Territories, New Brunswick into pre-qualifying final

ST. CATHARINES — Kerry Galusha of the Northwest Territories (Yellowknife) and Melissa Adams of New Brunswick (Fredericton) clinched spots Friday morning in the final of the pre-qualifying event at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. Adams advanced with a 9-7 win over Sarah Koltun of Yukon (Whitehorse), while Galusha defeated Geneva Chislett of Nunavut (Iqaluit) 10-2.

Yukon skip Sarah Koltun calls instructions to her sweepers. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver)

The two meet in the final round-robin game at 4 p.m. (all times Eastern) today. At stake will be the hammer and choice of rocks in Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. final at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines. The game will be played during the first draw of the Scotties main round roubin. Adams and Koltun had a see-saw battle, with Koltun one up coming home. The Yukon team got into trouble early in the end and eventually left Adams a wide-open hit for three and the victory. “It’s going to be another 10 minutes before I can breathe,” Adams said after the win. “It was tight, it was back and forth and a really good game.” She said the game with Galusha this afternoon is important for several reasons. “We have to keep getting to know the ice and keep playing well. We have to keep improving our game because tomorrow is going to be the big game.” Adams, whose team is rounded out by vice-skip Jennifer Armstrong, second Cathlia Ward, lead Katie Forward, alternate Jillian Keough and coach Mark Ward, said having last rock in the final is important. “It means a lot in these tight games,” said Adams, the 1998 world junior champ. “So we will be fighting for that.”

Team Nunavut skip Geneva Chislett ponders her shot options. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver)

One of the key moments in the win came all the way back in the second end when the New Brunswick front end of Ward and Forward swept Adams’ last rock from when it left her hand to when it stopped in the rings to beat out four Koltun counters. “We said it at the time that that was the game-saver right there,” Adams said. “We started the game a little bit slow, with their team playing better than us. But we picked it up and hung tough to stay with them and pulled it out.” Koltun and Chislett, both 0-2, will meet in the final round-robin draw. TSN/RDS2, the official broadcaster of Curling Canada’s Season of Champions, will provide extensive coverage of the 2017 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. For ticket information, go to: www.curling.ca/2017scotties/tickets/ For schedule information, go to: www.curling.ca/2017scotties/draw/ Live scoring for the 2017 Scotties is available at www.curling.ca/scoreboard/#!/competitions/2236 This story will be available in French as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/2017scotties/?lang=fr