After suffering an 8-4 loss to Manitoba’s Mike McEwen Sunday morning, Gushue, Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant and Geoff Walker bounced back with a 5-4 victory over New Brunswick and Mike Kennedy in the night-time draw.
It leaves Newfoundland at 2-1 , a record that has them tied with three others behind defending champion Kevin Koe and McEwen, who at 3-0 are the only undefeated teams in the 12-team pool.
Gushue says he’s fairly happy satisfied with Newfoundland’s standing, if not its overall performance.
“It was a sloppy day, so to come out with (a split), I think is good. We’re in a good position, but we have got to figure out what we’re doing and sharpen up for the rest of the week.”
Joining Gushue at 2-1 are Nova Scotia’s Jamie Murphy, former Brier champion Brad Jacobs of Northern Ontario and Saskatchewan. The latter — skipped by Adam Casey, a former member of the Gushue team — will provide Newfoundland with its lone opposition today. There are only two draws on Monday, with no play in the morning. The Saskatchewan-Newfoundland matchup is part of the late draw starting at 8 p.m. NT.
After taking scoring pair to go in front 2-1 in the second end, Gushue and Co. never trailed against New Brunswick, but never got to a point where they looked really comfortable with the lead.
"The rolls were close, but we were just not making them, leaving them half open or edge-on-edge. Just sloppy. A foot short, a foot (too) deep, just a little bit off," said Gushue.
"I think we're still figuring out the ice and the emotions and the feelings that come with all of us and how we are going to handle it effectively."
Among the teams are 1-2 are Glenn Howard and Ontario, who were part of the must-see match of Sunday night and not just because it was the televised game.
Howard, another former Brier winner, scored two in the opening end against Team Canada and then the teams proceeded to score only singles until Koe counted two in the 10th with a last-rock takeout that gave him a 5-4 win.
Others games Sunday saw Manitoba defeat the Northwest Territories and Jamie Koe (Kevin’s brother) by a 6-2 score and 2006 champion Jean-Michel Menard of Quebec down Murphy and Nova Scotia 10-6. It was the first loss at Mile One for Nova Scotia, which had won all four of its games in the pre-qualifying tournament and its first two in the main draw.