|Ontario skip Rachel Homan reacts as she watches a shot as they play Team Canada at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts curling championship in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, February 23, 2011. (REUTERS/Shaun Best)
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Hard-throwing 21-year-old Rachel Homan of Ontario has advanced to the semifinal at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
Homan hammered Nova Scotia’s Heather Smith-Dacey, 13-5, in a playoff between third- and fourth-place teams, Saturday.
The Scotties rookie will take on Saskatchewan’s Amber Holland Saturday afternoon, with the winner advancing to Sunday’s final against three-time defending champion Jennifer Jones and Team Canada.
Homan, the youngest skip at the national championship, broke open her game against Nova Scotia by scoring five in the fifth end, set up by a spectacular runback, triple-kill with her first stone.
“My heart rate was up there,” Homan said of the big shot. “We knew there was a big chance for a big end, there. So why not throw the big weight. It felt really good to get that five, but there was lots of game left.”
Smith-Dacey was impressed, saying few teams have the ability to throw big weight like Homan’s.
“Wow,” she said. “She’s looking for it all the time. She made a great shot. That’s her comfort shot. We let her play it too much.”
Another big double-kill in the ninth to score four more put an exclamation point on the first of what should be many playoff victories for Homan at the Hearts.
“If she plays like that, and Saskatchewan allows her that big weight shot, she’s going to be tough to beat,” Smith-Dacey said.