Tracy Horgan and her Sudbury Idylwylde team of Jennifer Seabrook, Jenna Enge and Amanda Gates won their first Ontario Scotties Tournament of Hearts title in Kenora on Sunday, January 29.
Horgan scored her victory over defending provincial champion Rachel Homan, who picked a bad time to lose her first game of the week-long event. Homan and her Ottawa Curling Club team of Emma Miskew, Alison Kreviazuk and Lisa Weagle controlled the final game 5-2 after five ends and 6-5 playing the tenth with the hammer, when things went awry. Misfires on Homan’s last two rocks resulted in a timely steal of 2 and a 7-6 victory for the Sudbury crew. Ironically, Homan had built up her mid-game lead with steals of one in both the fourth and fifth ends.
Homan dominated round robin play with a record of 9-0 before earning a trip to Sunday’s final by stealing single points in the eighth, ninth and tenth ends in a 5-3 win over Horgan in the Page 1 vs. 2 game.
Horgan and her youthful teammates, who had finished preliminary play with a 7-2 record, were quick to bounce back from their first playoff setback. They never trailed in a 7-3 semi-final win over Scotties vet Sherry Middaugh on Sunday morning. Middaugh and her Coldwater & District Curling Club team of Jo-Anne Rizzo, Lee Merklinger and Leigh Armstrong had previously sidelined Fort William’s Krista McCarville in the 3 vs. 4 game after both teams finished the round robin with 6-3 records.
McCarville, a four-time Ontario champ, gave up a score of 2 in the eighth end and a steal of 2 in the ninth in the 5-1 loss. She had been supported by Ashley Miharija, Sarah Lang and Liz Kingston throughout the championship, which was contested at the Kenora Curling Club.
While the twenty-five-year-old Horgan will be the youngest skip in the Red Deer field, she does not lack national championship experience. She is a three-time Northern Ontario junior champion and has a history of always returning home with a winning record.
The 2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts gets underway February 18-26 at Westerner Park in Red Deer, Alberta.