Jones racks up two more wins

The Canadian Press
Gregory Strong

NORTH BAY, Ont.–South Korea’s EunJung Kim and the Olympic darling “Garlic Girls” used a pressure-heavy style to reach the podium at the Winter Games.
It didn’t work against Canada’s Jennifer Jones yesterday at the world women’s curling championship.
Jones knocked off the Pyeongchang silver-medallists 8-4, then topped Olympic champion Anna Hasselborg of Sweden 8-4 last night.
Canada (8-0) moved into sole possession of first place in the round-robin standings.
Sweden dropped to 8-1 while South Korea fell into a third-place tie with Russia at 6-2.
“We just have to know that we can’t let up at this point,” said Canada second Jill Officer.
“We went out there and did what we could today,” she noted. “It obviously worked but now we have to keep it going.”
In the opener, a back-and-forth matchup swung Canada’s way in the seventh end and the host side didn’t look back.
“We just made some big shots when we had to and it really changed the game,” Jones said.
The Canadians have been slow starters at times this week and the South Korea game was no different.
Jones went for a double take-out in the first end but wrecked on a guard and gave up a steal.
The Canadian skip made a tap for one to pull even in the second.
After South Korea was forced to a single, Jones delivered an in-off for two in the fourth to take a 3-2 lead.
The Canadians had some struggles with draw weight in the early going but still threw 86 percent overall.
Kim settled for a single in the fifth end, then nailed a hit-and-roll in a crowded house before stealing one in the sixth.
Jones responded with a draw for two–the second point confirmed on a measurement–and a 5-4 lead.
The boisterous crowd of 2,753 at the North Bay Memorial Gardens popped after the decision and the Canadians were in control.
Jones, the 2014 Olympic champ, stole a single in the eighth and had her stone freeze after a brilliant double take-out in the ninth.
Kim was heavy with her draw and Canada stole a pair to seal it.
“[Jones] really came up with some big saves that game,” said Canadian national team coach Elaine Dagg-Jackson.
“If she doesn’t make one of those shots, that game looks totally different,” she noted.
“Korea put a lot of pressure on Canada today.”
The South Koreans threw 73 percent as a team.
“Jennifer Jones is a world champion,” Kim said via a translator. “She’s also an Olympic gold-medallist and she was making incredible shots.”
Hasselborg, meanwhile, struggled with her draw weight in the night game. She was heavy on an open throw to the four-foot to give up a steal of one in the second end.
Both skips had low percentages, with Jones at 66 percent and Hasselborg at 64 percent.
Hasselborg smacked her broom on the ice in frustration after rubbing a guard to give Canada a stolen deuce in the fifth end.
Sweden got two points back but Jones nailed a hit for three in the seventh to put the game away.
“There is something that is called a good miss,” Hasselborg said.
“We didn’t do any good misses today,” she noted. “We only did bad misses.”
Earlier, Sweden beat Germany’s Daniela Jentsch 8-4 and South Korea edged American Jamie Sinclair 9-8.
Round-robin play continues through tomorrow night.
After 14 sessions, the Americans and Japan were tied with Anna Kubeskova of the Czech Republic at 4-4.
Switzerland’s Binia Feltscher was at 3-5 while China and Scotland were 3-6.
Denmark’s Angelina Jensen fell to 2-6, ahead of just Italy (2-7) and Germany (1-7).
Six of the 13 teams in the field will reach the playoffs.
The medal games are scheduled for Sunday.
This is the sixth time that Jones has played in the world championship. Her lone title came in 2008.
Ottawa’s Rachel Homan won gold at last year’s event in Beijing.
She represented Canada at the Pyeongchang Games but did not make the podium.
Brad Gushue of St. John’s will represent Canada at world men’s curling championship March 31-April 8 in Las Vegas.

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