Brad Gushue and his St. John’s teammates came to Truro, N.S., looking to build on a strong performance in their last Grand Slam of Curling event, and so far, that’s been the case at the Tour Challenge.
Gushue, Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant and Geoff Walker are 3-0 in the second event of the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling 2019-20 schedule. Their latest win, a 6-2 decision Thursday over Glenn Howard of Penetanguishene, Ont., clinched Gushue and Co. a spot in the quarter-finals.
“It’s great,” Team Gushue lead Geoff Walker told Jonathan Brazeau of the GSOC’s website. “Any time you can win three games in a Slam and get yourself pretty much guaranteed a quarter is always a good thing. A lot would have to go wrong for three wins to not get you directly in, so that’s always a nice bonus.”
The Gushue team was runner-up at the season-opening Masters in North Bay, Ont., and that has proven to be good springboard into Truro.
“We’re comfortable. We’re coming off a good week at the last Slam and building the confidence back,” said Walker, whose team broke a 2-2 tie with Howard (2-1) by scoring four in the seventh end.
The Gushue rink has one preliminary-round game remaining, against John Epping tonight.
The Tour Challenge is a two-tier event. The top tier includes the top 16-ranked men’s and women’s teams. The Tier 2 men’s and women’s divisions consist of 16 teams, including the next 10 ranked teams on the World Curling Tour’s Order of Merit and six teams from within the event’s region.
The regional Tier 2 teams include a couple of St. John’s rinks, a men’s entry skipped by Greg Smith and a women’s team headed up by Mackenzie Glynn. Both are winless through three games.