One of the most consistent and well-known skips is missing from the ice this week. The Jennifer Jones rink is currently competing at the Capital One Canada Cup of Curling this week at Mosaic Place, but is missing their skip. That is because Jones gave birth to a baby girl, Isabella just 16 days ago.
“Jen is glowing and so happy,” said vice-skip Katilyn Lawes.
Lawes moved up to skip and Kirsten Wall from Mississauga, Ont. (formerly at third for Sherry Middaugh’s rink) is now at third, Jill Officer and Dawn Askin are on the front end.
The transition has had its ups and downs for Lawes and she learns to call a game by herself.
“I definitely miss Jennifer, but who better to learn from than playing third for her and having the girls playing front end for me,” she stated. “I feel comfortable out there. They make my job easier and it is a ton of fun. The first half of the season has been a good experience and I am looking forward to when she is going to be back on the ice with us.”
Jones announced she was pregnant in late June with her first child and was on her way to join her team and partner, Brent Laing (who plays second on Glenn Howard’s rink) in Brantford, Ont. earlier this month for the Grand Slam of Curling when her water broke.
Laing lives in Horseshoe Valley, Ont., north of Barrie and although Jones lives in Winnipeg, the two make it work as best they can.
“Right now it works great because she is on maternity leave, but she does most of the travelling. I go to Winnipeg as much as I can. I will go to Winnipeg for Christmas for a week and then we will be in Horseshoe Valley for a week. We just make it work,” he said. “It was challenging when work was going on, especially since I work in the summer as well, but it is definitely a challenge.”
Laing was there for the birth of his daughter and second child — he has a son turning six in February.
“I got to spend a bit of time with Isabella,” he said. “It is hard to be away from the kids, for sure, but once you are playing, it is okay. It is the down time and off time that you feel like you are wasting time and should be at home.”
Saskatchewan’s Stefanie Lawton was the first team to go 4-0 in the tournament as the rink defeated the Jones team 7-5 in the afternoon draw. Jones scored one in the first end, but Lawton had a couple big ends to pull off the victory.
“We just weren’t quite as sharp, but we made the shots when we needed to,” said Lawes.
In the evening draws, Heather Nedohin won 8-3 over Jones and Chelsea Carey won her first in the tournament with an 8-6 win over Cathy Overton-Clapham.
For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.