The Home Stretch
When you’re good, you’re good.
It seems every five years or so there is a women’s curling team that seems to set itself apart from the rest of the pack, dominating the national curling scene for multiple years.
From 2001-2004 Colleen Jones, out of the Mayflower Curling Club in Halifax, won four straight Scotties Tournament of Hearts titles before missing the playoffs in 2005 when Jennifer Jones and her Manitoba rink won their first Scotties title.
In 2006 it appeared as though Jones was poised to win a second straight, but Kelly Scott ruined that parade as she won the 2006 and 2007 Scotties.
It was 2008 when Jones started her domination of women’s curling on the national stage. She would top Alberta’s Shannon Kleibrink 6-4 in the final to win her second Scotties.
They went on a run, winning the 2009 and 2010 Canadian women’s curling championships before their streak was ended in 2011 as Amber Holland’s Saskatchewan rink stop won in the tenth end to win 8-7 and dethrone Jones.
Jones would win bronze in 2012 before losing the 2013 final to a young team from Ontario skipped by Rachel Homan.
This year with Jones at the Olympics representing the Team Canada in women’s curling it would appear Homan is going to be the next team to string together a pair of Scotties victories.
She was 5-0 going into Tuesday night’s draw against Nova Scotia’s Heather Smith, who I honestly thought would have a better showing than her 2-4 record (as of afternoon draw).
It hasn’t been the easiest road for Homan so far, but it hasn’t been too difficult either.
Opening the week against Manitoba’s Chelsea Carey, who will likely make the playoffs, Homan crushed her 8-3 through eight ends.
With two draws on Monday she won 9-3 (eight ends) over Ontario before a 9-6 victory over the hometown Quebec team.
Monday, with just one draw, she defeated the young Yukon team skipped by Sarah Koltun 9-3.
It was yesterday’s 10-5 win over Val Sweeting that may have shown they’re not fooling around. The Sweeting rink from Alberta is also expected to make the playoffs, but Homan handled her with no issue.
She has yet to face Heather Strong rink that has the potential to make the playoffs for Newfoundland and Labrador for the first time since Cathy Cunningham did in 2003 and Stephanie Lawton’s rink (Saskatchewan) that was 4-1 (as of afternoon draw). Both games will be another test for Homan, but if she continues the way she has so far it’s unlikely she’ll have to throw her last rock in the tenth end until Sunday’s final, if that.
Teams can definitely get hot at the right time and go on a roll at the week-long event, but it appears that Homan is the next one making her claim as a team that will be consistent and competitive for the next few years.
Christopher Cameron is the sports reporter for The News and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @NGNewsChris. His column runs weekly on Wednesdays.