MOOSE JAW, Sask. - Tracy Horgan of Northern Ontario toppled Kerry Galusha of the Northwest Territories 10-5 on Thursday in pre-qualifying competition at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
The game was the first of four pre-qualifying matches that will determine who will be included when the 12-team Canadian women’s curling championship which begins Saturday. One of Horgan, Galusha or Sarah Koltun of the Yukon is looking to earn the final spot.
Horgan stole two in the third end when Galusha rolled out on a takeout facing three, and took two more in the fourth when the Territories skip came up a little light on a draw to the four-foot. Horgan put the game away with a steal of two in the seventh.
"We were consistent throughout the game and put our rocks in good places, and put some pressure on the other team," said the Sudbury, Ont., skip. "We found our draw weight early and got onto the ice. We really liked the ice out there. It’s curling a lot, which we like."
Galusha was disappointed with the play of the Northwest Territories.
"That’s the worst start we could have ever expected," she said. "We have worked far too hard to come out and play like that. It was really disappointing. We looked like beginners out there."
Galusha said her team played better in the second half of the game, and will take that as a positive heading into Friday’s contest against the Yukon.
"We have another chance tomorrow," said the 12-time Scotties participant. "And if we win that game, we might be in the final. We'll use that game as practice. We didn't give up. We still had our chances.
"The Horgan team played really well, (but) we put no pressure on them."
Horgan is backed by third Jenn Horgan, second Jenna Enge and lead Amanda Gates. Galusha’s team consists of third Megan Cormier, second Danielle Derry and lead Shona Barbour.
The pre-qualifying competition continues Friday. In the first match, Northern Ontario meets Yukon, followed by Yukon against Northwest Territories. The top two teams play Saturday in a winner-take-all game to join the main draw.
Horgan is wearing Northern Ontario colours at this Scotties after skipping the Ontario team to a 4-7 mark in 2012. Northern Ontario is in the Scotties for the first time.