RED DEER, Alta. — Ottawa’s Team Rachel Homan knew what they needed to do to complete a comeback victory and claim the Co-op Canadian Open championship.
Homan had been down this road before as recently as last season’s Champions Cup final and stuck to the script to score a tying two points in the eighth end and steal in the extra to win 5-4 over Team Silvana Tirinzoni of Switzerland on Sunday at Servus Arena.
Homan captured a second straight Grand Slam of Curling title and a record-extending 15th career women’s championship in the series.
The team of Homan, third Tracy Fleury, second Emma Miskew and lead Sarah Wilkes finished the week with a 6-1 record and earned $38,000.
“It’s never over these days it seems with all the rule changes, the no ticks and five-rock rule,” Miskew said. “Try to put our rocks in the best spot that we can — that’s all you can really do — and make them shoot.
“We’re just grinding. Not every win is going to be a routine blowout, all these teams are so good. We’ll just put on as much pressure as we can when we’re not in control and then hope that’s good enough really.”
Homan has been on fire all season with her team playing in seven events and reaching six finals with five title wins including last month’s WFG Masters where they coincidentally defeated Tirinzoni in the final there as well.
“It’s been nice,” Miskew said. “It’s our second year together with a little change in the lineup but our second year together and I feel like things have gelled really nicely. We’re working really hard and it seems to be like things are coming into place.”
The final was the lone loss of the week for Tirinzoni, who opened with the hammer and in a sign of things to come, gave up a steal in the second end to open the scoring. Team Tirinzoni’s fourth Alina Pätz’s draw shot rolled deep and was unable to outcount Homan’s rock in the four-foot circle.
Pätz was forced to draw for an equalizing single in the third, and Homan was forced to hit for one in the fifth to retake the lead but lose control of the hammer.
Team Tirinzoni took advantage with Pätz pulling off a double for a deuce in the sixth then stole one in the seventh to make it 4-2 as Homan’s runback missed the mark.
Homan recovered with a double takeout to score the tying two points in the eighth end and then forced Pätz into a difficult draw during the extra that rolled too deep.
Team Homan will now prepare for the Scotties Tournament of Hearts having already clinched a pre-qualifier spot for the Canadian women’s championship based on last season’s points.
Even though they’ve been riding in top gear all season, Miskew believes there is still room for improvement.
“I think that we can still see some areas that we can tighten up,” Miskew said. “We’re not perfect and I think that’s what you want. I don’t think you want to be perfect all season because it’s impossible just to stay in, so we know what we need to keep working on and we’re excited to keep the season going.”
The team of Tirinzoni, Pätz, second Selina Witschonke and lead Carole Howald collected $34,000.
The Grand Slam of Curling season concludes with the Princess Auto Players’ Championship, April 9-14, at Toronto’s Mattamy Athletic Centre. Tickets are now available, visit thegrandslamofcurling.com/tickets for more info.