SYDNEY, NS - Chelsea Carey and Team Alberta (Photo: Andrew Klaver/Curling Canada) overcame a 5-1 fourth-end deficit by stealing five points over the last six ends, including two in the 11th, to defeat Rachel Homan and Team Ontario 8-6 to win the 2019 Scotties Tournament of Hearts Sunday evening at Centre 200.
"I don't think I even know what just happened. I'm just in shock," Carey, the 2016 Scotties champion, said after Homan came up short with her final rock draw to let Alberta steal two for the victory.
"We wanted to make her throw that draw because that path is pretty slow," said Carey. "So we set out (to do that) at the start of the end, but I still expected her to make it."
Ontario was in total control in building a 5-1 margin through four ends and out-curling Alberta 91 per cent to 63. Homan herself was curling 90 per cent while Carey was struggling at just 48 per cent.
Homan, stole singles in the first two ends and once they had the hammer cracked a three in the fourth end with a straight forward hit and stick for the triple.
From left, Rachel Brown, Dana Ferguson, Chelsea Carey and Sarah Wilkes celebrate their come-from-behind victory to win the 2019 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Sydney, N.S. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver)
The first crack in Ontario's game came in the sixth when Homan missed a raise take-out and left Carey, vice-skip Sarah Wilkes, second Dana Ferguson, lead Rachel Brown and coach Dan Carey with a steal of one. And when Homan missed another raise tapback in seven, Alberta had another steal and was back in the game, 5-4. Carey, who raised her shooting average to 65 per cent by game's end, had suddenly found her game
"We knew we needed some misses, so we just said let's put as much pressure on her as we can," Carey said of the team's mentality at the fifth-end break. "If we don't get misses we're not going to win, so we just kept lobbing them in there and once they started to miss you could feel it shift a bit and we were like, 'hey, we've got a chance' so we just kept lobbing them in there and lobbing them in there."
Homan, vice-skip Emma Miskew, second Joanne Courtney, lead Lisa Weagle, alternate Cheryl Kreviazuk and coach Marcel Rocque had a chance for two in the eighth that would have taken some of the pressure off the final two ends but her attempt at a double got only one, so she settled for a single and a 6-4 margin.
Carey got one in nine and a steal in 10 when Homan's last-rock draw came up about two inches short.
"To come back on a team that is such great hitters and front runners seems impossible when you're down," said Carey, who won the Scotties in 2016 with a different team. "But (my teammates) just hung in there with me, everyone was super positive and supportive and we just grinded it out."
While it is Carey's second championship, it's the first Scotties win for Wilkes, Ferguson and Brown.
It was a shocking and disappointing result for Homan, who had beaten Carey in 20 of their 32 meetings and was seeking to become the youngest skip to win four Scotties titles. After making almost every shot in the first half of the game, she missed several key shots that allowed Alberta to climb back to the win.
"We had control and we had every opportunity to win," Homan said. "We just missed a few too many."
On her final stone she said, "we guessed three more feet and we needed six."
Alberta had finished pool play at 9-2. They then beat Robyn Silvernagle and Team Saskatchewan 11-7 in the Page 1 vs. 2 game to move directly to the final.
Homan finished in a three-way tie for second in pool play at 8-3 and then beat Krista McCarville and Team Northern Ontario 6-4 in the Page 3 vs. 4 game and Silvernagle 9-7 in the semifinal.