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Canada's Jones opens World Women's Curling Championship with two victories
Saskatoon Star Phoenix ^ | March 20, 2005 | Donna Spencer

Posted on 03/20/2005 2:44:47 PM PST by AZLiberty

Team Canada skip Jennifer Jones directs the sweep at the World Women's Curling Championship in Paisley, Scotland on Saturday. (CP/Andrew Vaughan)

PAISLEY, Scotland (CP) - Canada's Jennifer Jones played two games as different as night and day to open the World Women's Curling Championship on Saturday - and won them both.

Her Winnipeg team cruised to 9-2 win over Finland's Kirsi Nykanen on near-perfect ice conditions at night after grinding out a 6-5 extra-end victory over Switzerland's Mirjam Ott on ice so frosty that sweepers Cathy Overton-Clapham, Jill Officer and Cathy Gauthier joked about needing shovels to get the rocks into the rings.

Canada was tied at the top of the standings at 2-0 with Norway's Dordi Nordby, Sweden's Anette Norberg and Cassie Johnson of the U.S.

"It's where you want to be and I thought we played better tonight," Jones said. "We always try to get better with each game and hopefully that will continue tomorrow."

The Canadians take on Scotland's Kelly Wood and Russia's Olga Zharkova, both 1-1, on Sunday.

Ice that runs straight or that is heavy with frost is a great equalizer between teams because it limits the kinds of shots thrown.

Jones and her teammates love to draw around guards and put a lot of rocks in play. With the keen ice conditions at night they were able to do that against the Finns, who persisted in trying to play the draw game long after they should have abandoned it.

Finland wrecked on a lot of guards in the first three ends, which allowed Canada to take a 6-0 lead.

The Finns have been contenders in the men's international game with Markku Uusipaavalniemi winning two bronze medals at the world championships in the last seven years. But the women have struggled internationally and did not qualify for the world championship from 2000 to 2003.

Overton-Clapham, who along with Gauthier played in the world championship in 1995, said the competition here is stronger than it was a decade ago in Brandon, Man.

"Everyone seems technically sound," she said. "I think what there is with a lot of teams is there's a lack of strategy. Obviously Finland we just played, there were a couple of things they might have done differently, but that's just an experience factor."

The hockey rink at The Lagoon Leisure Centre has been converted into four sheets of curling ice. Humidity in the arena was so high for the morning draw, that the Canadians were constantly brushing snow off their broom bristles and banging them on the carpet beside the ice.

The Swiss swept their third's rock so hard in the extra end that they touched it and burned it.

Jones and Gauthier said it was the most frost they had ever played on their life. Drawing was ineffective, so the game was open with a lot of hitting.

Jones gave the credit for the keener ice at night to Ottawa icemakers Kirk Smyth and Ian MacAuley.

"We knew they going to try, I mean an icemaker takes great pride in the ice," Jones said. "It was a lot different than this morning and it felt more like we were at the Scott (Tournament of Hearts)."

"The ice conditions were very similar so we were able to play the style that we love."

Canada's game at night was on an outside sheet of ice while the morning game was on one of the middle sheets.

Nordby, a two-time world champ, said the arena is bowl-shaped and that the middle sheets are about three centimetres thicker than the outside ones, which causes more frost to build up on those surfaces.

"It's very difficult with speed and curl," Nordby said. "It could be running fast or it could stop, you don't know. You could flip a coin."

At the world senior championship held at the nearby Greenacres Curling Rink, there were problems with the ice-making machinery and some games were cancelled.

Defending world senior men's champion Bas Buckle of Corner Brook, Nfld., got in an 11-4 win over Denmark, but Anne Dunn of Cambridge, Ont., the defending women's champion, was unable to get her game in against England.



TOPICS: Sports
KEYWORDS: canada; curling
Canada's been taking a drubbing on FreeRepublic today, so I thought I ought to point out two good things about Canada: curling, and Canadian women's champion Jennifer Jones. I don't suppose we'll ever see her in one of those cute tennis outfits, however.
1 posted on 03/20/2005 2:44:49 PM PST by AZLiberty
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To: AZLiberty

Since hockey has disappeared, I find I'm now a fan of women's curling.

sigh.


2 posted on 03/20/2005 2:47:31 PM PST by spinestein ( "I thought I knew everything. I didn't get it. I'm here to say I was totally wrong." --B. Boxer)
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To: AZLiberty

got any more pics?


3 posted on 03/20/2005 2:54:51 PM PST by beebuster2000
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To: beebuster2000

4 posted on 03/20/2005 3:06:08 PM PST by AZLiberty ("Insurgence" is futile. You will be eliminated.)
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To: AZLiberty

good looking pic of a blue question mark


5 posted on 03/20/2005 3:08:12 PM PST by beebuster2000
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To: AZLiberty

It's official. Curling really is a sport.

6 posted on 03/20/2005 3:46:57 PM PST by Cagey (As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!!!")
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