NEWS
12/03/2016 13:41 EST | Updated 12/04/2017 00:12 EST

Homan in women's final, Epping to meet Carruthers in men's semi at Canada Cup

BRANDON, Man. — Ottawa's Rachel Homan defeated Winnipeg's Kerri Einarson 9-4 on Saturday afternoon in women's semifinal play at the Canada Cup.

Homan scored three points in the ninth end for the victory. She will play Winnipeg's Jennifer Jones in Sunday's final.

"The team played unreal," Homan said. "I struggled a little bit early, but the team played so strong. So did Einarson, it was a struggle the whole way. We're really excited to get back to the final and have a strong game against Jones."

In men's play, Toronto's John Epping defeated Saskatoon's Steve Laycock 7-5 in a tiebreaker to reach the men's semifinal. Epping was scheduled to play Winnipeg's Reid Carruthers on Saturday night.

The winner will advance to the men's final on Sunday against Team Gushue. Mark Nichols is filling in as skip for the St. John's-based rink with Brad Gushue out due to injury.

In the early men's tiebreaker, Laycock dumped Brad Jacobs 9-3 while Einarson came back for an 8-6 win over Val Sweeting in the lone women's tiebreaker.

Jacobs, from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., is the reigning Olympic men's champion, but his rink has struggled at times this season.

"This is an eye opener for us," Jacobs said. "We've got to get a lot better if we expect to be in the Olympic Trials a year from now. We've got a lot of hard work ahead of us. I know we're committed to doing whatever it takes in order to play better.

"We've got to be a lot more consistent. It's back to the drawing board, the four of us with our coach, our sports psych, and I'm confident we can get better."

Einarson, meanwhile, made a double takeout to score three points in the 10th end for her tiebreaker victory. She caught a break when Dana Ferguson burned a stone after falling while sweeping her Edmonton skip's first-rock draw.

The Canada Cup winners earn berths in next year's Olympic Trials. Since Jones and Homan have already qualified for that event, the women's berth will go to the leading team on the 2016-17 Canadian Team Ranking System as of May 1.

Calgary's Kevin Koe is the only men's skip who has qualified for the Trials. He did not reach the Canada Cup playoffs.

The Canada Cup winners will also qualify to play on Team North America at the Continental Cup next month in Las Vegas.