Another Brier heartbreak for Gushue

Robin Short
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Team Newfoundland and Labrador skip Brad Gushue thinks strategy between ends during the gold medal game against Team Alberta at the Tim Hortons Brier national men’s curling
championship Sunday in Ottawa. Alberta’s Kevin Koe took two in the ninth to go up 9-5 and forced handshakes for Gushue’s foursome from the Bally Haly Country Club in St. John’s.

Team Newfoundland and Labrador loses gold medal final to Alberta’s Kevin Koe

Brad Gushue will have to wait another year before ticking off that one, final elusive curling objective — winning a Tim Horton’s Brier championship.

This was shaping up to be Gushue’s year — hot as a pistol on the World Curling Tour in late 2015, and carrying on that brilliant play through the round-robin in Ottawa at 9-2, bettered only by Brad Jacobs’ Northern Ontario team which was a perfect 11-0. And if you’re one for karma, or fate, it’s been exactly 40 years since Newfoundland won its first and only Brier, and 10 since Gushue copped Olympic gold in Torino, Italy.

But Kevin Koe, the two-time Brier champion, had a little something to say about this, and the soft-spoken Calgary curler made a big statement Sunday night, outscoring the St. John’s team from the Bally Haly Country Club 9-5 in a shortened nine-end final to win the 2016 Brier.

For Gushue, it’s another huge disappointment ... so close, but yet so far away.

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He now falls to 3-12 in Brier playoff starts, and zero-for-13 in Brier appearances.

Koe, on the other hand, improves to 10-2.

With the victory, Koe, Ben Hebert, Brent Laing and Marc Kennedy pocket a prize worth approximately $225,000, with the total including $144,000 in Sport Canada funding. They’ll wear Team Canada’s colours at the Brier next year at Mile One Stadium in St. John’s and will represent the country in the world championship next month in Basel, Switzerland.

Koe is now 4-1 against Gushue this season, including a win in the final at The Tour Challenge, a World Curling Tour stop in Paradise that was a preview to the Brier final. Gushue’s lone win over Koe came earlier in the week in Brier round-robin play, a 4-3 decision.

For the Newfoundland team, which also includes Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant and Geoff Walker, a difficult start ultimately led to its undoing, as Gushue and Co., holding last shot, allowed steals of a single point to Koe in the first and second ends to fall behind 2-0 early on.

Gushue managed to pick up a single point in the third, but Koe scored two in the fourth for a 4-1 lead. Gushue replied with a single point in the fifth to trail by two at the fifth end break.

And considering the Newfoundland team was down 4-1 after five to Jacobs in the 1-2 playoff game Friday night, before rallying to win, Gushue was in the mix.

Things got real interesting in the sixth when Gushue stole a point, but then came the fateful seventh end, when Koe all but sealed the deal scoring three.

The teams traded deuces in the eighth and ninth before Gushue opted to shake hands after Koe’s two in nine.

Gushue beat Jacobs 7-6 in an extra end Friday to advance directly to Sunday’s final. Koe, on the other hand, had to take the long road, outscoring Manitoba’s Mike McEwen 7-5 in the Page Playoff 3-4 game, and then Jacobs 6-5 in the semifinal.

For Gushue, it’s another silver medal after finishing second in 2007.

Sunday’s loss also means there will be no second Newfoundland team at the Brier next year. Had Gushue won, he would have been wearing Team Canada’s colours at Mile One Centre, with the winner of the 2017 provincial Tankard representing Newfoundland in the Brier.

Twitter: @TelyRobinShort


2016 at Ottawa (10-3, silver medal)

2015 at Calgary (9-5)

2014 at Kamloops, B.C. (6-5)

2013 at Edmonton (8-4)

2012 at Saskatoon (5-6)

2011 at London, Ont. (10-4, bronze medal)

2010 at Halifax (8-4)

2009 at Calgary (8-4)

2008 at Winnipeg (7-5)

2007 at Hamilton, Ont. (9-4, silver medal)

2005 at Edmonton (6-5)

2004 at Saskatoon (8-4)

2003 at Halifax (6-5)


196, Glenn Howard (15 years)

174, Russ Howard (14 years)

158, Brad Gushue (13 years)

150, Kevin Martin (12 years)

150, Mark Nichols (12 years)

139, Jeff Stoughton (11 years)


14 — Russ Howard (Ont./N.B.) 1980, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 (Ont.);

1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2009 (New Brunswick)

13 — Brad Gushue

Organizations: World Curling Tour, Team Canada, Bally Haly Country Club Sport Canada The Tour Challenge Halifax

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Calgary, Ottawa Alberta Northern Ontario Torino Basel Paradise Edmonton Saskatoon Manitoba Kamloops London, Ont. Winnipeg New Brunswick

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Recent comments

  • bob
    March 14, 2016 - 10:20

    KOE,S team won $225,.000 plus benefits for 2016 win but what did gushue,s team recieve

    • Jack
      March 14, 2016 - 21:43

      That money also includes automatic carding for Sport Canada Funding. Kevin Koe also gets an automatic invite to the Canada Cup of Curling and Continental Cup. Because Kevin Koe won the Canada Cup earlier this Curling season, they are automatically in the Olympic Trials "Roar of the Rings" in December 2017, meaning they won't have to worry about winning a medal in Basel.

    • Jack
      March 14, 2016 - 22:00

      Curling Fan, as a big fan of the Brad Gushue rink since their Gold Medal victory at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy, one thing I observed with Team Gushue over the last 10 years is that they seem to do very well during the Brier Round Robin games, but almost always bomb out during the Playoffs. In case you don't follow Professional Wrestling too much, "Jobber to the Stars" are Wrestlers whom beat Jobbers easily but lose to bigger name Superstars. While I'm aware that Professional Wrestling is staged and scripted, but Curling is real, Brad Gushue rink is a true "Jobber to the Star" team when it comes to Briers as they do extremely well during the Round Robin, but almost always bomb out to bigger name Curlers during the Playoffs such as Brad Jacobs, John Epping, Glenn Howard, Kevin Koe, Mike McEwen, Reid Carruthers, Pat Simmons, and Steve Laycock. Unless Team Gushue can find a way to do better during Tim Horton's Brier playoffs, they will never clinch a Brier title or even get a world title behind him.

  • Dan
    March 14, 2016 - 10:11

    Thanks for a great showing Brad. You continue to put our province on the map year after year. No question, you are our all-time greatest athlete and we can't wait to see you on home ice next year. You and boys provided us with 9 days of exceptional curling. Keep your head up and congrats.

    • Curling Fan
      March 14, 2016 - 15:08

      Ok Dan if you think Gushue is our all time greatest athlete you have severe issues. You ever heard of Danny Cleary Michael Ryder Just to name a few. Relax Dan it's curling again I have to say this its curling. Yes he is a good athlete but it's curling. Let's put in perspective it's it's it's curling!!!!!!! Cmon man!!!!!!

    • Dan
      March 14, 2016 - 20:46

      Curling Fan.....if you feel the need to get personal about an opinion, then you have severe issues. I know all about Ryder and Clearly and I was just as excited for them as any Newfoundlander when they won the cup. Neither of them won a world championship or Olympic Gold or sustained a high level of athleticism as long as Gushue. Cleary and Ryder had decent careers but individually, they each had about 4 good years in the NHL.

    • Curling Fan
      March 15, 2016 - 09:37

      Ahh Dan, please do not compare curling to Hockey. Are you kidding me.....Cleary and Ryder have played over 900 and 800 games in the NHL respectively and oh have won some thing called the Stanley Cup!!!! And to go on here and say Brad has showed lots of athleticism curling are you kidding me dude...Its curling no athleticism needed its the same as darts, pool, bowling. All take a skill but certainly not athleticism . Curling is a game of strategy but to say it requires athleticism is ridiculous to say. Oh and by the way how much money has Gushue earned curling to what Cleary and Ryder and others NL NHLers have made . end of story

    • Dan
      March 16, 2016 - 09:27

      Curling Fan....if you read my post, you would have seen that I did mention the thing called the Stanley Cup. Curling doesn't require the same athleticism as hockey but it is still a sport and an Olympic one at that. In terms of how much money Brad makes compared to Ryder and Cleary....if curlers were paid like Pro Hockey players, Brad would be making Yzerman dollars, certainly a lot more than Cleary made. Where is Cleary the minors. Where is Ryder now.....babysitting. Where is Brad now.....still one of the best in the world.

    • Fed up
      March 16, 2016 - 18:56

      Ok Dan. Brad Gushue throws 2 stones an end and never has to sweep. He is a fantastic athlete. Your hilarious. Brad is still going strong???Yes he won the Gold medal any team from Canada would have won that gold. Now again curling is in the same level as going for a walk playing darts or even bowling. In your eyes if they are real sports them you would fit in perfect. I forgot too Dan only real men can yell out Hurry on T V and act like a bunch of bluffs. For that Gushue is definitely the best!!!

  • so disappointed
    March 14, 2016 - 09:55

    I am crushed....thought this was the year. However, a couple of missed calls or shots early on and we were behind the eight ball. could not recover. Brad and crew..bad ending but a great show. First class all the way!

  • Dolf
    March 14, 2016 - 09:18

    Altho they stayed in shape after the Page 1 knock-out of the undefeated other Brad, the rust was obvious in this one and they were beaten (that's the only word) by a better team. On this nite anyway. Thanks for a great week of entertainment guys and come back next year.

  • Brier Broad
    March 14, 2016 - 09:09

    The boys carried themselves with grace and integrity sprinkled with humour. All of these attributes as well as raw talent will have them leading the charge in St. John's next year! Try and keep in mind it is just a game and tomorrow is another day! Wear your silver medals with pride! #Brier2017 see you at the Patch!

  • Curling Fan
    March 14, 2016 - 09:03

    He chokes when it counts in the Brier. His record in the Brier playoffs is what like 3-12 or something like that. That stat says it all. No question this is a good team and competitive every year that is what is makes this so disappointing as they are winning tournaments all over the place over the same teams they play in the Brier. But when it comes to the Brier cannot win and may never win now cause its in his head. That playoff record is alarming though

  • W.Johnson
    March 14, 2016 - 08:45

    Congratulation's to Team Gushue You did your best .I know it was a learning experience.Good luck for next year.

  • On the Rock….
    March 13, 2016 - 23:28

    Yes, too bad. They had a great week but tonight it came down to misreading the ice in the first half of the game. Too much ice or too much weight. Otherwise they played a decent game - the other guys just played it better. And there was no evidence of the old Brad - the one who took too many chances and went for the Hail Mary pass. They'll have another chance next year to win it on home ice. It was nice that the crowd seemed to favour the Newfoundland team.