McEwen tops Gushue 7-6 at Montana’s Brier

It was a massive win for Team Saskatchewan’s Mike McEwen Saturday night, 7-6, over the defending Brier champion, Brad Gushue, representing Team Canada.

Regina Sk, March 2, 2024. Montana’s Brier. Team Saskatchewan skip Mike McEwen, lead Daniel Marsh, 2nd Kevin Marsh, 3rd Colton Flasch, celebrates after defeating team Canada 7-6 in draw 3.
Curling Canada/ Michael Burns Photo

After Gushue missed two attempts at double-takeouts, McEwen was able to nail a draw for a score of two in the first end.

Gushue faced heavy pressure in the second end, including a tremendous double from McEwen followed up by a hack-weight hit-and-roll to sit five Saskatchewan rocks. Still, Gushue was able to find just enough of the four-foot to score his one in the second, cutting McEwen’s lead in half.

It was Gushue’s turn to apply the pressure in the third end, which paid off for Team Canada. McEwen made a double takeout with his last to hold Gushue to just a steal of one, tying the game after three ends of play.

It was a much better fourth end for Saskatchewan, as McEwen was able to get a skip’s deuce, giving the home province a 4-2 lead after four.

The fifth end saw every Saskatchewan rock in play. An absolute cluster of red and yellow rocks from the hog line to the T-line resulted in Gushue trying an in-off shot to score three, but it over-curled, resulting in a steal of one for Saskatchewan, giving McEwen the 5-2 advantage at the fifth end break.

In the sixth end, McEwen froze his final stone buried on a Team Canada rock to sit shot. Gushue crashed on a guard with his last rock, allowing Saskatchewan to steal another point.

The force was on in the seventh end. McEwen’s rink made numerous hits, all to the delight of the Brandt Centre faithful. Gushue made the draw for one, giving the hammer back to Saskatchewan with a 6-3 lead.

The eighth end saw McEwen rub off of his own on the eight-foot to score one, giving Saskatchewan the 7-3 advantage with two ends remaining.

In the ninth, Gushue made a draw for two, narrowing the Saskatchewan lead to two heading into the final end.

Saskatchewan kept things open in the tenth end, hitting a Team Canada stone with McEwen’s last. While Saskatchewan gave up a steal of one, McEwen’s rink out of the Nutana Curling Club won the contest 7-6.

Gushue threw just 70% in the loss. He says last night’s loss puts his team in a tougher spot. 

“Mike and those guys are going to be battling for the playoffs, and now, they’re kind of two games ahead of us,” Gushue said. “We’re not in a terrible spot yet. If we win the rest of our games, you never know what might happen, but certainly, we didn’t want to be behind the eigh-ball this early.”

After the win, Skip Mike McEwen says Brad Gushue’s rink won’t be going away anytime soon.

“I fully expect to have to go through him if we’re playing on playoff weekend,” McEwen said. “It’s nice to get one on (Gushue), every win counts here, and it’s going to be tight to make the top three to go to the next round.”

Another tough test is in store for Team Saskatchewan on Sunday afternoon, as they face Alberta’s Kevin Koe in the afternoon draw at 2:00 PM.

More from 620 CKRM