Rachel Homan hammers Japan to move Canada into curling playoff mix

Women's rink tied for 4th in standings as team peels off 3rd straight win to even record at 3-3

Rachel Homan hammers Japan to move Canada into curling playoff mix
Canadian skip Rachel Homan, pictured earlier at the Olympics, has her rink on a roll after winning a third straight match. © Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press

By CBC Sports

Rachel Homan has put Canada's women's curling team into playoff contention with an 8-3 win over Japan at the Olympics in Pyeongchang.

The Canadians have won three straight after beginning the tournament with three losses.

"We had to let go of the past and focus on the present, one game and one shot at the time. Stay in the moment, but still enjoying our time here and our experience as Olympians," said Homan. "I'm really proud that we're here representing Canada and we're going to give it our all and leave it out there."

Homan stole four in the fifth end to take a 6-1 lead over Satsuki Fujisawa's rink.

Japan came back with a deuce in the next end but Homan's two points in the seventh led to Fujisawa offering handshakes and conceding defeat.

The win put Canada into a tie for fourth with China and Britain at 3-3.

Canada plays China on Tuesday and Britain on Wednesday to close out the round-robin portion of the event. The top four teams after the round robin advance to the semifinals.

After a nail-biting win over Switzerland on Sunday, Homan, Lisa Weagle, Joanne Courtney and Emma Miskew enjoyed their breezier win over Japan.

"I think yesterday's win was a hard grind and we needed everything and today we just played that much sharper," said Homan. "It was one shot here or there but we really found that extra shot today and I think that was the difference."

The team effort began with the lead, Weagle, who curled a smooth 100 per cent for the game, including many key tick shots.

"The tick shots were pretty good. She's making me look bad," joked Homan.

"It was a great game, great team game. It's nice to make those shots and really help my team out in those situations," added Weagle.

Despite the five-point margin, the Canadians said Japan was never out of it, always providing a counter-punch.

"They were making a lot of shots. Even after Rachel made that awesome in-off to give them hardly a shot against four there they came back the next end firing at us and we had to make some great shots to get out of that end," said Miskew.

"We knew we were going to battle there."

With files from The Canadian Press