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Brad Gushue’s last shot in the 10th and final end didn’t go quite as he planned, but the two-time defending Canadian men’s champion doesn’t see it as the reason he and his St. John’s rinkmates lost 7-5 to Kevin Koe in Saturday’s semifinal of the Home Hardware Canada Cup of Curling In Estevan, Sask.
Instead, he’ll point to the eighth end when if he attempted to get a piece of the button with a last-rock draw that would put him up 6-3. Instead it went wide, allowing Koe to steal two points and tie the game 5-5.
“Obviously my missed draw in eight was what cost us the game,” Gushue told Curling Canada’s website. “I threw it a little heavy … it slid a little further than I thought. But I have two of the best sweepers in the world (Brett Gallant and Geoff Walker) and I have to use them, so that’s totally on me.”
Gushue, Mark Nichols, Gallant and Walker were up 5-1 through six ends, but Koe clawed his way back, scoring two with the hammer in the seventh, then getting the steal of two in eighth and another stolen point in the ninth, one that put the Calgary team in front 6-5.
With his final stone in the 10th, Gushue attempted a thin double to score two points that would have given him the win, but couldn’t quite pull it off, allowing Koe to steal for a third straight end and get the win that sent him into Sunday’s final against Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie.
Their showing at the Canada Cup earned Gushue and Co. $11,000 in prize money ($5,000 for finishing third and $1,500 for each of their four round-robin wins) and saw their overall win-loss record this season move to 28-10.
Next up for Gushue is what is essentially a hometown event for his team, the Boost National, a Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event beginning Tuesday night at the Conception Bay South Arena.
Gushue’s first game is Tuesday against Yannick Schwaller of Switzerland.