April 23rd, 2024

Canadian skip Homan opens world women’s curling championship with two wins

By The Canadian Press on March 16, 2024.

Canada's skip Rachel Homan delivers a rock during World Women’s Curling Championship action against Sweden in Sydney, N.S. on Saturday, March 16, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

SYDNEY, N.S. – Rachel Homan and her Team Canada put the finishing touches on a perfect opening day at the 2024 World Women’s Curling Championship by defeating Denmark 7-4 to earn their second win in as many games on Saturday.

Homan opened the world tourney earlier in the day with a 7-6 win over Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg.

The top-ranked Canadians’ skill was on full display against Denmark as Homan and her team proved to be a bit too much for the 39th-ranked Denmark squad, led by skip Madeline Dupont.

An uncharacteristically slow start for the Canadian crew saw them score only one in the first end as Denmark’s aggressive defence limited Canada to just a single. Denmark earned a single of their own in the second end to tie the game 1-1.

A tight start only got tighter throughout most of the third end, with both Canada and Denmark struggling to find the perfect spot for their stones. It wasn’t until Homan made a perfect shot in the third to score a deuce and boost Canada’s lead to 3-1.

Denmark blanked the fourth, scored once in the fifth, but gave up a crushing three in the sixth end to fall behind 6-2.

Denmark methodically work its way back in the seventh end with a single, but Canada had clearly grabbed control of the game, taking a 6-3 lead into the eighth that seemed insurmountable.

Denmark kept its hopes alive with a steal of one in the eighth end to reduce the deficit to 6-4, but Canada bounced back with a single to take a 7-4 lead into the 10th and then ran Denmark out of rocks.

Canada will be aiming to win three in a row when its faces the United States on Sunday afternoon.

Against Sweden, Homan was put to the test by the veteran Hasselborg.

“Phenomenal feeling,” Homan said of the 7-6 win. “We’re battling out here for Canada and for everyone out here that’s cheering their hearts out, we feel their emotion with them.

“We’re just trying to place our best and get as many wins as we can for Canada.”

Canada scored two in the first end before Sweden made it 2-1 in the second. The Canadians rallied for two more in the third for a 4-1 advantage.

After Sweden pulled to within 4-2 after the fourth end, Canada went back ahead 5-2 heading into the sixth. The Swedes again scored one in the sixth, only to have the Canadians counter with another deuce in the seventh end to take a commanding 7-3 lead.

But Sweden made it very interesting down the stretch. registering singles in each of the final three ends.

“They’re a phenomenal team,” Homan said of Sweden. “When you can’t take on the centre line, it allows for a lot of rocks to play.

“And when you have to play defensive, a team can definitely crawl back. We’re ready for that.”

Hasselborg took the opening loss in stride.

“We just took a while to get into the ice and learn the ice,” she said. “And I think we did that a lot better through the game and we will take that with us moving on.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 16, 2024.

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