New Brunswick a step closer to qualifying

ST. CATHARINES, Ont. — Five hours after clinching spots in the final of the pre-qualifying event at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, Kerry Galusha of the Northwest Territories (Yellowknife) and Melissa Adams of New Brunswick (Fredericton) had a dress rehearsal Friday afternoon.

Melissa Adams and her New Brunswick teammates picked up their third straight pre-qualifying win on Friday. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver)

The win went to Adams, who is showing no signs of stage fright. The 1998 world junior champion, who is making her first appearance at the Scotties, defeated Galusha 9-4 in the final game of the pre-qualifying round-robin.

The two will tangle again Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET at the Meridian Centre. The winner joins 11 of the best teams in Canada in the Scotties round-robin.

Northwest Territories skip Kerry Galusha ponders her options. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver)

The crowds will be much bigger and louder with the final being played alongside three games from the main draw. Included will be one between defending champion Chelsea Carey and two-time winner Rachel Homan. The 5,300-seat arena will be rocking.

The win gave Adams, vice-skip Jennifer Armstrong, second Cathlia Ward, lead Katie Forward, alternate Jillian Keough and coach Mark Ward, last rock in the first end of the final. They will also get to choose their rock colour.

“Those are two important things,” Adams said. “It doesn’t mean tomorrow will be any easier by any means. We have to play well.”

The importance of Saturday’s final is not lost on Adams.

“There is a lot of pressure because the winner gets to stay and enjoy all this and the loser goes home. That’s a lot of pressure. We’re going to go out there and play like we can, do our best and see what happens. We’re going to enjoy every minute of it.”

Team Yukon second Patty Wallingham delivers her rock in pre-qualifying action. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver)

In Friday’s round-robin final, Adams cracked a three-ender in the sixth end to break a 2-2 tie. A steal of two in seven and two more in nine led to handshakes.

The Yukon’s Sarah Koltun defeated Nunavut’s Geneva Chislett 13-1 in the other game. Koltun leaves the competition with a 1-2 record, while Chislett was 0-3.

TSN/RDS2, the official broadcaster of Curling Canada’s Season of Champions, will provide extensive coverage of the 2017 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

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