Team Wild Card 3 skip Beth Peterson makes a shot against Team Northwest Territories at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Peterson’s wild-card team edges N.W.T. skip Galusha to qualify for championship pool

Peterson’s wild-card team edges N.W.T. skip Galusha to qualify for championship pool

CALGARY — Hearts rookie Beth Peterson of Team Wild Card Three played like a veteran Thursday at the Canadian women’s curling championship.

Her draw weight in form when she needed it most, Peterson stole a single in the 10th and added another steal in the extra end for a 9-8 victory over Kerry Galusha of the Northwest Territories.

The win gave the young Manitoba-based skip a top-four spot in Pool A at 5-3 and a berth in the championship pool in her first appearance at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

“(We) really pumped each other up and at the same (time) calmed each other down and really supported each other,” Peterson said of teammates Jenn Loder, Katherine Doerksen and Brittany Tran.

“I think that we were our best team in the 10th and 11th end that we have been this week.”

Galusha (4-4) was eliminated with the loss. Peterson threw at 76 per cent while the veteran N.W.T. skip was at 64 per cent.

Galusha’s tap attempt in the 10th end moved the second shot stone just enough to prevent a steal of two. The confident Peterson put the pressure on again in the 11th and Galusha’s draw to the button was light.

Team Wild Card Three shot at 81 per cent overall to 70 per cent for the N.W.T. side.

“The girls brought me back in after a few missed shots and we were able to capitalize in the last two ends,” Peterson said. “We (threw) pretty much at 100 per cent in those last two ends. I’m thankful for my girls.”

Ontario’s Rachel Homan beat Canada’s Kerri Einarson 7-4 in a rematch of last year’s Scotties Tournament of Hearts final. Both teams, who had already secured championship pool spots, moved to 7-1.

Alberta’s Laura Walker (5-3) locked up the other Pool A berth with an 11-1 victory over Yukon’s Laura Eby.

Team Wild Card Two’s Mackenzie Zacharias (3-5) posted a 9-4 win over Northern Ontario’s Krysta Burns (2-6) in the other afternoon game.

The Pool B picture remained up in the air entering the evening draw at the Markin MacPhail Centre.

Manitoba’s Jennifer Jones and Saskatchewan’s Sherry Anderson picked up victories in the morning draw to create a three-team logjam at 5-2. Quebec’s Laurie St-Georges, who was idle, was also in first place.

Chelsea Carey, skipping Team Wild Card One as a substitute for Tracy Fleury, thumped Newfoundland and Labrador’s Sarah Hill 11-2 to finish the preliminary round at 5-3.

P.E.I.’s Suzanne Birt remained in the mix to make the four-team Pool B cut at 4-3 after a come-from-behind 10-8 win over Nunavut’s Lori Eddy.

If tiebreakers are needed, they will be played Friday morning.

Jones, seeking a record seventh Hearts title, downed New Brunswick’s Melissa Adams 12-3. Anderson needed a point in the final end for an 8-7 win over British Columbia’s Corryn Brown (3-4).

Nova Scotia’s Jill Brothers missed the cut in Pool A at 3-5 while Eby was winless at 0-8. In Pool B, Adams took a 3-4 record into the late draw. Hill had a 2-5 mark while Eddy was 0-7.

Records will carry over into the two-day championship round. Each team will play four games against teams that qualified from the other preliminary round pool.

The top three teams will advance to Sunday’s playoffs. The top seed goes straight to the evening final and the second- and third-place teams will meet in an afternoon semifinal.

The Hearts winner will get a berth in the Tim Hortons Curling Trials and earn $100,000 of the $300,000 total purse. The champion will also return to the 2022 Scotties as Team Canada.

If the recently cancelled women’s world championship is rescheduled for later this season, the Hearts winner will represent Canada.

The March 5-14 Tim Hortons Brier will be the next event to be held in the spectator-free bubble. The Canada Olympic Park venue will host six bonspiels in all through late April.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 25, 2021.

Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.

The Canadian Press

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