John Epping, Rachel Homan win Canadian Open titles
Homan takes 3rd straight women's Slam
John Epping and his Toronto rink, who needed a final-end hit to score two Saturday to advance to the final of the Canadian Open in Yorkton, Sask., continued their exemplary play Sunday by defeating Brad Gushue's St. John's rink 7-4 to win the third Grand Slam of Curling event of the season.
Epping curled a perfect 100 per cent while his rink curled 87 per cent. Gushue's crew wasn't far off the mark, either, curling 85 per cent.
"That's exactly what you have to do against Brad," Epping said. "They're such a good team, you have to make the big ones. If not, the game would have been a lot closer. Again, fortunate enough to make those and it all went our way."
Team Epping cashed in a cool $25,000 after finishing the tournament with an unblemished 6-0 record.
"It feels unbelievable," Epping said. "It's just so tough to win a Grand Slam. All the top teams in the world and to beat three or four of them this week all in a row, it's just so hard to do. That's what I think makes it so rewarding at the end of the day."
While it's Grand Slam win No. 3 for the skip, it's the first for third Mat Camm, second Patrick Janssen, and lead Tim March.
Homan captures 3rd straight women's Slam
Ottawa's Rachel Homan scored a pair in the final end for an 8-7 victory over Winnipeg's Jennifer Jones in Sunday's women's final. It was the third straight Grand Slam victory for Homan, who won the Masters and the National earlier this season.
"We're pretty excited," Homan said. "It hasn't been done before so I'm excited to keep rolling. Excited for our Christmas break."
It's also Homan's fifth Grand Slam title overall, tying Jones for the most among women's skips, and she climbed to a stunning 26-5 overall record in the series this season.
The team of Homan, third Emma Miskew, second Joanne Courtney, and lead Lisa Weagle top the Rogers Grand Slam Cup overall standings with 45 points, up by 23 over Tracy Fleury of Sudbury, Ont., and Edmonton's Val Sweeting.
Down by a point coming home with the hammer, Homan sat first and second shot after throwing her first skip stone and Jones wrecked on a guard with her last to bring out handshakes.
"Jones played really well," Homan said. "They came out firing and we had a couple misses here and there and they had some really well-deserved twos and threes and we had to battle back really hard in that game."
Team Homan have won seven titles on tour this year. They were also finalists at the season-opening Grand Slam event, the Tour Challenge, in September.
With files from Grand Slam of Curling