Maintaining Momentum!

Team Ontario-Homan lead Sarah Wilkes (left) and second Emma Miskew (right) tend to a stone thrown by skip Rachel Homan (back) in an 8-4 win over Team Canada’s Kerri Einarson at the 2024 Scotties Tournament of Hearts page 1 / 2 qualifier match. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver)

Teams Homan, Jones take big step forward in chase for Scotties title

Curling fans should have seen this coming. 

Rachel Homan, skipping perhaps the hottest team on the planet, and Jennifer Jones, looking to close out her brilliant career with one more title, advanced their teams to the Page Playoff 1-2 game this weekend after winning impressive Page Qualifier matchups Friday afternoon at the 2024 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary. 

The afternoon draw at WinSport Event Centre was the next step in the Scotties schedule, pitting the top two teams in each Pool following round-robin play against each other in crossover games. 

Homan’s Team Ontario (Ottawa), which marched its way through Pool B undefeated, trounced defending champion Kerri Einarson’s Team Canada (Gimli) 8-4 in a game filled with some great shot-making on both sides. Einarson had finished in the No. 2 spot in Pool A. 

Meanwhile, Team Manitoba-Jones (Winnipeg/Altona), the No. 2 team from Pool B, was a big 8-4 winner over Team Alberta (Edmonton), skipped by Selena Sturmay who has wowed local curling fans with her poise and ability on the way to clinching top spot in Pool A. 

The victories moved Homan and Jones into the driver’s seat at the Scotties, needing only two more wins to clinch the championship. They will clash in the 1-2 game, with the winner going to the gold-medal final and the loser to the semifinal game. 

Friday afternoon’s losers have their work cut out. They must win four straight games to win gold, starting tonight when they square off against the third-place finishers at 6 p.m., (all times Moutain). Einarson will play Kate Cameron’s Team Manitoba-Cameron (Winnipeg), while Sturmay will lock horns with Team Manitoba (Winnipeg) skipped by Kaitlyn Lawes. 

Team Canada skip Kerri Einarson calls line in the page 1 / 2 qualifer match versus Team Ontario-Homan at the 2024 Scotties Tournament of Hearts (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver)

The winners of those games will advance to the Page Playoff 3-4 game. 

“Lot of good ends, lot of good shots,” said Homan, who is on a 14-game winning streak. “Short route — nice to win that one and get into the 1-2 game. We’re going to have bring more than we brought today.” 

Third Emma Miskew had high praise for her skipper. 

“Rachel is playing her ‘A’ game,” she said. “Her shot-making speaks for itself. She’s dialed right now. She can make any shot on the sheet.” 

Team Ontario, like it did all week, put extreme pressure on the Team Canada. Every time Einarson looked up from the hack, she was facing trouble. In the second end, for example, she needed back-to-back doubles to get out of a jam. Another double in the fourth cut Team Ontario down to two points, and Einarson needed to draw the four-foot against four to score one in the sixth. 

The life of living dangerously finally caught up to the champs in the seventh when Einarson wasn’t able to double up rocks, and Homan had an open draw for three and a 6-3 lead. 

“It was a good game at the start. Both teams put pressure on each other, some really great shots,” said Einarson. “Just an unfortunate seventh end. Just one bad end that got away from us.” 

Jones was in vintage form. Enjoying the Scotties stage for the final time, the 49-year-old legend has a chance to become the winningest women’s skip in Canadian history with a seventh title — and seems determined to get it with her young Manitoba team. 

It was clear she meant business as early as the third end when she made a runback on her own rock to score three and grab a 3-1 lead. It was tied 4-4 after six ends, but Jones pulled away with four points over the next three ends, including a big steal of two in the ninth. 

Team Manitoba-Jones skip Jennifer Jones (center) delivers a stone to third Karlee Burgess (left) and lead Lauren Lenentine (right) in the 1 / 2 qualifier match versus Team Alberta on Friday afternoon. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver)

“Anytime you can get a win and move yourself along in the process, it’s everything,” said Jones. “This is a massive game for us. 

“I thought we had real good rock placement today. When we needed a big shot or a good guard, they were placed perfectly. That’s something we didn’t do as well yesterday but today I thought we were spot on.” 

Sturmay had to salute her opponent. 

“She (Jones) played a really aggressive game. She’s not afraid to stack the middle so we needed to make a few more good shots on the runbacks.” 

Sturmay said she was not shaken by falling behind early 

“No. We’re a comeback team. Ten ends is a long game. We like to claw our way back. Unfortunately, today just wasn’t our day.” 

The final goes Sunday, Feb. 25. 

Live scoring, standings and statistics for the 2024 Scotties Tournament of Hearts are available at

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