Homan edges Einarson to qualify for GSOC Boost National playoffs

Rachel Homan shoots a stone during the eighth round-robin draw of the Boost National on Dec. 13, 2018, in Conception Bay South, N.L. (Anil Mungal)

CONCEPTION BAY SOUTH, N.L. — Ottawa’s Team Rachel Homan might have needed an extra end but managed to make it into the playoffs of the Boost National.

Homan qualified for the quarterfinals after edging out Team Kerri Einarson of Gimli, Man., 6-5 during Friday morning’s round-robin draw at CBS Arena.

Team Homan wrapped up pool play with a 3-1 record. The “all-skip squad” of Team Einarson finished the group at 2-2 and now await the results of the remaining round-robin draws to determine whether they’ll get in or will have to play a tiebreaker.

“It feels great to be in the playoffs for sure,” Team Homan third Emma Miskew said. “It was a tight battle back and forth there, so it’s nice to come out with a win.”

Miskew said she’s feeling pretty good this week with a tight turnaround from the Canada Cup last weekend in Estevan, Sask., where they finished third.

“It’s nice to go back to eight ends and only a max of two games a day,” Miskew said. “Feeling a little bit more rested. It’s tough coming off of an event right before this. It’s a bit of grind but we’re feeling like we’re getting our energy back and just one shot at a time here.”

The eight-time Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title winner Homan had to make a draw with her last and Miskew jumped up from the house to join sweepers Lisa Weagle and Joanne Courtney, however, it was ended right on the tee line.

“I normally don’t do that but they seemed panicked and it was just tee line so it makes me look silly,” Miskew said with a laugh. “They swept it great. Rachel threw it great. Throw it to your sweepers, always what you want to see and it’s nice to come out on the victory side.”

Meanwhile, Sweden’s Team Anna Hasselborg (3-0) also punched a playoff ticket defeating Team Nina Roth of the United States 7-5. Roth was eliminated from the competition with a 1-3 record.

Team Satsuki Fujisawa topped Team Sayaka Yoshimura 8-5 in a battle of Japanese squads. Fujisawa moves on with a 3-1 record while Yoshimura finished at 1-3.

Toronto’s Team Jacqueline Harrison doubled up on Team Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge, Alta., 8-4. Harrison stays in the mix at 2-2 and Scheidegger is out of contention at 0-3.

Sweden’s Team Isabella Wrana ended things on a high note beating Calgary’s Team Chelsea Carey 5-4. Both clubs are done at 1-3.

The Boost National is the fourth event and second major of the 2018-19 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season featuring 15 of the top men’s teams and 15 of the top women’s teams from around the world.

Both divisions are split into three pools for round-robin play with the top eight teams overall qualifying for Saturday’s quarterfinals. The semis are also set for Saturday with both finals taking place Sunday.

Round-robin play continues Friday at 12:30 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET) with broadcast coverage on Sportsnet and streaming online at Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare (international).

NOTES: Winners of the Boost National collect $30,000 of the $250,000 total purse plus berths to the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season finale Humpty’s Champions Cup. … Points are also on the line for the Pinty’s Cup, which is awarded to the overall season champions following the conclusion of the Players’ Championship in April. … All games are played to eight ends with 33 minutes of thinking time plus two, 90-second timeouts. The five-rock rule is also in effect.

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