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Newfoundland and Labrador trails only Ontario heading into two crucial games today

His rink sits alone in second place after a couple of convincing wins Tuesday and looks every bit the contender most predicted it would be at this week's Tim Hortons Brier in Halifax, but while Brad Gushue said his team's game is coming together, it's still not where it needs to be.

"We're still not really taking advantage of opportunities, missing some easy shots," said the Newfoundland and Labrador skip Tuesday.

Newfoundland and Labrador third Mark Nichols (left) and second Jamie Korab (right) get ready to sweep a shot by skip Brad Gushue during their game against New Brunswick Tuesday at the Tim Hortons Brier Canadian men's championship in Halifax. - Photo by Th

His rink sits alone in second place after a couple of convincing wins Tuesday and looks every bit the contender most predicted it would be at this week's Tim Hortons Brier in Halifax, but while Brad Gushue said his team's game is coming together, it's still not where it needs to be.

"We're still not really taking advantage of opportunities, missing some easy shots," said the Newfoundland and Labrador skip Tuesday.

"In the first two or three ends, in just about every game we missed a draw where we could have really taken it to the other team."

Considering what Gushue and Bally Haly teammates Mark Nichols, Ryan Fry and Jamie Korab are up against today, those words could be as much a warning as an observation. Today's opponents for second-place Newfoundland (6-1) are two-time defending champion Glenn Howard of Ontario, unbeaten through seven games this rink, and double Brier winner Jeff Stoughton of Manitoba, whose rink is one of four tied for third with 5-2 records.

Big ends highlighted Newfoundland's wins Tuesday. Gushue stole five in the fifth in an 8-3 win over James Grattan of New Brunswick and got four with the hammer in the eighth end to break a 3-3 tie en route to a 7-5 decision against B.C.'s Jeff Richard in the night-time draw.

"We picked it up in the second half, which seems to be the way we've been rolling all week," said Gushue. "We've got to take advantage of those opportunities early in the game and not let them slip. You may not get them back."

While this morning's game against Howard provides Gushue with an opportunity to gain a share of first place, the Newfoundlanders are also well aware of the teams breathing down their neck.

The Brier field essentially has split into two groups - the rinks that look like they will be also-rans - and the six chasing the four available playoff berths.

Besides Gushue, Howard and Stoughton, that top section includes the other rinks at 5-2, - Alberta, Northern Ontario and Quebec.

The latter team, out if Jonquiere, Que., and skipped by Serge Reid, was very much an unknown quantity heading into the Brier, but has made its presence known.

"I don't know them at all," said Howard, who is only one of two skips, along with Stoughton, to have beaten Quebec this week.

"If you haven't heard of them you think that they're not good but that's definitely not the case here. These guys can play and they can curl."

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Halifax Manitoba Quebec New Brunswick Alberta Northern Ontario Jonquiere

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  • Heather
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Good Luck to Team Gushue. Brad is one of the best curlers ever in NL. The naysayers have resented the fact that he has reached such a high calibre of skill at such a young age

  • Mike
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Telling it how Id like it to be ;), I never said you resent Brad Gushue, I said a few wins today would shut up a lot of people who comment on articles about Gushue saying he's a poor sport and he is giving Newfoundlander's a bad name. I agree with your statement 100%, I also hate the way the media, etc built him up after the Olympics, but it's Newfoundland, it is what Newfoundlander's do, whether it is the Olympics, Canadian Idol or whatever, they back their own. Do I think people went overboard in naming street, highways, sports complex's, etc after them, yes, but it was an accomplishment no other person from this province has achieved, and people were proud.

  • rob
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    does anyone have a website, where we can get up to the minute scores ?

  • Bert
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    If he wins it their will be 80% unhappy Newfoundlanders and Labradorians!!!!

  • Rob
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Rob from Mount Pearl, I was just wondering what exactly defines someone as an athletic, and /or what qualifies something to be a sport?

  • Telling it how Id
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Curling Fan and Mike....

    I resent Brad Gushue?

    No, I resent the media blitz this province ran from 2006 to 2008 to continuously celebrate his victory. Yes, winning an olympic gold medal is a rare achievement for a person to achieve, it takes years of dedication, sacrifice skill.

    Michael Phelps won 8 gold medals at the 2008 games, something Im' sure Brad Gushue may not accomplish (let's see he'd need to win ever roar of the rings over the next 28 years) and you don't see the US media continuously finding an excuse to honour him do you?

    But 2 years after the bloody thing was won, the media and province was finding excuses to somehow remain in 2006 and continuously pucker up and kiss his rear end. Whether it was the naming of a highway, the awarding of an honourary doctorate, sports centres, appointments to boards, charities, the list was endless .

    I have no quams with Brad Gushue, i went to high school with him, I never had any problem with him nor do I now. But when the NL media decides to live in 2006 for over 2 years, even I got sick of hearing about him.

    Sorry Brad, it's not your fault, it's the medias fault you are hated by a percentage of NLer's.

    Myself not included.

    Oh, and in closing, kick the tires and light the fires at this years Brier championship!

  • Lee
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    Heather, you are wrong. Resent is a strong word; don't be so foolish.

  • Heather
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Lee - Why is my opinion wrong and yours right? If I remember correctly Ferbey made some very nast comments about Brad when he was vying for the gold etc and Newfoundlanders are resentful of peopke who make a positve name for themselves. As for curling being a sport Rob, well I'm with you - it's more a skills game. But then again curling is just as much a sport as lying flat on your back and sliding down a man-made chute.

  • Mike Scott
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Howard is not the 2-time defending champion, Kevin Martin is. Howard won in 2007 as a skip, and in 1987 as a third.

    Gushue is certainly in tough today. Time to shut all the naysayers up, and win 2 big wins today.

  • Rob
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    If there is alot of banter about Gushue being this or that or on a high horse or not at the end of the day who cares he is a good curler. While I have never played it and know its not easy to do I will argue with anyone who says its a sport. Is darts a sport or lawn bowling, or billiards or for that matter poker.I give full credits to these guys cause they are the best at what they do but at the end of the day do you have to be athletic to play it... NO. just look at Randy Ferbey. its like Golf hard to play and need skill to do it but not athletic to play. john daly is another example of that. I am sure I will get raked over the coals for saying it but my message is who cares who likes and dont like Brad Gushue put in perspective ITS CURLING!!!! Enough said.

  • mick
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    Rob: I couldn't agree with you more.

    Sport=skill+sweat. Not skill.

    Put it this way you should have to shower when you're finished. If you can hit the bars and nobody runs away from the smell I think your playing a game.

  • James
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Which NL team will show up at the Brier today - the one that lost to Alberta on Sunday because Brad was back playing the Hero routine or the one that beat BC last night with a more mature? As evidenced from the article, Brad still has the mistaken belief that winning or losing comes down to whether he or the front end are able to make their shots. No one is able to make all their shots and I would never criticize any team that lost because one or more of the crew had an off day. No, the real problem is in his lack of self-discipline. He obviously doesn't believe in the one-in-the-hand-versus-two-in-the-bush philosophy. With their talent and experience, they should be going into these tournament as the favourites. Yet in the game against BC, the other commentators gave BC the edge before the game even got underway. These are fat guys that can barely bend over their brooms and yet they were being favoured. Why? Because Brad is so well known for his reckless strategy and for so frequently grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory. Good luck Brad but you won't need it if you keep to a mature style of play that has served people like Martin and Howard so well. If not, you're going to need horseshoes up your ...

  • Todd
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Bert - where did you come up with that stat? Did you conduct a gallop poll?

    Rob - The IOCC considers curling a sport. Their opinion should count for something. And do you consider baseball to be a sport? There are some out-of-shape people playing that. I wonder if you would refer to Babe Ruth, Big Papi or someone like John Kruk as a non-athlete. On the flip side, I know a lot of people who are in shape who can barely stand on one foot.

  • Jerome
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Mike, and Curling Fan

    People are entitled to their own opinion!

  • Curling Fan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Two big wins today would certainly have them on the right path. I agree with Mike Scott, and two wins will shut up the naysayers.

    Let's go Newfoundland and Labrador - let's all get behind Team Gushue and show our support! Let's get that Brier win and bring the Tankard back to the Rock!

  • Heather
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    Good Luck to Team Gushue. Brad is one of the best curlers ever in NL. The naysayers have resented the fact that he has reached such a high calibre of skill at such a young age

  • Mike
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    Telling it how Id like it to be ;), I never said you resent Brad Gushue, I said a few wins today would shut up a lot of people who comment on articles about Gushue saying he's a poor sport and he is giving Newfoundlander's a bad name. I agree with your statement 100%, I also hate the way the media, etc built him up after the Olympics, but it's Newfoundland, it is what Newfoundlander's do, whether it is the Olympics, Canadian Idol or whatever, they back their own. Do I think people went overboard in naming street, highways, sports complex's, etc after them, yes, but it was an accomplishment no other person from this province has achieved, and people were proud.

  • rob
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    does anyone have a website, where we can get up to the minute scores ?

  • Bert
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    If he wins it their will be 80% unhappy Newfoundlanders and Labradorians!!!!

  • Rob
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    Rob from Mount Pearl, I was just wondering what exactly defines someone as an athletic, and /or what qualifies something to be a sport?

  • Telling it how Id
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    Curling Fan and Mike....

    I resent Brad Gushue?

    No, I resent the media blitz this province ran from 2006 to 2008 to continuously celebrate his victory. Yes, winning an olympic gold medal is a rare achievement for a person to achieve, it takes years of dedication, sacrifice skill.

    Michael Phelps won 8 gold medals at the 2008 games, something Im' sure Brad Gushue may not accomplish (let's see he'd need to win ever roar of the rings over the next 28 years) and you don't see the US media continuously finding an excuse to honour him do you?

    But 2 years after the bloody thing was won, the media and province was finding excuses to somehow remain in 2006 and continuously pucker up and kiss his rear end. Whether it was the naming of a highway, the awarding of an honourary doctorate, sports centres, appointments to boards, charities, the list was endless .

    I have no quams with Brad Gushue, i went to high school with him, I never had any problem with him nor do I now. But when the NL media decides to live in 2006 for over 2 years, even I got sick of hearing about him.

    Sorry Brad, it's not your fault, it's the medias fault you are hated by a percentage of NLer's.

    Myself not included.

    Oh, and in closing, kick the tires and light the fires at this years Brier championship!

  • Lee
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    Heather, you are wrong. Resent is a strong word; don't be so foolish.

  • Heather
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    Lee - Why is my opinion wrong and yours right? If I remember correctly Ferbey made some very nast comments about Brad when he was vying for the gold etc and Newfoundlanders are resentful of peopke who make a positve name for themselves. As for curling being a sport Rob, well I'm with you - it's more a skills game. But then again curling is just as much a sport as lying flat on your back and sliding down a man-made chute.

  • Mike Scott
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    Howard is not the 2-time defending champion, Kevin Martin is. Howard won in 2007 as a skip, and in 1987 as a third.

    Gushue is certainly in tough today. Time to shut all the naysayers up, and win 2 big wins today.

  • Rob
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    If there is alot of banter about Gushue being this or that or on a high horse or not at the end of the day who cares he is a good curler. While I have never played it and know its not easy to do I will argue with anyone who says its a sport. Is darts a sport or lawn bowling, or billiards or for that matter poker.I give full credits to these guys cause they are the best at what they do but at the end of the day do you have to be athletic to play it... NO. just look at Randy Ferbey. its like Golf hard to play and need skill to do it but not athletic to play. john daly is another example of that. I am sure I will get raked over the coals for saying it but my message is who cares who likes and dont like Brad Gushue put in perspective ITS CURLING!!!! Enough said.

  • mick
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    Rob: I couldn't agree with you more.

    Sport=skill+sweat. Not skill.

    Put it this way you should have to shower when you're finished. If you can hit the bars and nobody runs away from the smell I think your playing a game.

  • James
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    Which NL team will show up at the Brier today - the one that lost to Alberta on Sunday because Brad was back playing the Hero routine or the one that beat BC last night with a more mature? As evidenced from the article, Brad still has the mistaken belief that winning or losing comes down to whether he or the front end are able to make their shots. No one is able to make all their shots and I would never criticize any team that lost because one or more of the crew had an off day. No, the real problem is in his lack of self-discipline. He obviously doesn't believe in the one-in-the-hand-versus-two-in-the-bush philosophy. With their talent and experience, they should be going into these tournament as the favourites. Yet in the game against BC, the other commentators gave BC the edge before the game even got underway. These are fat guys that can barely bend over their brooms and yet they were being favoured. Why? Because Brad is so well known for his reckless strategy and for so frequently grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory. Good luck Brad but you won't need it if you keep to a mature style of play that has served people like Martin and Howard so well. If not, you're going to need horseshoes up your ...

  • Todd
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    Bert - where did you come up with that stat? Did you conduct a gallop poll?

    Rob - The IOCC considers curling a sport. Their opinion should count for something. And do you consider baseball to be a sport? There are some out-of-shape people playing that. I wonder if you would refer to Babe Ruth, Big Papi or someone like John Kruk as a non-athlete. On the flip side, I know a lot of people who are in shape who can barely stand on one foot.

  • Jerome
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    Mike, and Curling Fan

    People are entitled to their own opinion!

  • Curling Fan
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    Two big wins today would certainly have them on the right path. I agree with Mike Scott, and two wins will shut up the naysayers.

    Let's go Newfoundland and Labrador - let's all get behind Team Gushue and show our support! Let's get that Brier win and bring the Tankard back to the Rock!