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Jones, Gim remain undefeated heading into KIOTI National playoffs

PICTOU COUNTY, N.S. — Jennifer Jones is all tuned up and on a roll entering the KIOTI National playoffs.

Jones and her team from Winnipeg and Altona, Man., had already clinched a spot in the quarterfinals and kept their unblemished record intact improving to 4-0 following a 6-4 victory over Silvana Tirinzoni’s Swiss squad Friday afternoon at the Pictou County Wellness Centre.

The Canadian club had to sneak into the playoffs two weeks ago at the HearingLife Tour Challenge in Niagara Falls, Ont., but went on a hot streak as Jones captured her 10th career title in the Grand Slam of Curling series.

“It’s much more relaxing than last week where we had to have a good draw to the button and try to get in that way,” Jones said. “It’s nice to go in 4-0 but at the end of the day, all you want to do is make the playoffs and we’re happy to be in.”

With Chelsea Carey subbing at skip, Team Jones also finished runner-up this past weekend in the Stu Sells 1824 Halifax Classic, coincidentally facing Tirinzoni in the final.

“It’s been great. We’ve been working really hard on making some changes to try to be better and I feel like they’re paying off,” Jones said. “To come from Niagara and play well, then play well in Halifax and to come here and play fairly consistently, but still see room for improvement, is a really good sign.”

Tirinzoni, who beat Team Jones 5-3 in the Halifax tour final, opened with the hammer but settled for a single in the first. The four-time reigning world champion picked up a second point in the third though as Jones needed something so strong into the crowded house but opted to throw her last away and concede a single.

Team Tirinzoni had a couple of untimely picks in the fourth end and fourth Alina Pätz was unable to pull off a double takeout with her last that allowed Jones to capitalize big time with an open hit for three and the lead.

Pätz pulled off a super soft tap in the fifth end to get to the button and knot it up 3-all.

Singles back and forth in the sixth and seventh kept it tight to the wire with Jones holding the hammer coming home. She didn’t need to throw a heroic final shot though as she already sat two parked by the button and Pätz’s last over-curled into their own stone.

South Korea’s Team Eun-Ji Gim is also off to the quarterfinals unbeaten at 4-0 after defeating Japan’s Team Satsuki Fujisawa 6-4. Fujisawa fell to a 2-2 record and is below the cutline for playoffs sitting ninth with a 22.6 cm shootout score.

Italy’s Team Stefania Constantini climbed to a 2-2 record with a 6-5 extra-end win over Canada’s Team Clancy Grandy (1-3). Constantini is in good standing to qualify with a 2.98 cm shootout score.

Team Tabitha Peterson topped Team Delaney Strouse 7-4 in a matchup of American squads. Peterson (1-3) went out on a high note while Strouse (0-4) finished winless.

KIOTI National: Scores | Shootout Standings | Draw Schedule | Broadcast Schedule


The KIOTI National continues with the final men’s round-robin draw at 3 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. PT on Sportsnet, Sportsnet+ (Canada) and (international).


The KIOTI National is the second event of the Grand Slam of Curling season featuring 16 of the top men’s teams and 16 of the top women’s teams from around the world. … Each team plays four round-robin games with the top eight advancing to Saturday’s quarterfinals. … The semifinals are also on tap Saturday with both finals scheduled for Sunday.