Homan earns perfection at Scotties
By GARRETT WILLIAMS, QMI Agency
|Jo Anne Rizzo, third for the Sherry Middaugh rink, watches a rock in Middaugh’s 7-6 loss to the undefeated Rachel Homan squad in Ontario Scotties Tournament of Hearts round robin play at the Kenora Curling Club in Kenora, Ont., Jan. 26, 2012. (GARETT WILLIAMS/QMI Agency)
KENORA, ONT. - Nine up, nine down.
With another two wins Friday, Ottawa skip Rachel Homan completed an unblemished 9-0 run through Ontario Scotties tournament of Hearts round robin play at the Kenora Curling Club Friday.
The 2011 Ontario representative at the national Scotties tournament added a 5-3 win over fellow Ottawa Curling Club skip Jennifer Hanna in the early draw and followed-up with a 6-4 win over North Bay’s Laura Pickering in the evening Friday to tie up the perfect round.
“There were a lot of tough teams this week and we really had to fight for a lot of our wins, even today,” said Homan. “So we’re just trying to build and use this as practice into our one-two game and work on the things that aren’t quite working for us.”
While the perfect scorecard implies the rink of lead Lisa Weagle, second Alison Kreviazuk and third Emma Miskew cruised through the last five days of curling since play kicked off Monday, the skip was pushed to the wall by Coldwater Curling Club representative Sherry Middaugh in a down-to-the-wire 7-6 match Thursday when Homan found herself down 4-0 after two ends before mounting up for the comeback.
“I think it really shows character in our team that we’re able to fight back,” said Homan. “Even though we got down early against Middaugh, we fought back and I think we deserved that win. We played really hard and battled right to the end.”
“I’m really proud of the girls and the way they played and the way we hang there and were able to finish it up,” she added.
For her part, Middaugh rebounded from a tough, winless Tuesday with two extra-end wins Friday to snag the fourth and final playoff spot.
In Friday’s early draw, Middaugh squeaked past Mississaugua Golf and Curling Club’s Cathy Auld in the 11th end for an 8-7 and, after pacing through eight ends without a single point edged past King Township’s Kathy Brown 2-1 to snatch the playoff spot and avoid any tie-breaking draws.
The six-time national competitor battled through four one-point decisions and forces three extra ends — more than any other skip — to shoot up from the bottom of the pack Wednesday and snag a berth in the playoff round.
“Today, we had two extra-end games and we stole both of them,” she boasted. “Unfortunately — or fortunately — we’re putting ourselves in that position but we’re coming out on top. We’re playing well, so it’s a good feeling going into the playoffs.”
“It would be nice to do it a little bit easier,” she said, “but the fact that it gets done — as long as the W gets put on the scoreboard, that’s all that matters.”
Middaugh will face Thunder Bay’s Krista McCarville — who edged out Auld 6-4 in the late draw — in the three-four round of the page playoffs at 2 p.m. Saturday. Homan will meet Sudbury’s Tracy Horgan — who finished second with a solid 7-2 record — in the one-two game.
The winner of the McCarville-Middaugh end will meet the loser of the Horgan-Homan match in a semi-final at 9 a.m. Sunday setting the stage for the final at 2 p.m.
In other Friday scores, Thunder Bay’s Marlo Dahl took an 8-5 win over St. Thomas’ Allison Nimik, Sudbury’s Horgan beat Brown 7-5 and McCarville took a 9-4 win over Pickering in the early draw and Dahl won 6-4 over Hanna and Horgan won 6-2 over Nimik.