Alas, all good things eventually come to an end, as they say.
But wasn’t it fun watching Team Galusha on a roll?
Kerry Galusha and her rink of Jo-Ann Rizzo, Sarah Koltun and Margot Flemming fell short of a third consecutive final after dropping their quarter-final contest at the Stu Sells Toronto Tankard on Monday morning. The ladies fell to Mackenzie Zacharias of Manitoba by a score of 4-3 which not only put them out of the event but also ended the rink’s 11-game winning streak dating back to the KW Fall Classic in Ontario last month.
Galusha said it wasn’t best game the team has played in recent weeks.
“We weren’t sharp,” she said. “We struggled but we were still in the game. We missed some line calls and they (Zacharias) got the jump on us. We aren’t used to that feeling after all those wins but it was a good experience for us.”
It was a triple-knockout event which started this past Friday with the ladies among 23 other teams looking to make the playoff round. They started off on the right foot in the A bracket with a 9-1 win over Ontario’s Mackenzie Kiemele. Galusha started off with the hammer and scored three in the opening end, followed by steals of two in the second and another in the third to take a 6-0 lead early on. After Kiemele score a single in the fourth, Galusha put up another deuce in the fifth and stole another in the sixth, which was enough for Kiemele to shake hands.
Next up was Jestyn Murphy of Ontario and that, too, was a win for Galusha and company as they ended up on top, 9-5. Galusha started with the hammer and scored a single, which was answered by Murphy in the second. Galusha then put up three in the third end and stole another in the fourth but Murphy would do the same to Galusha in ends five and six: score three with last rock and steal a single. A deuce for Galusha in the seventh put her up, 7-5, and a steal of two in the eighth sealed the deal.
Jacqueline Harrison of Ontario was the opposition in the A bracket final on Saturday morning and that ended up being a grind. Harrison stole the first point in the first end, which Galusha got back in the second. Both teams then traded deuces in ends three and four before Galusha stole a single in the fifth to jump out in front, 4-3. Harrison tied it in the sixth and then stole one of her own in the seventh to take a 5-4 lead but Galusha, with hammer coming home in the eighth, came through with a deuce to win it, 6-5, and advance to the playoffs.
That meant the ladies had a day-and-a-half off to rest and relax and while that would be a big bonus, especially with the injury troubles Galusha has had, there was a downside to it.
“Too much time off the ice,” she said. “The ice was different (Monday). We got in some practice but Zacharias had three more games on us and they were able to pick it up quicker.”
In the final, Zacharias stole the game’s opening point but Galusha tied it up in the second end with a single with hammer. Zacharias would score one with last rock in the third and stole a single in the fourth, which was dutifully answered in kind by Galusha on ends five and six. A blank in seven meant Zacharias had last rock coming home and scored a single with hammer to knock Galusha out of contention.
It also ended that winning streak and Galusha said the ladies had no idea how long it was going until people began telling them about it.
“Any team would be happy to win that many games in a row and it’s not like we played in easy spiels, either, especially with (the direct entry pre-trials in) Ottawa,” she said. “We weren’t aware we had won that many but we had people coming up to us and telling us we had won nine or 10 in a row.”
With another event in the books, Galusha said the ladies would have a debrief on this and then get ready for the big spiel of the season to date: the Home Hardware Curling Pre-Trials in Liverpool, N.S., which begin on Oct. 26. They qualified for that by winning one of the two spots up for grabs in Ottawa late last month.
“It’s been a dream start for us so far,” said Galusha. “Lose a final, win a final, earn a spot to pre-trials, playoffs again. It’s been an amazing last few weeks and we’re hoping we can keep it going.”