PENTICTON, B.C. - The women's North America team won two games and tied another Friday to pull into the lead on the second day of the World Financial Group Continental Cup.
The North Americans claimed 2.5 of a possible three points for a 6.5-5.5 advantage against the World team. The first team to claim 30.5 points of the 60 available over the four-day competition will take the title.
The two Canadian teams, skipped by Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg and Edmonton's Heather Nedohin, needed breaks at the end to claim their victories.
Jones scored two in the seventh end to tie her game with Switzerland's Mirjam Ott, but surrendered last-rock advantage. However, Jones was able to get two rocks into the four-foot circle, and Ott was wide with her last-rock double-takeout attempt to give Jones a stolen point and a 6-5 victory.
"Mirjam played fantastic the whole game and basically just missed one shot," said Jones. "It worked out in our favour, but we'll take every point we can get."
Nedohin, meanwhile, was up 4-3 without last rock going into the eighth end against Sweden's Margaretha Sigfridsson. Team World's Maria Prytz had the last rock and a shot for the winning deuce, but overcurled it and settled for one and a 4-4 tie, giving a half-point to each side.
"We were playing for the half-point," said Nedohin. "Yes, we got fortunate that she didn't get her deuce because there was that opportunity, but we made it tough on her. Coming away with 2.5 points is a strong start to the day."
Allison Pottinger's U.S. championship team set the tone in the morning draw with a 9-4 win over Scotland's Eve Muirhead. Pottinger made a double-takeout with her first shot of the eighth end, and then made an open hit to score four to dispatch Muirhead.
"This morning in the locker-room, all the women's teams were like, let's get three wins, let's get some breathing room for the boys," said Pottinger. "With singles, you never know what's going to happen. And it just makes things a little bit easier. It's nice to get some points on the board. It's a momentum shift."
The event continues Friday with women's and men's singles and men's team games.
The winning side receives $52,000 ($2,000 per member, including captain and coach), while the losing side gets $26,000 ($1,000 per member, including captain and coach). As well, the side that generates the highest point total in Sunday's six skins games will receive an additional $13,000.
Each side has won four Continental Cups.