Jones has a lot of work ahead

If Jennifer Jones is going to retain her world curling title, she’ll have to do it the hard way.

Team Canada lead Dawn Askin (left)

GANGNEUNG, South Korea — If Jennifer Jones is going to retain her world curling title, she’ll have to do it the hard way.

Jones finished the round robin with a pair of wins at the women’s world championship Thursday, defeating Italy 8-5 in Draw 15 and ending the day with a 10-7 win over Switzerland’s Mirjam Ott.

The Winnipeg skip will play in the 3-versus-4 Page playoff game after finishing with a record of 9-2 — tied with Denmark’s Angelina Jensen, who finished second by virtue of her round-robin victory over Jones.

China’s Bingyu Wang (10-1) secured top spot in the round robin for the second straight year with a 7-2 win over Norway’s Marianne Rorvik (1-10). Wang opened the tournament with an 11-6 loss to Jones, then reeled off 10 straight victories — several of them blowouts — to reach today’s 1-versus-2 Page playoff matchup with Denmark.

The path to the world title will be a rough one for Jones, who will face Sweden’s Anette Norberg on Saturday. Norberg (7-4) beat Jones 7-4 in their Draw 11 meeting, handing the Canadian her first loss of the tournament.

“Obviously they’re just an amazing team,” said Jones. “They’ve had great success. We’re going to have to go out and play well. We had a tough loss against them in the round robin, so we know we’re going to have to play good from start to finish, and hopefully we’ll have the hammer coming home.”

A win would pit Jones against the loser of the China-Denmark tilt in Saturday’s semifinal (TSN, 4 a.m.), with the winner advancing to Sunday’s final (TSN, midnight).

Denmark handed Jones her only other round-robin loss, a 7-5 decision in a game Canada led 5-3 after eight ends. And China is no slouch, either — Wang beat Jones twice in last year’s tournament before ultimately falling in the championship match.

Against Ott, Jones was cruising with a 6-1 lead through four ends, but gave up two points in the fifth and another three in the seventh as the Swiss skip trimmed the lead to 7-6. The teams traded singles over the next two ends, and Ott (6-5) put Jones in a tough spot in the 10th, sitting two stones on the button.

Jones ran one of her own rocks into the Swiss pair with her final shot, and spun them far enough away to lie the game-winning point.

“We came out and played really well at the beginning of that game, and then we kind of faltered a little, but we knew the game really didn’t matter at that point,” said Jones, who had clinched third place before her game ended. “We’re pretty happy with how we played that game, and hopefully we’ll take some momentum into the playoffs.”

Wang took control against Norway with three points in the fourth, and steals of one point in each of the next three ends. Her rink, which spends the majority of its training time in Canada, earned an 8-5 win over Denmark in their round-robin meeting Monday.

Denmark locked up second place with a 9-3 rout of American Deb McCormick (4-7). The Danes broke out in front with a three-point third end, and quashed any hopes of a U.S. rally with two points in the seventh and a steal of three in the eighth.

Just Posted

More than $25k raised for Red Deer firefighter who is recovering in hospital

‘I think the support he’s getting is because of the person he is’

Lacombe backs Blackfalds stormwater plan

Stormwater management plan will open up more land for development in Blackfalds

Two men facing charges in alleged abduction

RCMP issued alert for woman on Wednesday morning who was found safe later that day

Red Deer RCMP seek public assistance to identify suspect in indecent acts

Red Deer RCMP are looking for a man believed to be responsible… Continue reading

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

Leon Draisaitl has overtime winner as Edmonton Oilers down Boston Bruins 3-2

EDMONTON — Connor McDavid set up Leon Draisaitl for the overtime winner… Continue reading

Edmonton girl guide sells out of cookies in front of cannabis store on first day

EDMONTON — She’s being called one smart cookie. As people lined up… Continue reading

New vacuum needed: Calgary family adopts three bonded St. Bernard buddies

EDMONTON — Three adult St. Bernards who couldn’t be separated because they’re… Continue reading

Film with Fan Bingbing, Bruce Willis cancelled after tax case

BEIJING — The director of “Air Strike,” featuring Chinese actress Fan Bingbing,… Continue reading

Michael Buble shuts down rumours of retirement from music

LOS ANGELES — Michael Buble is shutting down rumours that he’s going… Continue reading

After Canada legalizes pot, industry eyes rest of the world

MONTREAL — Cam Battley is a top executive at one of Canada’s… Continue reading

Facebook’s election ‘war room’ takes aim at fake information

MENLO PARK, Calif. — In an otherwise innocuous part of Facebook’s expansive… Continue reading

Military to overhaul morale-boosting trips after review finds serious problems

OTTAWA — Canada’s top general is overhauling military morale-boosting tours after an… Continue reading

Most Read