SPORTS

Canada's Jones alone in first place at world women's curling championship

03/17/2015 11:23 EDT | Updated 05/17/2015 05:12 EDT
SAPPORO, Japan - Canada's Jennifer Jones is alone in first place atop the standings of the world women's curling championship after opening Wednesday's round-robin play with a 9-3 win over Norway's Kristin Skaslien.

The win improved the Winnipeg skid to 7-1, moving the Canadian team one win ahead of Switzerland's Alina Patz (6-1), who had the bye on Wednesday morning.

Canada will take on Switzerland later Wednesday in a game that could play a role in deciding a berth in the Page 1-2 playoff game.

Jones and her team — third Kaitlyn Lawes, second Jill Officer, lead Dawn McEwen, alternate Jennifer Clark-Rouire — broke open a tight game with Norway by scoring five in the fifth end when Skaslien jammed on a takeout attempt. The gloves came off following the sixth end when Canada stole a deuce after Skaslien missed on a double-takeout to score a potential pair.

"We were very comfortable on the ice, but they played great," said Jones. "Their skip made a ton of big shots, but I thought we played well. We had the opportunity in the fourth and I missed it (her last-rock tap attempt overcurled), and I still don't know how that happened. But we were patient, got a lot of rocks in play in the fifth and made her make a tough shot, and fortunately for us she jammed and gave us that big end."

The Canadians have three round-robin games to play — Wednesday night against Switzerland, and two games Thursday, against Germany's Daniela Driendl (4-3) and Japan's Ayumi Ogasawara (5-3).

Jones and Patz have gone head to head just once — back in late September in Stockholm, Sweden, a 7-4 win for the Canadians. Swiss teams have won two of the past three women's world championships with Mirjam Ott winning in Lethbridge, Alta., in 2012 and Binia Feltscher taking last year's tournament at Saint John, N.B.

"We know they're a great team," said Jones. "They're high on the Order of Merit and obviously they're playing well. We just need to come out and do our thing and have a good game, hopefully have a shot to win."

MORE:cpSports