Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Defending Champ Homan and Olympic Gold Medallist Jones Headline Scotties Field

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Defending Champ Homan and Olympic Gold Medallist Jones Headline Scotties Field

Article excerpt

Homan looks for third straight Scotties title

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Rachel Homan is looking to join a select list of women's curlers who have skipped their teams to three straight national titles.

Standing in her way is a strong field at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, which includes the last woman to accomplish the rare three-peat -- reigning Olympic champion Jennifer Jones of Manitoba.

Val Sweeting, who lost to Homan in last year's final at Montreal, will represent Alberta, three-time Canada Cup champion Stefanie Lawton of Saskatchewan will skip the host province entry and five-time Scotties champion Mary-Anne Arsenault will represent Nova Scotia.

"Nothing is guaranteed," Homan said. "There are so many good teams at the Scotties and so much talent, it's definitely going to be a fight in every game for us to win."

Main draw competition begins Saturday at Mosaic Place. Other confirmed entries include Patti Knezevic of B.C., Julie Hastings of Ontario, Quebec's Lauren Mann, Prince Edward Island's Suzanne Birt, Heather Strong of Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick's Sylvie Robichaud.

Homan is aiming to join Jones (2008-'10), Colleen Jones ('01-'04) and Vera Pezer (1971-'73) as the only curlers who have skipped their rinks to three straight national women's titles.

The Team Canada entry has a different look this season.

Homan, third Emma Miskew and lead Lisa Weagle added second Joanne Courtney from Sweeting's team as a replacement for Alison Kreviazuk, who left the rink to be with her boyfriend in Sweden.

"It feels like she's been on the team for longer than a year now, it's been really good," Homan said of her new teammate.

In addition, coach Earle Morris ended his long run with Homan's side to coach his son's team this season. Richard Hart, who plays for Team Glenn Howard, will handle coaching duties for the defending champions at the Scotties.

Homan's team went undefeated at last year's tournament while Jones represented Canada at the Sochi Olympics. Homan beat Jones in the 2013 Scotties final in Kingston, Ont.

The Ottawa skip currently sits third behind Jones and Sweeting on the Canadian Team Ranking List and is coming off a Skins Game victory last month in Banff, Alta. …

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