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Gushue took the resulting points, but sympathizes with opponent who tumbled

Newfoundland and Labrador's Brad Gushue gets ready to throw a rock during the Tuesday night draw of Brier 2017 at Mile One Centre.
Newfoundland and Labrador's Brad Gushue gets ready to throw a rock during the Tuesday night draw of Brier 2017 at Mile One Centre.

Brad Gushue knows about bad falls during a curling game, so he can sympathize with Northern Ontario lead Ryan Harnden, who took a tumble while sweeping a Brad Jacobs rock during their game at the Brier Tuesday night at Mile One Centre.

It happened in the fifth end of the matchup between the rinks skipped by former Olympic champions Gushue and Jacobs. With a lone Newfoundland and Labrador rock in the rings, Jacobs was attempting a routine hit-and-stick with his last shot, setting up a probable third straight blank end. But when Harnden went down, he touched the stone — in curling terms, “burning it”  — meaning it was out of play. Gushue was left with a simple draw to score two points.
That turned out to be the margin of victory as Newfoundland and Labrador won 7-5.
“I’d prefer not get a deuce that way, but I’ll take it,” said Gushue. “It’s unfortunate, but you know, it’’s also a little bit nice when it happens for you. I’ve had it happen against us.”
Gushue famously took a fall in October of 2015, when he went to the ice during a game at the Masters in Truro, N.S., hitting his head and causing a laceration that required stitches.”
“It looked like (Harnden)  went down pretty hard on his elbow and my first concern was if he was OK, because as you guys know I have had a fall … . It wasn’t fun,” said Gushue.
The Newfoundland skip described the fifth-end incident as “awkward … but it certainly changed the game.”
Harnden, who said he wasn’t injured, saw a little differently.
“It’s not like that cost us the game. We had half a game left,” he said when asked how quickly he was able to put the fifth-end spill behind him.
“As soon as you fall, you get up, forget it and move on.”
Tuesday’s result put Newfoundland’s record at 4-2, and while the home team still has five games remaining in the Brier round robin, Gushue admits the victory over Northern Ontario (5-2) was crucial.
“Probably the biggest win we’ve had this year,” he said. “With the schedule we have remaining, with who we have left to play, we couldn’t afford to lose that game.”
Still to come for Newfoundland are matchups with Quebec and Team Canada, whose records entering today were the same as Newfoundland’s.
Quebec will be the opponent tonight (8 p.m.). This afternoon (3 p.m.), Gushue, Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant and Geoff Walker take on John Morris and British Columbia, who enter the day coming off the springboard of a 7-5 Tueday-night win over previously unbeaten Manitoba (5-1).

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