A couple hard-fought losses and Yukon’s Team Koltun is done at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
The Yukon rink suffered back-to-back losses in the pre-qualifying tournament and was eliminated at the national women’s curling championship in Moose Jaw, Sask. on Friday.
“We’re definitely sad. It’s unfortunate we train a whole year for the chance to represent our territory and we show up at the event and we don’t get to stay,” said skip Sarah Koltun. “We were training all year to try and make it to the main event and for our journey to be cut short, it’s just unfortunate.”
Team Koltun, which includes third Chelsea Duncan, second Patty Wallingham, lead Jenna Duncan, alternate Lindsay Moldowan and coach Bill Tschirhart, first lost 7-5 to Tracy Horgan’s Northern Ontario team.
They were then eliminated from the three-team qualifier with an 11-10 extra-end loss to Northwest Territories’ Kerry Galusha.
Galusha scored five in the seventh end to take a sound 8-5 lead. Down 10-6 in the 10th, the Koltun crew scored four to tie and push the game into an extra end. Galusha then sealed the win with a take-out in the 11th.
“In the end that they got five, we just made a few too many mistakes and we kind of took a gamble with my last couple of shots that didn’t go our way. She had a short run-back to get the five points,” said Koltun. “But we were not ready to be done there. We just kept fighting. Going into that last end four points down, I’m pretty sure no one saw it coming other than us that we were going to be able to pull off those four points in the last end. But unfortunately we just couldn’t finish it off in the extra.”
Team Koltun defeated Galusha in the final N.W.T.-Yukon playdown last year to reach their first Scotties. Plagued by illnesses, the Koltun team still managed to get two wins at last year’s championship.
This year was the first time the Scotties included a pre-qualifying tournament. There was a spot for Nunavut in the qualifier but the territory declined the position and did not send a team.
Horgan’s Northern Ontario team went on to defeat Galusha 7-6 on Saturday to become the first team from the region to secure a berth in the main draw of the championships.
“Both teams just played really well,” said Koltun of her game against Horgan. “It was back and forth and they ended up coming out on top. It was just a game of inches and they were a little bit closer.”
The Koltun team currently does not have any more competitions scheduled for this season, and it’s too early to say what the plans are for next season, said Koltun.
“We’re still digesting this,” said the 21-year-old.
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