For the second time in as many bonspiels, Team Galusha took on Team Scheidegger in a must-win game.
And for the second time in as may bonspiels, Team Galusha lost in the last end on the final rock to Team Scheidegger.
Kerry Galusha and her rink of Jo-Ann Rizzo, Margot Flemming and Sarah Koltun were back out on the road last week for the PointsBet Invitational in Fredericton and faced off with the aforementioned Scheidegger rink in the first round of the single-knockout event. Unfortunately, it would be just one game for Galusha and company as they lost by a score of 8-7 on Sept. 22. Kristie Moore, who throws fourth stones for Scheidegger’s rink, managed to draw to the button with her final rock to secure the winning tally.
Galusha said it was a tough loss, but it’s still a loss and it’s never a good feeling.
“It played out almost exactly the same way as it did in Edmonton — they had hammer in the last end and we had to steal to win it,” she said. “It’s not the ideal situation to be in, but we had our chances. We just didn’t make the right shots when we had to.”
That Edmonton reference pertains to the quarter-final of the Saville Shootout earlier this month, where Galusha and Scheidegger met and Scheidegger’s rink prevailed after scoring a single with their final stone.
This time in Fredericton, it was a 16-team invitation-only event with every game being an elimination contest. Galusha’s rink went in as the 11th seed and it was a game which TSN predicted in a pre-tournament article would be a toss-up.
“A lot of people thought we had a chance to win,” said Galusha. “It really could have gone either way, but we didn’t come out sharp and we got behind the 8-ball early.”
Team Scheidegger started the game with last rock and scored a single in the opening end, which they doubled in the second end thanks to a steal of two to make it 3-0. Galusha stormed back in the third end, though, and put up a four-spot with last rock to jump out in front, 4-3. Team Scheidegger would get a single back in the fourth to tie it at 4-4 with the fifth end blanked. Team Scheidegger stole one in the sixth to go up, 5-4, which Galusha answered in the seventh. The teams would trade deuces in the eighth and ninth ends before Moore’s draw sealed the win in the 10th.
Kevin Koe, Galusha’s brother, played on the men’s side and got to the quarter-final round. He beat Jack Smeltzer of New Brunswick 13-4 in his opening contest before dropping an 8-6 decision to Reid Carruthers of Manitoba. Carruthers would eventually go on to win the men’s title.
The first-round loss was still worth $3,000 to Team Galusha, but the NWT skip said the ladies just enjoyed being part of a big bonspiel.
“Just to be invited to this was great,” she said. “You had to earn your way in and we did, and getting to play on arena ice, even just one game, and play a 10-end game was worth it. We don’t really get arena ice until the Scotties (Tournament of Hearts) — we don’t even have ice here in town yet.”
Galusha said the ladies made the most of their time in Fredericton with plenty of practice time at a curling club before departing on Sunday.
The ladies will have three weeks off to rest before they gear up for their next road trip and it will be an appearance on the Grand Slam of Curling circuit. It’s the HearingLife Tour Challenge in Grande Prairie, Alta., beginning on Oct. 18. Team Galusha will be in Tier 2 of that event. The 16 teams will be split into four pools of four for the round-robin with the top two teams in each pool advancing to the playoffs.
“It’s more games on arena ice and we’re hoping to go there and do well,” said Galusha.