Canada moves to 8-2 with win over Italy at world womens curling championship

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GANGNEUNG, South Korea - Jennifer Jones can hardly be blamed for feeling like she has a target on her back.
The Winnipeg skip was given all she could handle in Draw 15 action at the world women's curling championship Thursday, pulling out an 8-5 win over Italy's Diana Gaspari. The victory moves the Canadians (8-2) into the Page playoffs, as they can finish no worse than third in the round-robin.
Jones, third Cathy Overton-Clapham, second Jill Officer and lead Dawn Askin needed to produce one of their strongest games of the tournament against Gaspari (1-10), who hung around for seven ends before fading down the stretch.
"Every team's been playing their best game of the week against us," said Jones, who curled at a scorching 96 per cent. "Italy played well. We had them in a little bit of trouble, but both teams played well."
China's Bingyu Wang (9-1) is likely headed for the 1-2 Page playoff game after edging Sweden's Anette Norberg 8-7 for her ninth consecutive win. Wang's final round-robin game goes later Thursday against Norway's Marianne Rorvik (1-9).
Denmark's Angelina Jensen is tied for second with Canada at 8-2, followed by Norberg at 7-4 and Switzerland's Mirjam Ott at 6-4. Jones faces Ott in her final round-robin game Thursday night.
Jones opened the Italy game with a draw for two, but had her final shot of the second end hit debris on the ice and come up well short of the house. Gaspari followed with an open hit for three, and Italy seized the lead.
Jones settled for a single point in the third but surged back ahead after Gaspari came up short of the rings on her final shot of the fourth, giving up a steal of two.
Italy scored a single in the fifth and stole one point in the seventh when Jones was off by a hair on her final-shot draw for a piece of the button.
Canada went back ahead for good in the eighth after Gaspari narrowly missed a double-takeout, leaving Jones an easy draw for two.
The win - and how it was achieved - was especially important to Jones after struggling in both games Wednesday, squeaking out a win over South Korea before squandering a late lead in a loss to Denmark.
"We had to come out and win this game," said Jones. "I was quite disappointed with that game last night. But we bounced back, and we're still in there. You just have to make the playoffs."
Norberg closed out her round-robin schedule with an 11-2 rout of Rorvik in Draw 16. Norberg, the two-time world champion and defending Olympic gold medallist, opened up a 6-1 lead through five ends and put the game away with a five-spot in the seventh.
Jensen kept pace with the Canadians thanks to a 6-2 win over Scotland's Eve Muirhead (5-6). Jensen, the 2007 runner-up, broke a 1-1 tie with two in the fifth end, and stole two in the eighth to ice things.
Ott kept her playoff hopes alive with an 8-5 triumph over Gaspari. Ott, the reigning European champion, opened with a deuce in the first end, added two in the fourth and another two in the sixth to cruise to the win.
The other Draw 16 game saw Germany's Andrea Schopp (5-5) post a 9-6 victory over South Korea's Mi-Yeon Kim (3-8).
In other Draw 15 action, Muirhead earned a 7-6 win over Deb McCormick of the U.S. (4-6), while Russia's Margarita Fomina (5-5) beat Kim 10-8.

Geographic location: Italy, Canada, South Korea Winnipeg Denmark China Sweden Norway Switzerland Scotland Germany U.S. Russia

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