Ontario into Scotties final with 9-7 semifinal win over Saskatchewan

SYDNEY, N.S. – It will be two previous champions – Rachel Homan of Ontario and Chelsea Carey of Alberta – playing off this evening for the 2019 Scotties Tournament of Hearts title.

Carey, the 2016 champion, was already in the final and Homan, who won in 2017, earned her spot with a 9-7 win in this afternoon’s semifinal over Robyn Silvernagle of Saskatchewan.

Homan and her Ottawa-based foursome had their hands full with the mostly rookie Silvernagle team out of North Battleford, Sask., that forced Homan to draw with her final stone to preserve the win.

“They had a helluva game,” Homan said of her determined opponents. “They had a big three to come back after our four, so we had to keep pressing. It was important to get two there in eight to regain control.”

Homan, vice-skip Emma Miskew, second Joanne Courtney, lead Lisa Weagle, alternate Cheryl Kreviazuk and coach Marcel Rocque, scored four in the sixth end. They put four of their first five stones inside the four foot and three tries by Saskatchewan to get them out failed. Homan had a draw for five but was a touch heavy and settled for the four.

Team Saskatchewan embraces after being eliminated in the semifinal game with a 9-7 loss to Ontario’s Rachel Homan. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver)

“Just a couple of heavy freezes and we allowed them to get in there, and then (vice-skip) Stef’s hog-line violation threw us back a little bit. It was a bad set-up end,” said Silvernagle.

Silvernagle, vice-skip Stefanie Lawton, the only member of the team on the ice with any previous Scotties experience, second Jessie Hunkin, lead Kara Thevenot, alternate Marliese Kasner and coach Lesley McEwan showed their fighting spirit by coming right back with three in the seventh.

“We just said it was only the sixth end, it’s a long game, five-rock rule so just be patient, junk up the house and you never know what will happen,” said Silvernagle, who was proud of her team’s performance the entire week.

‘We had such a great week. Of course you want to be in that final game, but we can’t hang our heads … for our first Scotties for three of us it was fantastic

“We just came up a bit short today but when you’re playing the top teams in Canada you have to have a good game all the time.”

Ontario scored two in the third, four in the sixth, two in the eighth and one in the 10th.

Saskatchewan countered with singles in the second and fourth, three in the seventh and two in the ninth.

The Silvernagle team just gave the veteran Homan crew, with three members seeking their fourth Scotties title, too many chances. They escaped burning one of their own stones in the house in the fourth, had some draws slide through the house, and Lawton had a hog-line violation in the sixth that aided Ontario’s big end.

Alberta’s Carey, vice-skip Sarah Wilkes, second Dana Ferguson, lead Rachel Brown and coach Dan Carey finished first in pool play at 9-2. They then beat Silvernagle 11-7 in the Page 1 vs. 2 game to move directly to the final.

Homan got to the semifinal by finishing in a three-way tie for second in pool play at 8-3 and then beat Krista McCarville and Team Northern Ontario 6-4 in the Page 3 vs. 4 game.

Silvernagle, in her first Scotties, was among those three teams tied for second in the round robin.

The 2019 Scotties Tournament of Hearts continues with today’s final at 6 p.m. AST.

Live scoring, standings and statistics for the 2019 Scotties Tournament of Hearts are available at www.curling.ca/scoreboard/

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This story will be available in French as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/2019scotties/category/nouvelles/?lang=fr