Jennifer Jones has won her ninth Manitoba Women’s Championship and the defending champion team of Mackenzie Zacharias, Karlee Burgess, Emily Zacharias, and Lauren Lenentine have become the first repeat winner of the Manitoba title since Jones did it with her 2012 and 2013 team.
The Zacharias team, augmented with the addition of Jennifer Jones as their skip, won the Manitoba Scotties Tournament of Hearts presented by Rocky Mountain Equipment Sunday in East St. Paul.
The team, which curls representing St. Vital and Altona and which identifies as having two leads (Emily Zacharias, and Lauren Lenentine) who alternate game to game, went undefeated through the three rounds of play in the championship. A 5W-0L in the preliminary round robin and three more wins in the championship round earned Team Jones a bye to the Sunday afternoon final.
While most anticipated a re-match of the final championship round game, in which the Jones team defeated former teammate Kaitlyn Lawes and her Fort Rouge team, the final game opponent was Team Abby Ackland, skipped by Meghan Walter, representing the host East St. Paul Curling Club.
The East St. Paul team won three games Saturday, including an evening tiebreaker win over Beth Peterson and her Assiniboine Memorial team, to advance to the Sunday morning semi-final against Lawes. In the semi-final Team Ackland, led 6-5 after eight ends. They forced Lawes to draw facing a pair and her last stone draw was about a foot heavy in the four foot circle, allowing a steal of one. Up two coming home, Team Ackland kept the pressure on, forcing Lawes to a desperation double kill attempt which jammed giving up another point in an 8-5 Ackland win.
In the final, it was the Jones team which kept continual pressure on the Ackland team. They scored three deuces through the first five ends and then stole two more on the sixth end, en route to an eight end victory.
The champion Jones team will wear the Team Manitoba colours at the national Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Kamloops in mid-February. Kerri Einarson’s Gimli team will be in Kamloops as Team Canada. Team Einarson is #1 on the Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) while Team Jones is CTRS #3.
CurlManitoba awaits confirmation that Kaitlyn Lawes (CTRS #4) and Team Ackland (CTRS #7) will receive wildcard Scotties berths based on other results across the country as the national Scotties field was finalized this weekend.