Saskatchewan’s Brier drought continues, but Regina’s Matt Dunstone gave Saskatchewan curling fans a great ride at the Canadian men’s curling championship—one that ended Sunday morning in Kingston, Ontario.
In a back-and-forth affair that went right down to the last shot, Brad Gushue had an open draw for one that was just good enough to eliminate Dunstone and his rink from the Regina Highland Club 7-6 in the semi-final meaning the Newfoundland rink goes to the Brier final for the third time in the last four years.
An emotional Dunstone said after it was over that while a bronze medal is great and that it was pretty “darn cool” to play on championship Sunday.
“We’ve proven that we belong”. Dunstone said. “To make the final four in a field like this is an accomplishment. We have it in us to be Brier champions. We beat some great teams, we lost to some great teams and at the end of the day, we were two wins away.
Gushue was very complimentary of Dunstone after the game saying Canadian curling fans should get used to hearing about the 24-year-old who was the youngest skip in the field.
He’s going to have lots of opportunities at this,” said Gushue. “There’s no doubt in my mind he’s going to win one and probably multiple ones over the course of his career, he’s that good.”
The loss also means Saskatchewan has now gone 40 years without a Canadian men’s curling championship. It is the highest finish the province has had since 2015 when Steve Laycock finished 3rd. Ironically, he beat Gushue in what was then a game to determine who finished third.
Gushue will play Alberta’s Brendan Bottcher in Sunday night’s final that starts at 5 o’clock Saskatchewan time. The winner will represent Canada at the Worlds in Scotland, they will come back as Team Canada for next year’s Brier in Kelowna and they get a spot to the Olympic Curling Trials in Saskatoon in 2021.