The Sports Examiner

CURLING: First Grand Slam title for Bottcher, but no. 10 for Homan at Canadian Open

Canada's record-setting Rachel Homan (Photo: GSOC/Anil Mungal)

Brendan Bottcher’s team from Edmonton, Alberta rolled through the Grand Slam of Curling’s Meridien Canadian Open to win his first-ever Grand Slam of Curling title by edging John Epping’s rink, 6-3, at the Civic Centre arena in North Battleford, Saskatchewan (CAN).

Bottcher did it the hard way, defeating teams skipped by 2014 Olympic gold medalist Brad Jacobs (CAN) in the quarterfinals and then 2017 World Champion Brad Gushue in the semis. Once in the final, the sides were tied, 3-3, through five ends, but Bottcher’s squad scored two in the sixth and one in the seventh for the final margin.

“It’s awesome, especially, a couple months ago we got so close in Thunder Bay, I really felt like we had a good chance to win our first one there,” Bottcher said. “We played great all week, and this is what we needed for points and its what we needed to set us up for the rest of the year. It’s just been a good week.”

Winning has been more of a habit for Rachel Homan (CAN) and her crew, as they won their 10th Grand Slam of Curling title, a new record.

“It feels amazing,” said Homan. “Off the Christmas break for us to regroup and put in the work to make sure that we were ready for this weekend, that was really important for us to do well here. We were able to accomplish our goals here, the team played so strong the whole way through and found a way to win.”

The skip of the 2017 World Champions, Homan’s squad defeated U.S. Olympic Trials winner Nina Roth’s rink, 6-4, in the semifinals and then out-lasted Swiss Silvana Tirinzoni for a 4-3 win in the final. The Swiss tied the match with two points in the seventh end, but Homan managed a point in the final end for the record-setting win. Summaries:

Grand Slam of Curling/Canadian Open
North Battleford (CAN) ~ 8-13 January 2019
(Full results here)

Men: 1. Brendan Bottcher (CAN); 2. John Epping (CAN); 3. Brad Gushue (CAN) and Niklas Edin (SWE). Semis: Bottcher d. Gushue, 6-5; Epping d. Edin, 9-1. Final: Bottcher d. Epping, 6-3.

Women: 1. Rachel Homan (CAN); 2. Silvana Tirinzoni (SUI); 3. Nina Roth (USA) and Eve Muirhead (SCO). Semis: Homan d. Roth, 6-4; Tirinzoni d. Muirhead, 8-4. Final: Homan d. Tirinzoni, 4-3.

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