Laura Walker in action during the 2019 Meridian Canadian Open in North Battleford, Sask. (Anil Mungal)

Walker to sub on Team Homan at Players’ Championship

April 12, 2019, 12:08 AM

TORONTO — Rachel Homan has called upon Laura Walker to help her team get through the Players’ Championship.

Walker will fill in at second for Joanne Courtney, who is expecting a baby soon and was feeling exhausted Thursday.

Considering the Ottawa-based club sits at a 2-2 record with another round-robin game to go before the playoffs, plus a potential tiebreaker should they need one in order to qualify, they felt the need to take a precautionary measure.

“We just came to the conclusion that if we were to have to put someone else in tomorrow … it would probably be good if they had a game under their belt first,” Team Homan third Emma Miskew said. “That’s how we got to it. She’s OK, just feeling pregnant.”

The Edmonton skip Walker happened to be at the event with her husband Geoff Walker, who throws lead stones for Team Brad Gushue. Walker is originally from nearby Scarborough, Ont., and has some history with Homan and Miskew as they won the Canadian junior title and world junior silver medal together in 2010.

“She’s a great player,” Miskew said. “We were lucky she’s here and we could suit her up and it’s good.”

Homan, who is also pregnant and expecting her first baby soon as well, has captured a record 10 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling women’s titles including three in a row entering the Players’ Championship. The team just needed two round-robin victories at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre to secure the overall season points title, the Pinty’s Cup, which they accomplished earlier Thursday with an 8-5 victory over Team Tracy Fleury.

Team Homan faced a tough two-game day and dropped a 9-1 decision to reigning world champions Team Silvana Tirinzoni in the afternoon. It was after that match they discussed with Courtney about how she was feeling and if she needed to take a break.

“She helped us win those two games for the Pinty’s Cup and then after that kind of a weight off our shoulders there,” Miskew said. “Just decided that she was going to watch tomorrow. Everything’s fine. It’s all about safety too with her sweeping and running up and down the ice, we want everything to be OK.”

Team Homan wrap up their round-robin schedule Friday afternoon against Team Jennifer Jones. Potential women’s tiebreakers will take place immediately after that draw in the evening with the quarterfinals beginning Saturday.