Homan rink's end is just a beginning

JOE PAVIA -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:45 AM ET

The kids were all right.

Someday, they'll be a whole lot better than that.

So says Shannon Kleibrink, the 2006 Olympic bronze medallist, who ended the run of the junior Rachel Homan rink yesterday at the John Shea Insurance Canada Cup women's curling qualifier.

Homan's City View crew, which also included vice Emma Miskew, second Alison Kreviazuk and lead Nikki Johnston, was the last local hope in the event.

They didn't go down easily.

But Homan's mettle was tested against the veteran Kleibrink squad in the third C-flight match at the Rideau Curling Club. The Calgary team score four in end three when the Homan elected to try an unsuccessful runback.

Despite being somewhat dispirited, the Ottawa foursome only gave up two more to Kleibrink in dropping a 6-4 decision. Kleibrink left the ice impressed by her young foes.

"They're going to be great," she said.

"That skip, she can throw. At that age (17), I wasn't even close to being that good."

After dropping its opener, Team Homan ran off three straight wins before running into another youthful rink, skipped by Carrie Lindner of Niagara-on-the-Lake, in a B-flight final yesterday morning.

But the showdown for the last B-side qualifying berth was more of a letdown. The first end set up badly for the Ottawa squad when Homan's last rock drew short of the rings, resulting in Lindner scoring three points. Homan couldn't master draw weight, allowing Lindner to score multiple points in four different frames in a 10-4 win.

Said Lindner: "The ice was very tricky, it was really straight and she kind of got caught up in that."

Homan said "the ice was fudging early on, so it was hard to judge the weight and hard for the sweepers to judge."

Winnipeg's Jennifer Jones, Cathy King of Edmonton and Crystal Webster of Calgary were the first to secure championship round berths and did it the most direct way by winning the A flights on Saturday. Calgarians Heather Rankin, Renelle Bryden and Cheryl Bernard all attained B spots.

Another Winnipegger, Kristy Jenion, deuced Kelley Law of Vancouver to defeat Saturday night, winning 8-5, to give her one of the three remaining B money berths. The loss sent Law to a C-flight semi-final matchup against Winnipeg's Karen Porritt. Tied at seven in the 10th, Law elected to guard.

Steals win

Both teams thought Law had shot rock. Porritt missed her angle raise, forcing a measurement. It turned out the rink from friendly Manitoba was shot and stole the win.

Then Porritt went up against New Brunswick provincial champion Andrea Kelly yesterday afternoon, with one of four C-side spots up for grabs. Porritt struck early, posting a deuce in the first end then stealing a trio of points, with Porritt advancing 8-4.

Sherry Anderson took another B spot in a close Saturday game against Kathy Brown of Sutton. Newfoundland's Heather Strong eliminated Brown yesterday morning in their basement semi-final, thereby advancing to the second C-side final vs. the Quebec champion, Eve Belisle. They played a very conservative game that resulted in a 5-4 Strong victory.

The reigning national champion, Kelly Scott of Kelowna, B.C., hung in to face Maple's Colleen Madonia in the last qualifier from the basement flight. Scott visited all the flights quickly in the bonspiel, but rose to the challenge yesterday morning by defeating Barb Spencer 10-5 in the semi. Madonia eliminated P.E.I.'s Suzanne Gaudet 10-2 in the same draw.

Perhaps Scott was lulled into a false sense of security when she was up 5-0 by the third end. Team Madonia stole two ends then added three in the seventh, hanging on to win 9-8.

"Their skip played lights out, she didn't miss a thing," said Scott.

Results from last night's opening games in the championship round weren't available at press time. Eight rinks will still be alive this morning.

GAME TIMES: All of today's games take place at the Rideau. The quarter-finals begin at 9 a.m., the semi-finals are set for 1:30 p.m. and the final goes at 6. Rogers TV presents tape-delayed coverage of all rounds beginning at 1 p.m.


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