ST. CATHERINES, ON – Ontario’s Rachel Homan spent most of this week plowing through opponents at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
But Michelle Englot’s Manitoba rink has proved to be a difficult beast to tame.
The team from Winnipeg’s Granite advanced to Sunday’s final with a 9-8 win in a very entertaining 1 vs. 2 page playoff game.
Manitoba never trailed, keeping their foot on the gas pedal as Homan’s squad struggled with the ice.
“It’s just amazing, the girls have played so well all week, and to come out and have such a solid game tonight feels really good,” Englot said. “We’ll just keep doing what we’re doing and come out and hopefully play as strong on Sunday night.”
For Englot, it’s her first ever trip to a Scotties final in her 8th try. She also seems to have Homan’s number, hanging nine points on the two-time champ for the second straight match.
“We’re just playing our game, we keep putting the pressure on and eventually she’s going to miss. We got a couple of misses and took advantage of it. We’ve been taking advantage of every opportunity.”
Manitoba grabbed an 8-4 lead after the sixth when Homan’s final shot came up short of the house, leaving Englot an open draw for three.
Then with the lead cut to two in the 8th, Homan made a phenomenal in-off to lie three, sending the pro-Ontario crowd into a frenzy. But Englot calmly made a short runback to score a single, taking the wind out of Ontario’s sails.
Manitoba now gets to relax until 6:30 Sunday night. Ontario will play in the semifinal at 6:30 tonight against the winner of the 3 vs. 4 game. In a rematch of last year’s final, Northern Ontario’s Krista McCarville takes on defending champ Chelsea Carey and Team Canada at 1:30 p.m.