The Kerry Galusha team from Yellowknife has won the right to represent the NWT at next month’s Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
The Galusha squad won the NWT Ladies Championships – the playdowns for the Scotties – held from Jan. 9 to 12 in Hay River.
“We knew we were going to have to play well, and we did,” she said following the championship game. “We showed that we were the best team here this weekend, and it’s because of all our hard work from the whole year.”
Galusha and her team topped the Sarah Stroeder team from Yellowknife in the final game.
It was a close match going into the seventh end, where the Galusha team scored four to break open the game.
The teams shook hands after the eighth end when the champions had a steal of one.
The final score was 9-3.
“It was back and forth, and we knew it was going to be close,” said Galusha. “We thought it was going to come down to last rock in the 10th end, but we were patient and we got a couple of misses from them in seven and we made all our shots that end. We were lucky to get four.”
Stroeder said her team played well.
“It’s tough. They’re such a good team. It’s hard to keep with them,” she said of facing the Galusha team in the championship game. “We were proud of how we played. Obviously, the seventh end was a big turning point. But we learned a lot.”
Galusha threw second rocks for her team at the playdowns after previously injuring her leg at the mixed nationals.
The final rocks were thrown by Jo-Ann Rizzo, a new member of the team who normally is the second.
“I’ve been struggling throwing, so we made the decision over the Christmas break that Jo would throw last rocks and she and I would switch positions,” explained Galusha.
“We’re probably going to keep this line-up for the Scotties, as well,” she added, noting that Rizzo is “awesome” at throwing last rocks.
Galusha, who has been to the Scotties before, noted it will be the first national championships for Rizzo.
“She’s tried many times to curl out of Ontario and she’s never made it, and now she’s made it out of the NWT,” said Galusha. “So we’re really excited for her.”
The Scotties will be held from Feb. 15 to 23 in Moose Jaw, Sask.
Davida Delorey, the president of the Hay River Curling Club, was pleased with the playdowns, noting the organizing committee did an excellent job.
There were five teams at the event – the two Yellowknife teams and three from Hay River.
“We were very pleased that three teams from Hay River were there,” said Delorey, noting there were just two teams at last year’s playdowns in Yellowknife.
Hay River will also host the men’s NWT playdowns for the Brier.
Those playdowns from Jan. 29 to Feb. 3 will feature three teams from Yellowknife and two from Hay River.