Rachel Homan advances to Olympic Trials final with win over Jennifer Jones

OTTAWA — Local favourite Rachel Homan defeated Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones 6-3 on Saturday afternoon to lock up a spot in the final of the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings.

The Ottawa skip stole a single point in the seventh end and came through with a takeout in the 10th for the win to the delight of the crowd at Canadian Tire Centre.

Homan will next play Calgary’s Chelsea Carey, who advanced straight to Sunday’s championship by finishing first in round-robin play at 8-0.

The men’s semifinal between Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen and Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., was set for Saturday night. The winner will play Calgary’s Kevin Koe in Sunday’s final.

After an opening blank, Jones delivered a nice freeze to force Homan to a single in the second end. Jones ticked a guard in the third end and Homan stole one for a 2-0 edge.

Jones got on the board with a nose hit for a deuce in the fourth end. Homan answered in the fifth with a hit of her own for two and a 4-2 lead into the mid-game break.

A blank followed in the sixth end and Homan forced Jones to try to hit for a single. The Jones stone jammed and spun out to give Homan a steal of one.

Homan cleared the house in the eighth end and Jones threw her stone away for the blank. In the ninth, Homan came through with a double takeout and Jones was a little heavy on a freeze attempt.

Homan delivered a takeout and Jones settled for a draw for one.

The result means there will be new Olympic champions in both team events at the Pyeongchang Games.

Jones won women’s gold at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and the men’s title went to Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. Jacobs did not make the playoff round this week.

Mixed doubles has been added to the Olympic program for the Feb. 9-25 Games.

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press

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