THORNHILL — Rachel Homan was heading off to a big dinner with family Saturday night. Sunday, she hopes to treat them to a provincial women’s curling title.
Homan and her Ottawa CC juggernaut rink of Emma Miskew, Alison Kreviazuk and Lisa Weagle advanced to Sunday’s final at the Ontario Scotties Tournament of Hearts with a 12-4 thumping of Tracy Horgan of Sudbury Idylwylde in the Page 1-2 playoff game Saturday afternoon at the Thornhill Golf and Country Club.
It started off the best possible way for last year’s national junior champ as she cracked a five-ender in the first. A four-spot in the eighth ended it.
In between, Homan’s crew never really let Horgan and her rink of Jennifer Seabrook, Jenna Enge and Amanda Gates get anything going, putting on a clinic with their accurate big-weight takeout game.
“When you get a big lead like that early, it’s not that easy because you have to peel and peel and it can be easy for the other team to get twos,” Homan said. “You still have to play your game and make some shots.”
They made a lot of theirs, especially in the hitting game.
“We found that a big separation between the good teams and the average teams is weight,” Homan said. “And if you can get yourself out of a mess with it, that’s a nice thing to have.
“When we’re on our game, we’re on our game.”
Homan, who topped the round-robin at 8-1, is now a win away from winning the provincial Hearts in her first try.
“We didn’t envision this, but we definitely thought we should make the playoffs,” she said. “Now we have one more game to buckle down for. Nothing is set yet, that’s for sure, and it’s not like we’re going to play this game any differently. We’re just approaching it like it’s another round-robin game we need to win.”
And the team wasn’t about to spend the whole evening thinking about it, either.
“We’ve got a 40-something-person family dinner tonight,” Homan said. “A lot of people have come down to watch us, even my granddad, who wasn’t too well recently, and we’re really thankful for the support.”
Horgan admitted the first end proved too much to overcome.
“I think they made all eight of their shots in that end and we only made half-shots,” she said. “If you’re going to give up a five, then the first end is the time to do it because you’ve still got time to come back. You just have to try to get your two when you have the hammer, but you’re not going to get a big end against a team like that.”
Horgan will play in Sunday morning’s semifinal against the winner of Saturday night’s Page 3-4 game between two-time defending champion Krista McCarville of Thunder Bay Fort William and Susan McKnight of Uxbridge.
In a tiebreaker Saturday morning, McKnight made an open hit for three in the 10th to beat Lisa Farnell of Elgin Loonie 8-6. Farnell tried to freeze to McKnight’s second-shot rock on the edge of the eight-foot, but left it open and the Uxbridge skip made no mistake.
“There really wasn’t a decisive shot in that game, but we made ours when we needed to,” said McKnight, who bounced back from a disappointing Friday that saw her lose her two final round-robin games to finish at 5-4. “It was disappointing yesterday; our last four games were pretty rocky, actually.”
For Farnell, it was a bittersweet end to a week that saw her improve on her 2-7 Hearts debut last year in Thunder Bay.
“I maybe could have taken a touch much more ice on my shot in nine,” she said of a draw attempt for two that wrecked and allowed McKnight to eventually blank the end, retaining the hammer. “But it’s been a good run. And every season ends in heartbreak unless you win the world championship.”