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Homan holds off Hasselborg to earn top seed for KIOTI National playoffs

PICTOU COUNTY, N.S. — Top of the table to you, Rachel Homan.

The 13-time Grand Slam of Curling women’s champion and her Ottawa-based team took the No. 1 seed for the KIOTI National women’s playoffs after fending off Anna Hasselborg’s squad from Sweden 6-4 in Friday night’s round-robin finale at the Pictou County Wellness Centre.

Homan finished pool play with a perfect 4-0 record and had the best shootout score among the undefeated teams.

“The team’s playing really good,” said Homan, who leads all women’s skips in the tournament shooting 88 per cent. “We’ve got a good handle on the ice, so hopefully, we can continue it tomorrow.”

It was another evenly matched battle between Homan and Hasselborg, who have been squaring off since the 2010 world juniors, as they traded pairs of points in the first and third ends and once more in the fourth and fifth.

Homan was held to just a single in the sixth but regained the two-point advantage in the seventh as Hasselborg was only able to nudge the shot rock and gave up a steal.

Hasselborg, who has won seven titles in the series, retained the hammer for the final frame but faced a cluster of Homan’s stones prior to her last. Seeing no chance for even an equalizing deuce, Hasselborg opted to concede the match.

“It was a battle back and forth every end, exchange of twos, and just able to force them there in the last end,” Homan said. “They just had the wrong angle on the one, but they definitely had us in trouble there for a little bit in the eighth.”

Elsewhere on the draw, Sweden’s Team Isabella Wranå earned a 6-5 win over Team Kerri Einarson of Gimli, Man., Team Kaitlyn Lawes of Winnipeg defeated Team Christina Black of Halifax 9-3 and South Korea’s Team Seung-Youn Ha downed Team Kate Cameron of Winnipeg 8-2.

Homan will face Einarson (2-2) in the women’s quarterfinals while Hasselborg (3-1) goes up against clubmate Wranå (3-1), South Korea’s Team Eun-Ji Gim (4-0) plays Italy’s Team Stefania Constantini (2-2) and Team Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg (4-0) takes on Switzerland’s Team Silvana Tirinzoni (2-2).

Lawes, Black, Ha and Cameron all head home finishing with 1-3 records.

KIOTI National: Scores | Final Standings | Draw Schedule | Broadcast Schedule


The men’s quarterfinals kick off playoff coverage Saturday at 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT on Sportsnet followed by the women’s quarterfinals at 3 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. PT on Sportsnet.

The semifinals are also on tap Saturday evening (7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT on Sportsnet 360) with both finals scheduled for Sunday.

Stream the playoffs online at Sportsnet+ (Canada) and (international).