Gushue rink feeling right at home in Halifax

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Registers two wins Monday before supportive crowds at Metro Centre; in three-way tie for second behind Ontario

Three days into the 2010 Tim Hortons Brier, Glenn Howard sits exactly where he - and probably every curling fan in the entire country - expected him to be, undefeated at the top of the standings in the national men's championship.

"I don't know what everybody expects, but I know that's where we want to be," the Ontario skip said of leading the 12-team pack. "We want to win every game. If we do, we do, if we don't, we don't, but our first goal is to get to the playoffs and go from there."

The mood is light as members of the Newfoundland and Labrador rink hold a quick huddle before the start of their game against Nova Scotia at the 2010 Tim Hortons Brier Monday in Halifax. Members of the team (from left) are skip Brad Gushue, coach Ken Bagn

HALIFAX -

Three days into the 2010 Tim Hortons Brier, Glenn Howard sits exactly where he - and probably every curling fan in the entire country - expected him to be, undefeated at the top of the standings in the national men's championship.

"I don't know what everybody expects, but I know that's where we want to be," the Ontario skip said of leading the 12-team pack. "We want to win every game. If we do, we do, if we don't, we don't, but our first goal is to get to the playoffs and go from there."

He's well on his way at 5-0 after a two-win day that included a 7-4 victory over nephew Steven Howard, who plays third for James Grattan's New Brunswick crew in the afternoon. The Brier favourite followed that up with a 9-3 conquest of winless hometown skip Ian Fitzner-LeBlanc in the evening draw.

"Two more today puts us at 5-0; can't be much better and again, we're getting stronger and stronger every time," added the leader. "It never gets monotonous. No, no, no, no, no, never. "

Close behind are the three teams most expect to push Ontario - Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton, Newfoundland and Labrador's Brad Gushue and Alberta's Kevin Koe, all at 4-1.

Gushue, who dumped Nova Scotia 10-3 and then handed P.E.I.'s Rod MacDonald a 7-3 setback, is attracting most of the trailing attention, though, for the roughly 38,000 fans who have ventured to the Halifax Metro Centre for eight draws over the first three days of the Brier. They're making the 2006 Olympic champion one of their own.

"We have a lot of supporters from Newfoundland and I think a lot of people from Nova Scotia support us pretty good as well, with our history of the (Olympic) trials and the Brier here before," said Gushue, who definitely felt the love despite pounding local boy Ian Fitzner-LeBlanc. "We feel very much like a home team here, as does Ian. It's been fun and hopefully there will be a few more fans and it'll get a little bit louder.

"It's been enjoyable."

Not so much for Fitzner-LeBlanc, who remains winless at 0-5 along with Jamie Koe of the Yukon/Northwest Territories.

Kevin Koe, Jamie's brother, suffered his first loss Monday morning, losing 7-6 to British Columbia's Jeff Richards, but rebounded with an impressive in-off double for three in a 9-5 win over Saskatchewan's Darrell McKee. The sixth-end circus shot resonated throughout the building.

As for seeing Howard at the top: "I don't think that's a big surprise," said Koe. "I think that's what most people thought coming in and I think it'll be that way for the rest of the week, although there are a couple of solid teams there in B.C. and Northern Ontario."

As for Richard, the 1999 national junior runner-up just keeps battling, but he lost a tight 8-7 decision to Quebec;s Serge Reid in the evening to fall to 2-3 with Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, while Quebec improves to 3-2 with Brad Jacobs of Northern Ontario.

Organizations: Metro Centre

Geographic location: Halifax, Ontario, New Brunswick Newfoundland and Labrador Manitoba Alberta Saskatchewan Northern Ontario Nova Scotia Quebec Yukon Northwest Territories British Columbia B.C.

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Recent comments

  • Margaret
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    It's nice to see Brad smiling; very seldom he does; and also shaved.
    Geeee, according to yesterday's Posts,
    he is not a very well liked person.
    Yes, at times he does come across as
    cocky and full of himself and arrogant.
    Maybe he should become a little more friendly, as NL people are known for,
    and smile or chat for a few seconds with their opponents during a break, about anything, just the weather if he can't think of anything else, because from what I hear most of the other professional curlers also do not like him much. I know the Team is in serious competition all the time, but you have to also have some personality.

  • D.G.
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Brad is very much up on his high horse. I have a relative who works in a somewhat high class restaurant and Brad and a number of his relatives were there one evening. The Owner told them that their meals were On the House. Their waitress wasn't treated courteously, and they were demanding and abrupt.
    After giving them excellent service and being patient with them, they didn't even have the kindness of heart to leave a tip. You'd think at least one of the bunch would have thought of it, or even done it !!!!
    However, that being said, they are good curlers.

  • Curling Fan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    I wish people would cut Brad some slack! Do you know why Brad isn't well liked among the other Professional Curlers? He takes it seriously! This is important to him! Most teams would finish the game go to the Brier Patch and drink until the next game. Brad (& Team) don't do that - they discuss their game and concentrate on the upcoming games. Brad may come across as arrogant and cocky, but that is farthest from his true personality. Premier Williams comes across as a bit arrogant and cocky, but his approval rating is unbelievably high. I don't understand why Brad is given such a hard time. I like the comment by Margaret Maybe he should become a little more friendly, as NL people are known for Well, NL people are know for being so friendly, then you wouldn't say it by the comments that they leave here about Brad. It's truely disturbing how they bash the guy who is one of the greatest sports figures and embassadors this province has ever seen.

  • Mr. Juanabee
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    News flash to Alex Connelly: In terms of NL curling, Brad et. al. ARE above everybody else. In recent memory, Brad's is the only rink from this province to gain any respect from other teams in Canada.

    He represents winning and wanting to win. Maybe that rubs NL'ers the wrong way but I say GO BRAD!!

  • KD
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    What's up with all the Gushue haters!?!?!Typical of us NL'ers...hate to see any of our own doing better than we are...these guys are first class ambassadors of this province and always handle themselves professionaly and courteously..win or lose!

    Grow up!!

  • gold smold
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    yes Todd, Brad and the team won gold, but is that reason enough to name a slew of streets after him/them? There are Newfoundlanders who achieved more and who have lost their lives in the service of their province/country who do not have streets named after them.

    Lets put things in perspective here, they had streets named after them for winning at playing a game!

  • Bert
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    If Gushue thinks he has a a lot of support in NL than he must have a large family. Talk to people and I feel the people are 10 to 1 against him and his team.

  • Gord
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    To Bert, I'm surprised 10 people would even want to talk to someone as negative as you. Get a life old man.

  • Telling it how Id
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    If he wins the brier, I'm not sure what else we can name after him....

    The Province of Team Gushue???

    Welcome to the capital city of Newfoundland, Team Gushue???

    Hmmm...I'm enrolled in Team Gushue University???

    Marconi sent his first wireless message from Team Gushue Tower??

  • Eli
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    You sure you weren't on something when you said Bert?

  • Margaret
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    To: Observing from the Sidelines,
    I would love to see Team Gushue win the Brier. They ARE representing Newfoundland and Labrador.

  • Alex
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    I can't stand brad and his team. Arrogant, Cocky, and walks as if he is above everyone else. I encounter brad almost everyday, and each day is the same. Get off your high horse.

    He represents what Newfoundlanders are not about.

  • Todd
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Brad Gushue is an Olympic Gold Medallist. That's all that needs to be said. The man has streets and highways named after him. He has achieved more success than many of us will ever know and the guy isn't even 30 years old. But yet, every time he turns around people question his ability and his personality. What more does he have to do to make you people happy? What will everyone say when he does win a Brier, which he will. It's only a matter of time. And why would Brad Gushue want to be friendly when even his fellow Newfoundlanders and Labradorians stab him in the back every chance they get. Friendly? Yeah right, I think we as Newfoundlanders should be described as jealous. The big problem is that people here can't understand the difference between sport and games. Athletes involved in sport play to win, period. People who play games play for fun. Curling is not a game for Brad. He doesn't do it for fun. He does it because he strives to be the best. This is his life and he wants to win. What's wrong with that? And Bert, I dont remember 10 to 1 people hating him during the Gold Medal game in Turin in 2006. Perhaps it's just you and the only 9 people who will listen/talk to you.

  • observing
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Brad and crew!

    it is hard to be a prophet in your own land. As always, you are first class. This just may be the year!

    That would really have Margaret frowning!

  • Bert
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    To Gord and Todd, I think most people supported him at the Olympics. I know I did!! Also I supported and would not miss a game of NHL hockey where a Newfoundlander was playing. What pissed me and a lot of Fellow Newfoundlanders and Labradorians was the way he treated Mike Adam and jamie Korab. His reasoning was that they did not have the cohesiveness to become top curlers together. Bulls##t, they won the gold medal at a young age and would only get better. A great team but most people do not treat their friends in this way. So for this reason I m OUT!!! NOT LIKELY THIS WILL BE PRINTED BECAUSE THE TELEGRAM HAS A HABIT OF STOPPING WITH PRO GUSHUE GETS THE LAST WORD.

  • Margaret
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    It's nice to see Brad smiling; very seldom he does; and also shaved.
    Geeee, according to yesterday's Posts,
    he is not a very well liked person.
    Yes, at times he does come across as
    cocky and full of himself and arrogant.
    Maybe he should become a little more friendly, as NL people are known for,
    and smile or chat for a few seconds with their opponents during a break, about anything, just the weather if he can't think of anything else, because from what I hear most of the other professional curlers also do not like him much. I know the Team is in serious competition all the time, but you have to also have some personality.

  • D.G.
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    Brad is very much up on his high horse. I have a relative who works in a somewhat high class restaurant and Brad and a number of his relatives were there one evening. The Owner told them that their meals were On the House. Their waitress wasn't treated courteously, and they were demanding and abrupt.
    After giving them excellent service and being patient with them, they didn't even have the kindness of heart to leave a tip. You'd think at least one of the bunch would have thought of it, or even done it !!!!
    However, that being said, they are good curlers.

  • Curling Fan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    I wish people would cut Brad some slack! Do you know why Brad isn't well liked among the other Professional Curlers? He takes it seriously! This is important to him! Most teams would finish the game go to the Brier Patch and drink until the next game. Brad (& Team) don't do that - they discuss their game and concentrate on the upcoming games. Brad may come across as arrogant and cocky, but that is farthest from his true personality. Premier Williams comes across as a bit arrogant and cocky, but his approval rating is unbelievably high. I don't understand why Brad is given such a hard time. I like the comment by Margaret Maybe he should become a little more friendly, as NL people are known for Well, NL people are know for being so friendly, then you wouldn't say it by the comments that they leave here about Brad. It's truely disturbing how they bash the guy who is one of the greatest sports figures and embassadors this province has ever seen.

  • Mr. Juanabee
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    News flash to Alex Connelly: In terms of NL curling, Brad et. al. ARE above everybody else. In recent memory, Brad's is the only rink from this province to gain any respect from other teams in Canada.

    He represents winning and wanting to win. Maybe that rubs NL'ers the wrong way but I say GO BRAD!!

  • KD
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    What's up with all the Gushue haters!?!?!Typical of us NL'ers...hate to see any of our own doing better than we are...these guys are first class ambassadors of this province and always handle themselves professionaly and courteously..win or lose!

    Grow up!!

  • gold smold
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    yes Todd, Brad and the team won gold, but is that reason enough to name a slew of streets after him/them? There are Newfoundlanders who achieved more and who have lost their lives in the service of their province/country who do not have streets named after them.

    Lets put things in perspective here, they had streets named after them for winning at playing a game!

  • Bert
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    If Gushue thinks he has a a lot of support in NL than he must have a large family. Talk to people and I feel the people are 10 to 1 against him and his team.

  • Gord
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    To Bert, I'm surprised 10 people would even want to talk to someone as negative as you. Get a life old man.

  • Telling it how Id
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    If he wins the brier, I'm not sure what else we can name after him....

    The Province of Team Gushue???

    Welcome to the capital city of Newfoundland, Team Gushue???

    Hmmm...I'm enrolled in Team Gushue University???

    Marconi sent his first wireless message from Team Gushue Tower??

  • Eli
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    You sure you weren't on something when you said Bert?

  • Margaret
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    To: Observing from the Sidelines,
    I would love to see Team Gushue win the Brier. They ARE representing Newfoundland and Labrador.

  • Alex
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    I can't stand brad and his team. Arrogant, Cocky, and walks as if he is above everyone else. I encounter brad almost everyday, and each day is the same. Get off your high horse.

    He represents what Newfoundlanders are not about.

  • Todd
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    Brad Gushue is an Olympic Gold Medallist. That's all that needs to be said. The man has streets and highways named after him. He has achieved more success than many of us will ever know and the guy isn't even 30 years old. But yet, every time he turns around people question his ability and his personality. What more does he have to do to make you people happy? What will everyone say when he does win a Brier, which he will. It's only a matter of time. And why would Brad Gushue want to be friendly when even his fellow Newfoundlanders and Labradorians stab him in the back every chance they get. Friendly? Yeah right, I think we as Newfoundlanders should be described as jealous. The big problem is that people here can't understand the difference between sport and games. Athletes involved in sport play to win, period. People who play games play for fun. Curling is not a game for Brad. He doesn't do it for fun. He does it because he strives to be the best. This is his life and he wants to win. What's wrong with that? And Bert, I dont remember 10 to 1 people hating him during the Gold Medal game in Turin in 2006. Perhaps it's just you and the only 9 people who will listen/talk to you.

  • observing
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    Brad and crew!

    it is hard to be a prophet in your own land. As always, you are first class. This just may be the year!

    That would really have Margaret frowning!

  • Bert
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    To Gord and Todd, I think most people supported him at the Olympics. I know I did!! Also I supported and would not miss a game of NHL hockey where a Newfoundlander was playing. What pissed me and a lot of Fellow Newfoundlanders and Labradorians was the way he treated Mike Adam and jamie Korab. His reasoning was that they did not have the cohesiveness to become top curlers together. Bulls##t, they won the gold medal at a young age and would only get better. A great team but most people do not treat their friends in this way. So for this reason I m OUT!!! NOT LIKELY THIS WILL BE PRINTED BECAUSE THE TELEGRAM HAS A HABIT OF STOPPING WITH PRO GUSHUE GETS THE LAST WORD.