PARADISE, N.L. — Rachel Homan and her rink from Ottawa are right where they want to be.
Homan toppled Edmonton’s Val Sweeting 6-2 in Friday’s evening draw at the Tour Challenge to remain the only undefeated skip in women’s play heading into the quarter-finals.
Homan scored three in the sixth end to open up enough of an advantage to cruise to a 4-0 record and first place through round-robin action at the first Grand Slam of Curling event of the season.
“We came out here and were just focusing on making one shot at a time,” said Emma Miskew, third on Team Homan. “Our record doesn’t really matter too much to us, we wanted to make the playoffs. We’re really happy we get to play in the quarters tomorrow.”
Four rinks share second place with 3-1 records including Winnipeg’s Kristy McDonald, who edged Russia’s Anna Sidorova 4-3 in evening play. South Korea’s Eun Jung Kim earned her third victory with an 8-5 win over Switzerland’s Alina Paetz in Draw 13. Sherry Middaugh, from Coldwater, Ont., and Edmonton’s Kelsey Roque round out the top five after running their record to 3-1 in afternoon action.
Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni sits sixth at 2-2 and will automatically move on because of one of her victories coming in an extra end.
The top eight rinks advance to the quarter-finals, however four other clubs are tied with 2-2 records and will need a tiebreaker Saturday morning to decide the final two positions.
Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones will face Scotland’s Eve Muirhead while Calgary’s Chelsea Carey plays Tracy Fleury of Sudbury, Ont.
“We have at least one more game whether it’s tiebreaker or not,” said Jones. “We managed to win two games when we had to and we’ll see what happens from here.”
In men’s night action, Edmonton’s Reid Carruthers secured top spot with a 6-5 win over Scotland’s David Murdoch. Carruthers is the only skip without a loss on the men’s side, matching Homan with a 4-0 record.
“It feels great, 4-0 at a Slam,” said lead Colin Hodgson. “Reid has been playing great and we’re just kind of riding the rollercoaster with him.”
Also in evening play, American John Shuster doubled up Switzerland’s Peter De Cruz 6-3 to advance. Calgary’s Kevin Koe slipped past Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen 5-4 and Brad Gushue of St John’s, N.L., downed Sweden’s Niklas Edin 9-5.
Gushue, McEwen, Koe, Edmonton’s Brendan Bottcher, Olympic champion Brad Jacobs, from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and Glen Howard of Penetanguishene, Ont., will also advance to the quarter-finals with 3-1 records. Shuster snuck into the eighth and final spot with a 2-2 mark.
The Canadian Press