Gushue dominant in his way to another Tankard win

John
John Browne
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Goes unbeaten in winning fifth straight title and eighth in the last nine years

Skip Brad Gushue releases a shot as third Mark Nichols gets ready to sweep during the 2011 Labatt Tankard provincial men's curling final against the Alex Smith rink at the Re/Max Centre on Saturday night. The Gushue rink out of the Bally Haly Golf & Curling Club won 7-2 and will represent Newfoundland and Labrador at the Tim Hortons Brier March 5-13 in London, Ont.

Brad Gushue says there’s enough talent in Newfoundland and Labrador to push his team for a Labatt Tankard provincial men’s curling title, but it needs to be developed and that men’s rinks are going to have to spend some money and get outside the province for tougher competition.

Gushue and his Bally Haly rink of Mark Nicholas, Ryan Fry and Jamie Danbrook scored twice in the sixth end and added three points in the seventh for a 7-1 victory in Saturday night’s provincial men’s final at the Re/Max Centre (St. John’s Curling Club).

With no rocks in play early in the eight end, Smith called it quits sending Gushue to his fifth straight provincial crown and on to his eighth Brier appearance in nine years March 5 at the John Labatt Centre in London, Ont.

Gushue's 5-0 round-robin record gave him a double life in the final, while Smith and his Re/Max Centre rink of Rick Rowsell, Randy Turpin and Craig Dowden earned the right to play Gushue by defeating Andrew Symonds 7-4 in the semifinal played earlier Saturday.

In the final, Gushue scored singles in the first and second ends, but he said, “even though we were up 2-0, with the ice being as straight as it was, it was a nice lead to have which meant pretty simple strategy. They (Smith rink) had to force the issue a little bit later on in the game.”

Smith could only manage a single marker in the fifth end before Gushue completely took over.

Gushue swept through the six-team round-robin and was only pressed by Smith in the fifth draw when he needed a steal in the 10th end to pull out a 7-6 victory. He won his other four round-robin games by a margin of at least four points.

This year’s provincial Tankard was down two teams from last year, but Gushue said he isn’t concerned about the future of the game at the elite level.

However he added, “It is obvious that unless you are willing to put in the time and effort, it is going to be difficult to compete. Teams don’t have to put in the amount of time we do where we are on the road two out of every three weeks, but hey have to go outside the province to play in four or five events in Ontario or out west to get the competition to really develop.

“It’s not that we don’t have the skill in the province,” added Gushue, “it’s just that you need more big-game experience.”

The 30-year-old Gushue said there are “some good juniors coming along  and I’m sure they are going to improve and who is to say someone isn’t going to beat us at next year’s provincials.”

But, he said, they have to develop that talent.

“There’s no doubt we were the best team this week, but who is to say that in two or three years someone is not going to improve.

“But if you want to compete on the Brier and World Curling Tour level, you’ve got to get outside of the province and practise every day. If you are not doing that, it’s going to be difficult to win.

“I understand Alex’s team played a couple of events outside the province this year which is a good sign,” said Gushue. “They have enough skill on their team that if they played five or six times their game would go up that much more and they’ve be even tougher for us to beat. We had a tough time with Alex Friday night and, fortunately, we played one of our best games to beat them. It probably means putting in a lot of effort and a lot of money to go out on tour. It’s the only way you clan improve, but they’re close.”

Meanwhile, Gushue said “unfortunately,” his team doesn’t have any events to play in prior to the Brier, but he said the rink might arrange some practice games and make sure “we’re solid technically.”

Still, he feels the team has played enough this season so that “I don’t think we’re going to be hurt by not playing any games between now and then.”

 

jbrowne@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Max Centre, Curling Club, John Labatt Centre

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Telling it like it is
    February 11, 2011 - 09:46

    Actually, that is no longer the case (Randy Ferby)....here's the current truth which has not been broadcast in the telegram.... The below I found in the edmonton sun - http://www.edmontonsun.com/sports/columnists/terry_jones/2011/02/10/17230696.html It was a damming public punch from Ryan Fry followed by an even more devastating private punch from Brad Gushue. Take that, Randy Ferbey! And that! Ferbey’s detailing of the “effective immediately” break-up of the “experiment gone wrong” skipping a team with Gushue, Mark Nichols and Ryan Fry, resulted in a reply. Ferbey, who told the Edmonton Sun “they quit on me,” was strongly told to retire in an e-mail dispatched to this reporter and another covering the event here Thursday. “They are comments by a very immature man in Randy Ferbey,” wrote Fry of the 52-year-old six-time Brier-winner and four-time world champion. “I believe it is time he decided to retire. “It takes a very special person to take the frustrations of a poor season out on former teammates, no matter what the case. “His recent vent is one that shows the need to stay current in the media in a game that has passed him by. “The sport has changed and the class of players have evolved. We have become athletes. There is very little room in the sport now for competitors like Randy Ferbey. I wish Randy the best and hope maturity comes with retirement.” If that wasn’t enough, Ferbey received a private e-mail from Gushue himself not long after he was told the contents of the missile fired by Fry. “My first thought was just to leave it alone and let the reporters in curling, who have known me for more than 15 years, respond to somebody saying something like that about me. There are enough people who know that I’m a heart-and-soul guy. I’ve curled with hundreds of curlers and have been able to get along great with 98% of them. “But then I got the one from Brad and, according to that one, I’m the worst piece of @#$% in the history of the world. “What came from Ryan is not surprising. But what came from Brad really surprised me. “I could say a lot of stuff, but ...” Ferbey decided that he’d said enough. If nothing else it sounded like Fry may have inspired him to return for another year with another team to prove a point. “A little young puke like that is going to push me into retirement? Yeah. Whatever,” he said of Fry. When it comes to the “should retire” comment, Ferbey isn’t exactly making a convincing argument for himself at the Boston Pizza Cup provincial playoffs. For somebody who wrote the Ferbey Four book at the peak of their success, I’ll testify that this is one seriously sorry sight to behold. Reunited with long-time, last-rock-throwing partner Dave Nedohin and a pick-up front end of Blayne Iskiw and David Harper, Ferbey — who was in last year’s final with his legendary former team ­— has managed to lose to the 11th and 12th seeds in the 12-team tournament. Without a win, he’s one loss away from elimination going into play Friday and has, in a perverted sort of way stolen the show from Olympic champion Kevin Martin and world champion Kevin Koe. “I don’t know what to say,” he said after losing 6-4 to 11th seed Geoff Walker of Grande Prairie after having dropped a 8-6 decision to Graham Powell of Sexsmith in the opening draw Wednesday. “Make a shot. Miss a shot. We haven’t been able to put a whole end together ... I can’t remember having lost two games in a row in all my years here,” said the largely lovable curling icon who was joined in his misery by Powell, Glen Kennedy of St. Alberta and Dan Petryk of Calgary who also dropped to ‘C’ event in the same afternoon draw. And who does Ferbey play Friday? Powell again. “I’m scared,” he said. “That’s not a sarcastic remark. The way we’re playing, I’m scared,” added the skip who is playing about the same as the rest of his team of part-time players and Nedohin who hadn’t played a serious game all year until qualifying for here in a short trip through the playdowns. To come back and win this, Ferbey would have to win six straight games now. “I think this team has only played six games together,” he said. Follow me on Twitter.com/sunterryjones terry.jones@sunmedia.ca

  • Economically Exiled
    February 09, 2011 - 09:58

    Excuse me for my ignorance as I live away right now....but where is Ferby in all this???

    • Mike
      February 09, 2011 - 11:21

      Ferbey is playing with Gushue on the World Curling Tour but not provincially. That was their arrangement from the start as Ferbey does not reside here and has no intentions to. Therefore, he would not qualify to play provincially.