© The Canadian Press
Newfoundland and Labrador second Ryan Fry (right) and third Mark Nichols sweep a rock during the Tim Hortons Brier Canadian men's curling championship in London, Ont., earlier this week. Canadian Press file photo
LONDON, Ontario – Brad Gushue will play Ontario’s Glenn Howard tonight for a chance to play in the final of the Canadian men’s curling championship.
Howard pulled off a 5-4 upset Saturday afternoon of defending Olympic gold medalist Kevin Martin of Alberta. It was Howard’s first win in eight against Martin in eight match-ups over the years at the Tim Hortons Brier.
Martin defeated Howard Thursday night in the final game of the 11-game round robin tournament that left Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador and Manitoba’s Jeff Stoughton all with 9-2 records. Howard was 8-3.
Gushue was awarded first place for beating both Stoughton and Martin in the round-robin.
Stoughton downed Gushue in the first playoff Friday night sending Manitoba directly to the Sunday night Tankard final.
The third-place Martin and fourth-place Howard met in a second playoff that was an intense battle between the two power-house teams.
Martin failed to raise an Alberta stone into the rings on his final shot of the game allowing Ontario to take two points for the win with Howard not throwing his last stone.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Howard whose team celebrated the win as if they had won the championship. “I thought it was a terrific game. There were a lot of great shots made on both sides.”
Said Martin: “That was a good game. But, boy, he had us up against the wall in 10. Even if I had made mine, the odds are he would have made his last one.”