Curling Canada – 2014 Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Team Canada wins a tight battle against Saskatchewan

Team Canada’s Rachel Homan squeaked out a 7-6 win over Saskatchewan’s Stefanie Lawton, maintaining her perfect record after 15 draws at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Montréal.

(Photo CCA/Andrew Andrew Klaver)

(Photo CCA/Andrew Andrew Klaver)

“It was a really good game, fun for the fans, and good for us to get a lot of rocks in play,” said Homan, who now sits 9-0 in the standings with two games remaining.

Lawton put the pressure on early, scoring three in the second end when Homan wrecked on a guard and left an open draw.

So far in the tournament, Team Canada hasn’t faced a come-from-behind situation, but they trailed 5-3 after six ends and had to fight back.

“That wasn’t fun,” Homan said about her missed shot in the second end. “We had to battle hard to get control of the game back. We were able to force a mistake in the last end.”

With the loss, Saskatchewan moves into third place in the standings, thanks to a win by Manitoba’s Chelsea Carey. But Lawton remains focused and optimistic.

“Rachel’s team played great,” said Lawton. “We had a few misses. It wasn’t our strongest game out there, but we are definitely going to come back and fire tonight (against B.C.’s Kesa Van Osch).”

Meanwhile, on the next sheet, Carey was pushed to an extra end to defeat Ontario’s Allison Flaxey 9-8. With no chance of making the playoffs, Flaxey tried to play spoiler, but came up short.

With the win, Carey moves into second place behind Homan and has a secured a playoff spot.

In other games, Sarah Koltun of the Yukon/Northwest Territories fell just short of winning her second game, a close battle with New Brunswick’s Andrea Crawford, who started Draw 15 with a 5-4 record and needed to stay in the win column to have any chance of a spot in the tie-breakers.

Koltun stole a point in the ninth end when Crawford’s double attempt went straight and rolled too far. But in the end, it was Crawford who drew for the 5-4 win.

“They made a lot of shots, they made a lot of draws, and they had us in a lot of tricky situations,” said Crawford. “It took a lot of patience on our part, and determination.”

New Brunswick is still in contention for playoff position, but that means keeping the momentum going.

“We came into today knowing we’re still in the hunt,” Crawford said. “We’ll just take the W and see what happens tonight against Alberta.”

The only other game of the afternoon featured the battle of the two other Maritime provinces. Although neither team will move into the playoffs, P.E.I.’s Kim Dolan stole the final end to defeat Nova Scotia’s Heather Smith 7-5.

The Scotties continues with draws on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and Friday at 9 a.m. (all times EST).

TSN/RDS2, the official broadcaster of the CCA’s Season of Champions, will provide extensive coverage of the 2014 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, with 66 hours of live broadcasts scheduled.

The winner of the 2014 Scotties Tournament of Hearts will represent Canada at the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship, presented by Booster Juice, March 15 to 23 in Saint John, N.B.

The 2014 Scotties marks the 33rd year of Kruger Products Limited’s sponsorship of the Canadian women’s championship.

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