Dawn McEwen, Jill Officer, Kaitlyn Lawes and Jennifer Jones with the National trophy on Nov. 19, 2017, in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. (Anil Mungal)

Jones scores 2nd straight Grand Slam title at National

November 19, 2017, 7:55 PM

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. — Jennifer Jones did it again sweeping through the BOOST National to capture her second consecutive Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling championship this season.

Jones, who also ran the table to capture the Masters last month, topped Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge, Alta., 8-7 in Sunday’s final at the Essar Centre winning her 14th consecutive game in the series.

It’s the record ninth Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling women’s title (eighth major) for Jones.

“It feels amazing, it’s always so hard to win a Slam,” said Jones, who collected $30,000 from the $125,000 women’s purse. “It feels great. We’ve been working hard and making some big shots when we have to.”

The reigning Olympic champion Jones is supported by third Kaitlyn Lawes, second Jill Officer and lead Dawn McEwen and the foursome are now just a Meridian Canadian Open championship away from becoming the first women’s team to complete a career Grand Slam (win all four majors).

Alternate Jennifer Clark-Rouire was also with the team during the BOOST National and came off of the bench for their first couple round-robin games as they prepare for the Canadian Olympic curling trials taking place in two weeks time in Ottawa. Although the team heads into the trials riding a sparkling 14-game winning streak, Jones isn’t putting too much stock into it as she looks to represent Canada once again for the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

“It feels great but it doesn’t mean a whole lot,” Jones said. “The trials is a new week, really tough teams and anything can happen.”

Jones opened with the hammer thanks to her undefeated record and converted for a trio. Scheidegger hit and rolled too far, Jones popped out the counter and stuck around for her three-spot and stayed one step ahead throughout.

It looked like they were going to trade treys but it was only two for Scheidegger in the second end. With a quarry of granite crowding the house, Scheidegger looked to draw into the pocket and nudge Jones’s rock for three, however, the stone bumped off her top one and it was just a deuce.

Jones was sharp on the draw for two in the third and extended her lead 5-2.

The reigning Meridian Canadian Open champion Scheidegger eyed a bunch of points in four but jammed and rolled her shooter too far. Still, a measurement gave her a deuce to close back within one.

A hit and stick on the button gave Jones two more points in five and it was a huge swing in six from Scheidegger scoring to giving up a steal. Scheidegger looked to make a double takeout and got one but her shooter rolled on top of the other to concede a point and trail 8-4.

Scheidegger drew for two in seven cutting the deficit in half but it was an uphill battle to steal in eight. Still, it came down to the final rock of the game, but Scheidegger had nowhere to hide her pair and Jones made an easy open hit to seal up the victory.

“We definitely had a lot of offence and it was great for the fans,” said Jones, who added with a laugh: “We’ll just have to figure out and try to do a better job at forcing.”

Jones went 4-0 through round-robin play, eliminated Alina Paetz of Switzerland in the quarterfinals and Calgary’s Chelsea Carey in the semifinals.

Scheidegger, third Cary-Anne McTaggart, second Jessie Scheidegger and lead Kristie Moore slid into the playoffs with a 3-1 round-robin record with their lone blemish against Team Jones there as well. Scheidegger ousted Ottawa’s Rachel Homan in the quarterfinals and top-seed Tracy Fleury of Sudbury, Ont., in the semifinals.

Earlier Sunday, Scotland’s Bruce Mouat topped Chang-Min Kim of South Korea 9-4 in the men’s final for his first career Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title and the first for a men’s team from Scotland. Mouat, 23, also became the youngest men’s skip to capture a championship in the series.

The BOOST National was the third event and second major of the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season and featured 15 of the best men’s teams and 15 of the best women’s teams from around the globe. Coming up next is the Meridian Canadian Open running Jan. 16-21, 2018, at the Encana Arena in Camrose, Alta. Visit Camrosegsoc.goigniter.com or call 1-780-678-2868 for tickets.

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