If you needed something to help take your mind off of all the evacuation news, here’s something for you: Team Galusha’s 2023-24 season is off and running.

Kerry Galusha and her rink of Jo-Ann Rizzo, Margot Flemming and Sarah Koltun kicked off the new campaign this past weekend in Leduc, Alta., in the Curling Stadium Alberta Tour Kick-off. The ladies managed to make it to the semifinals before dropping a 5-3 decision to Kayla Skrlik of Calgary on Sunday. Skrlik would go on to win it all in the final later in the day.

“We really would’ve liked to have gotten to the final,” said Galusha on Tuesday. “I thought we played really well in the semi, but Kayla made some great shots to bail out her team and we just couldn’t score a deuce at all.”

Skrlik opened the semifinal with the hammer and scored a single to go out in front, 1-0. Galusha answered with a single in the second end to tie it up, before Skrlik scored one in the third with the hammer and stole another in the fourth to go out in front 3-1 at the break. Galusha would get one of those back in the fifth to cut it to 3-2, but both teams traded singles right up to the eighth and final end.

It was a team of three that entered the semifinal as Flemming left to travel to Ontario following the team’s final round-robin game on Saturday.

The NWT ladies got to the playoffs by virtue of finishing second in their division with a record of two wins and one loss. Those victories came against Jessica Wytrychowski of Edmonton (10-3) and Emily Clark of Calgary (9-1). The loss came at the hands of Saskatoon’s Nancy Martin, a 6-5 extra-end defeat that determined where each team would end up in the playoff round.

“That last game was a close one, but it wasn’t our best game,” said Galusha. “The emotions were running high because we were thinking about Hay River. We had a lot of friends from Hay River out watching that game, but we weren’t sharp and we weren’t at 100 per cent.”

When it comes to the evacuation, Galusha said it did throw things off a little bit in that they had to leave the North earlier than planned, but as luck would have it, Leduc was where she was going to be in advance of the bonspiel.

“It was coincidence because we were going to be here with some of the girls doing a camp before the spiel,” she said. “We were able to prepare more and get in some more practice, especially with it being an August tournament.”

Next up for the ladies will be the Saville Shootout in Edmonton beginning on Sept. 8 with a purse of $25,000 on the line.

Galusha said she’ll be staying in Edmonton, where she’s been living with her family since leaving Yellowknife.

“We’re taking this week off to relax and refresh,” she said.

James McCarthy

I've been hanging around the office as the sports editor for the better part of the last 16 years. In August 2022, NNSL Media decided to promote me to the managing editor's position, which I accepted after...

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