ON THE ROCKS: Galusha speechless after beating Homan for first time in her life at Scotties

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Kerry Galusha was not about to hide the reason for the somewhat shocked look on her face on Wednesday, after a big win at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

“Honestly I’ve never even really come close to beating Rachel Homan before,” the veteran Northwest Territories skip said.

“I just wanted to give them a good game. It wasn’t actually a game I was banking on us winning, to be honest. That was a great win and I’m actually a little speechless.”

Galusha handed Ontario’s Homan — a three-time Canadian women’s curling champion and two-time runner-up — her first loss of the 2021 Scotties.

Ontario fell to 5-1, while N.W.T., improved to 3-3, keeping Galusha in contention for the championship pool.

“That was really huge for us,” Galusha said. “I just wanted to give them a good game and get better than how I threw Tuesday, because I really struggled. I just wanted to come out and work on a few things and that’s what we did and we got some breaks and we’re super happy right now.”


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Galusha, 43, has represented N.W.T., 14 times at the Scotties. She has beaten the top teams before and has the experience and savvy to win a few games each year.

But making the championship round or the playoffs has been unattainable so far and she’s never had a winning record at the end of the tournament.

Consistency, it seems, has always been an issue, which is why lead Shona Barbour said the key was to forget about the win over Homan quickly and just try to play the same way in the next game.

“We’re not gonna get lackadaisical,” Barbour said.

The Galusha team backed that up nicely, going out and beating Laura Eby of Yukon 10-2 Wednesday night to improve to 4-3. They can clinch a spot in the championship round with a win over Beth Peterson (Wild Card 3) on Thursday afternoon.

“The last couple of times that we won, we came out flat the next game,” Galusha said. “We need to just keep building and move that forward. That’s where the inconsistency comes in. We really want to build and focus and we’re really happy with where we’re sitting right now because our pool is very tough.”

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Mackenzie Zacharias, the skip of Wild Card No. 2, hasn’t exactly been setting the world on fire in her first Scotties.

The reigning world junior women’s champion, who is just 21, has been competitive but has been finding herself on the wrong end of scores most of time against more experienced competition.

However, Zacharias and her teammates from Altona, Man., earned a 6-5 win over Jill Brothers of Nova Scotia Wednesday morning to improve to 2-4 and keep slim hopes for the championship pool alive.


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“I definitely struggled a little bit earlier in the week, kind of finding my footing after not playing for about four months,” Zacharias said. “It took a little bit of time but I’m feeling more confident every game. Some things are finally starting to go our way as well, which is really nice.”

Zacharias and teammates Karlee Burgess, Emily Zacharias and Lauren Lenentine are obviously Scotties rookies and there have been growing pains in the early going of their women’s level career.

While most people would say they’re doing fine, all things considered, Zacharias is not in the game for moral victories.

“We had a lot of expectations of ourselves,” she said. “We are here to win, not just enjoy the experience.”

That being said, she is loving the opportunity her team has earned. Not only does she get to play in the Scotties sooner than anyone ever expected, she gets to do it with her 19-year-old sister as part of the team.

“The experience is one that I’m never gonna forget,” Zacharias said. “Just to be able to play curling at all this year is a dream come true and to do it at the Scotties alongside my sister is just fantastic. We were able to play juniors together and start our women’s career together as well and it’s just so special.”

The younger Zacharias sister was revelling in the moment as well.

“It’s one thing to get to experience this with your team but to have my sister here, a role model, and to be able to experience this with her is just on another level,” Emily said. “It’s a really cool thing to be able to say that I get to do it.”


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Zacharias was back on the ice Wednesday night against against three-time champion Homan and fell 8-6 to fall to 2-5 in the tournament.


Like many curlers, Team Canada’s Kerri Einarson was unable to practice at a curling club in the months leading up to the Scotties because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

So, the skip from Gimli, Man., practiced her delivery on a homemade sheet on frozen Lake Winnipeg earlier in the winter.

It wasn’t exactly the best way to prepare for a national championship, but it did the trick in one area at least.

“I wouldn’t say it necessarily helped but it definitely helped my hip, just getting it into that place where it should be during curling season,” Einarson said Wednesday. “I do have a little bit of hip issues, so just getting into that slide, and that motion, was good. It was definitely not keen ice out there on the lake.”


After 14 draws


Canada (Einarson) 6-0

Canada (Einarson) 7-0

Ontario (Homan) 6-1

Alberta (Walker) 4-3

Wild Card 3 (Peterson) 4-3

Northwest Territories (Galusha) 4-3

Nova Scotia (Brothers) 3-5

Northern Ontario (Burns) 2-5

Wild Card 2 (Zacharias) 2-5

Yukon (Eby) 0-7


Quebec (St-Georges) 5-2

Saskatchewan (Anderson) 4-2

Manitoba (Jones) 4-2

Wild Card 1 (Fleury/Carey) 4-3

P.E.I. (Birt) 3-3

B.C. (Brown) 3-3

New Brunswick (Adams) 3-3

Newfoundland (Hill) 2-4

Nunavut (Eddy) 0-6



Ontario 8, Zacharias 6

Northwest Territories 10, Yukon 2

Canada 8, Alberta 3

Nova Scotia 8, Northern Ontario 3


Saskatchewan 8, Fleury/Carey 7

Manitoba 9,. P.E.I. 5

Quebec 9, Newfoundland 4

New Brunswick 9, B.C. 5


Peterson 9, Northern Ontario 4

Zacharias 6, Nova Scotia 5

Northwest Territories 7, Ontario 5

Canada 11, Yukon 7

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