Reese Wainman at the Canada Games on Prince Edward Island. Sarah Pruys/Team NT
NWT curlers of different generations recorded an extraordinary double on Sunday, defeating Ontario at the Canadian women’s championship and again at the Canada Winter Games.
Kerry Galusha moved to 2-0 at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Kamloops – her 18th Scotties appearance – after beating Ontario’s Rachel Homan 8-4 on day three of the tournament.
“It’s a little nerve-wracking when you get up on Homan,” Galusha told reporters, referring to Canada’s 2018 Olympic skip and 2017 world champion. “But we tried to stay calm and play the way we can.”
Galusha has now beaten Ontario three times in a row at Scotties.
But the NWT’s curlers were not done. Across the country, on Prince Edward Island, two 14-year-olds and two 15-year-olds took Ontario to an extra end at the Canada Winter Games U18 contest – and won.
Skip Reese Wainman and her rink delivered an exquisite in-off to leave Ontario with no answer in the ninth end, winning 7-5 despite the province having the hammer.
The Inuvik-based team nearly dispatched British Columbia later on Sunday, only to succumb 6-5, again in an extra end.
“It’s very rare. It’s only happened to us once or twice before,” said second Brooke Smith, describing the extra ends used to decide games that are tied after the regulation eight ends.
“We all knew if we played our best, we’d have a chance,” said Wainman of the Ontario win. “We just had to go into the game ready and focused.”
Coach Nick Saturnino said both results could easily have gone the other way.
“We actually got very fortunate to win the first game,” Saturnino said. “We got a miss out of their skip on the last rock in the eighth end, so it’s a game that we probably shouldn’t have won.
“We ended up making a really nice in-off in the extra end, to give the skip of the other team a really tough shot. We were fortunate to win that game. And then basically the opposite happened against BC.
“Everyone will be pleased that we ended the day 1-1 and we have a chance to make the playoffs. Our goal is to make the top six here.”
Elsewhere at the Canada Games, Team NT opening ceremony flagbearer Sofia Ardiles and teammate Joe Depew each progressed to the next round of the squash tournament, Ardiles coming from behind to defeat Newfoundland & Labrador’s Alexa Fleming 3-1.
The NWT’s male hockey team endured a tough start against hosts Prince Edward Island, losing 8-0. In Sunday’s table tennis mixed doubles action, Team NT’s high point was a victory for David Dragon and Sofia Barichello against New Brunswick.
All four sports continue on Monday, while Team NT will also compete in karate for the first time at a Canada Games and short-track speed skating also begins.