TRURO, N.S. — It took Team Anna Hasselborg a few years to earn their first Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title. It took them less than a month to win No. 2.
Hasselborg hit to score three points in the eighth end and lift her Swedish squad to an 8-7 victory over Ottawa’s Team Rachel Homan during Sunday’s Canadian Beef Masters women’s final at Rath Eastlink Community Centre.
The reigning Olympic gold medallists Hasselborg, third Sara McManus, second Agnes Knochenhauer and lead Sofia Mabergs cashed in $30,000 plus another 12 points in the Pinty’s Cup standings.
While Team Hasselborg rolled through last month’s Princess Auto Elite 10 undefeated at 6-0, they finished round-robin play at the Canadian Beef Masters with a 2-2 record and needed to take a detour through the tiebreakers winning four straight to the winner’s circle.
“It almost felt as good as winning the Olympics,” McManus said. “Almost because winning two Slams is huge for us. It was huge winning the last one so this was amazing, especially because we did a great job bouncing back from the tiebreakers and just going straight up. That was so much fun.”
McManus said she honestly didn’t think their second Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title would come so quickly.
“For sure it’s really nice,” said McManus, whose team also captured the Stockholm Ladies Cup earlier this month. “Now we’ve won three in a row and I can honestly say sometimes you need to maybe lose some games just to get back in and refocus and try to just work on the details that you want to work on. It’s never a bad thing to lose, it sucks obviously, but I think it was a good thing for us this week. We played great after our second loss.”
The back-and-forth battle for the title against Homan came down to the wire with one missed shot making the difference. Homan was up by two without the hammer in the final end and looked to freeze out Hasselborg from getting a multiple score. The seven-time GSOC title winner Homan was locked onto the guard though and collided giving Hasselborg a clear path to hit for the winning trey.
“That adrenaline was pumping and I’m so happy I made it,” Hasselborg said. “The girls swept so hard and really great, especially on my first one. A really great feeling.”
“I was so pumped,” McManus added. “I was super nervous when Anna was throwing her last. That was a lot of fun. It was great.”
The teams forced each other to singles to start in the first couple ends and Homan was limited to another lone point in three. Homan hit and rolled out with her last in the fourth end and Hasselborg capitalized with a tap for two and a 3-2 lead at halftime.
Homan, who has won the Masters women’s title a record three times, jumped back into the lead in the fifth end. Hasselborg’s last hung out there and went heavy through the house giving Homan a golden opportunity with a cluster of three counting in the four-foot circle and an opportunity to draw for a fourth point. However, it was looking light and sweepers Lisa Weagle and Joanne Courtney couldn’t pull the string as it was just short.
Hasselborg drew for two in the sixth and Homan replied with a deuce of her own to lead 7-5 coming home and set the stage for the dramatic finale.
Earlier, Toronto’s Team John Epping clipped Calgary’s Team Kevin Koe 7-4 to win the Canadian Beef Masters men’s title and complete a career Grand Slam. Epping also earned a Humpty’s Champions Cup spot in addition to the $30,000 cash. Hasselborg’s Princess Auto Elite 10 victory already guaranteed her club a place in the season-ending Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event.
The next stop on the 2018-19 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling calendar is the Tour Challenge taking place Nov. 6-11 at Tournament Centre in Thunder Bay, Ont.