At the tail end of a busy stretch of competition, Brad Gushue and his teammates were looking to take the shortest route possible to the playoffs at the Meridian Canadian Open, the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event being played this week in Camrose, Alta.
But that can’t happen now after a 5-3 loss to Switzerland’s Peter de Cruz Wednesday evening left the Gushue, Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant and Geoff Walker with a 1-1 record the triple knockout event.
The format means teams must win three games before they lose three in order to qualify for the weekend playoffs. A first loss drops a team to the B bracket — that’s what’s happened to Gushue — and a second to the C bracket. Three teams will qualify for the playoffs out of the C bracket with 3-2 records, but will have played two more preliminary games than the two teams emerging from the A bracket, who will be 3-0. Three playoff contenders from the B bracket will be 3-1.
Gushue and Co. will play either Brad Jacobs or Mike McEwen in a B bracket game today.
The St. John’s rink has reached the Canadian Open final in four consecutive seasons, winning the title twice, in 2014 and again last year.