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Jones clinches final berth at Canadian Olympic curling trials

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The Canadian Press
12/4/2013 11:14:34 PM
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WINNIPEG -- Jennifer Jones was surprised twice at Wednesday's Canadian Olympic curling trials.

First, the veteran Winnipeg skip watched as defending Canadian champion Rachel Homan's last rock draw attempt was heavy, giving Jones a steal in the 10th end and 7-6 victory.

The win put the four-time Canadian champion in sole possession of first place with a 5-1 record.

What Jones didn't know was the win also gave her a bye into Saturday night's final, where the winner will represent Canada at next year's Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

"Are we? Are we in the final?" Jones asked after a reporter told her she was a game away from the Olympics.

When the answer was yes, the usually cool skip was thrilled.

"Oh, I had no idea. Yah. That's awesome," Jones said, clapping her hands.

Jones, who's making her third attempt at playing in an Olympics, is supported by third Kaitlyn Lawes, second Jill Officer, lead Dawn McEwen and alternate Kirsten Wall.

Fellow Winnipegger Chelsea Carey also had the 7,343 fans at MTS Centre cheering as she grabbed second place (4-2) after defeating Val Sweeting of Edmonton 6-4.

Ottawa's Homan, Sweeting, Ontario's Sherry Middaugh and Heather Nodohin from Edmonton share third with 3-3 records.

Middaugh beat Renee Sonneberg 7-6, dropping the Grande Prairie, Alta., skip to 1-5.

The second- and third-place finishers will play the semifinal Friday night for the chance to face Jones.

Homan and Jones met in this year's Scotties Tournament of Hearts final and it looked like Homan was going to take the Trials re-match.

Jones was leading 3-1 after the fourth end, but Homan scored three to go ahead 4-3 at the break and then stole a point in the sixth after Jones missed a double takeout.

But Jones, the 2008 world champion, bounced back in the seventh end, drawing right onto the button for two and a 5-5 tie.

With Homan leading 6-5 in the ninth and Jones with the hammer, the veteran was forced to draw for one and give Homan the hammer.

However, Homan was heavy with her shot and Jones counted the one for the victory.

"We did everything we could. We anticipated the fudge (slow ice) and it just wasn't there," Homan said.

"I'm really proud of my team. We had a heck of a game and we deserved that win, but that's all right, they got away with one and we'll get them back."

Jennifer Jones (Photo: The Canadian Press )

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(Photo: The Canadian Press )
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