Skip Kerry Galusha and the rest of Team NWT have cleared one of two hurdles to secure a berth in this year’s Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.
The first came in the form of a territorial playdown to determine which team would move on to compete in a pre-qualifier for the national women’s curling championship.
Having cleared that hurdle a couple weeks ago, Galusha and her rink can now direct their attention towards the Yukon and Northern Ontario, whom they’ll face in the pre-qualifying event next week.
Galusha knows both curling clubs fairly well.
The Yukon ousted Team NWT in a territorial playdown last year to advance to the women’s national tournament, where they finished last in the round-robin with a record of 2-9.
Galusha says her team will have to bring their best effort against both teams.
“[The Yukon] has an ambitious and fearless team so we’re looking forward to playing against them,” Galusha told Moose FM.
“We know the Northern Ontario team very well too. They’re a very good team and are going to be tough to beat but it’s doable for us.”
Galusha hopes good play will earn the respect of her peers.
“I think most people think Northern Ontario has this [pre-qualifier] hands down. The everyday curling fan will expect them to move on but they’re going to be in tough because we have a pretty good team and so does the Yukon.
“Everyone knows our ladies’ team and everyone knows that we’re pretty good, but we’re from the Northwest Territories and it’s still in the back of everyone’s heads that we’re still the underdogs.
“We’re just looking at it as another playdown. We know that we have one more step before we get into the Scotties.”
Team NWT will travel to Moose Jaw on Tuesday and get some practice time in ahead of Thursday’s game against Northern Ontario.
They’ll play the Yukon on Friday.