Friday, February 24, 2012

Scotties 2012- Top 10 Moments

I have not been Blogging as much lately as I think I forgot how busy things at the Scotties get mid-week. We have pretty much been eating, sleeping and curling and as you all know... trying to get over the flu! But the curling for us is now over and the 2012 Scotties has been amazing as usual for team Galusha. Yes, we came up a bit short at meeting our original goal (7 wins, 4 losses) but there are still a lot of great moments to look back on. Here is my list of Top 10 Moments (some good and some bad).
#10- Team Manitoba vs. Team NWT/Yukon- Yes, this game was a loss for us but to me it shows just how good of a team J. Jones and company are. We actually curled fairly well and got rocks in some good positions but there was nothing we could do to even keep the game close. In my opinions this team continues to be the leader of the pack in ladies curling. They are definately beatable but deserve a lot of recognition for their success.
#9- Opening Banquet- We picked out some great dresses that made us stand out from the other teams (bright blue) but in all seriously this banquet was one of the most entertianing I have attended. The speeches were short, food was amazing and the entertainment was really good. There were even Cirque de Soliel type acrobats hanging from the ceiling of the banquet room!
#8- Uniforms- It is always stressful to get our uniforms on Day 1 of the Scotties as you keep your fingers crossed that everything will fit. The problem is that you never know if the sizing will fit bog or small and this year it was SMALL! I ahve only included this as a 'moment' in hopes that someone from the CCA reads this. We NEED new uniforms! Players this year referred to them as scuba gear or the sauna. The minute that you zipped up the skin tight jackets you immediately began sweating. And the internet chatter seems to think that the NWT/Yukon needs new colours from red/grey. I don't mind the colours but they seem to bring out negative opinions from others!!!
#7- Our Fans- One we reason were so excited to get to Red Deer was that we knew this would be as close to a home town crowd as we would ever get and it was!!! The fans from the NWT have been amazing. We have seen so many friends and family during the week but we have also seen pockets of NWT fans that are there without any real connections to us! Just real, genuine fans of NWT/Yukon. You can see pockets of fans and flags all over the building and can feel the support on the ice. There was even one Nunavut flag there for the duration of the week... I think they were the Nunavut mixed champions.
#6- Team Galusha Parents- Yes, they were everywhere this week and as usual their support in unconditional! Wendy parents were into the emails/phone calls/Facebook from NB as last year in Charlottetown they were our only fans!! Sharon's dad made us feel welcome in his home between games and offered up many meals for everyone through the week. Lynda was there, nervous sitting high in the stands as usual. Tex was an A+ babysitter to Kobe while Megan was on the ice. And Patricia was there for every game; pacing back and forth along the pedways. It doesn;t matter how old you get, you still need this parent support.
#5- Little Miss Sydney and Mr. Kobe- Our two littlest fans did a great job of behaving for their families and they were super fans in the crowd. Sydney got her curling debut on TSN... of course, chugging out of a water bottle. And Kobe seemed to like the view from way up high. I think both these kids will look back and be so proud of their mommies/
#4- Team Quebec vs. Team NWT/Yukon- We curled with 3 and for that I will always remember this game. As everyone knows our team was struck by the flu and this was the draw when it was the worst. Kerry and Wendy watched from their beds as we took on Quebec with only 3 players! This might be the first time this has ever occured at the Scotties. We kept it close until the 9th end but I really thought we might pull out the win. The crowd was soooo behind us and it would have been amazing to do the impossible and win this game.
#3- Stealing!- I am not sure why but the steals against Saskatchewan stick out as a moment for me. We stole 5 consecutive ends and tied a recond for stolen ends in Scotties history. I think this was the result of finally feeling healthy and curling how we can!!! At fifth end break Fred alluded to stealing... and we did! A great team effort and a great result (WIN).
#2- Saskatchewan/Canada- This was the final day at the Scotties and we played two tough teams Team Canada and Saskatchewan. We can out played how we could and WON two great games. Kerry made a great last rock against Canada that resulted in a stealing the win. And we pulled it together against Saksatchewan to make it a double win game. Then came all the attention over what could have been if the flu had not hit. And thanks to TSN we also got the extra exposure over this story.
And a tie for #1!!!!
#1a- Team Alberta vs Team NWT/Yukon- We did it right off the bat! We beat the home town team in the opening draw and took the wind out of their sails a bit. It went into an extra and Kerry made an amazing shot for the win (yes, swept by Shona and Wendy and line called by Sharon too!). This was a big goal for us that we set and it was great to meet this goal early in the week.
#1b- Hot Shots- Kerry won the car and how can that not be amazing! Not only that but her scores in all the rounds of Hot SHots were incredibly high. She really stayed focused and Wendy and I just kept sweeping. Yeah, we were all tired from this at the end of the same but the energy and the buzz around this was amazing. Kerry said she didn;t realize how big of a deal winning Hot Shots was!! now to figure how and when to get the new Ford Focus!
Thanks everyone for a great week in Red Deer! So many moments to remember.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Keep your fingers crossed!

Team Galusha seems to be in the winning spirit right now and we NEED to keep it that way. As most people know Kerry won the Ford Hot Shots competition on Saturday morning. This seems to be the big story in the newspapers. We also had an amazing win against team Alberta in the first draw. I can't say that we silenced the hometown crowd as they seemed to be cheering for us and for good shots during the whole game which shows just what a knowledgable crowd is in Red Deer. The crowd also went crazy when they showed Kevin Koe (Kerry's brother) and his family (Carla, Ava and Lila) on the jumbo-tron. Not sure what people thought when the reigning Alberta men's champion was celebrating a win against the Alberta women!!!
We then came out really flat against PEI and suffered a loss. This was a combination of a few things going wrong and we had a good team meeting afterwards to correct these things and to continue building our awareness of what we need to be doing to win.
So Sunday afternoon now and I can report another win against Team Nova Scotia. We did a lot of things right and it felt really good on the ice. Megan is back and feeling great and we are definately trucking along full speed again! I think the final score was 10-5 and that made the fans happy. Lots of Northerners in the crowd, also family and ex-Northerners. The support we are receiving is amazing.
So one more game tonight against Newfoundland. We'll need a win in this one for all the transplanted Newfies in the NWT! Remember to check us out on Twitter @teamgalusha

Saturday, February 18, 2012

We have a HOT SHOT!

What a great start for Team NWT/Yukon at the Scotties. Friday was incredibly busy and we survived AND thrived. First were team practices in the morning and we are happy to report that we LOVE the ice. Coach Fred told us if we love it so much we should make out with it! Bahahahah....
The official team meeting went great with Head Umpire Brenda R. She has been at many Scotties and I feel and secure knowing she is in charge! We also have Janie Hobart as an official (on ice/Game Umpire). Janie is the mayor of Fort Smith and a long tim curler and curling volunteer.
Next on the agenda was Hot Shots... I got us off to a bit of shake-y start (9 points... oops!), then Wendy lit it up with a big 20 points. 20 points can usually get you into the mext round so we were pumped about that. Sharon gave us a good showing also and then Kerry anchored our team as usual. AND... Kerry produced a whopping 26 points which is incredible in Hot Shots. If good little Kaitlyn lawes hadn;t produced a record breaking 28, Kerry would ahve for sure been the leader of the preliminary round. So Kerry moves onto the next round on Saturday (following the opening ceremonies) and will be fighting to win the Ford lease.
Then it was time for for the Opening banquet and we were dressed up in our bright blue dresses (see photo above). The banquet was amazing with acrobats, theatre groups and short and sweet speeches. Plus, we all got our diamond jewelery back and it looks great. Sharon and Wendy got their first diamonds in their necklaces, Kerry and Sharon continued to fill up their tennis bracelets and Shona completed her necklace with a fourth diamond. Fan Appreciation Night at the Heart Stop was packed and it was great to start to see out fans arriving in Red Deer.
So Hot Shots today, two games against Alberta and PEI and cramming meals and R&R between it all..... we LIVE for this!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Day 1 at the Scotties... or Pre- Day 1?!?!

Today is one of the most exciting days at the Scotties although it has not officially begun. Today is the day we get to see the arena for the first time. This is exciting as everything looks so new and fresh. It is hard to even find a speck of dirt on the carpets in the arena. We have 800am practice this morning which means we are also the first group of curlers on the ice. Then it is one activity after another for the rest of the day.
We got settled into our hotel and the rooms are great. Shona's mom brought us lots of dishes, toasters, etc that has made our group of rooms feel a bit more at home. This is helps us with breakfasts in the morning as we don't have to waste time waiting at restaurants. For a 6 person team we have 4 rooms but the roommate situation was planned out ahead of time and we know it works!
We also received our uniforms. Once again red and grey and made by Mondetta sports wear. Upside they are really nice... downside they fit a bit tighter than last year! Or rather they are made smaller; we have not grown!
It was great to see the other teams around the hotel and settling in too. You can tell that excited is in the air and we are lloking forward to getting 'on with the show'. Note that the photo above is from Hot Shots 2011.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

We have arrived in Alberta!

We have arrived in Edmonton and the travel all went smoothly. It felt so good just to take one flight to the Scotties. Our last Scotties travel (getting home from Charlottetown, PEI) resulted in many missed flights and all team members in different cities (Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver)! Thanks to Canadian North (Team Galusha sponsor) this year was much easier!
Today is a fun day for the team as we go shopping for team banquet outfits. Yes, we all have to match for the opening banquet. You might think that this would be a huge challenge but we have gotten good at this. We know the stores to go to (think lots of options and plenty of sizes) and we just keep trying clothes until someone walks out with something we all think might work. I think 3 hours might be our record and if you have ever gone shopping with 1 or 2 women you know how amazing this is for 5 women! FYI... Fred just gets out his trusty NWT Curling Association blazer and a beaded/moosehide tie and he is ready to go.
If anyone are Twitter followers both Kerry and Wendy have Twitter accounts. We also watching other team's Tweets as everyone is starting to merge into Red Deer. Team dinner tonight and then off to Red Deer in the evening!
Again, thanks for all the support and keep it coming!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

2012 Scotties... here we come!

Well, Team Galusha is now Team NWT/Yukon and we are off to the 2012 Scotties in Red Deer, Alberta. As Kerry's little girl Sydney would say, "We are going on the airplane today!". We have had a busy and successful curling season this year and we are very much hoping that this continues into Red Deer. There are many teams going to the Scotties that we have played this season already and we are hoping that we can have some good battles and close games with these teams.
The Yellowknife Curling Centre had a great send off party for us last night. The cake was super, yummy and Kerry did a great job thanking everyone who has helped us this year. We also received lots of send off presents from; Gail and Dan Daniels, Team Wendy Ondrak, Team Ann Gillis, Heather McCagg-Nystrom and Dawn 'Dawny Mo' Moses. Of course, Dawny gave us nail polish!!!
So now to get the show on the road. We head into Edmonton tonight and get the kids (Sydney and Kobe) settled. Then it is shopping tomorrow for our banquet outfits, a good team dinner altogether and then then to Red Deer in the early evening.
I am going to try to keep up with this Blog throughout the week... we'll see how dedicated I can stay! Plus, will try to post some behind the scenes photos also. We'll see how good I do this!