Koe, Gushue jump on chances to go 2-0 at Tim Hortons Brier

BRANDON, Man. – Kevin Koe and Brad Gushue don’t miss many given opportunities and they did it again Sunday afternoon to win their second straight games at the Tim Hortons Brier, presented by AGI. Gushue, and Team Canada (2-0, St. John’s) of third Mark Nichols, second Brett Gallant, lead Geoff Walker, alternate Tom Sallows and coach Jules Owchar, had a battle on their hands until they cracked a three-ender in eight to beat Jamie Koe of Team Northwest Territories (0-2, Yellowknife.). “We got in trouble in six and we got out of it somehow, got in trouble in seven and got out of it somehow and in eight again we were in trouble and didn’t get out it,” said Koe. “You can’t keep giving teams like that chances, they’re going to burn you one end.” Koe, third David Aho, second Matt Ng, lead Cole Parsons and alternate Shadrach McLeod gave up two to Gushue in the first end but fought back and were tied 4-4 in the seventh. “You get down you have no chance, no chance to win,” Koe said of falling behind Gushue. “You just have to somehow keep it close and hope you get the breaks late. Play anything you can see and take your chances.” Three-time Tim Hortons Brier champion Kevin Koe and Team Alberta (2-0, Calgary) of third B.J. Neufeld, second Colton Flasch, lead Ben Hebert, alternate Ted Appelman and coach John Dunn, jumped on chances to score deuces in the second and third ends to set up their 8-5 win over Scott McDonald of Team Ontario (0-2, Kingston). It was a difficult opening two games for the rookie McDonald team, having played Team Canada on Saturday, losing 7-6. “They’re games you’re hoping to split and if you go 1-1 you’re feeling really good,” McDonald said of facing two of the top teams right off the bat. “At least we’re making good shots so that gives you confidence going forward.” After giving up two to Koe in the second, McDonald came up short with a last-rock draw in three to let the Alberta team steal 2-0.

Nova Scotia skip Stuart Thompson watches his shot as sweepers Taylor Ardiel, left, and Travis Colter go to work. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

“A slow spot caught us early in the game, gave them a steal of two and from there it’s an uphill battle so we were just focusing on little things, putting rocks in places and maybe generating some opportunities,” he said. “Against Kevin when you’re down 4-0 you know chances are you’re not going to win.” Jim Cotter and Team British Columbia (2-0, Vernon) scored four in the fourth end and three in the eighth to beat David St. Louis and Team Nunavut (0-2, Iqaluit) 10-4. Stuart Thompson and Team Nova Scotia (1-1, Dartmouth) stole singles in the seventh, eighth and ninth ends to beat Terry Odishaw and Team New Brunswick (1-1, Moncton) 7-3. The 2019 Tim Hortons Brier continues with tonight’s draw at 7 p.m. CST. Live scoring, standings and statistics for the 2019 Tim Hortons Brier are available at www.curling.ca/scoreboard/ TSN and RDS2 (streamed on ESPN3 in the United States) will provide complete coverage of the 2019 Tim Hortons Brier. CLICK HERE for the complete schedule. For ticket information for the 2019 Tim Hortons Brier, go to www.curling.ca/2019brier/tickets. This story will be available in French as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/2019brier/?lang=fr