Gushue loses, but not in spotlight matchup

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John Browne
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Downs Noseworthy and former teammates after dropping afternoon match to Lab City rink

Brad Gushue may have to play the rest of the week without regular second stone Chris Schille, and that could cause some problems for the defending Newfoundland and Labrador men's curling champion.

Schille has been fighting a viral infection and strep throat and didn't see any action on Tuesday, the opening day of the Labatt Tankard provincial men's championship in Labrador City, and he wasn't in the lineup Wednesday when the Bally Haly foursome split a pair of games at the Carol Curling Club.

Mark Nichols (right), the third for Brad Gushue's rink, and Glenn Goss sweep a shot from lead Dave Noftall (not shown) during their game against Mark Noseworthy's team in round-robin play at the Labatt Tankard provincial men's curling championship Wednesd

Brad Gushue may have to play the rest of the week without regular second stone Chris Schille, and that could cause some problems for the defending Newfoundland and Labrador men's curling champion.

Schille has been fighting a viral infection and strep throat and didn't see any action on Tuesday, the opening day of the Labatt Tankard provincial men's championship in Labrador City, and he wasn't in the lineup Wednesday when the Bally Haly foursome split a pair of games at the Carol Curling Club.

"We tried to play him earlier (Wednesday) and that might have been a mistake," said Gushue after being upset 11-7 by Gary Wensman of the host club in the afternoon draw, before recovering to defeat rival Mark Noseworthy (Re/Max Centre/St. John's Curling Club) 8-3 in evening action.

Gushue put down the loss to Wensman as simply "getting off to a bad start."

Wensman scored four times in the first and second ends and had a 5-0 lead after three before Gushue made a game of it.

Goss takes over for Schille ... Continued from page C1

Veteran Glenn Goss, the team's fifth man, has replaced Schille on the rink that also includes third Mark Nichols and lead Dave Noftall.

"Hopefully, he (Schille) can take it easy this week," said Gushue. "He'll sit out today for sure. We have three games Friday, so he may be able to get into one of those."

The surprise leader after five draws of the Tankard is Alex Smith and his Re/Max Centre rink of Jason Dickie, Peter Hollett and Mark Healy.

Smith picked up three wins on Wednesday, including a 6-5 decision over Wensman, a 9-6 victory over Bob Skanes (Re/Max Centre) and a 7-3 win over Bruce Adam (Carol Curling Club).

Gushue is in second place with a 3-1 mark after beating back an early challenge from Noseworthy in the evening draw.

The anticipated showdown between Gushue and the Noseworthy rink, which includes former Gushue teammates Jamie Korab and Mike Adam, began with Noseworthy scoring three points in the second end for a 3-1 lead, only to have Gushue score twice in the third and then run off five points via steals while blanking the opposition the rest of the way.

"We had a decent first end and a very sloppy second end and Mark's team made some real nice shots and got a fairly easy three, putting us behind the eight ball," said Gushue.

"But we came back with a real solid third end. It looked as if we were going to score three, but Mark made a good double and we ended up getting two, which got us right back in the game and then we really turned it on," said Gushue. "We made a lot of good shots and put a lot of pressure on Mark on his last rocks and there were several times when I don't know if he even had a shot to score."

Gushue believes having Schille out of the lineup could affect the team's consistency this week.

"Any time you lose a player of his calibre, it is going to impact your team," said Gushue, who went undefeated in winning last year's Tankard. "Even though we have a great curler in Glenn filling in, it's not the same as having your regular lineup.

"We're going to try and grind it out and get ourselves in the playoffs and hopefully Chris will be back at 100 per cent and the team can play the way we are capable of playing," said Gushue.

jbrowne@thelegram

Organizations: Carol Curling Club, Max Centre

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Lab, St. John's

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