Official Website of Team Jennifer Jones. 2014 Olympic Gold Medalists in women's Curling. Skip - Jennifer Jones, Third - Kaitlyn Lawes, Second - Jill Officer, Lead - Dawn McEwen

Jones aims for record 7th Manitoba championship


Jennifer Jones has won the Manitoba Scotties Tournament of Hearts six times (Anil Mungal).  

Jennifer Jones has won the Manitoba Scotties Tournament of Hearts six times (Anil Mungal). 

Olympic champion Jennifer Jones looks to maintain her golden touch as she aims for a record seventh provincial title as skip at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts presented by Monsanto, starting Wednesday in Winkler, Man.

Jones could have tried to accomplish the feat earlier except she’s missed the event four times due to holding an automatic berth to the national Scotties as Team Canada. Her Winnipeg-based rink also skipped last year’s tournament while preparing for the Olympic Winter Games.

With no defending Manitoba champion — last year’s winner Chelsea Carey moved to Alberta and dismantled her team — the Sochi gold medallists received the top seed for this year’s tournament. Team Jones continue to top the World Curling Tour’s order of merit rankings and have won the Curlers Corner Autumn Gold Curling Classic, Canad Inns Women’s Classic and Karuizawa International titles this season.

While Jones is the odds-on favourite to win this event, she’ll also be the skip everyone will be targeting to beat.

Jill Thurston, the 2010 Manitoba champ, earned the No. 2 seed and leads the list of teams looking to knock off Jones. Thurston hasn’t had much success against Jones lately with Jones winning all three meetings this season including the C-qualifier final at the Canadian Open in December that eliminated Thurston from the Grand Slam event.

McDonald, who won the Manitoba title last season on Carey’s team, returned to the skip role this season and reunited with lead Raunora Westcott and second Leslie Wilson-Westcott. Kate Cameron, who skipped her own team the past two seasons, came onboard at third. Although playing a lighter schedule this year, McDonald competed in both the Masters and Canadian Open Grand Slam tournaments. She enters this event after winning the Granite Ladies Cash Spiel earlier this month (including a win over Thurston in the semifinals en route to the title).

Thurston and McDonald are neck-and-neck on the WCT order of merit rankings with McDonald holding the advantage sitting one spot ahead in 13th place.

Two-time Manitoba champ Barb Spencer is seeded fourth followed by Michelle Montford. While Montford doesn’t have the experience as the other four skips ahead of her in the rankings, she has been making noise on the World Curling Tour this year winning the Sunova Spiel at East St. Paul and the MCT Championships tournaments.

Kerri Einarson is another hopeful contender after looking to be the favourite last year finishing the round robin with a 7-0 record before falling to Carey in the final.

Homan edges Jones in Pinty's All-Star Skins Game women's final Staff

In a battle of two curling powerhouses, two-time national champion Rachel Homan and her world No. 3-ranked team of Emma Miskew, Joanne Courtney, and Lisa Weagle came out on top, defeating Team Jones to win The Pinty's All-Star Curling Skins Game women's final. Overall, Team Homan pocketed a total of $52,000 from this weekend's Pinty's All-Star Curling Skins Game, held at The Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre in beautiful Banff National Park.

"It's definitely the most money I've ever played for, for one curling shot," said Homan. "Jones gave us a run for our money… literally. It was a good game and we're pretty excited to take home this cheque from Pinty's."
After this afternoon's game, Manitoba's Jennifer Jones and her world No. 1-ranked team of Kaitlyn Lawes, Jill Officer, and Dawn McEwen walked away with a weekend total of $29,500 in prize money. 

Draw Summary

Team Homan started off strong, making an angle raise takeout with the hammer to win the game's opening skin of $2,000. Skip Rachel Homan made another brilliant angle raise takeout – with third Emma Miskew making a terrific line call – to steal the second skin and double their total. After a slow start, a solid third end performance from Team Jones put them on the board with a $3,000 skin. With each team winning one skin over the next two ends, the game was tied at $7,000 going into the 6th end. Homan made another brilliant last rock shot to win the $6,000 skin and force Team Jones into a do-or-die position. The all-important seventh end saw Team Jones narrowly force a carry-over to stay alive. It all came down to the final end, with Rachel Homan making a soft touch tap back to score two and capture the championship.

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