Jennifer Jones beats Sherry Middaugh to win Olympic curling trials
Skip Sherry Middaugh yells to her sweepers on her last shot of the women's semi-final against Rachel Homan at the 2013 Roar Of The Rings championship in Winnipeg, Friday, December 6, 2013. Middaugh defeated Homan 10-4. (John Woods / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Judy Owen, The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, December 7, 2013 12:25PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, December 7, 2013 10:52PM EST
WINNIPEG -- Jennifer Jones had a group hug with her teammates Saturday night after finally earning the right to represent Canada at the Olympics in Sochi, Russia next year with an 8-4 victory over Sherry Middaugh in the Canadian Curling Trials final.
The Winnipeg skip has won four Canadian championships and gold at the 2008 worlds and bronze in 2010.
This was her third Trials event, and the first time she even made the playoffs.
Jones, 39, is supported by third Kaitlyn Lawes, long-time second Jill Officer, Dawn McEwen and alternate Kirsten Wall.
Middaugh, 47, who curls out of Coldwater, Ont., hasn't finished higher than third at a Scotties Tournament of Hearts national championship, but did win one of five Canada Cup events.
Her rink includes third Jo-Ann Rizzo, second Lee Merklinger, lead Leigh Armstrong and alternate Lori Eddy.
In a clash of veterans, Jones scored two three-enders.
For her first triple points, Jones capitalized on a Middaugh mistake in the second end.
Middaugh was heavy on a draw and went through the house. Jones then used her last rock to make a double takeout to the roar of the partisan crowd at MTS Centre.
A draw by Middaugh in the third end made it 3-1, Jones blanked the fourth and then drew for one in the fifth and a 4-1 lead.
Middaugh made a hit and roll for two in the sixth, needing a measurement for the second point.
With Middaugh's last rock sitting on the button, Jones used the hammer for a hit for three to go up 7-4 after the seventh end.
The pair traded single points in the eighth and ninth ends and the crowd gave them a standing ovation in the 10th.
Jones and Middaugh are also connected off the ice.
Jones is a lawyer for National Bank Financial and her partner, Brent Laing, is second for Glenn Howard's rink. She and Laing are parents to a one-year-old daughter, Isabella.
Middaugh is a bookkeeper and married to Wayne Middaugh, the third for Howard's rink.
Jones had defeated Middaugh 9-7 in this week's Roar of the Rings round-robin play.
While Jones finished the round robin 6-1 and earned a bye into the final, Middaugh was 4-3 and had to beat Winnipeg's Chelsea Carey in a tie-breaker and then reigning Canadian champion Rachel Homan of Ottawa 10-4 in the semifinal.
Cheryl Bernard represented Canada at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, winning a silver after a loss to Sweden.