Homan tops Harrison in Ontario Scotties opener

Rachel Homan at the 2015 Meridian Canadian Open in Yorkton, Sask. (Anil Mungal)

Rachel Homan opened the Ontario Scotties Tournament of Hearts with a 9-4 victory over Jacqueline Harrison during Draw 1 action Monday night in Brampton.

The Ottawa-based Team Homan are playing in the provincial tournament for the first time in three years after winning consecutive Canadian women’s titles in 2013 and 2014 that earned them auto-berths back to the national Scotties. Homan fell short of the three-peat last season settling for bronze.

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Team Harrison, of Mississauga, opened the scoring stealing one in the first end when Homan came up light on the draw with her last shot. Homan drew for two in the second to take the lead and swiped a pair in three to build a 4-1 advantage when Harrison’s final stone rolled heavy.

The teams alternated deuces through the fourth and fifth ends as Homan maintained the three-point lead. Harrison made her final shot in seven through a narrow port to nudge Homan’s shot rock for a single. Homan iced the game with an open hit to count three in the eighth and the two teams shook hands.

Team Homan have had a banner season on tour winning seven titles including the Canada Cup and a record three consecutive majors on the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling circuit.

Elsewhere, Ottawa’s Erin Morrissey stunned five-time Ontario champ Sherry Middaugh of Coldwater 8-6.

Mallory Kean of Stoney Creek edged 2014 Ontario winner Allison Flaxey of Caledon 8-7 with a single in the extra end.

Toronto’s Cathy Auld scored a six-ender in the seventh to thump defending champ Julie Hastings of Thornhill 12-4.

Julie Tippin of Woodstock picked up a 7-6 victory over Ottawa’s Jenn Hanna.

NOTES: Homan helped North America win the Continental Cup this past weekend in Las Vegas. The team had to leave the competition a day early in order to make it back for the Ontario Scotties. … Round-robin action continues Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET at the Brampton Curling Club (watch on Rogers TV Sports+). … The winner of the event will represent Ontario at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts running Feb. 20-28 in Grande Prairie, Alta.

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