MONTREAL - The first part of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts went perfectly for defending champion Rachel Homan.
The Canada skip from Ottawa led her squad to a perfect 11-0 round-robin record with a 7-3 victory over New Brunswick's Andrea Crawford (6-5) at the Maurice Richard Arena on Friday.
Homan will face Chelsea Carey's Manitoba rink (9-2) in the first-versus-second game Friday night. Carey clinched the No. 2 spot with a 6-4 victory over P.E.I's Kim Dolan (3-8).
Homan's rink is looking to become the first to go through the Scotties undefeated since Linda Moore in 1985. Homan was satisfied her team recovered from the disappointment of losing at the Olympic trials in December.
"We played really well," the 24-year-old said. "Some people might have doubted how we were going to do after the trials and I think we regrouped and got over it."
Carey said she struggled against P.E.I because she wasn't feeling well and hadn't slept much but will be fine for the showdown with Homan. She is 7-5 in her career against the Canada skip.
"It's great to win but it's not life and death," she said. "We're not looking at it as a do or die thing so we can just go play and see what happens.
"Either way, you get another chance."
Saskatchewan's Stefanie Lawton (8-3) finished third and will face Alberta's Val Sweeting (8-3) in the three-versus-four game Saturday morning. The winner advances to the semifinal Saturday afternoon against the 1-2 loser.
Lawton ended the round robin on a downer — watching her last rock hit and roll just out of the rings to give Yukon's Sarah Koltun (2-9) a steal for a 6-5 win.
"We didn't quite finish it off," said Lawton. "Just a bad shot by myself, otherwise we would have won.
"In the end it doesn't make a difference for us. It would have been nice to finish that game off, but we'll rest up and get ready for the playoffs."
Koltun was a crowd favourite all week and the 2,061 spectators gave her a long ovation after her upset win. The 20-year-old from Whitehorse is the first player ever to skip at the Canadian junior championships and the Scotties in the same year.
"It's been really cool," said Koltun. "It's so much bigger.
"You feel like superstars here, where at juniors you're just another team. The crowd loved us and we loved them. It's been incredible."
Nova Scotia's Heather Smith (4-7) ended the round robin with a 7-6 win over Ontario's Allison Flaxey (3-8).
The final is Sunday night.