GANGNEUNG, South Korea — Jennifer Jones’s quest to repeat as world women’s curling championship ended Saturday by the slimmest of margins.
Jones narrowly missed the game-winning shot in the 10th end, and Anette Norberg responded with a draw for one in the 11th as Sweden knocked off Canada 6-5 in 3-versus-4 Page playoff action.
The loss drops the Jones foursome into Sunday’s bronze-medal game against Angelina Jensen of Denmark. Jensen dropped Saturday’s semifinal 7-6 to Norberg, who will face China’s Bingyu Wang in Sunday’s final (TSN, 2 a.m. ET).
Trailing 4-3 in the 10th end, Jones made a hit-and-roll behind cover with her first shot to lie one. Norberg sat her final stone on top of Canada’s to lie shot rock, and Jones attempted to nudge the Swede’s shot just far enough away to lie two.
Her shooter sat on the button, but the second Canada stone finished less than an inch away from being second shot, limiting Jones to a single point.
That gave Sweden last rock in the extra end, and Norberg took advantage, drawing down to Jones’s shot stone in the four-foot for the victory.
Jones said she thought the game was over in regulation.
“I thought we made my last one in 10,” said Jones, who dropped a 7-4 decision to Norberg in the round-robin. “It was a really hard shot, but I thought we made it. It curls a sixteenth of an inch less, and we make it.
“It’s just not meant to be. Hopefully we’ll come out and play well tomorrow and try to win that bronze medal.”
Jones, third Cathy Overton-Clapham, second Jill Officer and lead Dawn Askin controlled the low-scoring game until a disastrous ninth end that saw Norberg, a two-time world champion and the reigning Olympic gold medallist, earn her first lead of the game.
After Jones jammed a takeout attempt on her first shot, Norberg followed with a perfect centre-line guard. With Sweden lying two, Jones attempted a comearound but rubbed a stone out in front, giving up the only multi-point end of the game.
“I don’t know, the ice just got straighter,” said Jones. “I just didn’t pick up on that. Obviously it just kind of hung out there. Even if we give up a steal of one, we still control the game.
“That’s one shot I’ll remember.”
The loss was particularly frustrating for a Canadian team that believed it should have defended its title.
“We shouldn’t have had two losses at the end of the round-robin,” said Overton-Clapham. “I thought we were the best team here this week, and unfortunately it just didn’t go our way.”
About a dozen Canadian flags could be seen in the crowd of more than 400 at the Gangneung International Ice Rink, and Jones gave the boisterous throng a wave following the game.
Canada took a 1-0 lead in the second end when Jones made a hit and roll but lost her shooter. Jones added to the lead in the fifth, when Norberg’s final shot crashed on a guard to give Canada a steal of one.
The teams traded singles in the sixth and seventh ends, and Norberg closed to within one in the eighth when she attempted a double-takeout for two points but lost her shooter, settling for a single.
Jones said the defeat wouldn’t have any impact on her team’s approach to December’s Olympic trials, where the Winnipeg foursome is expected to be a heavy favourite to represent Canada at next year’s Winter Games in Vancouver.
“We’re always hungry,” said Jones. “A loss doesn’t make you hungrier. We just like to play and like to compete.
“It’s just fun to be here. We want to come back.”
In the semifinal, Norberg broke out to a 4-1 lead on the strength of a two-point steal in the third end.
Jensen rallied for three straight points over the next two ends, and the teams traded deuces in the seventh and eighth.
Holding the hammer in the 10th, Norberg made no mistake, scoring a single to advance to the championship.