Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Homan now the woman to beat

Can cap dominant season with a Grand-Slam sweep this week

  • Print

TORONTO -- National women's curling champion Rachel Homan can wrap up her breakout season in style this week at The Players' Championship.

She can complete a sweep of the Grand Slam of Curling events with a victory at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.

Homan is one of the headliners in a deep 15-team women's field. The strong men's draw also boasts 15 teams, including world champion Niklas Edin of Sweden and Tim Hortons Brier champion Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

Homan's rink has been dominant this season.

The Ottawa skip owns top spot on the Canadian Team Ranking System list. She won her first Scotties Tournament of Hearts title in Kingston, Ont., a couple months ago and then added a bronze medal in her world women's championship debut in Riga, Latvia.

Lisa Weagle, who plays lead for Homan's team, said the rink is hoping to build off its recent success.

"I think any kind of world experience is good for our team," Weagle said in a recent interview. "What it has really shown to us is that we can compete with the best teams in the world.

"It was a confidence booster for sure."

A combined event purse of $200,000 is on the line at this week's bonspiel. An additional Grand Slam combined bonus of $200,000 will also be awarded.

Canadian teams are also fighting for berths in the Olympic trials and pre-trial competition. The CTRS standings -- used to determine qualification into both events -- will be finalized after The Players' Championship.

Toronto's John Epping upset 2012 world champion Glenn Howard of Coldwater, Ont., in last year's TPC final. Epping, the lowest-seeded skip in the men's draw last year, hit the button with his final throw for a 7-6 win.

Howard said the success of young skips like Epping shows how strong the sport is right now.

"You're as good as your competition," he said. "So you play the better teams, you get better. The knowledge out there today is better, the kids are learning it faster than I think I did at their age.

"It's almost through osmosis. You almost just get better because you're playing against better competition."

Epping knows that the opposition might be gunning for him as the defending champion.

"It's going to be very difficult to defend the title," he said. "But I think there are some bigger targets on other people's backs too. The recent silver medallists from the worlds are there, the world champions are there."

Alberta's Kevin Martin, Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton and 2006 Olympic champion Brad Gushue of Newfoundland and Labrador are also in the field.

Alberta's Heather Nedohin, Scotland's Eve Muirhead and Switzerland's Mirjam Ott are expected to contend in women's play. Muirhead won the women's world title last month while Ott is the 2012 world champion.

Saskatoon's Stefanie Lawton defeated Winnipeg's Cathy Overton-Clapham 7-3 in the 2012 TPC final in Summerside, P.E.I.

Round-robin play begins tonight at the Mattamy Athletic Centre -- formerly Maple Leaf Gardens -- and continues through Friday. The playoff games are set for Saturday and the finals are scheduled for Sunday.

Martin, Howard and Stoughton have already locked up spots in the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings this December in Winnipeg. Jennifer Jones, Nedohin and Lawton have secured direct entry into the women's draw. The pre-trials competition will be held in November in Kitchener, Ont.


-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 16, 2013 D5

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Winnipeg Free Press 27 cent digital payment system

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS  070527 The 21st Annual Teddy Bears' Picnic at Assiniboine Park. The Orlan Ukrainian Dancers perform on stage.
  • JOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-(  Standup photo)-    A butterfly looks for nector on a lily Tuesday afternoon in Wolseley-JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- June 22, 2010

View More Gallery Photos


What are your feelings on NHL potentially implementing 3-on-3 overtime?

View Results

Ads by Google