Oh-so-close for Team Galusha in Toronto

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Team Galusha picked up another paycheque on the World Curling Tour circuit this past weekend at the StuSells Toronto Tankard.

Had it not been for Kira Brunton of Ontario in the semifinal, it could have been a bigger one.

Kerry Galusha, left, and her rink of Shona Barbour, Jo-Ann Rizzo and Sarah Koltun narrowly missed out on another final after falling in a close semifinal at the StuSells Toronto Tankard on Sunday. photo courtesy of Team Galusha
Kerry Galusha, left, and her rink of Shona Barbour, Jo-Ann Rizzo and Sarah Koltun narrowly missed out on another final after falling in a close semifinal at the StuSells Toronto Tankard on Sunday.
photo courtesy of Team Galusha

Kerry Galusha and her rink of Sarah Koltun, Shona Barbour and Jo-Ann Rizzo were on the wrong end of a 5-4 decision to Brunton in a game which Galusha described as a good one for the fans in attendance.

“It was back-and-forth the whole game,” said Galusha. “I would hit-and-roll to the button, she would play a runback, it was one of those games where both teams were making shots.”

It was a tale of two spiels for Galusha in a way as they began the round-robin last Friday with a 5-4 win over Ontario’s Brenna Cochrane but it was a grinding victory, said Galusha.

“They’re a local team and they were making everything,” she said. “I had to draw against three for the win and we had to grind it out the whole way but we got the win.”

The following day was a busy one as the ladies had three games virtually back-to-back-to back. First up was Katelyn Wasylkiw of Ontario, which ended up in a 4-3 defeat, followed by an 8-2 loss to Jestyn Murphy of Ontario. Their final game was a must-win if they has any hope of getting into the final eight and they did it by beating Danielle Inglis of Ontario, 6-2.

“We were over at a different rink for the second day and we just came out flat,” said Galusha. “Jestyn has a good team and they were really sharp in that game but we knew we had a good chance to win our last game.”

The win was only half of the equation as Galusha still had to draw to the button in order to get in through what’s known as the shootout. Because there are no tiebreaker games to determine who gets in whenever there’s a tie for positioning, each skip draws to the button before each game their rink plays.

Galusha managed to draw right to the top of the button itself against Inglis which gave her a better percentage when it comes to the draws. Her cumulative draw total was 16.5 cm over her round-robin games, good enough for second overall among the skips.

“That’s how important the draw is,” said Galusha.

Their quarter-final match-up saw the ladies have a rematch with Murphy and it was a total reversal of fortunes as Galusha returned the favour by a score of 10-2. Galusha rode two four-spots in the third and sixth ends to cap off a dominating win.

“They beat us good in the round-robin so it was good to give it right back to them,” said Galusha. “We played much better as a team that game. We talked before the game and I said they were expecting the same team that struggled against them earlier but it was them who struggled this time.”

By the time Galusha and company reached Sunday, they had played five games in two days but didn’t show any signs of it in the semifinal as they went shot for shot with Brunton.

“I had an open draw for two in the third but my rock picked so we only got one,” said Galusha. “I was set up for three in the seventh and Kira made a perfect freeze to get out of trouble.”

Even in the final end, Galusha had one buried and she thought she had the game stolen but Brunton managed to get one even closer to the pin to get her single and the win. Brunton went on to win the final and successfully defend her title from last year.

With the semifinal result, Team Galusha picked up $2,000 and 20.364 points toward their tour ranking. Next up for the ladies is the Canad Inns Women’s Classic in Portage la Prairie, Man., which gets underway on Oct. 17.

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