SAPPORO, Japan — Jennifer Jones kept Canada’s medal streak alive at the women’s world curling championship, but she wasn’t able to end the country’s gold-medal drought.
The Winnipeg skip lost 5-3 to Switzerland’s Alina Patz in Sunday’s championship game, a loss that also ended her bid to become the first reigning Olympic champion to win Canadian and world titles the following season.
Jones, third Kaitlyn Lawes, second Jill Officer and lead Dawn McEwen dug themselves a hole early, unable to put any points on the board until the seventh end and spotting Patz a 4-0 lead.
“I wish we could start the game over again, but that’s just not the way the game goes,” said Jones. “We left it all on the ice, and I couldn’t really ask for ourselves to do anything more than that. We did push them, and I’m proud of the girls for that.”
It’s the sixth straight year a Canadian team has reached the podium at the tournament, a streak that no other country can currently match. But gold has been elusive with Jones being the last Canadian champion in 2008.
Despite the slow start, Jones was poised for a comeback in the 10th end as Patz was facing four Canadian counters when she drew to the button with her final shot.
“We made her make a good shot for the win,” said Jones. “We kind of spotted them four points that I’d like back, but we hung in there and made a good game of it. All the power to them — she made a great draw to the button to win the world championship.”
The Swiss completed a three-game sweep of the Canadians at the tournament, also winning their round-robin and Page playoff encounters.
Unlike the previous two games, during which the Swiss scored first-end deuces, the Patz team, which also included third Nadine Lehmann, second Marisa Winkelhausen and lead Nicole Schwagli, started tentatively.
After a blanked first, Patz had a rare miss in the second when she was heavy on a draw to the four-foot for two and had to settle for a single.
But Jones returned the favour in the third when she was wide with her last-rock takeout, resulting in a rollout and a stolen point for Switzerland.
The Canadians would blank the next two ends and then went hard for the deuce in the sixth. But Lawes was light and tight with a come-around attempt and the Swiss were able to put two rocks into the top four. Jones elected to draw the four-foot and was heavy, resulting in a stolen deuce for Switzerland.
Canada would finally hit the scoreboard with two in the seventh end, and then would pull off a steal in the ninth to cut the margin to one. But it wasn’t enough as Patz secured Switzerland’s third gold in four years.
“It’s a really, really great feeling,” said Patz. “It’s just awesome, I don’t know what to say…so good. I don’t think my family and friends back home will believe it, like me. This is our first time here and it’s just amazing.”
Earlier Sunday, Russia’s Anna Sidorova claimed a bronze medal for the second straight year, cruising to a 13-4 win over 2013 champion Eve Muirhead of Scotland.