Ontario Scotties playoff chase down to the wire

Sherry Middaugh at the 2015 Meridian Canadian Open in Yorkton, Sask. (Anil Mungal)

It’s a mad dash to the playoffs heading into the final round-robin draw at the Ontario Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Brampton.

While Ottawa’s Rachel Homan has locked up a spot in the page 1 vs. 2 game with an unblemished 8-0 record, the other three berths are still up for grabs Friday night.

Jacqueline Harrison of Niagara Falls, Julie Tippin of Woodstock, and Ottawa’s Jenn Hanna were all victorious during Draw 8 in the afternoon and are tied for second place with 5-3 records.

Harrison earned a 6-4 victory over 2014 Ontario winner Allison Flaxey (2-6) of Caledon and Hanna picked up a 7-4 win versus fellow Ottawa skip Erin Morrissey (2-6).

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Meanwhile, Tippin drew to the four-foot circle with her last in the final end to pick up the winning single and edge Cathy Auld 7-6.

After giving up back-to-back single steals, Auld bounced back big in the fourth end with a double raise takeout to score four points to take a 4-2 lead. Tippin drew for two in the fifth to knot it up and stole a point in six on a measurement.

Tippin made a freeze for shot with her last in seven and Auld was unable knock it off to give up another steal. Auld made a delicate draw with her final shot in eight and a measurement gave her a second point to tie it. Tippin blanked the ninth to retain the hammer coming home.

Auld fell to a 4-4 record, but the Toronto native is still in the chase for a tiebreaker along with Sherry Middaugh of Coldwater, who evened her record by scoring two in the final end to win 8-7 over Mallory Kean (2-6) of Stoney Creek.

Meanwhile, Homan continued to cruise with a 6-4 victory over Julie Hastings (3-5) of Thornhill to eliminate the defending champion from contention.

Harrison goes up against Hastings, Hanna plays Kean, Tippin takes on Morrissey, Middaugh faces Homan and Auld meets Flaxey in the final round-robin draw at 7 p.m. ET (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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