Gushue dominates Jacobs to win Canadian curling trials and return to Olympics – .

Gushue dominates Jacobs to win Canadian curling trials and return to Olympics – .

SASKATOON – Late misses helped decide a crazy, entertaining and rather shocking women’s final at the Canadian Olympic Curling Trials on Sunday.
Jennifer Jones reversed a golden opportunity to win the game in the 10th end. The timing of Tracy Fleury’s mistake in the extra round proved even more costly.

When the dust settled, Jones escaped with a thrilling 6-5 victory to book his team’s ticket to the Beijing Games.

“We’re here to find each other when you run out,” Jones said. “Not everyone can say that and it’s a real strength of our team. “

Brad Gushue won the men’s title later in the day with a 4-3 victory over Brad Jacobs.

A gasp erupted throughout the SaskTel Center as Jones missed a takeaway for the win – usually a slam dunk for the veteran captain – with his rock that rolled away to leave him just a simple equalizer.

Jones realized halfway through the leaf that the boulder was in trouble. She bellowed furiously at her teammates to try and hold him back but he curled up a bit too much.

A stunned Fleury put her hand over her mouth in astonishment.

“We thought we lost in the 10th, that’s for sure,” said Fleury. “I think Jen does that 99% of the time, this shot. So we felt lucky to be able to go to an extra and we really wanted to be successful there.

“But I didn’t do my last two shots. “

Jones refocused and put pressure on Fleury, hoping to give her one last tough shot. Jones shot the side of the button behind a goalie and Fleury missed a kickback attempt.

Jones called with a guard that Fleury rubbed on his final pitch to give up the decisive point on a steal.

“I felt close, but then it kind of took the loop,” Fleury said.

The men’s final was a close defensive battle that seemed to be heading for an extra ending as well.

Jacobs had a chance to strike for a pair, but he knocked over his last rock a bit and rolled to give Gushue the victory.

“We had to be nearly perfect today to win this game and we weren’t,” said Jacobs.

The teams shut out four of the first seven ends. In the eighth, Jacobs lost the hammer when he stuck on a double takedown attempt and settled for a hit-for-one.

Gushue scored the only 2 of the game in the ninth end and Jacobs couldn’t build enough attacking in the 10th before his failure.

Jones and his team of Kaitlyn Lawes, Jocelyn Peterman, Dawn McEwen and Lisa Weagle competed in the Manitoba Team Showdown with great experience.

Jones won Olympic gold at the Sochi Games in 2014 and won six women’s national titles. Fleury and her team of Selena Njegovan, Liz Fyfe and Kristin MacCuish, made their first appearance in a trials final.

Early nervousness seemed to be a factor.

Exits were common in the first end and Jones quickly put the pressure on to generate a quick flight. Jones buried a draw to force Fleury to tap, but she brushed her own stone and rolled.

Jones also made a few mistakes, sending a draw through the rings in the third end, ultimately settling for a hit for two. Fleury responded with a pair of her own and Lawes made it in the fifth end with a brilliant triple takedown that created a blank.

Fleury’s top-ranked team weren’t as dominant as they had been for most of the round robin.

His perfect 8-0 score gave him the first seed and a day off before the final. Jones was 5-3 in the round robin and defeated Krista McCarville in the semifinals on Saturday.

Jones allowed another run in the sixth end when his draw grazed the shooting stone and settled on the edge of the four-foot ring. One measurement confirmed only one instead of a pair.

Jones decided to hold onto the hammer for the 10th end by giving up a single in the ninth that left Fleury with a 5-4 lead.

The reported attendance was 4,741 for the women’s final, bringing the weekly total for the women’s event to 57,266. The men’s final drew 4,813 spectators for a men’s total of 49,878.

Gushue and Jacobs were tied at 7-1 in the round robin, but Gushue has taken the seed since winning their duel. Jacobs defeated Kevin Koe in the semifinals.

Koe and Rachel Homan skipped the Canadian team’s entries for the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, but both missed the podium. Weagle was Homan’s frontman that year and joined Jones’ rink in March 2020 to form a five-man squad.

This will be the third consecutive Olympic appearance for Lawes, who was Jones’ vice in Sochi and teamed with John Morris to win mixed doubles gold four years later in South Korea.

“Pinch me,” Lawes said. “I am in shock and so happy. “

McEwen was also on the Sochi list.

Jacobs vice Marc Kennedy won gold with Kevin Martin in 2010 and returned to the Games in 2018 with Captain Kevin Koe. Jacobs, EJ Harnden and Ryan Harnden claimed victory in Sochi.

Gushue and vice Mark Nichols won gold together at the 2006 Torino Olympics. Their forward Brett Gallant and Geoff Walker will make their Olympic debuts at the Beijing Games February 4-20.

The Canadian mixed doubles trials are scheduled from December 28 to January 31. 2 in Portage la Prairie, Man.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on November 28, 2021.


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