Rachel Homan’s Canada team defeated Val Sweeting’s Alberta rink 8-6 to win a second consecutive Scotties Tournament of Hearts on Sunday night.
The Ottawa team of Homan, lead Lisa Weagle, second Alison Kreviazuk and third Emma Miskew, defended the Canadian women’s curling championship they won last year in Kingston, Ont.
At 13-0, they are the first since Linda Moore’s rink in 1985 to go undefeated at the tournament.
Homan took early leads all week and did it again by posting three points in the second end, although Sweeting answered with a hit for two in the third.
Sweeting was a tad strong on a raise in the fourth and Homan came around the right side to hit for two. Alberta got one back in the fifth.
Canada was in trouble in the sixth when a Sweeting draw left Alberta with three stones near the button, but Homan scattered them with a hit to salvage one point.
Sweeting drew for two in the seventh to close the gap to one point, only to see Homan pick off two Sweeting draws to score two in the eighth.
A Sweeting bid for a double takeout fell short and the Alberta skip was forced to draw for one in the ninth, handing Homan the hammer and a two-point lead going into the final end.
Canada ran them out of rocks to clinch the victory.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper witnessed the win from the grandstands at the Maurice Richard Arena. He was wearing a Canadian Olympic team jacket and posing for pictures with fans between ends. Harper has been to the men’s Brier, but a curling official said it was his first visit to the Scotties
Manitoba’s Chelsea Carey won the bronze medal game 7-3 over Saskatchewan’s Stefanie Lawton.
It offered some consolation for not reaching the final.
“The disappointment doesn’t go away, but you want to at least salvage what you can out of it,” said Carey. “I don’t agree with this even being a game. I never have.
“The Page (playoff) system builds in a bronze medallist. But, as much as I disagree with the game, it’s nice to win a game to get there.”
Carey made two perfect draws to score two in the eighth end for a 4-3 lead.
Lawton blanked the ninth and had the hammer going into the final end, but then disaster struck.
Second Sherri Singler threw a flash, third Sherry Anderson hit a guard and soon there were five Manitoba stones ringing the button.
Lawton tried to sneak in an angled raise with her last shot, but it couldn’t get through and Carey got a steal of three.
“It was worth a try,”said Lawton. “It was there...I had to stick it right on the nose. I couldn’t roll off. But it was a bit too hard. We didn’t leave ourselves in a great position to score one that end.
“It would have been nice to finish with a medal, but I’m proud of our girls. It was a great tournament for us. It’s unfortunate how it ended.”
The winning team splits $25,500 and gets gold rings with a diamond, while the silver medallists get $15,500 plus a gold ring with a ruby.
Carey’s squad gets $12,000 and a gold ring with an emerald. Because of her repeat win, the Homan team’s diamonds will be twice the size of last year. Lawton’s side gets $7,000.
All 12 teams get $4,167 for wearing title sponsor crests.
The winner usually gets $40,000 from the Own The Podium program, but in Olympic years that goes to the team that qualifies for the Winter Games.
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