It’s definitely not the start Brad Gushue was looking for. The Newfoundlanders are staring at a 0-3 record after letting one get away to the still-perfect Ontario crew of Glenn Howard. Up 4-2 heading into the eighth against the 14-time Brier vet, Gushue forced Howard to one, but then a key missed shot in nine and left the door open for a steal of two by the Ontarians.
Newfoundland was forced to take a single in 10 and Howard made no mistakes in the extra, making a routine draw to the four-foot for a 6-5 win.
Gushue says it’s been one little thing in each game – hard to pinpoint, but he’s definitely not happy with where the team is at.
Having lost to Manitoba, Northern Ontario and Ontario, it could be said there might be a silver lining in that 0-3 record with a long week ahead. But Gushue says those are the teams you are going to have to beat to win the deal anyway.
“You know just one shot in the ninth end and if that doesn’t pick, I’m here a lot happier.”
Gushue says there’s no easy fix, it isn’t any one thing just a sequence of unfortunate events.
“Maybe I should get drunk tonight,” laughs an obviously disappointed Gushue, quick to point out he’s joking.
“I don’t know what we need to do. We’re right there to be quite honest. Today, a horrible break in nine; this morning we make one shot we probably win that game; last night we make one more shot we win that game,” he said.
“Things haven’t gone our way in the first three games. It’s a disappointing start don’t get me wrong, but we’re not playing horrible either. If we’re going to take anything out of this one, if we were playing a team not named Glenn Howard, it might have been a little bit easier.”(Continued Below…)
Draw 4 Photos
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So he’ll relax and regroup before hitting the ice Monday afternoon against the surprising Jamie Murphy of Nova Scotia who sits at 3-0 heading into an evening draw tilt with New Brunswick.
Howard said it was a good game with plenty of surprises.
“It was a pretty well-curled game; I think Brad made two incredible shots in seven and eight, hits and rolls, and then that light shot in nine, not sure what happened there… wasn’t expecting to steal two there for sure,” said Howard.
Howard says he’s happy with the way his team is throwing bricks and reading ice.
“I’m really pleased with the way we’re playing right now, to be honest, we’ve had two pretty tight games. We’re still getting used to the ice and made a ton of shots. Brad and the boys played awesome, so getting that win was huge.”
Ontario, now 2-0 will be back on the ice tonight against the Territories.
The Polars got their first win of the event (1-1) by dealing Northern Ontario’s Brad Jacobs his first loss of the week (2-1).
Koe jumped out to a 3-0 lead after two before the Soo crew rebounded with a deuce, but the Territories answered with three more of their own and Jacobs chased the game the rest of the way. The final was 8-5.
Northern Ontario has the night off. They take on New Brunswick Monday afternoon.
“We kinda struggled a bit yesterday and got off to a rough start,” said Koe.
“We were throwing well, but we had a couple of bad ends, so it was nice to come out today, play well and get the win,” said the Yellowknife skip.
Jamie’s brother Kevin of Alberta kept his perfect record intact (3-0) with a tidy, seven-end 9-2 win over Quebec.
Koe broke open a tight contest in four with a big four-ender and never looked back en route to the win.
“That was our plan coming in here, play aggressive and get out to a good lead and once we do that and make the shots, were pretty tough.”
The Alberta skip says the addition of Pat Simmons continues to work well for the squad and he’s happy with where they are at early in the week.
“We couldn’t ask for a better start, but the ice was tougher out there today, a little heavier I thought – tricky and tough to play well. It’s tough to be precise out there, so I think we’re playing pretty well,” said Koe.
He also knows it’s a marathon not a sprint.
“We just try and not get too high or too low… you’re not likely going to stay on a roll the whole week, we know that,” he added.
Quebec is back on the ice tonight against Saskatchewan, while Alberta has the night off.
The home-province fave, Scott Manners, suffered his first loss (1-1), an extra end job to B.C.’s Jim Cotter.
In a back-and-forth tilt, it seemed only right the game go to an extra frame and with the hammer in a 5-5 tie, the B.C. skip had to draw full four in front of a packed house of green pride, and he made no mistake.
“Happy to have made it for sure, they definitely had the fifth man out there – as it should be – it’s their province,” said the ball-cap wearing skipper.
“It was a great game, both teams were making a lot of great shots,” said Cotter who added despite an 0-2 start, he learned from last year’s Brier to stay patient.
“Just relax and go out there and make some shots,” he said.
B.C.(1-2) has the night off but they will be back on the ice Monday afternoon against Manitoba (2-1).