By Kristina Rutherford, Sportsnet
The talk of the Ice Cube — Sochi’s curling venue; home to cowbell, horns and a fan in a fuzzy moose hat — is Jennifer Jones and her Canadian rink. The Winnipeg-born skip leads the only undefeated team in the women’s field after a sixth straight victory Saturday morning.
Up in press row, the many Brits covering reigning world champion Eve Muirhead and her GB rink, whom Jones and co. dispatched on Thursday, had a few comments — all in good fun, of course — for the Canadian writer taking in the action: “We don’t want anywhere near Canada. Especially Jennifer Jones.” And, “The Canadians may have peaked too early!”
Well, not according to third Kaitlyn Lawes. “Definitely not,” she said, grinning, after an 8-6 win over Japan. “We’re trying to get better each game. Honestly, we feel so comfortable.”
The Brits — and the Swedes, considered Canada’s main threat for gold — won’t be happy to hear that.
And the fact is, the Canadian women — first Dawn McEwen, second Jill Officer, Lawes and Jones — really do look comfortable out there. Leading 7-6 and with the hammer heading into the 10th and final end on Saturday, Jones sailed a rock in that took out a guard and the single yellow Japanese stone in the rings, leaning back to will it to happen, then grinning when it did. It set off the smattering of raucous Canadian fans at the Ice Cube.
Jones was all smiles afterward. “In a field like this, you can’t expect to go through without a loss,” she said. Well, so far, they have.
The team had Friday off, which they spent with family, before gearing up for Saturday’s double-header. “I went and saw my boyfriend,” says Jones. “We relaxed. It was awesome.”
It’s all looking quite relaxed for the Canadian women.
Kristina Rutherford writes for Sportsnet.