In her illustrious career, Ottawa’s Rachel Homan has accomplished as much as any other women’s curling team.
Now, her team of vice-skip Emma Miskew, second Joanne Courtney, lead Lisa Weagle and coach Marcel Rocque has taken an important first step to fill out its resume.
A 9-4 win over East St. Paul, Man.’s Tracy Fleury in Sunday’s women’s final at the Home Hardware Canada Cup, presented by Pioneer, gave Homan another chance to represent Canada at the Olympic Winter Games after doing so in 2018.
In addition to $40,000 first-place prize, Homan’s team became the first to earn a berth into the 2021 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings curling trials. Homan’s team won the previous trials and would like nothing better than to represent Canada at the Olympics once again.
”It’s been a great week and my team’s played so well,” said Homan. “We tried really hard to be where we wanted to be at the Canada Cup and it paid off. We’re so excited to get the first trials berth. It’s nice to have.
“No one’s going to say no to a trials berth. We have a few more years ahead of us before the trials come. Lots more work to do, but we’re really excited to get that first berth.”
At 30 years of age, Homan has won three Scotties Tournament of Hearts titles and one world championship. Her lineup also captured the 2015 Home Hardware Canada Cup title.
Both Homan and Courtney have infant sons, Ryatt and Alexander respectively, born earlier this year.
“[Winning has] the same importance, it just makes it more special that there’s a little one watching out there,” said Homan. “It’s really fun. We’re lucky that they get to come on the road with us and experience it with us.”
Homan secured her win Sunday with a masterfully-played third end, needing a draw to anywhere in the eight-foot to score a four-ender.
“That was a big turning point, that one shot,” said Homan. “The rest of the game was really well-played with some big shots from my team. It was a really hard-fought battle and the scoreboard was a bit more lop-sided than it actually was.”
During the week, Homan put on a textbook defensive performance, ending the week as the only women’s team to not give up more than a deuce in any game.
Team Fleury, with third Selena Njegovan, second Liz Fyfe and lead Kristin MacCuish continue to be Canada’s No. 1-ranked team despite the loss. Fleury earned $25,000 runner-up money bumping her season earnings to $92,730, tops by any team of either gender so far this season.
“Their team played very well,” said Fleury. “It was hard for us to get something going. We just gave up that early lead unfortunately. They put a lot of pressure on us in that end and it was hard to come back. There’s a lot to be proud of this week.
“We wanted this one (trials berth), the first one, but it’s still a while away so there will be more chances.”