TORONTO — Isabella Wranå managed to hold off Rachel Homan and score a 7-5 victory to begin their run at the Princess Auto Players’ Championship at Mattamy Athletic Centre.
Wranå’s Swedish squad also edged them out in the percentages shooting 87 per cent compared Homan’s Canadian club at 84 per cent.
It was a tight battle with singles back and forth to start and Wranå stealing a point in the third end to take a 2-1 lead.
Homan went ahead with a deuce in the fourth and Wranå came out strong after the break hitting to count three points in the fifth to grab a 5-3 advantage.
The 12-time Grand Slam women’s champion from Ottawa charged right back taking two points in the sixth to tie it then sat four counters in the seventh to force Wranå to tap for just a single and give up the hammer for the final frame.
It looked like Homan had the decisive double takeout to win the match, however, she missed the back stone allowing Wranå to hang on.
“We had a little bit of a learning phase in the first half of the game and then we managed to take three in the fifth end,” Wranå said. “We didn’t have the best seventh end, I would say. We got forced but somehow we got the steal in the eighth end, so that was pretty nice.”
Winnipeg’s Jason Gunnlaugson is coaching Team Wranå, and the skip said it’s very fun having him on board this season.
“He brings a lot of knowledge and skills to the team, so it’s fun to have him around,” Wranå said. “We’ve been having him and Margaretha (Sigfridsson) all season, so that’s been really good for us.”
Elsewhere, Tabitha Peterson from the United States downed Canada’s Kerri Einarson 8-3. Peterson, third Cory Thiesse and second Becca Hamilton are playing as a trio with lead Tara Peterson absent.
Both teams arrived straight from the world men’s curling championship in Ottawa where Gushue grabbed the silver medal and Ramsfjell made it to the qualification round.
Scotland’s Ross Whyte scored three in the eighth to defeat Switzerland’s Yannick Schwaller 7-5 and wrap up the opening night of action.
Round-robin play resumes Wednesday with Draw 4 at 8 a.m. ET. Tickets are available at the box office and online at Ticketmaster.ca.
NOTES: The Princess Auto Players’ Championship features 12 of the top men’s teams and 12 of the top women’s teams from around the world based on the World Curling Federation’s year-to-date world team rankings. … Round-robin play runs through to Friday. The best six teams overall qualify for Saturday’s playoffs with the top two receiving byes to the semifinals. Both finals are scheduled for Sunday. … The Pinty’s Cup will also be awarded to the season champions in the series during the event.