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Ontario’s Homan wins way into Tournament of Hearts playoffs



KAMLOOPS — Kerri Einarson heads into the Canadian women’s curling championship playoffs in command of her bid for a fourth straight title.

The lone unbeaten team at 7-0 got there with bold tactics and precise shot execution, plus an understanding of changing ice conditions in Kamloops, B.C.

The first team to attempt a Scotties Tournament of Hearts quadruple since Colleen Jones from 2001 to 2004 knows the level of execution required to do it.

“I think we’re close,” Einarson said Thursday. “Not quite there yet, but I know now that we’ve got a feeling out there of what the ice is going to be like to continue.


“I think we’ll have a really good handle on it.”

Einarson, third Val Sweeting, second Shannon Birchard and lead Briane Harris from Manitoba’s Gimli Curling Club held off Kayla Skrlik’s tenacious Alberta rink 9-8 to extend their winning streak.

With one game remaining in Pool A at night against winless Nunavut, Einarson was poised to go undefeated in her group a second straight year.

“We’re happy with our start to the event, but definitely there’s still a lot left to do here,” Sweeting said.

Six teams — three from each pool — from the field of 18 advanced to Friday’s championship round.

Four teams were playoff-bound with a five-way race for the remaining two berths still in play Thursday evening.

Einarson, last year’s finalist Krista McCarville of Northern Ontario, Manitoba’s Jennifer Jones and Ontario’s Rachel Homan advanced.

Ontario’s 5-3 win over New Brunswick early Thursday propelled three-time Hearts winner Homan into the next round as the third seed in Pool B behind McCarville and Jones, both 7-1.

“That was a huge win for our team,” Homan said. “That was really strong showing. We still had some misses but we made some big ones when it counted.”

With identical records, McCarville earned the higher seed atop Pool B over Jones by virtue of Northern Ontario’s win over Manitoba in the tournament’s opening draw.

Homan posted a 6-2 record with a 9-5 win over Casey Scheidegger’s wild card team in the afternoon.

A playoff berth already in the bag gave pregnant Ontario lead Sarah Wilkes a breather.

Alternate Kira Brunton drew into the lineup against Scheidegger.

Finishing first in their respective pools provide Einarson and McCarville byes to Friday’s championship finals, which seeds the final four for Saturday’s Page playoff.

They also avoid the sudden-death elimination games between the second and third seeds earlier that day.

Manitoba and Ontario awaited the pool-play finale to deliver their next opponents from the bunch still in contention.

Quebec’s Laurie St-Georges (5-2) and four teams at 4-3 — Alberta, Nova Scotia’s Christina Black, B.C.’s Clancy Grandy, Kaitlyn Lawes’s wild card 1 — created the scenario for a Pool A tiebreaker game Friday morning.

“I think this is the strongest field we’ve ever had and I’ve ever seen,” Homan said. “It’s awesome to go out there and have to play your best every game. That’s what a nationals should be.”

Snow and rain outside the Sandman Centre over the opening days of the tournament gave way to cold, dry temperatures by Thursday, which Homan says made for more consistent ice conditions.

“Thankfully, the cold came in and frost is gone now,” the skip said. “Lots of really great shots made all over the board and you can really trust the ice right now.”

An incentive for Einarson to go undefeated was earning hammer to start the first end of all playoff games, as well as first choice of a set of rocks.

The semifinal and final are Sunday.

The Hearts winner represents Canada at the world championship March 18-26 in Sandviken, Sweden, and returns to the 2024 national championship in Calgary as the defending champion.

The victor also earns $108,000 from a total prize purse of $300,000 and is eligible for Sport Canada “carding”‘ money as part of Curling Canada’s national-team program.

Six-time Canadian champion Jones capped the preliminary round by beating New Brunswick’s Andrea Kelly 8-5.

Kerry Galusha of Northwest Territories finished with a record of 4-4.

New Brunswick’s Kelly, Scheidegger and Meghan Walter’s wild-card 3 were 3-5, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Stacie Curtis 2-6 and Yukon’s Hailey Birnie 1-7.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 23, 2023


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UNITED STATES v JAPAN – Round-robin game Highlights – LGT World Women's Curling Championship 2023 – World Curling TV



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Quick Reaction: Raptors 111, Bucks 118



O. Anunoby37 MIN, 22 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 8-12 FG, 4-5 3FG, 2-2 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, -1 +/-

Not much more you could ask for from OG tonight, except maybe for some more touches down the stretch. His run of great form continued against the Bucks tonight where he played phenomenally on both ends.

P. Siakam39 MIN, 13 PTS, 12 REB, 7 AST, 2 STL, 5-14 FG, 1-5 3FG, 2-2 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -12 +/-

Siakam is one of the better players in the league in terms of finding ways to impact the game when his shot isn’t falling, but boy the shot would have been nice to have tonight. He’s cooled down a bit from his unfathomably hot start earlier in the season. It’s not a cause to be concerned just yet, but as the team around him starts to hit their stride, it’ll be even sweeter as Pascal does as well.

J. Poeltl31 MIN, 20 PTS, 6 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 10-18 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 2 BLK, 1 TO, -17 +/-

It was nice to finally have someone who can take the Brook assignment without Nurse having to implement an entire scheme to make up for the lack of size. Even so, it wasn’t the greatest performance from the big man tonight, who went a shocking -17 in his 30 minutes.

S. Barnes13 MIN, 5 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 2-3 FG, 1-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -5 +/-


The X-ray came back negative thankfully, but Scottie missed the second half with a wrist injury. He was playing well up until his departure. While the loss is tough to swallow, it’s important to keep in mind that Mr. 4th Quarter had to watch it from the locker room.

F. VanVleet38 MIN, 23 PTS, 4 REB, 11 AST, 1 STL, 9-21 FG, 3-8 3FG, 2-3 FT, 0 BLK, 4 TO, 3 +/-

Fred always plays well against the Bucks and tonight was no different. He kept the ball moving and made shot after shot for a team that desperately needed it.

P. Achiuwa20 MIN, 5 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST, 0 STL, 2-3 FG, 0-1 3FG, 1-2 FT, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 7 +/-

The numbers are underwhelming sure, but Precious looked like vintage Precious tonight. In a good way, too. Getting Precious back into a rhythm this season hasn’t been easy but he’s slowly finding his step, and was absolutely a positive on the floor tonight in a matchup where his physicality on defence was necessary.

G. Trent Jr.33 MIN, 18 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 1 STL, 6-18 FG, 5-10 3FG, 1-2 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 3 +/-

This is a different Raptors team when Gary is on. He played great early on but it trailed off toward the latter half. I think he’ll continue to excel in his role off the bench, but in particular with Scottie out for the second half, Gary couldn’t deliver when they needed it tonight.

C. Boucher16 MIN, 5 PTS, 3 REB, 0 AST, 0 STL, 2-4 FG, 0-1 3FG, 1-1 FT, 0 BLK, 0 TO, -3 +/-

A pretty unremarkable stretch from Boucher all things considered. The Bucks are not a great match-up for him either and it showed.

W. Barton13 MIN, 0 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST, 0 STL, 0-6 FG, 0-2 3FG, 0-0 FT, 0 BLK, 1 TO, -10 +/-

The Barton minutes were, too put it bluntly, bad. He got an extended run in the fourth and it cost the team a lot more than it should have. The backup PG revolving door may continue until game 82 at this rate.

Nick Nurse

Outside of a questionable lineup to open up the fourth, Nurse did fine to put us in a position to win against perhaps the best team in the league.

Things We Saw

  1. The Raptors clearly wanted to let the Bucks shoot from 3, and it almost worked. They took 45 threes tonight and only made 16.
  2. OG Anunoby took one shot in the fourth quarter after playing a stellar three quarters offensively. As easy as it is to say I’d love to see him be more assertive, the Raptors also have to make an effort to find him in these situations.

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UPEI coach defends team’s actions at the U Sports Men’s Hockey National Championship




The University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) coach is defending the team’s actions, after the University of Alberta (U of A) team skated off the ice without handshakes at the U Sports Men’s Hockey National Championship in Charlottetown.

The crowd booed and hurled trash as the U of A’s team left the ice after defeating UPEI in the semifinals Saturday night.

During the third period, the teams got into an on-ice fight following a hard hit against U of A’s goalie.


Speaking to reporters, University of Alberta’s head coach Ian Herbers said he made the decision to not take part in the traditional handshake for safety reasons.

“Didn’t feel safe for our players. I thought something else would happen and then get into a bigger incident, and then create bigger havoc, and then be a big black eye for our league, so I didn’t want that opportunity to happen,” said Herbers. “I felt it was safer for our players and better for the league not to get into a situation like that.”

Someone in the crowd hurled a beer can at the U of A team as they left the ice.

Some players on UPEI’s team said the choice to shake hands was disrespectful.

“Honestly it’s kind of classless. Yeah it was a rough game, but it’s hockey,” said UPEI player Keleb Pearson. “Some of the plays, yeah, they shouldn’t have happened, but come on, at least you can shake our hands.”

University of Prince Edward Island’s head coach Forbes MacPherson defended his team’s behaviour on the ice.

“There was one incident that happened with 14 minutes left in the game,” said MacPherson. “Nothing else happened after.”

MacPherson said that the incident on the ice isn’t representative of the team’s behaviour.

“At no point was there multiple incidents. There was one incident,” said MacPherson. “All year there was only one team in our conference that had less penalty minutes than us.”

Sunday’s bronze medal game began with a reminder that abuse against players, staff, and officials would not be tolerated.


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