OTTAWA — Rachel Homan is heading to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Homan was the conquering hometown hero in Sunday’s Roar of the Rings women’s final defeating Calgary’s Chelsea Carey 6-5 to earn the right to represent Canada at the Winter Games.
“I don’t even know how to describe it,” Team Homan third Emma Miskew said. “I’m just so proud of my team. That was a battle, they played really well, and we didn’t let that bother us. They made every draw, we just stuck with it. Really proud of them.”
“It keeps sinking in every few minutes but that explains the tears,” she added. “It’s surreal right now. It was just such a battle, they played amazing and we really had to stick with it. We tried to not think about the end goal for the whole game but at the end, it was just utter joy.”
Here’s how Homan pulled it off at Canadian Tire Centre:
1ST END: Carey opened with the all-important hammer but it was a swing and a miss to start and a good omen for Homan. A fairly routine blank to start turned into a steal as Carey’s last rock flew by Homan’s lone rock in the house and just kissed it on its way through the rings. HOMAN 1, CAREY 0
2ND END: Thievery struck again. Sweepers Lisa Weagle and Joanne Courtney dragged Homan’s last by their guards and tapped on top of Carey’s rock to lie shot stone. Carey couldn’t get down the same path and wrecked to concede another point. HOMAN 2, CAREY 0
3RD END: Homan tapped and rolled to lie “frozen” on Carey’s stone. Carey had to “let it go” though as the double for a deuce was way too risky. She opted for a hit and stick on the other counter to get on the board for just one. HOMAN 2, CAREY 1
4TH END: No wonder they call curling a game of inches. Carey drew for shot rock under the cover of a long guard and Homan followed the path to tap it back a bit but did she hit it enough? The measuring stick said … yes, she did. HOMAN 3, CAREY 1
5TH END: It’s good to be red (sorry for stealing your line, Mike Harris). Homan ran her own guard back to take out Carey’s shot rock and sit three stones. Carey couldn’t make the Visene shot to get the red out (sorry for stealing your line, Rob Faulds) and drew for just another one point although it was close as the rock hit the brakes just in time at the back of the eight-foot circle. Did we mention this is a game of inches? HOMAN 3, CAREY 2
6TH END: Homan takes two and the crowd goes wild. A misfire from Carey on her first skip stone allowed Homan to draw to the other side of the house and sit two. Carey hit and stuck that one but Homan bounced it out of the house to and put some separation on the scoreboard. HOMAN 5, CAREY 2
7TH END: Hmm, did Homan let Carey off the hook? With a potential to guard up two and really put the dagger in, Homan opted for the conservative route on her first skip stone hitting Carey’s rock out of the house. Her shooter rolled away though and that set it up for Carey to count a couple and close back within one. HOMAN 5, CAREY 4
8TH END: Homan draws a blank. With an empty house, Homan was looking at hitting Carey’s guard to bump and promote her own rock and also split in her shooter, but decided not to (perhaps the crowd chanting, “No!” convinced her) and she fired her last right through the rings. HOMAN 5, CAREY 4
“The crowd has been amazing,” Miskew said. “All the cheers for all us, we really feel it. We really felt the warmth the entire week and with all of our friends and family here I couldn’t feel better.”
9TH END: After a couple misplays from Miskew and Homan, the force was on with Carey sitting three. Homan sent her last in for a single. HOMAN 6, CAREY 4
10TH END: As a sign in the crowd said: O Canada, our Homan native land. Homan attempted a double takeout to deliver the finishing blow but missed the second one. It didn’t matter though as Carey had to hit a double but couldn’t get them both to go. HOMAN 6, CAREY 5
“Out of her hand she threw it and it looked like it might curl a little bit,” said Miskew, who threw a sparkling 98 percent. “I didn’t want to think too much about that but as the shot was coming past the hog line I thought I don’t think they had the double here. But until the rocks came to a rest you don’t want to think ahead or anything so we were talking about the next end. Yeah, just shock and happiness.”
NOTES: The 2016 Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion Carey ran the round-robin table with an unblemished 8-0 record to earn the bye to the final. … Homan finished round-robin play at 7-1 to secure the second seed with her lone preliminary play loss against Carey in the opening draw. The reigning Tournament of Hearts and world champion Homan beat Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones 6-3 in Saturday’s semifinal to advance. … Later, Calgary’s Kevin Koe collides with Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen in the Roar of the Rings men’s final. Koe (7-1) topped the table while McEwen (5-3 in round-robin play) beat reigning world champion Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., 6-4 in the semifinal.