Curling: Canada’s Team Gushue qualifies for gold-medal game against Sweden at 2024 world men’s

5966
Curling
Image: Depositphotos.com

SCHAFFHAUSEN, SWITZERLAND — Five gold-medal games in five world championship appearances—that is Skip Brad Gushue’s record after qualifying for the world men’s final once again at the 2024 LGT World Men’s Curling Championship, presented by New Holland.

Canada rode the wave of a second-half surge to defeat Scotland’s Team Bruce Mouat 9-4 in the semifinals at IWC Arena on Saturday night in Switzerland.

Canada’s handle on the game was waning halfway through after giving up a steal in the fourth and being forced to a single in the fifth.

“We didn’t want to force it too much. We really wanted to manage the scoreboard. But I messed it up a bit in the fourth, coming a foot too heavy and not giving ourselves an opportunity. But then he did the same thing in the next end to give it back. It worked out in our favour,” Gushue said.

However, a surprising error from Scotland in the sixth end reignited skip Gushue, vice-skip Mark Nichols, second E.J. Harnden, lead Geoff Walker, alternate Kyle Doering, coach Caleb Flaxey and national coach Jeff Stoughton. Team Mouat faced four Canadian counters on its final shot and was light on the draw. The stone crept far enough to count out one on the top 12-foot, but Canada stole three and took a 6-3 lead.

“I thought there was high-quality curling. There were a few half-shots and three-quarter shots, but they played strong, and it was definitely back-and-forth. We hung in there as best we could. You don’t expect him to miss a shot like that in six, but that’s sports. Mistakes happen, and we’re fortunate it didn’t happen to us this time,” Nichols said.

That three-point margin allowed Canada to simplify its game plan in the second half, forcing the Scots to a single in the seventh. Scotland conceded in the eighth end after it was light on another draw, which gave Team Gushue a draw for three.

The game was everything as advertised in the first half. The focal point of the first end was on a path of ice, and neither team could get the roll, which needed to be behind a tight centre guard. Mouat made it nicely on his final shot, and Canada followed it up with a shot that skirted by the guard and tapped it back far enough for two.

The second end was much like the first, but in reverse. Canada made a handful of runbacks and hit-and-rolls, including on Canada’s last to get behind cover and sit one. However, Mouat echoed Gushue’s efforts in the first and made a tap of two for the Scots to tie the game.

Canada blanked the third, gave up a steal in the fourth and was forced in the fifth. Only then did the scoreboard break open with a stolen three-ender in the sixth for Team Gushue.

Gushue, Nichols and Walker are attempting to earn a second world championship after completing the story at Edmonton in 2017. Since then, the team has earned silver on three other occasions: 2018 and ’22 at Las Vegas and ’23 in Ottawa. Harnden has earned silver twice in his career: in 2023 with Gushue and in 2013 with Brad Jacobs; he was also alternate for Canada during Gushue’s campaign in ’22.

“We just got to get a little better of a record in that game now, so we’ll see how it goes,” Gushue said of his 1-3 record in gold-medal games. “To get to a world final is a big accomplishment, but I’m not too excited because I have played in four others. It’s about winning tomorrow and playing a good game. The win is somewhat out of control because we don’t start with the hammer tomorrow, but we’ll have to give ourselves a chance and flip the hammer early.”

Team Gushue will face Sweden’s Team Niklas Edin, which has previously served him two of those silver medals. Sweden bested Italy’s Team Joel Retornaz 5-3 in the other semifinal.

It will be the fourth time in the past seven events that Gushue and Edin have played against each other in the gold-medal game.

“We come into every event we play with the goal of being in that Sunday final. It’s nice to get one more crack at it, and we’ll enjoy it for sure,” Nichols said.

The Gushue-Edin gold-medal game is on Sunday at 9 a.m. (all times ET). Scotland and Italy will play for the bronze at 4 a.m.

For Team Canada updates, go to www.curling.ca. Follow us on X/TwitterInstagramFacebook and TikTok.

For live scoring, standings and statistics, click here.

TSN/RDS, the official broadcast partner of Curling Canada’s Season of Champions, will provide live coverage of Canada’s round robin and all playoff games. Click here for the broadcast schedule.

Non-Canadian round-robin games are available through World Curling’s streaming platform, The Curling Channel.

The French version of this story will be posted as soon as possible here.

Previous articleCanada claims second in standings and semifinal berth at 2024 world men’s championship
Next articleHow Business Manager David Bolno Advises Clients to be Resilient
NetNewsledger.com or NNL offers news, information, opinions and positive ideas for Thunder Bay, Ontario, Northwestern Ontario and the world. NNL covers a large region of Ontario, but are also widely read around the country and the world. To reach us by email: newsroom@netnewsledger.com. Reach the Newsroom: (807) 355-1862.