Brad Gushue and his St. John’s rink split a pair of games Thursday as the Princess Auto Elite 10 curling competition got underway in Winnipeg.
Just four days after claiming their second straight Brier Canadian men’s championship, Gushue, Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant and Geoff Walker dropped their opening game of the Pinty’s Grand Slam event, losing to veteran Glenn Howard of Ontario.
In the evening draw, the Brier champs rebounded for a shootout victory as Gushue drew to the button to edge Sweden’s Niklas Edin.
Shootouts occur if teams are even through eight ends.
Teams receive three points for a regulation win, two points for a shootout win and one point for a shootout loss. The top six teams in the 10-team event will advance to the weekend playoffs.
The Gushue-Edin game was preview of a matchup that will be played at the world men’s curling championship beginning in two weeks time in Las Vegas.
But it wasn’t an exact preview.
The Elite 10 has teams playing in a match format, which sees games decided by ends won. A team wins an end by scoring two or more points with the hammer or with a steal. A push — which comes with a score of one by the team with last-rock advantage or a blank end — leads to the hammer being lost.
Gushue finishes up preliminary play today with games against a couple of teams he defeated in the championship round at the Brier — Ontario’s John Epping and Manitoba’s Reid Carruthers.