Glenn Howard beats Kevin Martin to win Masters Grand Slam of Curling
Ottawa's Rachel Homan victorious in women's final
Glenn Howard of Penetanguishene, Ont., won the first stop on the Grand Slam of Curling, completing his unbeaten run Sunday by defeating Edmonton's Kevin Martin 7-4 at the Masters final in Abbotsford, B.C.
It's the sixth time Howard has won the event.
Howard broke a 2-2 tie by scoring four points in the fifth end.
Martin cut the margin to two in the sixth end, but Howard put up one more point in the seventh to seal the victory.
The win leaves Howard and his teammates Wayne Middaugh, Brent Laing and Craig Savill as the only rink still in the running to capture the $1 million prize available for sweeping all four Grand Slam events.
"We're off to a great start, and to win a Grand Slam is the pinnacle," said Howard. "You have the best of the best. All the best teams are here and to win that, you have to be doing something special."
Homan outlasts Muirhead
Meanwhile, Ottawa's Rachel Homan beat Scotland's Eve Muirhead 7-5 in the women's final.
Homan led 5-2 after four ends, but Muirhead made a late rally with two in the seventh end to cut the deficit to 6-5 before Homan held on with a point in the eighth.
"We had a couple of losses early, but we were learning the ice and learning from our mistakes," said Homan. "We just kept building, got a couple of breaks and took it one game at a time."
Just making it to the final was a feat for both rinks. Homan and Muirhead each finished the round robin 2-2 and needed to win tie-breaker matches before they could advance.
Canadian Olympic hopefuls
Many of the teams competing in the Roar of the Rings, Canada's Olympic qualifying tournament on Dec. 1 in Winnipeg, were also in action at the Masters. Here's a look at how the men's and women's rinks fared in Abbotsford:
- Glenn Howard – Penetanguishene, Ont.: Went undefeated in round-robin play en route to a win over Martin in the final.
- Kevin Martin – Edmonton: A narrow loss to China's Rui LIu was avenged in the semifinals, but Martin's foursome fell to Howard in the final.
- Jeff Stoughton – Winnipeg: Lost two matches over the weekend, to Martin and Howard, but was perfect against international opponents.
- Kevin Koe – Calgary: Won and lost against John Epping, but fell to both Nicklas Edin and Martin.
- John Epping – Toronto: The win against Koe was erased with a loss to the Calgary skip in the tie-breaker.
- Mike MacEwen – Winnipeg: A 1-3 record left the team on the outside of the playoffs.
- Rachel Homan – Ottawa: Had an up-and-dwon round robin with a pair of 8-2 losses to Heather Nedohin and Magaretha Sigfridsson of Sweden, but battled through to win the event.
- Jennifer Jones – Winnipeg: Knocked off fellow Canadians Chelsea Carey and Stefanie Lawton, but were ousted by Muirhead in the semis.
- Heather Nedohin – Edmonton: Picked up a big win over Homan's crew, but lost in the quarters to the same rink.
- Chelsea Carey – Winnipeg: One-sided losses to Jones and Homan might have Carey rethinking her strategy heading into Winnipeg in December.
- Sherry Middaugh – Coldwater, Ont.: Faced just one fewllow Canadian rink, but lost 7-3 to Lawton and dropped the tie-breaker to eventual champ Muirhead by a 7-1 score.
- Stefanie Lawton – Saskatoon, Sask.: A 3-1 record was erased by an oh-so-close 6-5 loss to Jones in the quarter-finals.
With files from CBCSports.ca