Jennifer Jones and her team from Winnipeg rebounded from back-to-back losses to open the 2015 Canada Cup by downing defending champ Val Sweeting of Edmonton 9-3 in Friday's evening draw to earn a spot in the semifinals.
Jones, third Kaitlyn Lawes, second Jill Officer and lead Dawn McEwen won four consecutive games to finish second in the round robin at 4-2.
"Yeah, we're pretty happy with that," said Jones. "We're thrilled where we're at. We always want to be playing on the weekend which is what we're doing."
Although Jones finished tied at 4-2 with Sweeting and Sherry Middaugh of Coldwater, Ont., who knocked off previously unbeaten Rachel Homan of Ottawa 6-4 in the final round-robin draw, Jones got the nod because her team had the best cumulative distance in the pre-game, last-shot draws to the button of the three.
"We're pretty happy we rattled off a few wins in a row when we needed to and we're playing well heading into the playoffs, and we're looking forward to (Saturday)," said Jones.
Sweeting and Middaugh will play a tiebreaker Saturday morning to determine who plays Jones in the semis.
"We've just got to shake (Friday evening's loss) off," said Sweeting.
Middaugh had to end Homan's 25-game win streak just to get into the tiebreaker.
Homan (6-1) had already claimed first place and a bye into Sunday's final.
On the men's side, three teams are tied for top spot heading into the final draw of round-robin play.
Winnipeg's Mike McEwen joined Calgary skips Kevin Koe and Pat Simmons in first-place position at 4-2 by defeating Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., 8-6 in Draw 9.
"We had an amazing start to that game, we were all over them and then that changed in the middle, it reversed," said McEwen, who has B.J. Neufeld at third, Matt Wozniak at second and Denni Neufeld playing lead.
Right behind the trio of Koe, Simmons and McEwen at 3-3 are Jacobs and Toronto's John Epping, who defeated Brad Gushue (2-4) of St. John's, N.L., 8-6 in another evening matchup.
Koe and Simmons will meet each other in Saturday morning's final draw, guaranteeing at least one team to finish 5-2. McEwen will play Saskatoon's Steve Laycock (2-4) while Epping will tangle with Winnipeg's Reid Carruthers (2-4).
The first-place finisher will receive a bye into Sunday's final. The second- and third-place teams will play in a semifinal matchup Saturday evening. If a tiebreaker is necessary it will go in the afternoon.