Kerry Galusha successfully defended her title as Territorial champion by claiming the Northwest Territories women’s play downs at the Inuvik Curling Club over the weekend of January 12-15.
Galusha and her Yellowknife Curling Club team of Sharon Cormier, Wendy Miller and Shona Barbour finished tied with another Yellowknife foursome skipped by Maureen Miller, with identical 5-1 records after double round robin play in the four team event. Each team lost to the other in the preliminaries. The Miller foursome dominated the Galusha squad in third draw action by a score of 9-1, while Galusha returned the favour in sixth draw play to the tune of a 12-1 beat down. Two Inuvik teams, skipped by Melba Mitchell and Bridget Larocque concluded round robin play with 1-5 marks.
In the championship final tie breaker, Galusha doubled up on Miller by a score of 10-5 in claiming the crown.
Traditionally, the top two finishers from both the Northwest Territories championship and the Yukon championship advance to a combined territorial shootout, which determines the national Scotties representatives from the North. This year however, the Yukon Curling Association put forth no entries to that combined championship and the Galusha rink was awarded the title based upon their success in Inuvik.
Galusha is no stranger to the national stage. The thirty-four-year-old has skipped the Territories in seven previous Canadian Women’s Curling Championships. She also has experience in national junior and mixed play. Last year at the Charlottetown Scotties, she finished round robin competition with a record of 3 wins and 8 losses. No team from the Territories has ever captured the Canadian championship, but Galusha will be intent on changing history when she makes the trip from Yellowknife to Red Deer’s ENMAX Centrium for the 2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in mid-February.