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The Globe and Mail

Ottawa’s Rachel Homan clinches second place at Olympic curling trials

Skip Rachel Homan throws a rock against Team Jones during draw 11 at the Roar of the Rings Canadian Olympic Curling Trials in Winnipeg, December 4, 2013.


Rachel Homan didn't care how she got a spot into the Canadian curling trials semifinal, it just mattered that her rink got one.

The defending Canadian champion defeated Stefanie Lawton of Saskatoon 6-5 in the final game of the seven-game round robin to finish 4-3, but Winnipeg's Chelsea Carey and Ontario's Sherry Middaugh also sported the same mark.

Homan got bumped to the semi, though, because her Ottawa rink fared better than Carey and Middaugh's teams on rankings based on draws to the button before games throughout the week.

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"It wasn't important," Homan said of avoiding a tie-breaker.

"It's nice to be able to get second place and go into the semi. Either way we had a chance and that's all we needed."

Carey and Middaugh will play their tie-breaker Friday at 1:30 p.m. (CT), with the winner taking on Homan later that night at 6:30.

Homan, 24, had no preference on which team they'd prefer taking on.

"We've played them both a million times and it's going to be a good game either way and hopefully we can win it in 10 (ends)," Homan said.

Winnipeg veteran skip Jennifer Jones already earned a bye into Saturday night's final (6:30 p.m. CT) and will watch her competitors battle it out.

Jones, 39, defeated Edmonton's Heather Nedohin 6-5 to finish her round robin at 6-1, while Nedohin ended with a 3-4 mark.

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Homan almost had to play in a tie-breaker, but Edmonton's Val Sweeting lost 9-8 in an extra end to Renee Sonnenberg of Grande Prairie, Alta., and fell to 3-4. Sonnenberg finished 1-6.

Carey had a chance to grab second place outright, but she lost 7-6 to Middaugh.

"If they'd told us at the start of the week we'd have a tie-breaker, we'd take it," Carey, 29, said.

Yet she knows her rink will have to curl better to earn a chance to play in an all-Winnipeg final, with the victor representing Canada at next year's Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

"We just didn't make enough shots (to win)," Carey said.

"I missed a couple bad shots. We just have to make more shots. You just can't be that sloppy against these teams and expect to win."

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Middaugh, who's competing in her fourth trials, was leading 5-3 after six ends and stole another point in the seventh.

Carey rebounded with a nose hit for three in the eighth to tie it 6-6, but Middaugh added one in the 10th for the victory.

Middaugh, 47, also saw room for improvement after the win.

"The first seven ends were fun and then I turned off my brain in my last shot in eight and then the collar got a little tight after that so I can't lie," Middaugh said.

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