CHESTERMERE, Alta. — Jennifer Jones and her Winnipeg-based team continue to cruise along at the Boost National and are one win away from advancing to the playoffs.
Jones climbed to a 2-0 record in the A-side of the triple knockout stage after hammering a 9-3 rout over Edmonton’s Team Kelsey Rocque during Draw 8 action Wednesday at Chestermere Recreation Centre.
It’s a different story from the Masters two weeks ago in Oakville, Ont., where Jones started 0-2 and needed to win three consecutive games while on the brink of elimination to reach the playoffs. Jones not only beat the odds but made it all the way to the final, finishing runner-up to Tracy Fleury.
“We’re playing well. Even the two games we lost early last week were on last rock and one was an extra end,” Team Jones second Jocelyn Peterman said. “We feel good about how we’re playing but it is a little easier starting out on the A-side, for sure.”
Dawn McEwen was back in at lead after alternate Lisa Weagle played during their 5-3 victory Tuesday against Team Min-Ji Kim of South Korea. Weagle, who won 10 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling women’s titles with Ottawa’s Team Rachel Homan, joined the Jones squad last season.
Peterman said it’s actually been fairly seamless with McEwen and Weagle switching in and out.
“The other three of us, we don’t really notice much of a difference with one or the other,” Peterman said with a laugh. “Obviously, they’re both great shot makers, so it’s been nice to have them alternate and give them a little bit of rest when they can.”
Although the GSOC series held two events in nearby Calgary last season, both were within a bubble concept and closed to the general public. Peterman is originally from Red Deer, which is about an hour-and-a-half away, and is hoping to have family in the crowd later this week.
“It’s nice to have some friends and family in the stands and be able to wave to people and have some interactions,” Peterman said. “We haven’t had that in a long time, so it’s really nice.”
The nine-time Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title winner Jones converted with the hammer in the first to score a deuce and stole four points in the second when Rocque wrecked on a guard.
Jones pirated another pair of points in the third to build an insurmountable early 8-0 lead when Rocque hit and rolled out.
“The ice was a little tricky early and Jenn just had a really good feel for where to put the broom, which helped us out,” Peterman said. “We were on top of reading the paths early and I think that helped us out a little bit there.”
Rocque recovered with a deuce in the fourth and stole one in the fifth, but the deficit was too much to overcome. Jones connected on a double takeout to tack a single on the board in the sixth and out came the goodbye waves.
Team Jones will meet Team Fleury in the A-qualifiers in a rematch from the Masters final.
Sweden’s Team Anna Hasselborg also moved onto the A-qualifiers at 2-0 after scoring three in the eighth end to rally past Team Hollie Duncan of Woodstock, Ont., 7-6.
“We’ve had some really good games and some really bad games and now it feels like we’re on to something,” Team Hasselborg third Sara McManus said. “To score three in the last end, I think it means a lot to the team but also a lot to Anna. It feels like we’re boosting ourselves right now, so that’s why we were so happy after the win and also yesterday we were super happy about the win. It means a lot to pack our backpack with good wins right now.”
Team Hasselborg missed the playoffs at the Masters and will now have three opportunities to qualify. First up is a match with Switzerland’s Team Silvana Tirinzoni on tap Thursday in the A-qualifiers.
“It means a lot to us because it’s an Olympic season, there are so many things that you want to check off,” McManus said. “Now it feels awesome.”
Both Rocque and Duncan fell into the B brackets with 1-1 records.
Meanwhile, Team Homan scored a single in the eighth end to clip Switzerland’s Team Irene Schori 5-4 and score their first victory of the tournament.
Homan (1-1) stays in the B brackets while Schori (0-2) slipped to the last-chance C-side with elimination on the line.
Team Kim (1-1) also remained in the B-side with a 7-3 win over Japan’s Team Satsuki Fujisawa (0-2).
TRIPLE KNOCKOUT EXPLAINED
The triple knockout consists of three brackets: A, B and C. Teams must win three games in order to qualify for the playoffs. Each loss drops a team to a lower bracket until they lose three games and are out of the tournament. Two A teams (3-0 records), three B teams (3-1 records) and three C teams (3-2 records) advance to the quarterfinals.
NO TICK ZONE
Teams cannot tick guards off of the centre line while the five-rock, free guard zone is in effect during the eighth and extra ends.
The Boost National is the second of five events on the 2021-22 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling schedule and features 16 of the top men’s teams and 16 of the top women’s teams from around the world with a combined $300,000 prize purse. … The winning teams earning $33,000 plus spots in the season-ending KIOTI Tractor Champions Cup. … Triple knockout play runs through to Saturday morning. The quarterfinals and semifinals are also Saturday with both finals set for Sunday.