Brad Gushue and his Bally Haly Country Club curling team from St. John’s dropped its first game at the Canadian Olympic Pre-Trials Thursday night, and it was a rough one with an 8-3 setback in nine ends to British Columbia’s John Morris.
Gushue, Brett Gallant, Adam Casey and Geoff Walker are 2-1 at the 2013 Capital One Road to the Roar in Kitchener, Ont.
The Pre-Trials feature 12 men’s and women’s teams apiece, with two male and female berths up for grabs in the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings, the Olympic Trials slated for Dec. 1-8 in Winnipeg.
The loss drops Gushue to the B side, where he now plays reigning Brier champ Brad Jacobs 3:30 p.m. (NL time) today.
The winner of that game plays again tonight against either Steve Laycock or Greg Balsdon in the B final.
A loss in either game puts Gushue in the C side, and a longer path to one of the two Trials slots.
Gushue and Morris were tied 3-3 after five ends Thursday night, but the former third for Kevin Martin’s reigning Olympic gold-medal team scored two in the seventh and put the game away with a steal of two in eight and a steal of one in the ninth end.
Gushue’s earlier wins came against Quebec’s Jean-Michel Menard (9-5) and Jake Higgs of Ontario (10-4).