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Jones, Lawes families find support in each other after personal losses

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — Jennifer Jones is two wins away making Scotties history.  

And should she win both of her games on Sunday, she’ll be winningest skip in Scotties history with seven titles – currently tied with Colleen Jones with six.

But the veteran skip from Winnipeg, Team Wild Card this year, has been playing with a heavy heart.

There have been so many times throughout this year’s event Jones has looked into the stands for her father, Larry.

He’s not there.

Larry Jones died suddenly this past May. He was Jennifer’s biggest fan and sparked her interest in the game – Larry also coached Jennifer during her first Scotties win in 2005.

“It’s been tough. I’ll be honest,” Jones said. “After we won the Wild Card game I looked up for my dad and he wasn’t there. You kind of sometimes forget. I feel like he’s out there with me. Every time I curl I feel super close to my dad.”

Sitting in the stands though cheering on her daughter is Carol Jones. Larry and Carol were married for 53 years. They sat beside each other for hundreds of hours of curling.

“My husband and I traveled to all these curling events. Every event over the years,” Carol said.

“Some tearful moments. But the curling community is amazing.”

The ‘Thelma and Louise’ of curling

This year, Carol is sitting beside Cheryl Lawes at the Scotties.

The two have been seatmates at big curling events before – during the 2014 Olympics in Sochi they became good luck charms.

“No matter who was sitting in the seat beside her, I had to get them out because I needed to sit beside her,” Cheryl said. “And I did for the whole Olympics and that’s why we won.”

Now they’re reunited and have rekindled a friendship. Losing a husband and father is something Cheryl and Kaitlyn know all too well.

Keith Lawes, who like Larry Jones for Jennifer, got Kaitlyn involved in curling at a very young age. He loved curling and was so passionate about it. In 2007, when Kaitlyn was just 18 years old, Keith died.

Now all of these years later Carol and Cheryl are providing comfort for each other at the Scotties while cheering on their daughters.

Carol Jones, left, and Cheryl Lawes have been side-by-side cheering on their daughters at the Scotties this week. (Devin Heroux/CBC Sports)

“When Carol was starting to go through her journey, and you could tell Larry was ill, I tried to give her some guidance,” Cheryl said.

“And just to be there for a shoulder to cry on.”

There have been many tears and tough days for the two. But they’ve seemed to find a new energy being in each other’s company in Moose Jaw – they’re actually having the time of their lives right now.

“I’m Thelma,” says Cheryl.

“And I’m Louise,” says Carol, laughing.

The two have been dancing around the stands to music, cheering their daughters on wildly, laughing and leaning together when rocks coming sliding down the ice.

“We’ve formulated a very strong friendship and obviously a very strong support for our girls,” Carol said.

“She did grab my knee the other day. It helps to have somebody that you can lean on when there’s a big shot.”

Joy for Jennifer and Kaitlyn

Carol and Cheryl having as much fun as they are at this year’s Scotties has eased the minds of Jennifer and Kaitlyn – to know their mothers have each other while they’re playing means everything to them.

“I texted my mom last night and asked if she was having fun because I haven’t seen her that much. She said, ‘fun? I can’t stop laughing.'” Kaitlyn said.

Cheryl Lawes, left, and Carol Jones position themselves directly behind Jennifer and Kaitlyn’s sheet, watching every shot with laser like focus, hanging on every rock. (Devin Heroux/CBC Sports)

“It makes me so happy. They have so much energy. They seem younger. They’re having a blast and that’s all I could ask for.”

Jones gets emotional when she thinks about the curling journey she’s been on with her parents and now the past decade with Kaitlyn.

“It’s my mom’s first Scotties without my dad. For her to come and see her laughing and having fun means the absolute world to me,” she said. “It’s amazing that our moms can share this together.”

Carol and Cheryl position themselves directly behind Jennifer and Kaitlyn’s sheet, watching every shot with laser like focus, hanging on every rock.

“We make rocks curl. We make rocks crash on a guard,” Cheryl says, laughing.

“Thank god for her. She’s been a great, true friend,” Carol said.

Jennifer beams when she sees her mom having as much fun as she is.

“I have a tremendous mom. She’s the best person in the world,” Jennifer said. “All I want to see is her smiling. Curling brings us so much joy in our family, but I really think it’s been an amazing healing process for my mom.”

Jones vs. Homan battle awaits

That last spot in Scotties Final on Sunday night will be decided in a semifinal game between Jones and Rachel Homan.

Homan defeated Northern Ontario’s Krista McCarville on Saturday to advance to within one game of the championship battle.

It’s been quite the last number of seasons for Homan and her team out of Ottawa. After their disappointment of the Olympics, they lost year’s Scotties final in dramatic fashion by giving up steals in the 10th end and then an extra end.

Those tough losses are valuable lessons.

“Everything you go through changes you and helps you grow as a person,” Homan said.

“We feel like we’re right there.”

Homan’s lead, Lisa Weagle, says they’ve put those losses behind them and are focused on winning a fourth Scotties title.

“The only thing you can do is learn from it. We’ve taken what we can from that and figured out how we can be stronger and better,” she said.

This iteration of Team Homan made their Scotties debut five years ago in Moose Jaw.

Homan says it’d be a fitting place for them to win again.

“We’re going to give it everything we have. If it’s good enough, awesome. If it isn’t, we didn’t leave anything behind,” she said.

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Homan, Einarson, Jones starting to pull away atop Scotties championship standings

Manitoba, Ontario and the Jennifer Jones wild-card team began separating themselves from the pack at the Canadian women’s curling championship Thursday.

The trio opened the championship round with wins to get to 7-1 records. No other team had more than five wins heading into the evening draw.

“Any of the teams that are on that bubble… if we can get them down a little more that certainly adds a level of comfort,” said wild-card vice Kaitlyn Lawes.

“But you still just have to try and just focus on yourselves, not worry about what everyone else is doing out there and see where the cards fall in the end.”

The top four teams from each pool carried their records with them into the championship round, which determines Saturday’s four Page playoff teams.

Northern Ontario’s Krista McCarville, Saskatchewan’s Robyn Silvernagle and Prince Edward Island’s Suzanne Birt had 5-4 records.

WATCH | Silvernagle reaches championship round:

Saskatchewan skip Robyn Silvernagle beat New Brunswick’s Andrea Crawford in a tiebreaker, 9-7 in an extra end, to advance to the championship round at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. 0:43

Defending champion Chelsea Carey and B.C.’s Corryn Brown both fell to 4-4 with losses.

The championship round was incorporated into the format of the national women’s and men’s curling championship in 2018.

Instead of a straight round-robin in which each team plays all others, 16 teams are divided into two seven-game pools with eight emerging for the championship round.

Three-time champion Homan is experiencing the format at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts a second year. Ontario lost in last year’s final to Carey.

Her team didn’t play in the 2018 Hearts because her Ottawa foursome was otherwise occupied competing in the Olympic Games.

“You’re playing all the top teams at the end of the week versus just finishing off your pool,” Homan observed.

“It’s definitely a little bit different than it’s been in the past and even more important to play well at the end.”

Making it to Sunday’s semifinal and final requires a second wind for the championship round, Einarson said.

“It was pretty funny in the car on the way here. It was ‘OK girls, only seven more games.’ We were like ‘Oh my god, it’s like starting a whole spiel again.’ It’s a long gruelling ten days, holy man,” the Manitoba skip said.

“Mentally, physically, it’s tough out there. It’s a grind. That’s why the off-season training is key.”

Einarson doubled Brown 8-4, while Homan defeated McCarville 9-4.

Silvernagle stole a point in the ninth and 10th ends to edge Birt 8-7.

Six-time Canadian champion Jones stole eight points in the first three ends en route to a 10-5 thumping of defending champion Carey.

WATCH | Brown advances with tiebreaker win:

Corryn Brown’s B.C. rink defeated Nova Scotia’s Mary-Anne Arsenault 5-4 in a tiebreaker to advance to the championship round at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. 0:35

The stones had been sandpapered — the bottoms sanded so the rocks grab pebble and curl more.

Carey says she was fooled by the change in the first end when she gave up a steal of four.

“I had a rock that curled,” she explained. “We threw that set earlier in the week and I liked my rocks, but they sanded them. Now that rock curled all of a sudden. Overcurls in the first end. Game is basically over.”

Carey would have preferred to shake hands before the mandated eight ends and save her energy for the next game.

“The minimum ends is unfortunate,” Carey said. “I think that should be a judgement call when all three other games are close, we shouldn’t have to play eight in my opinion.”

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Jones hands Carey 1st loss at Scotties, but loses heavyweight tilt to Homan

Team Canada's Jennifer Jones did not look like a six-time Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion during the preliminary round at Centre 200.

The arrival of the championship round Thursday afternoon appeared to change things.

With a delicate tapback for three in the seventh end, vintage Jones had returned and she carried it through a 10-8 win over Alberta's Chelsea Carey.

After a week of near-misses, feather ticks and so-so play, Jones looked sparked.

The slumping body language was gone. High-fives with teammates Kaitlyn Lawes, Jocelyn Peterman and Dawn McEwen were firmer. The smiles were back.

"It felt like — finally," Jones said.

WATCH | Rachel Homan takes win over defending champion Jones:

Rachel Homan defeated Jennifer Jones by a narrow 7-6 margin in the championship round of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. 1:03

Her team stole a pair in the eighth end and Jones closed it out with a confident hit in the 10th to hand Carey her first loss of the competition.

"Honestly I've felt like I've thrown a lot of good rocks and they just haven't worked out," Jones said. "My draw to the button pre-game picks. It just felt like one of those weeks where everything that could go against us did.

"To make that big three — and it was a tough shot — the girls swept it great. That was a big turning point."

Jones improved to 5-3 in the opening draw for the eight teams who made the cut for the championship round with the win over Carey. But she still has her work cut out for her moving forward after falling 9-6 to Ontario's Rachel Homan in Thursday's evening draw.

WATCH | Silvernagle leads Saskatchewan past Northern Ontario at Scotties:

Robyn Silvernagle skipped her team to an 11-5 win in the opening match of the Championship Round at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. 0:40

Carey, the 2016 Scotties champion, fell to 7-2 overall with back-to-back losses on Thursday, including a 10-6 defeat against P.E.I.'s Suzanne Birt.

"We know we're going to get a loss," she said. "It's kind of good to get it over with," Carey said after the Jones draw.

Saskatchewan's Robyn Silvernagle posted an 11-5 victory over Northern Ontario's Krista McCarville, British Columbia's Sarah Wark stole a point in the 10th end for a 9-8 win over Birt and Homan defeated Team Wild Card's Casey Scheidegger 9-2 to round out the afternoon draws.

British Columbia skip Sarah Wark, pictured, defeated Manitoba's Tracy Fleury 8-5 to advance to the championship pool Thursday morning in Sydney, N.S., at the national women's curling championship. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

Silvernagle and Homan are tied with Carey atop the standings with 7-2 records. Scheidegger, Birt and McCarville are second at 6-3.

"We've got a ton of tough games ahead so we've got to keep putting the pedal down," Homan said.

Wark eliminated Manitoba's Tracy Fleury earlier in the day in a tiebreaker. She's at 5-4 alongside Jones at the bottom of the standings after being toppled 8-6 by Silvernagle in evening play.

WATCH | B.C. rookie Wark wins Scotties tiebreaker:

British Columbia's Sarah Wark earned the final spot in the championship round at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, defeating Tracy Fleury's Manitoba rink 8-5 in a tiebreaker. 0:45

Preliminary round records carried over into the championship round, which runs through Friday night.

The top four teams will qualify for the Page Playoffs starting Saturday. The semifinal and final will be played Sunday.

Jones is looking to set a record with a seventh Scotties title as a skip. She shares the current mark with Colleen Jones.

The winning team will represent Canada at the March 16-24 world women's curling championship in Silkeborg, Denmark.

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Jennifer Jones upset by P.E.I.'s Birt, New Brunswick's Crawford at Scotties

Prince Edward Island skip Suzanne Birt is not intimidated on the ice, no matter who the opposition might be.

She used an aggressive style against six-time Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion Jennifer Jones on Monday and it paid off with an 8-6 victory at Centre 200.

"I think Suzanne [going] back to her junior days has just had 'it,' especially when she has draw weight," said P.E.I. coach Mitch O'Shea. "I think she feels like she can make everything.

"Her confidence is pretty good right now so it'll be good going through the rest of the week."

Birt continued her solid play in the evening with an 8-4 win over Yukon's Nicole Baldwin while Jones dropped an 9-6 decision to New Brunswick's Andrea Crawford.

A world junior champion in 2001, Birt won a bronze medal at her first Scotties appearance in 2003. She improved to 2-9 lifetime against Jones, with the other victory coming at the 2011 national playdowns.

"I just think we put a little more pressure on," Birt said. "We were getting our rocks in good spots and made them try to make shots. They struggled [with] a few shots early on so we just kept the pressure on and tried to capitalize."

WATCH | Jones, Canada cap dismal day with loss to New Brunswick

It was a day to forget for Jones and Team Canada at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. After losing to Suzanne Birt of P.E.I. earlier in the afternoon, Jones fell to New Brunswick's Andrea Crawford 8-7 for her 2nd loss of the day. 0:34

Jones scored a pair in the opening end before Birt posted three straight deuces thanks to a pair of steals. The teams exchanged singles until Jones stole a pair in the eighth end to make it a one-point game.

After a blank, Birt had hammer in the 10th and won it with a single when Jones's final stone overcurled. Jones tried a tap to lie two after Birt drew a piece of the button with her first throw.

"I threw good weight and unfortunately it just got to the middle and the speed came off," Jones said. "It should never have been light just based on the time. We've got to get a little bit better at figuring that out."

'Not as sharp as we'd like'

All four members of the Winnipeg foursome — Jones, lead Dawn McEwen, second Jocelyn Peterman and third Kaitlyn Lawes — struggled at times in the early game.

Peterman flashed a throw in the seventh end and McEwen hogged her first stone in the ninth. Jones finished with a weak shooting percentage of 58 per cent.

The veteran skip improved slightly to 63 per cent in the night game.

"It's just one of those days that you just want to forget and move on to tomorrow," Jones said. "It's a long event."

Birt, a 37-year-old Charlottetown resident, has played in six events this season and is ranked 25th in the country. She beat Crawford to win a World Curling Tour event last December and topped Veronica Smith in last month's provincial championship.

Birt is making her first Scotties appearance since 2016. Her lineup includes third Marie Christianson, second Meaghan Hughes and lead Michelle McQuaid.

"I think if we get on a roll, we can easily do some damage moving forward," Christianson said.

Galusha leads team to win

In the other night games, Team Wild Card's Casey Scheidegger beat Kelli Sharpe of Newfoundland and Labrador 8-5 and Kerry Galusha of the Northwest Territories defeated Saskatchewan's Robyn Silvernagle 9-4.

Birt, Scheidegger and Galusha lead Pool B at 3-1. Jones, Silvernagle and Crawford are next at 2-2.

WATCH | Silvernagle, Saskatchewan fend off Team Wild Card

It took a takeout in the 10th end from Robyn Silvernagle, but her Saskatchewan rink improved to 2-1 to join the log jam atop Pool B with the 8-6 win over Team Wild Card in Draw 6. 0:30

Two Pool A teams remained unbeaten after the afternoon matchups. Ontario's Rachel Homan and Alberta's Chelsea Carey posted victories to improve to 4-0.

WATCH | Team Alberta needs extra ends to maintain perfect record

Chelsea Carey's hit and stick in the 11th end sealed a 9-8 win over Team B.C. in Draw 7 at the 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. 0:26

Homan thumped Quebec's Gabrielle Lavoie 12-2 while Carey needed an extra end for a 9-8 win over British Columbia rookie Sarah Wark.

"For us to be able to just hang in there and drag it out, I think it says a lot about the fight that we have in us," Wark said. "So I think if we can put together a good game — all four of us players altogether — we're going to give some teams a real good run for their money."

Manitoba's Tracy Fleury defeated Nova Scotia's Jill Brothers 9-4 and Northern Ontario's Krista McCarville beat Nunavut's Jenine Bodner 9-3.

Wark was alone in third place at 3-1, with Northern Ontario and Manitoba next at 2-2.

The top four teams from each pool in the preliminary round will qualify for the championship round starting Thursday. The playoffs start Saturday and the final will be played Sunday.

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Jennifer Jones eyes history as Scotties gets underway in Nova Scotia

SYDNEY, N.S. — Jennifer Jones could never have imagined what was in store for her and her teams when she set out on her curling journey all those years ago. 

This week at Centre 200 Jones will be making her 14th Scotties appearance — her first was in 2002 at the Keystone Centre in Brandon, Man. 

"I thought then that if I never got back to a Scotties my dreams were fulfilled," Jones said. "And then we won in 2005 and I thought we were the luckiest team in the world."

Jones is now looking to make curling history. Should she find a way to win this year's Scotties, it will be her seventh and will set the record for most titles. She won her sixth last year to tie Nova Scotia skip Colleen Jones at six.

"Would it mean something to me? Absolutely," she said. "To set a record like that would be unbelievable. But if I don't, it's not something I would have any regrets about."

Jones is wearing the Canadian colours as reigning champ. She joins 15 other teams all vying for this year's title. 

"It's a great field. It's an outstanding field this year and it's always fun to play the best teams," Jones said. 

The most formidable opponent standing in the way of Jones' pursuit of history is Rachel Homan and her team from Ottawa. They've been nearly perfect this season on the Slam Tour, having won the previous three events. 

Ottawa skip Rachel Homan has been lights out on the Slam Tour this season, winning the past three events. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

Homan has been laser-focused this season and seems to be playing with a renewed passion one year after her Olympic disappointment when she failed to win a medal. Still early in her career, Homan is looking for her fourth Canadian title in the past seven years. 

Tournament format 

This is the second year for the new Scotties format that features two pools of eight teams. In the past, there were 12 teams at the Scotties and each team played one another once in a round-robin format. 

The teams are now split into two pools and play seven games in the preliminary round. The top four teams in each pool advance to the championship round. 

Pool A

  • Ontario, Rachel Homan
  • Manitoba, Tracy Fleury
  • Alberta, Chelsea Carey 
  • British Columbia, Sarah Wark
  • Northern Ontario, Krista McCarville
  • Nova Scotia, Jill Brothers
  • Quebec, Gabrielle Lavoie 
  • Nunavut, Jenine Bodner

Pool B

  • Team Canada, Jennifer Jones 
  • Wild Card, Casey Scheidegger
  • Saskatchewan, Robyn Silvernagle
  • Prince Edward Island, Suzanne Birt 
  • Northwest Territories, Kerry Galusha
  • New Brunswick, Andrea Crawford 
  • Yukon, Nicole Baldwin 
  • Newfoundland/Labrador, Kelli Sharpe

​The four teams who advance from Pool A will play the four teams from Pool B on Thursday and Friday, and then the top four, with preliminary results included in the win-loss record, will move into the traditional page playoffs beginning Saturday. 

The championship game goes Sunday, Feb. 24. The winning team will wear the maple leaf for Canada at the world championship in Denmark and return as Team Canada at next year's tournament in Moose Jaw, Sask. 

Scheidegger wins Wild Card

The new Wild Card playoff game has added an extra layer of drama to the Scotties, with the two highest-ranked teams who didn't qualify through provincials playing a one-game showdown to earn a spot in the national championship. 

That pitted Team Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge against Kerri Einarson of Gimli, Man., on Friday night. 
Both teams struggled with the ice early on in the game and at times seemed nervous with the pressure of the game.

WATCH | Scheideger wins 16th and final spot in Scotties:

Scheidegger defeated Kerri Einarson 7-6 to claim the 16th and final spot in the main draw of the 2019 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. 1:14

Scheideger missed her last shot in the fourth end to surrender the first steal of the game and trailed Einarson 3-1. 

Scheidegger would tie it up at 3-3 after scoring two in the fifth and then took control of the game after a steal of two in the seventh. But Einarson responded with two in the eighth end, stole one in the ninth to tie the game 6-6. 

In the final end, Scheidegger won it on her final rock, drawing to the edge of the button to secure a 7-6 victory and book the final ticket into the Scotties.  

"We're excited and it's very emotional," she said after the win. "The girls were super emotional. It's like winning a provincial final. We've got the extra game on the ice and I think that can be an advantage."

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Roughriders coach/GM Chris Jones leaving to take NFL job in Cleveland

Saskatchewan Roughriders coach/GM Chris Jones is leaving the CFL team to take a coaching job with the NFL's Cleveland Browns.

The move comes one week after Jones signed a one-year extension with the Roughriders, taking him through the 2020 season.

That deal reportedly contained an out clause if Jones landed an NFL job.

Jones signed the extension with the Roughriders after Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported at least two NFL teams had "done extensive research" on the veteran CFL coach.

In an interview with The Canadian Press last week, Jones said he had not spoken with any NFL teams.

"I've got a great job and I'll be honest with you, I've been in this league for 17 years," he said. "I love this league, it's been extremely good to me and my family and I've worked for some great organizations, some great coaches, some great presidents. I respect the league extremely highly."

New Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens does have a connection with Jones. The latter was a graduate assistant with the Alabama Crimson Tide during Kitchens's final year as a quarterback with the NCAA team in 1997.

Jones, a 51-year-old native of South Pittsburgh, Tenn., joined the Roughriders in December 2015, one week after guiding the Edmonton Eskimos to the Grey Cup as head coach.

The Riders steadily improved under Jones, registering five, 10 and 12 regular-season wins in each of his three seasons with the franchise. He was named CFL coach of the year in 2018 after a 12-6 season, but the Roughriders lost the West Division semifinal against the visiting Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

In the interview last week, Jones was looking ahead to the 2019 Riders season.

"We've been really busy as an organization," Jones said. "We've got some unfinished business and it's time to go to work."

Jones came to the CFL in 2002, taking a job as defensive line coach of the Montreal Alouettes. He moved up to defensive co-ordinator the following year and stayed in that role until taking the same job with the Calgary Stampeders in 2008.

The Toronto Argonauts hired Jones as defensive co-ordinator and assistant head coach in 2012. He stayed there for two years before becoming head coach of the Eskimos in 2014.

Jones has won four Grey Cups as a coach.

The Roughriders will become the fourth CFL team with a new head coach for the 2019 season. Corey Chamblin of the Argos, DeVone Claybrooks of the B.C. Lions and Orlondo Steinauer of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats are the others.

The Roughriders did sign assistant vice-president of football operations Jeremy O'Day through 2020 earlier this month. Paul Jones joined the organization as the assistant GM with a two-year deal while director of football administration Mike Davis and football operations co-ordinator Jordan Greenly also both return.

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Finn Jones Reacts to Netflix Cancelling 'Iron Fist' After Two Seasons

After two seasons, Netflix announced on Friday that it had decided to pull the plug on their Marvel series Iron Fist. Now, Finn Jones, the star behind the show’s titular martial arts superhero, is reflecting on the news.

“I have an enormous amount of love and respect for everyone involved with the last two seasons of this show,” he captioned a photo of himself in the character’s green-and-yellow garb. “Defending the greatest city in the world amongst the most talented and warmest people has been a privilege and a joy. Blessed to have taken this journey and grateful for the ongoing support.”

Besides the show’s two seasons, the 30-year-old actor also appeared as the Immortal Iron Fist in The Defenders miniseries and the second season of Luke Cage. And although the show is cancelled, his character will definitely be returning on other shows, as Netflix hinted in their cancellation statement.

“Marvel’s Iron Fist will not return for a third season on Netflix. Everyone at Marvel Television and Netflix is proud of the series and grateful for all of the hard work from our incredible cast, crew and showrunners,” Netflix said, via Vanity Fair. “We’re thankful to the fans who have watched these two seasons, and for the partnership we’ve shared on this series. While the series on Netflix has ended, the immortal Iron Fist will live on.” 

Daredevil just released season threeand Jessica Jones, The Punisher and Luke Cage are all gearing up for another season. And another possible miniseries from The Defenders reveals that Marvel Television’s partnership with Netflix is still flying high despite this cancellation news.

Get more TV and film updates down below. 


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