Flaxey upsets Homan to win 1st GSOC title at Masters

October 30, 2016, 8:27 PM

OKOTOKS, Alta. — Allison Flaxey of Caledon upset defending champ Rachel Homan of Ottawa at the WFG Masters to capture her first career Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title.

Team Flaxey took the set 6-3 in an all-Ontario women’s final Sunday.

Flaxey, third Clancy Grandy, second Lynn Kreviazuk and lead Morgan Court were also playing in their first Grand Slam final and battled through a tiebreaker Saturday morning and stole their way through the playoffs and into the championship against the No. 1 ranked team in the world.

“I don’t think anybody here really knew that we were going to be the ones to come out on top,” Kreviazuk said. “There were a few of us, including our coach [Caleb Flaxey] and our few fans in the stands. We were kind of the underdogs of the week so it’s really nice to be able to now have our name out there. We’re going to be recognized so it’s exciting.”

Her sister Alison Kreviazuk won back-to-back Masters titles with Team Homan in 2012 and 2013 and she said it was cool to now have her name on the trophy.

“She’s always set the bar so high so it’s really nice to be able to do what she’s done and to accomplish what she’s accomplished,” Lynn Kreviazuk said.

Flaxey stole one in the first end to take a 1-0 lead as Homan clipped a guard with her last. Homan was held to a single in the second as she looked at three counters and made an open hit for her single. Flaxey blanked the third and Homan stole one in four to grab a 2-1 lead.

Flaxey then broke the game wide open with a huge four score in the fifth to go up 5-2. Still, Kreviazuk believes you can’t count out Team Homan and her squad didn’t ease off the gas pedal.

“Even scoring that big end that we did it still felt like it was such a close game,” Kreviazuk admitted. “It was always 0-0 in our minds or 1-1. We were really comfortable, however, so we never took that for granted, being up, we knew that they’re a seriously very strong team and so we knew we just needed to continue to make our shots.”

“We’ve already lost to them once this season,” she added. “We know that they always bring their A-game so we had to bring it one level higher and I’m happy that we did that today.”

The teams alternated singles in six and seven as Flaxey maintained the three-point advantage and ran Homan out of rocks in eight. Flaxey threw her broom up into the air in Edwin Encarnacion-esque fashion and it landed one sheet over.

Flaxey’s win followed another first-time Grand Slam champion with Sweden’s Team Niklas Edin stealing in an extra end to edge Team Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., 5-4 during the afternoon men’s final.

“It’s really nice to see fresh faces in curling so we’re excited we were able to get into the Slams this season and now that we’ve done so well we’re able to now secure our spot in the Slams,” Kreviazuk said. “We hope to be able to be here more often and hopefully continue with some of our successes.”

Homan is backed by third Emma Miskew, second Joanne Courtney and lead Lisa Weagle. The team won seven titles last season including a record three consecutive Grand Slams and picked up where they left off by taking their first two tour events in 2016-17.

NOTES: The WFG Masters was the first of seven events on the 2016-17 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling schedule. … Team Flaxey earned $30,000 CDN for winning the championship. … The next tournament on the schedule is the Tour Challenge, running Nov. 8-13 at Western Financial Place and Memorial Arena in Cranbrook, B.C. … Team Flaxey and Team Edin will return to Calgary at the end of the season qualifying for Humpty’s Champions Cup, featuring all of the top winning teams from the year. The tournament runs April 25-30 at WinSport Arena.