champ Rachel Homan of Ottawa 10-3.
In closer matchups, Ontario’s Sherry Middaugh defeated Saskatoon’s Stefanie Lawton 5-3 and Renee Sonnenberg of Grande Prairie, Alta., beat Edmonton’s Heather Nedohin 8-6.
“One too many picks I think,” said Homan after the loss. “It’s always a little bit different from tournament to tournament. We’re just kind of learning the ice and getting a feel for it and next game we’re going to come out a lot stronger.”
For Sweeting it was, well, sweet. The 26-year-old has only been in one Scotties and is far from being a favourite in the trials.
“Everyone likes a good underdog, so if that’s us, that’s totally fine with me,” she said. “We were a little fortunate in the beginning of that game . . I struggled early, I don’t think my team did.”
The turning point in the Jones-Carey game was clearly the sixth end which put the veteran ahead 9-1.
Carey started with the hammer and they had blanked the first and the fifth end, but Jones stole one in the second and two in the third, when Carey failed to hold her shooter on an open hit, giving Jones a 3-1 lead.
Facing a five in the sixth, Carey missed a shallow hit completely with her first rock. Jones elected to remove Carey’s centre-line guard with her first rock and Carey came off her own to roll close to the four but Jones raised hers to remove it and make it six.
Jones may be one of the most successful curlers in Canada but she has never managed to even come to winning an Olympic berth. She failed to make the playoffs in her previous two attempts in 2005 and 2009.
Even Jones was a little star struck with the appearance at the trials of actor Will Ferrell, in character as anchorman Ron Burgundy.
“We were fooling around with him and it was pretty cool.”
He donned a kilt, entertained fans and did a little colour work with veteran TSN curling broadcaster Vic Rauter.