Homan rink perfect at provincials
Victoria Harbour’s Sherry Middaugh failed in her attempt for a fifth berth in the national championships when her Coldwater and District Curling Club rink was eliminated in the semifinals at the provincials Sunday. (STEVE GREEN, QMI Agency)
WATERLOO — Perfection is usually measured on a scale ending with 10. For Rachel Homan, it’s an 11.
The Ottawa CC skip and her rink of Emma Miskew, Alison Kreviazuk and Lisa Weagle won their second Ontario women’s curling title in three seasons Sunday, beating Mississauga's Cathy Auld 7-3 at the K-W Granite Club in the final of the provincial Scotties Tournament of Hearts. They now advance to the national Hearts Feb. 16 to 24 in Kingston, looking to better their semifinal finish in Charlottetown.
In doing so, they went a perfect 11-0 here this week, the first rink to run the table in recent memory. And it eased the sting of the 7-6 loss to Tracy Horgan of Sudbury in last year’s final in Kenora, where the Ottawa foursome went undefeated until that last game. All told, they’re 30-2 in three provincial tournament appearances.
They were simply the best team here this week and it showed against Auld as they made no major mistakes. The big break in an at-times defensive game came in the sixth when Auld was heavy on a draw against three, giving Homan a steal of three and complete control.
Auld, who finished second in the round robin at 6-3, got smoked 9-0 by Homan in five ends in Saturday’s 1-2 playoff game.
Auld and her rink of Janet Murphy, Stephanie Matheson and Melissa Foster rolled into the final with a 10-4 rout of Sherry Middaugh of the Coldwater and District Curling Club in the semifinal Sunday morning.
Auld and her teammates were almost flawless with their decision making and rock placement, while Middaugh's rink of Jo-Ann Rizzo, Lee Merklinger and Leigh Armstrong struggled, often leaving Middaugh with difficult shots. And while Middaugh did pull off a great triple-raise takeout for a deuce to tie the game 2-2 in the third, Auld made a great freeze onto her own in the fifth that set up a steal of two and a 6-2 lead. From that point, there was only going to be one winner.
“I think we did get lucky with some misses by their team,” Auld said. “And Janet made two peach freezes in that fifth end. If she doesn’t do that, we’re in a lot of trouble.”
Middaugh, who entered the event looking for a fifth trip to the national championships, admitted her team wasn’t at the races on this occasion.
“My gosh, yes,” she said when it was suggested her rink had an off day. “They curled very well and we didn’t quite get off to the start we wanted. And sometimes, when you’re not firing and the shots get tougher, you get tired and you want to simplify things. But when you get behind like that, you can’t simplify.”