Gushue defeats Dunstone to remain unbeaten at Canada’s Olympic curling trials

Gushue defeats Dunstone to remain unbeaten at Canada’s Olympic curling trials

Brad Gushue earned a win on Wednesday morning to move closer to securing a playoff berth at Canada’s Olympic curling trials while Brendan Bottcher’s side was all but eliminated after picking up a fourth loss.

Gushue remained unbeaten at 5-0 after posting a 9-4 win over Matt Dunstone at SaskTel Centre. Bottcher, the reigning national men’s champion, fell to 1-4 after dropping a 9-7 decision to defending champion Kevin Koe.

A first-end deuce gave Gushue early control and he put the game away with three points in the eighth end. His St. John’s, N.L., rink has got results despite one of the tougher early schedules of the nine men’s teams in the field.

“We’re playing good, we’re not playing great,” Gushue said. “We’ve been fortunate, I’m not going to lie to you. We’ve had some misses from skips that we haven’t seen that often. So there’s been a little bit of luck. There’s [also[ been some timely shots by us.”

Gushue’s side threw a whopping 97 per cent overall, helped by Geoff Walker’s perfect game. Dunstone’s foursome was at 92 per cent.

WATCH | Koe defeats Bottcher:

Koe defeats Bottcher at the Canadian Curling Trials

4 hours ago

Kevin Koe improves his record to 3-1 in a high scoring game. The 8th end featured a great in turn draw giving him 3 critical points on his way to a 9-7 victory in Draw 10 in Saskatoon. 0:31

In other early games, Brad Jacobs defeated Jason Gunnlaugson 7-5 and Mike McEwen edged Tanner Horgan 6-5. Jacobs was alone in second place at 4-1 with McEwen and Koe next at 3-1.

John Epping, who was idle for the morning session, was in fifth place at 2-2. Gunnlaugson and Horgan fell to 1-3 and Dunstone, the lone Saskatchewan-based entry in the field, remained winless at 0-5.

The top three teams at the end of round-robin play Friday night will advance to the weekend playoffs.

A 5-3 record was good enough to make the cut at the 2017 trials in Ottawa. While too soon to mathematically eliminate any team, a fourth loss will essentially rule out weekend play.

An intriguing women’s draw was set for Wednesday afternoon and the men were scheduled to return in the evening.

Five women’s teams – including defending champion Rachel Homan – started the day with three losses apiece. Homan, who missed the podium at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, was set to play Laura Walker in a battle of last-place skips at 1-3.

Walker vice Kate Cameron was cleared to play after a COVID-19 PCR test came back negative, Curling Canada said in an email. Cameron missed Monday’s game due to an unspecified illness and the team was off on Tuesday.

Tracy Fleury, the lone unbeaten women’s skip at 4-0, was to meet Jacqueline Harrison (2-2). Jennifer Jones (4-1) was to face Kelsey Rocque (1-3) and Kerri Einarson (3-2) was to take on Krista McCarville (2-3).

Casey Scheidegger (2-3) had the day off.

Tiebreakers and semifinals are set for Saturday. The winners of Sunday’s finals will represent Canada at the Feb. 4-20 Beijing Olympics.

Koe also missed the podium at the 2018 Games. Canada’s John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes won gold in mixed doubles, a discipline that made its Olympic debut in Pyeongchang.

Published at Wed, 24 Nov 2021 18:45:50 +0000