Rachel Homan wins Roar of the Rings to punch her Olympic ticket

Rachel Homan and her Ottawa-based curling team will represent Canada at the Winter Olympics.

Homan defeated Calgary’s Chelsea Carey 6-5 in front of a boisterous home crowd in Sunday’s women’s final at the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings.

Carey was down a pair with hammer in the 10th. She tried a double takeout to force an extra end but only cleared one stone.

“I had to hit it half an inch thinner but that was kind of the story of the game,” Carey said. “We were really close to lots of good stuff and it just wasn’t our day.”

Carey was undefeated in round-robin play and started the final with hammer as the first seed.

Homan doesn’t miss a beat

Homan, the second seed at 7-1, beat reigning Olympic champion Jennifer Jones a day earlier to reach the final. She picked up where she left off, putting steady pressure on Carey and taking advantage of mistakes.

“We just kept getting better and better as the week went on,” Homan said.

Carey was wide with a peel attempt in the opening end to gift Homan a steal of one.

Team Homan lead Lisa Weagle and second Joanne Courtney showed their skill with a hard sweep on a throw in the second end. It gave Homan shot stone and she stole another point when Carey rubbed a guard.

Carey halved the lead in the third end with a nose hit for a single after a nice Homan hit and roll.

The Carey team of third Cathy Overton-Clapham, second Jocelyn Peterman and lead Laine Peters played a strong fourth end to force Homan to a single that was confirmed with a measure.

Carey’s comeback falls short

Homan answered with a force of her own in the fifth after a runback left Carey with a draw for one. Carey was a tad heavy and firm sweeping by Homan third Emma Miskew nearly produced a steal, but the stone hung on the eight-foot ring.

Homan took a 5-2 lead in the sixth end with a takeout for a deuce. Carey responded with a nose hit for two in the seventh.

Team Homan considered going for a split for two in the eighth but the skip decided to throw her last stone through for a blank.

With hammer in the ninth, Homan was forced to draw. She was a touch heavy and the stone barely hung on for the single.

Announced attendance was 7,490 to bring the overall total to 106,807. The venue has a capacity of about 17,000.

Curlers who are eliminated in team events still have a chance to qualify for Pyeongchang in mixed doubles, which is making its debut on the Olympic program.

The Canadian mixed doubles Trials are set for Jan. 2-7 in Portage la Prairie, Man. Canadian curlers who qualify in the team events cannot compete in mixed doubles at the Games.

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