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Canadian skip Jennifer Jones, top left, and second Jocelyn Peterman, right, call on third Kaitlyn Lawes and lead Dawn McEwen to sweep as they face the team from the Russian Olympic Committee at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Canada won 11-5 on Feb. 14, 2022.Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

A matchup against last-place Russia was just what Canada’s Jennifer Jones needed at the Beijing Olympics on Monday.

A follow-up victory over Great Britain helped too.

The potential for a poor showing from the women’s team seems to have passed. Jones delivered in a big way and displayed the form that led her to an Olympic title eight years ago.

It was vintage Jones – intense high-fives with teammates, clutch shotmaking, pistols when needed – in a performance that should send a shiver through the women’s draw.

“Olympic Jen showed up today,” said Canadian coach Viktor Kjell. “So that was great.”

Did she ever.

When Great Britain’s Eve Muirhead missed a come-around in the seventh end, Jones made two perfect shots to shut the door.

Muirhead pressed again in the ninth and Jones answered with a tap against two that essentially put the game away.

“We knew we needed two wins and we came out with two wins,” Jones said. “It was a marvellous Monday.”

Earlier in the day, Jones took advantage of several mistakes by Alina Kovaleva en route to an 11-5 victory that ended a three-game losing skid.

“One million per cent we needed to win that game,” Jones said. “That was a massive win. I thought we played good from the first rock to the last rock.”

Jones later improved to 3-3 in round-robin play, good for a three-way tie for fifth place with South Korea and Great Britain.

“Today we eliminated all the bad ends,” Jones said. “I thought we had 19 ends of very good curling, so that was the difference.

“We just eliminated those bad shots and made some big shots when we needed them.”

A fourth loss for Jones would be a major blow to her chances of making the four-team playoff cut.

“We’ve been in situations where we’ve started a little slow and climbed our way back,” said Canada lead Dawn McEwen. “This is just another one of those situations.”

Kovaleva gifted the Canadians a pair of two-point steals at the start. Jones was in trouble in the second end, but the Russian skip missed a nose hit that could have scored three.

A chance to take the lead instead became a 4-0 Canada advantage and Jones never looked back.

Canada’s schedule improves over the second half of the competition, but the team is still essentially in must-win mode.

After an off-day Tuesday, Canada will play the United States and China on Wednesday before closing out the round-robin schedule Thursday against Denmark.

“You need to get on a roll at these events,” Jones said. “Maybe this is the start of a good roll for us.”

In men’s play, Canada’s Brad Gushue posted a 7-3 win over Italy’s Joel Retornaz.

Gushue improved to 4-2, good for sole possession of third place behind Sweden’s Niklas Edin (6-0) and Great Britain’s Bruce Mouat (5-1).

“We’ve still got some room to get better for sure,” Gushue said. “We’re not there yet but we’re close.”

Mouat edged Switzerland’s Peter de Cruz 6-5, Edin topped Russia’s Sergey Glukhov 7-5 and Denmark’s Mikkel Krause shaded Norway’s Steffen Walstad 6-5 in an extra end.

Russia, Switzerland and American John Shuster were tied in fourth place at 3-3.

Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg edged Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni 6-5 in an extra end. The Swiss remained in first place at 5-1 ahead of Sweden, Japan and the United States.

In the other late games, Denmark topped Russia 10-5 and South Korea defeated Japan 10-5.

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