Brad Gushue and his St. John’s rink are 1-1 after the opening day of play Wednesday at the Home Hardware Canada Cup in Estevan, Sask.
Gushue and his team of Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant and Geoff Walker were winners in the first draw, defeating Matt Dunstone of Regina 7-4. But later in the day, Gushue lost 8-4 to Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., the laterr providing a matchup of Olympic gold-medal winners.
In that game, Jacobs executed two nearly perfect draws in the fifth and seventh ends to break open what had been a tight battle.
The win was the second in as many games for Jacobs and his new-look team with substitute vice-skip Marc Kennedy, second E.J. Harnden and lead Ryan Harnden.
Two-time reigning Brier champion Gushue he and his teammates were having a tough time even before the fifth and seventh ends.
They just weren’t comfortable with what they were throwing.
“We struggled with the set of rocks we had,” Gushue said. “We didn’t do as good a job as we normally do in getting four good sets. I think all of us had one rock that was a little different from the others.”
Gushue, who will play six preliminary-round games, faces Brendan Bottcher of Edmonton this morning and John Epping of Toronto this afternoon.
The top three finishers from among the seven men’s teams advance to the playoffs, with the top seed advancing straight to the final.
With files from Curling Canada