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Newfoundland and Labrador part of high-calibre playoff foursome

In many Tim Hortons Briers, a 6-5 round-robin record would have earned a team a spot in a tie-breaker, while a 7-4 mark was pretty much a guarantee of playing beyond the round-robin schedule.

But not at this Canadian men's curling championship in Halifax, where Jeff Stoughton's Manitoba rink finished 7-4, only to be left on the outside looking in as the Page playoffs begin today.

Newfoundland and Labrador skip Brad Gushue contemplates a shot against Northern Ontario at the Brier in Halifax on Thursday morning. Northern Ontario won the game 8-4, but Gushue and Co. bounced back for an 8-2 win over Quebec in the final draw of the rou

In many Tim Hortons Briers, a 6-5 round-robin record would have earned a team a spot in a tie-breaker, while a 7-4 mark was pretty much a guarantee of playing beyond the round-robin schedule.

But not at this Canadian men's curling championship in Halifax, where Jeff Stoughton's Manitoba rink finished 7-4, only to be left on the outside looking in as the Page playoffs begin today.

Brad Gushue's Newfoundland and Labrador rink will be involved in these playoffs, having finished 8-3 and in fourth place. The Gushue rink out of Bally Haly, which also includes third Mark Nichols, second Ryan Fry and lead Jamie Korab, will take on third-place Alberta Saturday morning, with the winner advancing to the semifinal later that day. The other semifinalist will be the loser of this evening's matchup between first-place and undefeated Glenn Howard of Ontario and Brad Jacobs of Northern Ontario (9-2), whose rink slowly moved up through the ranks during the week to finish in second place. After a 1-2 start, the 24-year-old Jacobs and his teammates won their last eight games, including an 8-4 decision over Newfoundland on Thursday morning.

The winner of tonight's game will advance straight to Sunday's final.

Heading into Thursday's final draw, Manitoba held some hope of getting into a tie-breaker, but Gushue snuffed out those thoughts with a strong performance in an 8-2 romp over Quebec.

In the other game of note on Thursday night, Alberta's Kevin Koe threatened Howard's run at perfection, but came up short in a 7-6 loss to the Ontario team. That left the Albertans at 8-3 along with Newfoundland, but they earned third place and the last rock in the first end of Saturday's 3-4 game because of their 7-6 win in their head-to-head matchup earlier in the week.

Big task facing Gushue

Gushue's three losses this week all came against the team's that finished ahead of him the round-robin. He'll have to beat all three of them this weekend to become the first team to come out of the 3-4 slot and claim a Brier championship.

"It's gotta happen. We've been doing the Page since 1995. The fact that someone hasn't done it; I think we're due," Gushue told Canwest News Service.

Organizations: Canwest News Service

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba, Alberta Ontario Halifax Northern Ontario Quebec

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Recent comments

  • brian
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    good luck in the play-offs,beat them all.

  • KD
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    I'd love to see someone beat Howard! Way too overconfident. Brad and the boys need to step up their games...they always have trouble with Koe from Alberta, so the A games are a must. Good luck boys...bring home the Brier!

  • Curling Fan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    This is the year that Team Gushue wins it all. Go Boys Go! You can do this!

  • Maggie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Good Luck to Team Gushue. But, Brad, your statement to Canwest News Service indicates that you're one hundred percent confident that your team are going to take home the Brier, which would be wonderful. However, you also have to face realty that Team Howard haven't been beaten yet, so be very careful and don't take any high uncertain risks.
    Also I have to say Kudos to Brad Jacobs and his team from Northern Ontario.
    You've certainly proven that you can compete with the best.
    (Not that these Posts are read by any of you, but I wanted to say it anyhow.)

  • brian
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    good luck in the play-offs,beat them all.

  • KD
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    I'd love to see someone beat Howard! Way too overconfident. Brad and the boys need to step up their games...they always have trouble with Koe from Alberta, so the A games are a must. Good luck boys...bring home the Brier!

  • Curling Fan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    This is the year that Team Gushue wins it all. Go Boys Go! You can do this!

  • Maggie
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    Good Luck to Team Gushue. But, Brad, your statement to Canwest News Service indicates that you're one hundred percent confident that your team are going to take home the Brier, which would be wonderful. However, you also have to face realty that Team Howard haven't been beaten yet, so be very careful and don't take any high uncertain risks.
    Also I have to say Kudos to Brad Jacobs and his team from Northern Ontario.
    You've certainly proven that you can compete with the best.
    (Not that these Posts are read by any of you, but I wanted to say it anyhow.)