Rachel Homan defeated Tracy Fleury on Dec. 1, 2019 in the women’s final at the Canada Cup. (File photo by Michael Burns).

Rachel Homan defeats Tracy Fleury in women’s final at Canada Cup

LEDUC, Alta. — Ottawa’s Rachel Homan defeated Tracy Fleury of East St. Paul, Man., 9-4 on Sunday in the women’s final at the Canada Cup, earning the first spot in the Roar of the Rings Olympic Trials in the process.

Homan and her team of vice-skip Emma Miskew, second Joanne Courtney, lead Lisa Weagle and coach Marcel Rocque, secured the win with a masterfully-played third end, needing a draw to anywhere in the eight-foot to score a four-ender.

“It’s been a great week and my team’s played so well,” said Homan. “We tried really hard to be where we wanted to be at the Canada Cup and it paid off.

“We’re so excited to get the first trials berth. It’s nice to have.”

Later Sunday, Toronto’s John Epping beat Calgary’s Kevin Koe 7-4 in nine ends for his first Canada Cup men’s title and a place in the Roar of the Rings Olympic Trials.

Epping turned an uncertain situation to his advantage with a three-ender in the fourth to take a 3-2 lead, neutralizing Koe’s hammer advantage and denying the Calgarian a chance to post his first four-game win streak this year.

“Whenever you give up a deuce early, you can’t panic.” said Epping. “We were trying to get a deuce in the next end and we ended up with three.”

Even before the first rock was thrown in the men’s final, Epping had become Canada’s top-ranked men’s team alongside third Ryan Fry, second Mat Camm and lead Brent Laing.

“What a great week,” said Epping. ”We played OK today, got a couple of breaks, went away and it turned into us just winning.”

Homan, 30, has won three Scotties Tournament of Hearts titles and one world championship. Her lineup also captured the 2015 Canada Cup title.

She ended this week as the only women’s team to not give up more than a deuce in any game.

Fleury, with third Selena Njegovan, second Liz Fyfe and lead Kristin MacCush continue to be Canada’s No. 1-ranked team despite the loss.

“Their team played very well,” said Fleury. “It was hard for us to get something going. We just gave up that early lead unfortunately. They put a lot of pressure on us in that end and it was hard to come back. There’s a lot to be proud of this week.

“We wanted this one (trials berth), the first one, but it’s still a while away so there will be more chances.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2019.

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