July 16th, 2024

Defending champ Gushue, Northwest Territories’ Jamie Koe into playoffs at Brier

By The Canadian Press on March 7, 2024.

Manitoba-Carruthers third Reid Carruthers delivers a rock while playing Yukon during the Brier, in Regina, Thursday, March 7, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

REGINA – Defending champion Brad Gushue and Northwest Territories’ Jamie Koe joined Saskatchewan’s Mike McEwen and Manitoba’s Reid Carruthers in the playoffs at the Canadian men’s curling championship Thursday.

Gushue (6-2) stole three in the sixth end en route to a 10-4 win over Alberta’s Aaron Sluchinski, who was eliminated from contention with a fourth loss.

Five-time Brier champ Gushue ranked second in Pool B behind Saskatchewan’s McEwen (7-1), who was a 7-6 winner over Quebec’s Julien Tremblay.

Koe (5-3) stole a point in an extra end to edge Prince Edward Island’s Tyler Smith 9-8 and vault over Smith into a playoff spot. Koe skipped a territories team to the playoffs for a second time in 17 appearances after reaching the final four in 2012 in Saskatoon.

Manitoba’s Reid Carruthers (6-1) was the first team in Pool A to qualify with a 6-4 victory over Yukon in the morning.

Carruthers, Alberta’s Brendan Bottcher and Manitoba’s Matt Dunstone were tied at 6-1. Dunstone beat Northern Ontario’s Trevor Bonot 8-3 to drop the latter to 5-2.

Carruthers was to face Bottcher in an evening draw that would determine the pool’s two remaining playoff teams and seedings.

The top seed in each pool meets the opposite pool’s No. 2 on Friday afternoon. The winners head to a Saturday’s Page playoff that sends the winner to the final and the loser to the semifinal Sunday.

Friday afternoon’s losers play again in the evening against the third seeds. Those winners advance to Saturday’s Page playoff that determines Sunday’s other semifinalist.

Tiebreaker games were eliminated from the national men’s and women’s curling championships this year.

Head-to-head results followed by the best cumulative scores in the button draws that precede each game to determine hammer was the formula.

Sunday’s winner represents Canada at the men’s world championship March 30 to April 7 in Schaffhausen, Switzerland and returns to the 2025 Montana’s Brier in Kelowna, B.C., as defending champion.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2024.

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