CHESTERMERE, Alta. — Hollie Duncan has had to process new rules like the no tick zone in her top-tier Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling debut at the Boost National.
Now she has to process her first win.
Duncan and her team from Woodstock, Ont., pulled off an 8-6 come-from-behind victory to upset Rachel Homan’s Ottawa-based club during Draw 4 action Tuesday night at Chestermere Recreation Centre.
“It feels pretty great,” said Duncan, who arrived straight from the pre-trials in Liverpool, N.S., where her team went 3-3 and did not advance to the Canadian Olympic curling trials. “We didn’t have the best week last week in terms of outcome, so it’s great to start off this week with a win.”
Trailing 5-2 at the fourth-end break, Duncan turned the deficit around scoring three points in the fifth and stealing three in the sixth to suddenly lead 8-5.
The Toronto native Duncan was at a loss for words to describe how she managed to pull it off.
“I don’t know,” Duncan said with a smile. “I’m still kind of processing the win right now.”
Homan, who has won a record 11 GSOC women’s titles, was held to just a single in the seventh.
The no tick rule could have thrown a wrench into Duncan’s comeback victory story, however, her team was able to draw around the guards and it all went as planned. Duncan did not need to throw her last as Homan rolled out and was unable to sit two.
“It changed our call,” Duncan said. “We probably would have played the tick in the last end, so (we) drew around but I guess it ended up working out.”
Elsewhere in Draw 4, Masters champions Team Tracy Fleury of East St. Paul, Man., continued their winning ways with an 8-5 victory over Team Corryn Brown of Kamloops, B.C.
“It was a good start for sure,” Fleury said. “We felt like we got off to an early lead and were just able to maintain control.”
Fleury, who captured her second career GSOC title a week-and-a-half ago in Oakville, Ont., jumped out of the gate scoring two in the first, three in the third and stealing one in the fourth to grip a 6-1 lead at halftime.
Brown regrouped and scored three in the fifth. Fleury put a halt to any comeback plans counting a couple of points in six and holding Brown to a single in seven to grab ahold of the hammer for the final frame and running her opponent out of rocks.
“I think we just got a good handle on the ice,” Fleury said. “We found our draw weight early and we were able to get our rocks in some good spots.”
Team Alina Kovaleva from Russia defeated Team Un-Chi Gim of South Korea 6-2 and Sweden’s Team Anna Hasselborg beat Switzerland’s Team Irene Schori 6-4.
Winners continue in the A brackets of the triple knockout stage and losers drop into the B-side.
TRIPLE KNOCKOUT EXPLAINED
The triple knockout consists of three brackets: A, B and C. Teams must win three games in order to qualify for the playoffs. Each loss drops a team to a lower bracket until they lose three games and are out of the tournament. Two A teams (3-0 records), three B teams (3-1 records) and three C teams (3-2 records) advance to the quarterfinals.
NO TICK ZONE
Teams cannot tick guards off of the centre line while the five-rock, free guard zone is in effect during the eighth and extra ends only.
The Boost National is the second of five events on the 2021-22 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling schedule and features 16 of the top men’s teams and 16 of the top women’s teams from around the world. … A combined $300,000 prize purse is up for grabs with the winning teams earning $33,000 plus spots in the season-ending KIOTI Tractor Champions Cup. … Triple knockout play runs through to Saturday morning. The quarterfinals and semifinals are also Saturday with both finals set for Sunday. … Tickets are available at boost.goigniter.com.