Alberta’s Chelsea Carey stole two points in an extra end for a stunning 8-6 victory over Ontario’s Rachel Homan in the final of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts on Sunday night at Centre 200.
Homan had two chances to win the game but came painfully short on both opportunities.
Her draw to the four-foot ring stopped about an inch short in the 10th end. Homan had a similar shot for the win in the 11th but was about a foot away.
Brooms were sent flying after Alberta won — with lead Rachel Brown nearly hitting the scoreboard with hers — as she joined Carey and teammates Sarah Wilkes and Dana Ferguson to celebrate.
“I don’t think I even know what just happened,” Carey said. “I’m still in shock.”
Carey’s other national women’s curling championship title came in 2016 with a different team.
Homan started strong with two early steals. Carey frequently missed wide over the first few ends and gave up three points in the fourth after a flubbed takeout attempt.
Alberta started to make things interesting after the mid-game break by scoring on back-to-back steals. Carey had a chance to pull even in the ninth end but was well wide with her final throw.
She took her chances in the 10th and 11th ends by hoping Homan would miss on her draws with the ice becoming less consistent.
“We had control and we had every opportunity to win,” said Homan, who is one of the best in the game in that situation.
“Rachel hasn’t missed a draw to the four-foot all season,” said Ontario third Emma Miskew. “It was just a really hard guess out there.”
The final was a rematch of the 2017 Olympic Trials final. Homan won that game in Ottawa when Carey missed a double takeout that would have forced an extra end.
This game started off with only a fraction of the tension. By the end, it came close to matching it.
Carey wrecked on a guard in the first end, going wide on an angle raise in the second and feather-ticking a stone in the third end to settle for one.
Homan, Miskew and teammates Joanne Courtney and Lisa Weagle were relentless over the first half of the game, forcing Carey’s side to play defence.
Alberta finally caught a break in the sixth end when Homan missed a runback takeout for three that would have put the game away.
Ontario gave up another point in the seventh when Homan couldn’t deliver on a come-around tapback. She had a chance for a double takeout in the eighth but hit for one.
Despite a nose hit opportunity in the ninth, Carey decided to draw for two but her throw was heavy.
Carey, from Calgary, was named most valuable player. She defeated Homan 6-3 when the teams met in the preliminary round.
Earlier in the day, Homan defeated Saskatchewan’s Robyn Silvernagle 9-7 in the semifinal. Homan broke open a tight game with four points in the sixth end and was in control from there.
Saskatchewan third Stefanie Lawton had a hog-line violation in the decisive end and Ontario took advantage.
Silvernagle, from Biggar, Sask., was making her debut at the national women’s curling championship.
“Of course you want to be in that final game but we can’t hang our heads low about not being there,” Silvernagle said. “For the first Scotties for three of us, it was fantastic and we had a ton of great shots throughout the whole entire week.
“We just came up a little bit short today.”
Carey earned direct entry into the final with a win over Silvernagle in the 1-2 Page Playoff game on Saturday. Homan reached the semifinal with a 3-4 Page Playoff victory over Northern Ontario’s Krista McCarville.
Homan has reached the playoffs in all six of her Scotties appearances. The three-time national champion had never won by taking the long route through the 3-4 game.
Competition started over a week ago with 16 teams entered in the main draw. Eight teams were cut after the preliminary round and four more were trimmed Friday night after the championship round.
Announced attendance was 2,496 for the semifinal, pushing the overall total to 43,312 entering the last draw. The venue has a capacity of about 5,000 for curling.
Carey will represent Canada at the March 16-24 women’s world championship in Silkeborg, Denmark.
The Canadian men’s curling championship — the Tim Hortons Brier — is set for March 1-10 in Brandon, Man.