Team NWT beats New Brunswick, earns berth in 2017 Scotties

Kerry Galusha, far right, and her NWT curling team. Photo courtesy: Team Galusha on Twitter.
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The Northwest Territories has earned a berth in the 2017 Scotties Tournament of Hearts after beating New Brunswick 5-3 in Saturday’s pre-tournament qualifier.

With the win, Kerry Galusha and her team of Meagan Koehler, Danielle Derry, Sharon Cormier and Shona Barbour advances to the 12-team draw for the women’s national curling championship in St. Catherines, Ont.

Team NWT advanced to the pre-qualifying final after going 2-1 in round-robin play ahead of the weekend. Their only loss came on Friday against New Brunswick – a loss the team was able to avenge a day later.

Prior to this year, the Northwest Territories had never advanced beyond the Scotties pre-qualifier since its introduction in 2015.

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The pre-tournament qualifier for both the Scotties and Tim Hortons Brier (its male equivalent) has proven to be unpopular amongst players since its implementation.

It forces the country’s four lowest-ranked teams to play one another before the real tournament begins.

Before 2015, teams from the NWT and Yukon held a playoff to determine which team would compete in the national event.

But thankfully for some, organizers have decided to drop the pre-qualifiers for both tournaments from 2018 onward in favour of a 16-team format.

Team NWT won’t have much time to celebrate making it to this year’s main draw. They begin play against Prince Edward Island on Saturday night.

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Galusha and her rink will play every other team in the tournament between Saturday and next Friday. The top four teams at the conclusion of the round-robin will advance to the playoffs.

You can track scores live here.

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