VICTORIA — Rachel Homan has entered the record books again at the Elite 10.
Homan and her Ottawa rink of Emma Miskew, Joanne Courtney, and Lisa Weagle already made history as the first women’s team to compete in a Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling men’s invitational since Sportsnet acquired the series in 2012.
Now, Homan has added one to the win column scoring a 1-up victory Friday morning over Charley Thomas of Calgary to become the first women’s team to defeat a ranked men’s team in a Pinty’s GSOC event.
“It was great,” Miskew said. “Rachel had a great game and made some really key shots so that’s what keeps you in a skins game. It was awesome. It feels really good now. At least we belong.”
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Homan has won three consecutive women’s Grand Slam titles this season taking the Masters, National and Canadian Open, and were invited to play against nine of the best men’s teams. The Elite 10 features a match play format where teams compete to win the most ends per game by either scoring two or more points with the hammer or stealing at least one point without the hammer.
Homan struggled in her first game against Toronto’s John Epping, falling 4 & 3, but held their own against Winnipeg’s Reid Carruthers, who came out on top 2-up Thursday evening.
The team found their groove Friday with Homan shooting lights out at 97 percent and Courtney making it a perfect 100. Miskew admitted it took a while to adjust to the format.
“In our first game we were definitely not used to the rules and stuff so we have been getting better every game,” she said. “I feel like we’re starting to pick up on the ice and the rules and the strategy behind it. Also the fact that the men have another element to the game that we’re just a little bit behind on the sweeping and that’s just the physical differences. We’re just trying to keep up with throwing the rock well because we know that they’re going to outsweep us. Just throwing it better.”
Team Homan got on the board against Thomas first with a steal in the third and swiped again in four to take a 2-up lead. Homan made an amazing quad takeout to force Thomas to a push in the fifth end.
“I guess their third Matt Dunstone was like, ‘well two for sure stay,’ and Rachel was like, ‘oh yeah?’” Miskew said. “It was a great throw. We were hoping that they would go but we thought three would, we didn’t know four would. We gave it the best chance and it was great shot.”
Following another push in six, Thomas scored in seven and needed to steal in eight to stay in the game but crashed on a guard with his last shot.
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Elsewhere, Saskatoon’s Steve Laycock climbed to a 3-0 record defeating Niklas Edin of Sweden 3 & 2 and Carruthers improved to a 2-1 record also earning a 3 & 2 win over Epping.