Jennifer Jones delivers a stone during the WestJet Players' Championship in Toronto. (Anil Mungal)

Jones jumps into playoffs at Players’ Championship

April 14, 2017, 2:44 PM

TORONTO — Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones doubled up on Anna Hasselborg of Sweden 10-5 during Draw 11 action Friday at the WestJet Players’ Championship.

The five-time Players’ winner Jones moved up to a 3-1 record to secure her playoff spot at the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling major tournament with one more round-robin game to go in the evening.

Jones opened with hammer and made it through a narrow port to tap a counter and count two. The teams traded singles in two and three and Jones forced Hasselborg to another lone point in four to lead 3-2 at the break.

A strong end for Jones had Hasselborg in trouble. After Hasselborg drew the back of the four-foot circle, Jones followed the path to hit and roll just a little bit to score three. Hasselborg came right back with a three-pointer of her own making a runback to bump out and unlock Jones’ stone to count her trey.

It was game over after the seventh though as Hasselborg hit on the nose with her last and Jones cooly drew in to score four points.

Hasselborg (2-3) is guaranteed to play at least one more game either in a tiebreaker or the quarterfinals pending the results of the following draws.


WestJet Players’ Championship: Tickets | Scores | Standings | Schedule | TV Schedule


Ottawa’s Rachel Homan also climbed to a 3-1 record and into a playoff spot after rallying to a 6-5 victory over Sweden’s Margaretha Sigfridsson. Down 3-1, Homan scored one in the fourth, then surged in the second half stealing back-to-back singles in five and six to tie it and swiped a pair in seven to pull into the lead. Sigfridsson held the hammer coming home, but could only manage a point.

Sigfridsson has been eliminated with a 0-4 record.

Elsewhere, Scotland’s Eve Muirhead jumped out to an early five-point lead, but fended off a surge from Michelle Englot’s Winnipeg team to win 8-6. The double defending champion Muirhead (2-3) is still in the mix while Englot, the Scotties silver medallist, heads home at 0-5.

It looked like it was out of hand early as Muirhead stole two in the first and three in the second for the five-point grasp. Englot woke up with a three-spot in the third to chip away at the deficit and make things interesting. After Muirhead was held to a single in four, Englot scored a deuce in five to close to within one and the ball game was on. The teams alternated singles in six and seven to keep it tight, but Muirhead had the hammer coming home — adding another point — to hold on.

Tracy Fleury (4-1) of Sudbury, Ont., capped her round robin with a big 6-2 win over Edmonton’s Val Sweeting (3-1). Fleury settled for a single in the first, stole one in the second and two in the third to hold an early four-point advantage. After limiting Sweeting to one point in four, Fleury tacked on two in the fifth. Sweeting managed just another single in six and shook hands.

John Morris and his Vernon, B.C., team are still in it winning their second straight after upending Winnipeg’s Reid Carruthers 7-3 in the lone men’s division match of the draw. Morris raced out of the gate scoring four in the second and stole one in the third for a commanding five-point lead. The teams split singles, Carruthers counted two in six and Morris put another on the board in seven.

Both teams hold 2-3 records and now await the next draw to see what’ll happen next. The Elite 10 winner Morris is also looking to surpass Steve Laycock in points for the final guaranteed Olympic Trials spot.

Round-robin action at the WestJet Players’ Championship continues Friday at 3:30 p.m. ET with TV coverage on Sportsnet and online at Sportsnet NOW and gsoc.yaretv.com.

NOTES: The WestJet Players’ Championship is the fourth major and sixth event of the 2016-17 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season and runs through to Sunday at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre. … The Rogers Grand Slam Cup will be awarded to the overall season champions following the conclusion of the WestJet Players’ Championship. … Winners of the WestJet Players’ Championship will earn berths to the Humpty’s Champions Cup running April 25-30 in Calgary.

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