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Hasselborg tops Jones to win Boost National women’s title

CONCEPTION BAY SOUTH, N.L. — Team Anna Hasselborg of Sweden captured their second consecutive Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling women’s title this season defeating Winnipeg’s Team Jennifer Jones 7-3 for the Boost National women’s championship Sunday at CBS Arena.

It’s the fourth career championship in the series for Hasselborg, third Sara McManus, second Agnes Knochenhauer and lead Sofia Mabergs. The club claimed their first couple back-to-back as well last season and took last month’s KIOTI Tractor Tour Challenge.

Hasselborg, who also successfully defended the European championship last month, earned $35,000 from the $300,000 combined purse plus 12 Pinty’s Cup points.

“It feels really amazing,” Hasselborg said. “To be honest actually, we have struggled with the competition that we had after the Europeans a couple of times. We had a very important chat before going here and setting up how we should tackle this after the Europeans. I’m so proud of the way that we’re doing this mentally and we’ve been better and better every game.”

McManus added: “It’s amazing. We couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season or mid-season. It’s crazy. I’m so happy and so proud of the girls.”

Although Hasselborg fired a stunning 95 per cent to lead all players, she was quick to credit her teammates for their hard work over the past couple of months.

“We’re having a very good few weeks here and everyone is playing really well,” Hasselborg said. “The team is setting up every end perfectly. They’re throwing it so good and giving me so good information. We’re really working good together and trying to get better all of the time. We’re having a lot of fun and it’s working.”

Team Hasselborg opened with the hammer and converted in the first frame drawing for a deuce. Jones settled for a single in the second and fell into deep trouble in the fourth missing a runback double attempt that allowed Hasselborg to draw for a huge score of four and a 6-1 lead.

“It’s huge because this is such a tough team,” Hasselborg said. “How the end was setting up I wasn’t thinking that would be it. Sara made a great come-around and we were a little bit lucky there. It’s huge for the game.”

Even with the five-point gap, Team Hasselborg wasn’t going to ease off of the pedal knowing who they were facing and potentially half a game still to go.

“It’s a long game and everyone knows Jennifer Jones,” McManus said. “She’s really good at keeping the game going to the eighth, so we knew we had to play like one rock at a time. It turned out pretty good.”

Team Jones counted a couple of points in six to cut into the deficit but shook hands after Hasselborg added another one in seven.

“It’s so, so nice,” McManus said. “I’m so proud of the girls. We struggled a little bit like in a couple of the games this week and then once we were in the playoffs we found how we wanted to play. We had so much today.”

Jones has won nine championships in the series and was looking to tie 10-time title winner Rachel Homan for the most in the women’s division.

Earlier, Team Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., also pulled off the double following up their KIOTI Tractor Tour Challenge victory by winning the Boost National men’s title. Jacobs edged out Sweden’s Team Niklas Edin 3-1 in a tight final.

NOTES: The Boost National was the third event and second major of the 2019-20 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season. … Winners in the series also receive berths to the season-ending Humpty’s Champions Cup. Jacobs and Hasselborg already secured their spots when they won the KIOTI Tractor Tour Challenge. … The Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling resumes in the New Year with the 2020 Meridian Canadian Open, Jan. 14-19, at the Gallagher Centre in Yorkton, Sask.