Will it be rookie luck?
Rachel Homan’s Ottawa rink heads to its first Ontario Scotties, starting Monday in Thornhill, with high expectations.
The team, except for new lead Lisa Weagle, has seemingly been together forever, but this is a new venture.
Homan is hard-pressed to predict what will happen.
“I’ve never been to women’s provincials, so it’s hard to say,” the 21-year-old said.
The field is headed by four-time champ Krista McCarville. Her Thunder Bay rink has bested Homan two times this season. The grind of a round-robin format can also present plenty of surprises.
“There are some teams that came out of the challenge round that we’ve never played,” said Homan. “It’s surprising that the teams I thought would be the top in Ontario are getting beat more often ... everyone is playing well now.”
Top strategist and former national champion Alison Goring is a contender, as is Peterborough’s Lisa Farnell (with Ottawa third Erin Morrissey).
Homan, third Emma Miskew, second Alison Kreviazuk and Weagle practise every day and play at night. They also work out daily.
“You have to work on the technical, so we don’t go back to bad habits,” said Homan. “You need to work out to last the week, too.”
Added Weagle: “I expected it would be a lot of hard work and it has been, but also we’ve been seeing some good payoffs.”
This is Weagle’s second women’s provincials, so she might be the one on which the rink relies. If this foursome makes the playoffs, look out.
The winner represents Ontario at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Charlottetown starting Feb. 19.
Masters men and women zone winners were: 1A — Betty Anne Baker and Layne Noble, B — Nancy LaSalle and George Ferrall; 2A — Joyce Potter and Ray Pollock, B — Lois Graham and Brian Savill; 3A — Lois Copis; 4A — Betty Bush and Barry Brown, B — Ivan Suddergaard. Bantam zones winners were: 1A — Kaitlyn Jones and Jason Camm, B — Shannon Tatlock and Daniel Lillico; 2A — Kimberly Gannon and Trevor Ferrier, B — Paige Wilson and David Lefebvre; 3A — Lauren Horton and Alex Cormier; B — Evie Fortier and Scott Bowden; 4A — Natalie Gagnon and Mac Calwell, B — Natalie Hoffman and David Brown.
The Ontario Dominion Seniors begin Wednesday in Lindsay. Representing this area are teams skipped by Bryan Cochrane, Dwayne Lowe, Joyce Potter and Cheryl McBain ... The 50th OVCA Mixed Bonspiel begins Thursday at 10 area clubs. The bonspiel is full ... Ottawa’s bid to host the Olympic trials in 2013 has been short-listed. It’s believed Saskatoon and Winnipeg are also in the running. The winner will be announced during the Brier in March.
CURLING THIS WEEKEND
The $100,000 TSN Curling Skins Game features Kevin Koe vs. David Murdoch Saturday at 1 p.m., followed by Kevin Martin facing (there could be worse things to face) Cheryl Bernard at 8. The final begins Sunday at 1 p.m. ... The Dominion Tankard Challenge Rounds take place this weekend -- the east (Oshawa) and the west (Shelburne). The east version boasts a stronger field, including an injured Wayne Middaugh, who broke his left wrist snowboarding. One winner from each event claims the last two Tankard berths.