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Gushue and Team Canada remain unbeaten at Brier, Smith and Newfoundland and Labrador fall to 1-3

Wild card team skip Mike McEwen looks over the shoulder of his Team Canada counterpart, Brad Gushue, who directs his sweepers at the Tim Hortons BrierCanadian men's  curling championship at the Brandt Centre in Regina on Monday night. Gushue and his rink from St. John's won 7-5 to remain undefeated through four games. — Canadian Press photo/Andrew Vaughan
Wild card team skip Mike McEwen looks over the shoulder of his Team Canada counterpart, Brad Gushue, who directs his sweepers at the Tim Hortons BrierCanadian men's curling championship at the Brandt Centre in Regina on Monday night. Gushue and his rink from St. John's won 7-5 to remain undefeated through four games. — Canadian Press photo/Andrew Vaughan

One Newfoundland team keeps sailing along. The other finds itself rowing against the current at the Tim Hortons Brier Canadian men’s curling championship in Regina.
Brad Gushue and his Brier defending champions from St. John’s remain unbeaten through four games after a big 6-5 win over Mike McEwen’s wild-card entry Monday night. Meanwhile, the other St. John’s rink in Regina — the Newfoundland and Labrador representatives skipped by Greg Smith — fell to 1-3 with a 9-2 loss to Alberta’s Brendan Bottcher.
Despite the closeness of the score, Gushue, Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant and Geoff Walker never trailed against McEwen’s Winnipeg rink, which fell to 3-1. They carried the 6-5 lead into the 10th end, but when a McEwen Hail Mary shot against two Team Canada counters didn’t pan out, Gushue didn’t have to throw his final rock and the teams shook hands.
It was Gushue’s 115th Brier win as a skip, extending a record he had set with a win over the Northwest Territories Monday morning.
After picking up their first victory by beating the Yukon Monday morning, Smith and teammates Matthew Smith, Andrew Taylor and Ian Withycombe, also based out of St. John’s, never got any traction against Alberta (3-1). They trailed 5-0 at the fifth-end break after giving up four stolen points.
Gushue and Team Canada face Nova Scotia (2-2) today and a win would guarantee they will advance to the championship round, where the 16-entry Brier field — divided into two pools —  gets thinned to eight teams.
Even with three losses, the math says Newfoundland and Labrador still could advance and Smith will look to maintain that hope against winless British Columbia today. However, he and his teammates have a tough schedule on Wednesday, the final day of preliminary play, as they take on McEwen’s wild-card rink and Gushue’s Team Canada.

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