Gushue, Middaugh to curl for National
Brad Gushue will try for his first Grand Slam of Curling win on Sunday, while Wayne Middaugh be looking to recapture The National in Quebec City.
Toronto's Middaugh advanced to the final of the event on Saturday with a surprisingly easy 5-2 win over defending champion Kevin Martin of Edmonton.
Gushue of St. John's, N.L., reached the final later in the evening in a 6-5 cliffhanger over Randy Ferbey. Gushue led 4- after scoring three in the fourth end, but the veteran skip from Edmonton battled back to tie with a pair in the seventh.
"Even when we're not playing well in games we're keeping ourselves in it, giving ourselves a chance to win," Gushue told Scott Russell of CBC Sports.
It was the second tough match of the day for the 2006 Torino Games winner, who needed an extra end earlier to dispatch Mike McEwen, 28, of Winnipeg 5-4.
Gushue will try for his first Grand Slam win, having last competed in a final during the 2004-05 season.
CBC Sports will provide coverage of Sunday's championship final (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 12 p.m. ET).
Middaugh raced to a 3-0 lead and then, after a rally from Martin closed the gap to one, scored two in the seventh end for the victory.
"We stuck with our game plan and kept making the routine shots over and over and over again," said Middaugh. "We were lucky that they missed a couple, which for Kevin's team, just does not happen.
"We were just the lucky team that benefited from it."
Middaugh won The National in 2005 in Port Hawkesbury, N.S. He's also won the Masters and the Canadian Open to go along with four Players championship titles.
Martin had gone through the round robin unbeaten before edging Martin Ferland of Trois-Rivières, Que., 5-4 in the quarters on Saturday morning.
Jeff Stoughton of Winnipeg also came away with nothing after a perfect round robin, defeated 7-6 in the quarter-finals by Ferbey.
Ferbey, who went 3-2 during the week, including a 7-5 loss to Stoughton in the third draw, seized the lead Saturday with a three-point sixth end and held on for a 7-6 victory.
Middaugh reached the semis by stunning Winnipeg's Kerry Burtnyk 7-5 with a three-point final end.
With files from the Canadian Press