The Canadian women’s curling championship will not include perennial favourite Jennifer Jones.
The five-time national champion lost a playoff game in the Manitoba provincial playdowns Sunday in Winnipeg. Jones fell 8-6 in the semifinal to Darcy Robinson, who lost to Michelle Englot 8-6 in the final.
Jones has skipped in a dozen Scotties Tournaments of Hearts since 2002, including 10 of the last 11. Her team won Olympic gold in 2014.
Englot will skip Manitoba for the first time after calling the shots for Saskatchewan in seven Tournament of Hearts.
She’s a Regina resident, but Curling Canada residency rules allow for teams to have one player from out of province.
Nova Scotia’s Mary Mattatall, New Brunswick’s Melissa Adams, Saskatchewan’s Penny Barker, Alberta’s Shannon Kleibrink and Stacie Curtis of Newfoundland and Labrador also won their respective provincial finals to fill in the field for this year’s national championship Feb 18-26 in St. Catharines, Ont.
They join defending champion Chelsea Carey, Northern Ontario’s Krista McCarville, Prince Edward Island’s Robyn MacPhee, B.C.’s Marla Mallett, Quebec’s Eve Belisle, Yukon’s Sarah Koltun, Kerry Galusha of Northwest Territories and Geneva Chislett of Nunavut, who have already qualified for the Scotties.
The Ontario women’s playdowns conclude next Sunday.
Kleibrink, who skipped Canada to an Olympic bronze in 2006, downed Val Sweeting 6-5 in St. Albert, Alta., on Sunday.
Matatall stole five points in the seventh end en route to a 10-4 win over Jillian Brothers in Halifax. Adams defeated Sarah Mallais 9-6 in Miramichi, N.B., and Barker beat Robyn Silvernagle 10-7 in Melville, Sask.
Curtis doubled Shelley Hardy 8-4 in St. John’s on Saturday.