VIC­TO­RI­OUS HO­MAN EN­JOY­ING ‘AMAZ­ING’ FAN SUP­PORT AT ROAR OF THE RINGS

Ottawa Citizen - - SPORTS - KEN WAR­REN kwar­ren@post­media.com

The stage was set for Rachel Ho­man and she de­liv­ered. And how. With a Ho­man-heavy home crowd at Cana­dian Tire Cen­tre ready to cheer ev­ery move by the home­town skip Wed­nes­day night, she set her­self up for a fan­tas­tic fin­ish against Casey Schei­deg­ger of Leth­bridge.

Ho­man closed out the night with a bril­liant dou­ble take out — clearing the nar­row­est win­dow in front of the house — scor­ing four in the tenth end en route to a come­back 10-7 vic­tory.

The home crowd roared. Ho­man, typ­i­cally re­served, punc­tu­ated the game-win­ning shot with a fist pump be­fore be­ing con­grat­u­lated by team­mates Emma Miskew, Joanne Court­ney and Lisa Wea­gle.

“Amaz­ing,” Ho­man said of hav­ing so much fan sup­port behind her. “It’s so awe­some to have ev­ery­body there, and go­ing through all the emo­tions with us. We had a lot of friends and fam­ily in the crowd. We didn’t love a lot of that game, but it was fun to play and fun to make your last shot for sure.”

Ho­man is now 5-1, tied with Jen­nifer Jones, trail­ing the 5-0 Chelsea Carey rink. While play­off po­si­tions aren’t yet guar­an­teed, those three have sep­a­rated them­selves from the field.

Ho­man is back in ac­tion Thurs­day night against Val Sweet­ing and meets Jones in a muchan­tic­i­pated show­down Fri­day night.

“We needed that win, it was a big win for us,” said Ho­man. “It could have gone ei­ther way. They’re a great team.”

The fi­nal end be­gan with a “Let’s Go Ho­man” chant and it was nerve wrack­ing through­out.

Schei­deg­ger had put Ho­man in a do-or-die sit­u­a­tion with her fi­nal shot. If Ho­man hit ei­ther one of the two guards out front, she would have handed the game to the Leth­bridge skip.

At the same time, Schei­deg­ger left her­self open slightly for the dou­ble take­out when her fi­nal shot curled more than she would have liked.

Ho­man was down 7-6 head­ing home, but did some im­pres­sive work just to get her­self back into the con­test and to earn the ham­mer for the 10th end.

A deft raise with her fi­nal stone in the ninth end forced Schei­deg­ger to take one, yield­ing the last shot ad­van­tage.

Ho­man had the crowd on its feet — ex­cept for those that were hug­ging in the Ho­man suite — with a bril­liant dou­ble to score two in the eighth, ty­ing the game 6-6.

It was an im­pres­sive come­back af­ter fall­ing way behind early.

Ho­man needed that shot and more to work her way back into the con­test. She also scored two in the sixth and forced Schei­deg­ger to take one in the sev­enth.

Ho­man dug her­self a deep hole early.

She gave up two to Schei­deg­ger in the fourth end and the Leth­bridge skip stole an­other in the fifth.

That put Schei­deg­ger up 5-2, putting big pres­sure on Ho­man.

At that point, the Cana­dian Tire Cen­tre was quiet. Full of Ho­man sup­port­ers, they had come out loud and proud, hop­ing they help lead her to vic­tory.

Ho­man signs dot­ted the seats, in­clud­ing the fol­low­ing: “Rachel Ho­man, Lo­cal Girl, Global Dom­i­na­tion”.

Ear­lier in the day, some­thing had to give in the bat­tle of the only two un­de­feated squads — Jones and Carey.

Carey’s 7-5 vic­tory left her with a perfect 5-0 mark, while Jones dropped to 5-1.

Ho­man is now 5-1 her­self, but she ac­knowl­edged Wed­nes­day’s win was hardly the eas­i­est vic­tory.

“It was a bat­tle,” she said. “Just miss­ing some shots by mil­lime­tres. It’s not a great feel­ing when you al­most have it and you just miss it. I think mak­ing that last one was just all our emo­tions com­ing out and hav­ing to stick with our process and not get too ex­cited through­out.”

Wea­gle couldn’t say enough about the crowd sup­port, and be­ing able to de­liver on home ice when it counted.

“That feel­ing, just to make that last shot and have the crowd go nuts, was some­thing re­ally, re­ally spe­cial,” Wea­gle said. “We’ve had a lot of suc­cess (near home), at Kingston, St. Catharines, Mon­treal, close to home. We re­ally wanted to chan­nel that feel­ing and use the home crowd to our ad­van­tage here.”

They cer­tainly ac­com­plished that on Wed­nes­day.

MICHAEL BURNS

Team Homan skip Rachel Homan of Ot­tawa shouts to her front end dur­ing draw 14 against Casey Schei­deg­ger Wed­nes­day at the Cana­dian Tire Cen­tre. Team Homan won 10-7.

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