Local rinks come up empty

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Gushue knocked out by Koe; Strong, Nichols fail to make playoff round in Canada Cup qualifiers

Three Newfoundland teams seeking a berth in next year's Strauss Canada Cup are returning home empty handed from Canada Cup qualifying tournaments this weekend.

At the Diversified Transportation Canada Cup Qualifier in Edmonton, Alta. Brad Gushue's Bally Haly Golf and Curling Club rink was eliminated from the playoff round after losing 6-5 to hometown skip Kevin Koe Sunday afternoon.

Three Newfoundland teams seeking a berth in next year's Strauss Canada Cup are returning home empty handed from Canada Cup qualifying tournaments this weekend.

At the Diversified Transportation Canada Cup Qualifier in Edmonton, Alta. Brad Gushue's Bally Haly Golf and Curling Club rink was eliminated from the playoff round after losing 6-5 to hometown skip Kevin Koe Sunday afternoon.

Gushue, Mark Nichols, Ryan Fry and lead Jamie Korab opened the event with 9-8 win over Shane Park of St. Albert, Alta. in the fourth draw before dropping their seventh draw match to British Columbia's Bob Ursel.

In Draw 9 on Saturday, Gushue and company gutted out a 7-5 win over Saskatchewan's Pat Simmons before dropping a 7-6 decision to Mike McEwen of Winnipeg.

In Draw 12 Sunday morning, Gushue downed Brad Heidt from Saskatchewan 8-4.

The team finished the qualifier with a 3-3 record.

Strong 4-3

At the women's Canada Cup qualifier in Ottawa, the John Shea Insurance tournament, both Heather Strong and Shelly Nichols from the Re/Max Centre fell short of advancing to the playoff round.

Playing Winnipeg's Barb Spencer for a qualifier spot Sunday afternoon, Strong took a 5-4 lead into the seventh end, but the team gave up four to the Manitoba skip and ended losing 9-6 in nine ends to finish with a 4-3 record.

After winning their opener 7-6 over the Nova Scotia rink of Jill Mouzar, Strong, Laura Strong, Cathy Cunningham and Peg Goss dropped their next two games 9-8 to Thunder Bay's Krista McCarville and 7-5 to Winnipeg's Kristy Jenion.

Saturday morning, the team bounced back with three wins - a 8-2 decision over Ottawa's Jenn Hanna, a 6-5 win over 2006 and 2007 Scotties champion Kelly Scott from Kelowna, B.C., and a 9-6 victory over Toronto's Julie Hastings.

Nichols 2-3

Nichols, who finished at 2-3, opened with a 10-4 win over Calgary's Heather Rankin, then lost two back-to-back games - 8-6 to Chantal Osborne or Thurso, Que. and 9-3 to Edmonton's Cathy King

Nichols, Stephanie Ledrew, Rhonda Rogers and Colette Lemon defeated Chelsea Carey 8-7 Saturday morning, but fell 7-1 to Brandon, Manitoba's Maureen Bonar in the afternoon to put the Newfoundland-based rink out of qualifier contention.

Organizations: Bally Haly Golf and Curling Club, John Shea Insurance, Max Centre

Geographic location: Canada, Edmonton, Winnipeg Newfoundland Ottawa Manitoba Shane Park British Columbia Saskatchewan Nova Scotia Thunder Bay Kelowna Toronto Calgary Thurso Brandon

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