Going into the AMJ Campbell Shorty Jenkins Classic in Cornwall, Ont., this past weekend, Kerry Galusha knew she would have a strong field to contend with.
But she stared them down and ended up hitting the pay window.
Galusha and her rink of Sarah Koltun, Shona Barbour and Jo Ann Rizzo ended up making the quarter-final of the women’s event on Sunday but fell to Rachel Homan of Ontario by a score of 6-4. It still gave her rink a cheque for $1,500 and some good ranking points in a very stacked field of rinks.
“I was worried we wouldn’t do well, especially because we haven’t practiced on ice yet, but we turned things around and away we went,” said Galusha.
Galusha and company started the round-robin against Homan and played her tough right down to the wire. Leading 4-3 in the eighth end, Homan was forced to play what’s known as the “in-off” – having the delivered rock hit off another rock and roll into the rings – to get rid of Galusha’s rock, which was buried behind a guard, to score two and win, 5-4.
“I left her a hard shot and she made it,” said Galusha. “You can’t defend a shot like that and it was the only shot she had. It was back-and-forth and we had a chance to win it but you can’t do anything about it when she makes that kind of shot.”
From there, though, it was all success as Galusha reeled off three straight wins over Seina Nakajima of Japan (6-4), Nina Roth of the U.S. (6-3) and a bit of revenge against Danielle Inglis (7-2). Inglis had beaten Galusha the week before in Oakville, Ont.
“It helps when the draw weight is there,” said Galusha. “I was making my draws all weekend.”
Her round-robin record was good enough to see her finish fifth overall and into the quarter-final against Homan, where she said she was just chasing the entire game.
“I think fatigue caught up with us,” she said. “We just weren’t making any shots. We had our chances but we weren’t as sharp as we had been.”
Even with the loss, Galusha said making the quarter-final in a strong field was a success.
“It was almost like a (Grand) slam event with that many good rinks,” she said. “I think we were the only surprise playoff team but we played really well. It was a fun weekend and lots of team bonding, which really helped.”
The 28.125 ranking points earned by Galusha means her rink moved up to 42nd place in the world rankings and she noted that she got almost as many points from this event as she did from winning the Royal LePage Women’s Fall Classic last year.