Late-end heroics keep Canada perfect at women's curling worlds
Jennifer Jones's rink improves to 4-0 with 9-5 victory over China
Skip Jennifer Jones and her Canadian team fought through a few uncharacteristic mistakes Monday before pulling out a 9-5 win over China at the world women's curling championship.
Third Kaitlyn Lawes threw a stone through the house in the fourth end, Jones had a flash in the eighth and second Jill Officer had a miss of her own in the 10th end.
Canada was still able to regain the lead with a deuce in the ninth and stole two more points in the 10th to remain unbeaten in round-robin play.
"We just stayed patient and that's kind of what we do," said lead Dawn McEwen.
The win moved Canada into a first-place tie with Anna Hasselborg of Sweden at 4-0. Hasselborg, the 2018 Olympic champion, beat American Jamie Sinclair 6-4 in the morning draw.
'We really had to battle back'
South Korea's EunJung Kim (3-0) was the only other unbeaten team after seven draws. The Olympic silver medallists were scheduled to play Sweden on Monday evening.
After a so-so first half, Jones and her Winnipeg team caught a break when China skip Yilun Jiang missed a takeout in the sixth end to give Canada a steal of three.
Jones forced China to a single in the seventh but was wide on a blank attempt in the eighth, which pulled China even with a steal.
"I was pretty ticked off at myself in eight," Jones said. "That was just not a very smart thing to do. But if you're going to do it, the fourth game of the round-robin is the game to do it in."
Lawes came through with a nice double takeout in the ninth and Jiang was light on her final throw to set up the critical deuce. The China skip missed a longshot runback attempt in the 10th to end the game.
"We didn't play as great as we wanted to in the first half but they played outstanding," Jones said. "They made everything and we really had to battle back.
"Obviously the steal of three helped but it was a fun game to play."
Comfortable opening weekend
Despite a few miscues, the Jones rink still shot 86 per cent on the afternoon. China was at 80 per cent overall.
Jones threw 88 per cent while her counterpart struggled at 70 per cent.
Canada had a comfortable ride over the opening weekend at the North Bay Memorial Gardens with three smooth victories. Denmark and Scotland are on deck Tuesday and then it's a tough 1-2 punch of South Korea and Sweden on Wednesday.
"We need tests, especially early as we try to figure things out," McEwen said. "We'd be OK taking every single game to the last rock as long as we win."
In the afternoon, Denmark's Angelina Jensen scored a single in the 10th for a 6-5 win over Germany's Daniela Jentsch. Czech skip Anna Kubeskova needed only seven ends to complete an 11-4 rout of Scotland's Hannah Fleming and Koana edged Sinclair 7-6.
Italy's Diana Gaspari topped Russia's Victoria Moiseeva 6-5 in the morning draw. In the evening, Moiseeva dropped an 8-7 decision to China after giving up four points in the 10th end.
Kubeskova, meanwhile, scored four in an extra end for an 11-7 victory over Gaspari.
After eight draws, the Czech Republic and Russia were in fifth place at 3-2 while China, Italy, Switzerland and the United States were 2-3. Germany (0-4) and Scotland (0-5) remained winless.
Round-robin play continues through Friday. The six-team playoff round starts Saturday and the medal games are scheduled for Sunday.
Jones is looking for her first world title since 2008. Ottawa skip Rachel Homan won gold at last year's event in Beijing.