Gushue still has a shot at top-two finish

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Newfoundland and Labrador in a three-way tie for second heading into final round-robin draws

Newfoundland and Labrador is guaranteed at least a place in a tie-breaker at the Tim Hortons Brier, but Brad Gushue's rink can do much better with a couple of wins today, the final day of round-robin play the Canadian men's curling championship.

Gushue and Bally Haly teammates Mark Nichols, Ryan Fry and Jamie Korab split a pair of games Wednesday, leaving them with a 7-2 record and in a three-way tie for second place behind unbeaten Ontario, which is already guaranteed a place in the Page playoff 1-2 game.

Newfoundland and Labrador third Mark Nichols (left) and lead Jamie Korab watch a replay on the overhead scoreboard during their game against Ontario at the Tim Hortons Brier Canadian men's curling championship in Halifax on Wednesday. - Photo by The Canad

Newfoundland and Labrador is guaranteed at least a place in a tie-breaker at the Tim Hortons Brier, but Brad Gushue's rink can do much better with a couple of wins today, the final day of round-robin play the Canadian men's curling championship.

Gushue and Bally Haly teammates Mark Nichols, Ryan Fry and Jamie Korab split a pair of games Wednesday, leaving them with a 7-2 record and in a three-way tie for second place behind unbeaten Ontario, which is already guaranteed a place in the Page playoff 1-2 game.

With a couple of wins today, plus an Alberta loss, Newfoundland would make it to that 1-2 contest, which is sort of like having a double playoff life.

Alberta, along with Northern Ontario, is also at 7-2 and would get second-place if it wins out and finishes tied with Newfoundland, having prevailed in their head-to-head matchup earlier in the week. The problem for Kevin Koe and his Edmonton rink is one of those wins today will have to be against Glenn Howard's Ontario rink, which is well-deserving of its 9-0 record.

Howard downed Gushue 9-5 in the morning draw Wednesday and followed that up with an 8-4 victory over Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton at night.

Gushue, meanwhile, rebounded from his morning defeat for a 5-3 win over Stoughton - like Howard a former Brier winner - in a key afternoon matchup.

"One and one, I probably would have taken that (Wednesday) and went on, knowing that it could have been 0-2, but knowing it could have been 2-0 as well," Gushue told Canwest News Service about the his split.

"One and one is pretty good against two really good teams and puts us in good position. A little help from Glenn now (against Koe) and a couple of more wins and we can get in the 1-2 game."

Today, Gushue plays Northern Ontario and Quebec (5-4), which sits in a tie for fifth with Manitoba. Northern Ontario's other game today is against Quebec.

Kevin Koe draws his younger brother Jamie of the Yukon/Northwest Territories this morning and then has his big clash with Howard in the evening. Jamie is struggling badly at 1-8 and the only game the team has won is when he wasn't in the lineup. But Kevin's losses have come against lesser-lights Nova Scotia and B.C.'s Jeff Richard.

The top four teams advance to the Page playoffs, where the top two rinks square off for a spot in the final. The loser plays the winner of a matchup between the third- and fourth-place teams in Saturday's semifinal. The final is slated for Sunday.

With files from Canwest News Service

Organizations: Canwest News

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Northern Ontario, Ontario Alberta Manitoba Quebec Edmonton Yukon Northwest Territories Nova Scotia

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Recent comments

  • Curling Fan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Grow up Bonnie! Brad Gushue is not self centered! He depends on his team more than you will ever know. It is not all about Brad. Do you even know him? You have no idea what happens behind the scenes. Team Gushue is TEAM and they work together as a TEAM!

  • BONNIE
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    HEY, THE TEAM IS A LOST CAUSE. BRAD GUSHUE, THINKS THE TEAM IS JUST HIM, HE DON'T REALIZE THERE ARE OTHER MEMEBERS TO HIS TEAM, HE WANT THE SPOT LIGHT, AND HAS NO PROBLEM LEAVING HIS TEAM MATES, IN THE DARK, HE DID NOT MAKE IT TO THE OLYMPIC IN VANCOUVER, BECAUSE, IT ALL ABOUT BRAD AND ONE MAN CANNOT WIN IT ALONE,
    SO, BE A SPORT, AND LET YOUR TEAM MATES TAKE SOME OF THE FAME, AND GLORY, YOU DID NOT AND WILL NOT DO IT ALONE.
    SO SELF CENTERED,

  • Mike
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    Bonnie's post - which is similar to others yesterday - should read:

    Welcome to Newfoundland...we eat our own.

  • Kim
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    GO Team Gushue GO!!!!!!!
    Great game tonight!!!!!!!!!!

  • Eli
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Real pity they tanked against Ontario.

  • James
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    You got it wrong there Bonnie. Brad does play recklessly and he does like to showboat with the hero shots. But it's not true that he's a one man show. In fact, as a skip, one of his downfalls is a lack of decisiveness. The sportscasters make fun of his numerous on-ice meetings of the Baly Haly Curling Club. It's O.K. to consult but he takes it too far, for example looking up from the hack to ask the sweepers whether he is taking enough ice. Hopefully in a few years his game will mature. But he also needs to look at the team a bit closer.
    Fry is often credited for being a good player but not only are his percentages low but he does a poor job as vice-skip. Brad left today's game against N.Ont in disgust because his front end did such a poor job sweeping his rocks. True, they did mis-sweep his last four shots, but by and large it was because Fry was calling them off. Obviously Brad isn't aware of this. I don't think Fry should hold the broom just because Nicols is a better sweeper. In some ways, Bam-Bam is probably the most all-around skilled member of the team. Unfortunately he is not a take-charge kind a guy and so gets overlooked a lot.

    A strange thing about curling is that, unlike most other sports, the spare can sit on the bench forever unless one of the foursome trips over his own broom and breaks a leg. The calibre of play would improve enormously if the spare was brought in early in the tournament to replace a team member who, for whatever reason, is off his game. For some reason, they'd rather lose 10-0 rather than bring in a replacement.

  • Curling Fan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    Grow up Bonnie! Brad Gushue is not self centered! He depends on his team more than you will ever know. It is not all about Brad. Do you even know him? You have no idea what happens behind the scenes. Team Gushue is TEAM and they work together as a TEAM!

  • BONNIE
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    HEY, THE TEAM IS A LOST CAUSE. BRAD GUSHUE, THINKS THE TEAM IS JUST HIM, HE DON'T REALIZE THERE ARE OTHER MEMEBERS TO HIS TEAM, HE WANT THE SPOT LIGHT, AND HAS NO PROBLEM LEAVING HIS TEAM MATES, IN THE DARK, HE DID NOT MAKE IT TO THE OLYMPIC IN VANCOUVER, BECAUSE, IT ALL ABOUT BRAD AND ONE MAN CANNOT WIN IT ALONE,
    SO, BE A SPORT, AND LET YOUR TEAM MATES TAKE SOME OF THE FAME, AND GLORY, YOU DID NOT AND WILL NOT DO IT ALONE.
    SO SELF CENTERED,

  • Mike
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    Bonnie's post - which is similar to others yesterday - should read:

    Welcome to Newfoundland...we eat our own.

  • Kim
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    GO Team Gushue GO!!!!!!!
    Great game tonight!!!!!!!!!!

  • Eli
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    Real pity they tanked against Ontario.

  • James
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    You got it wrong there Bonnie. Brad does play recklessly and he does like to showboat with the hero shots. But it's not true that he's a one man show. In fact, as a skip, one of his downfalls is a lack of decisiveness. The sportscasters make fun of his numerous on-ice meetings of the Baly Haly Curling Club. It's O.K. to consult but he takes it too far, for example looking up from the hack to ask the sweepers whether he is taking enough ice. Hopefully in a few years his game will mature. But he also needs to look at the team a bit closer.
    Fry is often credited for being a good player but not only are his percentages low but he does a poor job as vice-skip. Brad left today's game against N.Ont in disgust because his front end did such a poor job sweeping his rocks. True, they did mis-sweep his last four shots, but by and large it was because Fry was calling them off. Obviously Brad isn't aware of this. I don't think Fry should hold the broom just because Nicols is a better sweeper. In some ways, Bam-Bam is probably the most all-around skilled member of the team. Unfortunately he is not a take-charge kind a guy and so gets overlooked a lot.

    A strange thing about curling is that, unlike most other sports, the spare can sit on the bench forever unless one of the foursome trips over his own broom and breaks a leg. The calibre of play would improve enormously if the spare was brought in early in the tournament to replace a team member who, for whatever reason, is off his game. For some reason, they'd rather lose 10-0 rather than bring in a replacement.