Rachel Homan, Emma Miskew, Joanne Courtney and Lisa Weagle with the Pinty's GSOC National trophy in Oshawa, Ont. (Photo: Anil Mungal)

Homan captures inaugural women’s National title

November 15, 2015, 8:15 PM

OSHAWA, Ont. — Rachel Homan ran the table at the National to continue her impressive run through the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling this season.

Homan scored two in the final end to lift her Ottawa-based rink to a 5-4 over Tracy Fleury, of Sudbury, to capture the inaugural women’s National title Sunday at the General Motors Centre.

The team of Homan, third Emma Miskew, second Joanne Courtney, and lead Lisa Weagle finished 7-0 in the major event and have improved their record to 20-1 overall in the series.

“It’s a great feeling,” Miskew said. “We didn’t really think about the fact that it was the first one, just going out there and shooting one shot at a time but that’s really cool. We’re really excited that we were a part of it this year so I’m really happy.”

It was Homan’s third Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling final through three events this season after finishing runner-up at the Tour Challenge Tier 1 event in September and taking home her third career Masters title in four seasons just two weeks ago.

Homan blanked the first but was forced to a single in the second to open the scoring 1-0. Fleury then blanked the third and drew for one in the fourth to tie it.

Fleury missed a double takeout in the fifth, only getting one, and Homan punched out the counter for a deuce but countered with a hit and stick to match for two points in the sixth.

A little controversy occurred in the seventh when Team Homan believed they had second shot while Team Fleury, who held shot stone, wanted a measurement for second.

Homan opted for the draw but came up light to give up the steal, but Courtney kicked off their rock before Fleury could measure and she could have taken two. However, Fleury declined the second point but took a 4-3 lead into the eighth with Homan holding the hammer coming home.

“Rachel made a freeze on her first shot to be second shot but I guess it wasn’t completely obvious to both teams that who was shot in that situation. They looked a couple times but I looked to make sure before Rachel threw her last shot and I was like, ‘Okay yeah, we’re second so throw the draw’ because if we hadn’t been second I was going to suggest we throw the hit and roll just to make sure that we only gave up one if the shot came up light, which it did,” Miskew explained. “Then I didn’t know that they had intended on measuring it so Jo moved the rock off really quick and they were like, ‘Oh we were going to measure that,’ so in that situation if they wanted to measure and we kicked it off too early, they actually could have taken their two.”

“I explained that we would have hit it so they were actually really great to just take the one there,” she added. “It’s tough looking back at that and we made a mistake but it was really amazing that they took the one and let the game go to the eighth.”

Miskew missed her raise attempt on her first shot — missing Fleury’s stone and taking out her own in the back 12-foot circle instead –but nailed it on her second to sit for shot.

“We kind of needed that,” Miskew said. “After my first one, taking out the back one there wasn’t the end of the world there, we really just needed to make contact with their rock but it was unfortunate that I kind of just made a wall so the next one was really important. I really just tried to stick to throwing the rock at the broom. Rachel called the line great.”

Homan took control in skip stones and was able to draw for second shot with her last to count two for the win.

Fleury, the reigning Northern Ontario Scotties champion, was playing in her first career Grand Slam final.

NOTES: The National was the third stop — and second major — of the 2015-16 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season. … Brad Gushue of St. John’s defeated Winnipeg’s Reid Carruthers earlier Sunday to capture the men’s National title. … The victory also qualified Gushue for the season-ending Champions Cup event in Sherwood Park, Alta. The all-new Pinty’s GSOC tournament will feature the top men’s and women’s winners on tour. … Team Homan had already earned a spot in the Champions Cup by winning the Masters. … The Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season continues with the Meridian Canadian Open running Dec. 8-13 in Yorkton, Sask.