Wild Card Two’s Koe beats Gushue 9-7 to return defending champions to first Brier loss

CALGARY – Two of the favorites on the Canadian Males’s Curling Championship confirmed Sunday evening why they’re anticipated to be within the playoff combine once more this yr.

CALGARY – Two of the favorites on the Canadian Males’s Curling Championship confirmed Sunday evening why they’re anticipated to be within the playoff combine once more this yr.

Kevin Koe’s Wild Card Two group beat Canadian Brad Gushue 9-7 to offer the defending champions their first lack of the preliminary spherical.

Coming dwelling with a hammer, Koe put the stress on by sitting down three. Gushue was a bit heavy along with his last draw and Koe picked him for the win.

Every participant shot at the least 80% backwards and forwards between longtime rivals.

“It was positively a signing sort recreation for us, I feel,” mentioned Koe, third BJ Neufeld. “It is good to have him right here early.”

Koe improved to 4-0 after seven attracts at WinSport Enviornment whereas Gushue fell to 2-1.

In different late video games, Quebec’s Michael Fournier defeated Prince Edward Island’s Eddie MacKenzie 10-4, Ontario’s John Epping crushed Nunavut’s Peter Mackey 16-1 and Nova Scotia’s Scott McDonald. -Scotland defeated Greg Smith of Newfoundland and Labrador 11-4.

Koe hopes to win a fifth profession Tim Hortons Brier title as captain. Gushue of St. John’s, NL, has gained the Brier in three of the previous 4 years.

“I feel we have realized that if we’re in a detailed recreation in opposition to a very good group, we will pull it off on the finish,” Koe mentioned. “Make the plans we’d like and it’s all the time a very good impression to take action.”

Quebec and Ontario had been tied for second place in Group B with a 3-1 report. Gushue was tied for fourth with Saskatchewan’s Matt Dunstone.

Koe’s Alberta group beat Prince Edward Island 12-5 within the morning draw.

“Our schedule is a bit heavy by way of pool favorites which might be a very good factor,” Koe mentioned after the fast win. “We (had) a number of video games to determine issues out and play actual video games for the primary time in a very long time.

“Now we stay up for the challenges forward.”

Gushue supplied a big take a look at early on, opening with a hammer and scoring a brace when Koe was heavy along with his final draw.

The defending champion had uncommon back-to-back failures within the second finish and Koe took benefit by scoring three. Koe drew two within the sixth for a 5-3 lead however Gushue shot even with successful for a pair.

Koe was pressured to at least one within the eighth and Gushue drew for 2 to take the lead within the ninth.

With the win, Koe improved to 38-26 in profession clashes in opposition to Gushue.

Within the afternoon’s draw, Wayne Middaugh – who throws the fourth stone for injured Glenn Howard on Wild Card Three – led the Ontario ice rink to a 12-2 rout in opposition to Yukon Dustin Mikkelsen.

Middaugh tied for first place with inactive Manitoba atop Pool A at 2-0.

“Now we hope we’ve realized a number of issues and we will proceed to play at a very good degree with one of the best groups who’re right here,” mentioned Middaugh.

With the sport in hand, Howard got here in for the ultimate two ends to star for the primary time in his lengthy profession. He switched to the alternate position in the course of the 10-day occasion whereas treating sore ribs.

James Grattan of New Brunswick dropped a 6-5 determination to Brendan Bottcher of Alberta to go away each groups at 2-1. Mike McEwen of Wild Card One and Brad Jacobs of Northern Ontario had been additionally 2-1 after the afternoon’s wins.

Manitoba-based McEwen’s rink handed Steve Laycock of British Columbia 10-7 whereas Jacobs beat Greg Skauge of the Northwest Territories 7-5.

Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan took the morning wins. Epping beat McDonald 12-7, Fournier beat Mackey 15-1 and Dunstone handed Smith 6-3.

Nova Scotia was alone in sixth place in Group B with 2-2, forward of Prince Edward Island (0-3), Nunavut (0-3) and Newfoundland and Labrador ( 0-4).

British Columbia (0-2), NWT (0-3) and Yukon (0-3) went winless in Group A.

The preliminary spherical continues till Thursday night. The highest 4 groups from every pool will advance to the two-day championship spherical.

The semi-final and the ultimate will happen on March 14. The champion will signify Canada on the World Males’s Curling Championship subsequent month on the identical venue at Canada Olympic Park.

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed on March 7, 2021.

Observe @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.

The Canadian Press

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