Published: March 12, 2017, midnightUpdated: Sept. 30, 2017, 6:39 a.m.
It’s over. It’s done. The ghost’s been exorcized. The hex has been broken.
But boy, was it close.
With Brett Gallant, Geoff Walker and third Mark Nichols working feverishly to drag Brad Gushue’s last shot into the eight foot, 6,471 crammed inside Mile One Centre burst in a colossal roar as Newfoundland and Labrador picked up the only point it needed to beat Team Canada’s Kevin Koe 7-6 and finally – thankfully – break a 41-year curling drought, the last time Newfoundland won the Brier.
Gushue’s draw to the eight foot ended three hours of tense, gut-wrenching, nail-biting curling between a pair of Canadian titans.
Facing two Koe stones, Gushue needed help from his sweepers and Nichols to drag his last rock in for the winning point.
“I threw that a little lighter than I wanted,” Gushue said. “When it was going down, it looked like it was going to be there. But it only got there by a little it.
“I was excited to make that shot, excited for the City of St. John’s to win a Brier with the whole team, and excited for myself and Mark who have been so close, so often.
“It’s a dream come true.
“But,” he said with a smile, “I would have liked to have put it on the button.”
Team Gushue will now represent Canada at the world championship April 1-9 in Edmonton.