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Brad Gushue takes the Brier cup for sixth time.

7 mins read
Regina SK.March 10, 2024.Brandt Centre.Montana's Brier.Team Canada capture's Montana's Brier defeating team Saskatchewan 9-5 in 9 ends.(L-R) Skip Brad Gushue, 3rd.Mark Nichols, 2nd.E.J.Harnden, lead Geoff Walker.Skip Gushue's capture's 6th Brier. Curling Canada/ Michael Burns Photo

Photo by MIKE BURNS / Curling Canada

REGINA, SK – It never gets old for skip Brad Gushue — the thrill of victory, the addiction to winning, the joy and exhilaration of celebrating with teammates.

And so it was again Sunday night in Regina as Gushue hugged his Team Canada buddies and waved to the large audience in Regina’s Brandt Centre after winning the 2024 Montana’s Brier, presented by AGI.

Yes, he may have broken thousands of the hearts across the province by defeating the provincial favourites, Team Saskatchewan, skipped by Mike McEwen, in the gold-medal final, but that’s all part of who Brad Gushue is: the ultimate winner.

“I love this moment,”

“This moment is awesome, this is what it’s all about. This is why I play the game and I love this moment,” said 43-year-old Gushue shortly after his 9-5, nine-end victory over Team Saskatchewan for the team’s record-tying third title in a row and his sixth Canadian curling championship in eight years. Only Team Randy Ferbey of Edmonton has won three in a row, from 2001 through 2003.

“It isn’t about how many,” added Gushue, “it’s about this moment right here.”

It was an impressive victory for Gushue and his superb team from the RE/MAX Centre and St. John’s Curling Club in St. John’s, N.L. Gushue, backed by vice-skip Mark Nichols, second E.J. Harnden, lead Geoff Walker, and coached by Caleb Flaxey, made a statement in the very first end that said it would take something special to beat them. Team Saskatchewan did nothing particularly wrong in the end, but two superb draws to a piece of the button by Gushue got the defending champs off and running.

Two ends later Gushue chipped a front stone into the rings and rolled his shooter into the house for three more points and a 5-1 lead.

Team Saskatchewan, representing the Nutana Club in Saskatoon, had everything going for it in the leadup to the gold-medal final. It was just coming off an emotional and dominating 7-3 semifinal victory over Team Alberta-Bottcher earlier in the day, were full of confidence and had a house-full of fans cheering on their every shot.

But none of it was enough to dull the knife of Gushue and Co.

“It hurt’s”

“It hurts that we didn’t have our best game,” said McEwen, supported by vice-skip Colton Flasch, front-end brothers Kevin and Daniel Marsh, alternate Pat Simmons and coached by Brent Laing. “You could tell both teams were struggling with the ice but Brad was stellar the first four ends.

“But I’m proud of what we’ve done in six months … and we’re not done yet. Despite the result today this was a hell of an accomplishment.”

Trailing Gushue by four is the dictionary definition of trouble, but Team Saskatchewan didn’t roll over after the early deficit. It had Team Canada in serious trouble in the sixth end when McEwen, without last rock, had three stones bunched around the button behind cover. The best Gushue could do was bump one far enough to concede only two points, and see his lead shrink to one.

Gushue, however, regained control, making a double in the seventh, aided by the terrific brushing of Harnden, for two.

“If you asked me after the sixth end I didn’t know if I would be here,” he said. “But it feels awesome. To start off the week the way we did (2-2 record). To be honest we lacked confidence and it was fun to see it develop the way it did as the week went on.”

“We still want to win”

Gushue, who shot a sparkling 97 per cent in the game and won the Hec Gervais Award as the Most Valuable Player of the Montana’s Brier playoffs, was particularly proud of winning his sixth title.

“Longevity is a big thing,” he said. “Once you win a couple in a row it’s easy for the motivation to drop off and I don’t think it has for me, or E.J. or Mark or Geoff. We’re still driven, we still want to win.”

Team Saskatchewan was looking to win the first Montana’s Brier for the province since Saskatoon’s Rick Folk 1980.

Team Gushue will now represent Canada at the LGT World Men’s Curling Championship, March 30 to April 7, in Schaffhausen, Switzerland.

“Lost last three finals so hopefully we can take it one step further,” said Gushue. “The world championships are getting tougher and tougher to win. We’re going to have to play like we did at the end of this week and still catch a few breaks.”

The team will also earn a spot in the Canadian Curling Trials, Nov. 22-30, 2025, at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax with a top-six finish at the world championship.

The win was worth $100,000 for first-place prize money for Team Gushue and $60,000 for Team McEwen.

 

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