Gushue set for golden rematch with Sweden's Edin at curling worlds
Canadian rink tops upstart Scots 9-5 in semifinal
LAS VEGAS — Brad Gushue has been a somewhat frustrated skip all week.
So when he made a second straight runback in the seventh end of Saturday night's semifinal to score three points for Canada, he turned to the crowd and pumped his fists in the air.
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It was an emotional outburst many curling ends in the making. And it was the shot that propelled Canada to a thrilling win over Scotland at the men's world curling championship in Las Vegas.
"We have a saying within our team. It's playing in the green, yellow and red. The guys like to play in the green. I like to play in the red. I was pretty red out there tonight," Gushue said. "I don't go there very often but I tend to get hyper-focused when I do."
Canada defeated Scotland 9-5 but it was a back-and-forth battle all night.
One more win for GOLD! Canada’s <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamGushue?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TeamGushue</a> beats Scotland 9-5 and will play Sweden for the World Men’s Championship tomorrow at 8 p.m. ET! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GOCANADAGO?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GOCANADAGO</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/curling?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#curling</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WMCC2018?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WMCC2018</a> <a href="https://t.co/ViHFSAvNbc">pic.twitter.com/ViHFSAvNbc</a>—@CurlingCanada
For a second, it looked as though Scotland might get all the breaks in the game. With Canada looking to score a big end in the fifth, Scottish skip Bruce Mouat ticked off a guard and rolled perfectly frozen on a Canadian stone. Gushue was forced to a single and tied the game 5-5 at the midway point.
"We faced some adversity on with some bad breaks that went against us. I got a little heated but was able to compose myself," Gushue said. "The fifth-end break was perfect timing because it gave me a second to compose myself."
The team never stopped grinding in the game and after it third Mark Nichols couldn't say enough good things about the way his team battled.
"It would mean more to win this thing this year. We've struggled at times but kept going," Nichols said. "We knew when we got to the playoffs we could hit an extra gear and we have."
The young Scottish team led by Mouat was making its first ever appearance at the world championship. They had only lost one game all week coming into the semifinal. They handed Canada a loss early in the round robin, but Gushue wasn't about to let it happen twice and is now focusing on the championship game.
"We're close. We still missed a few shots tonight but that was our most complete game," Gushue said.
World championship rematch
Now it's a rematch of the championship game from one year ago in Edmonton, when Canada played Niklas Edin and his Swedish squad. They're coming off a silver medal at the Olympics in February.
"Nik's team is one of the best in the world and Nik himself is one of the top two or three players in the world," Gushue said. "You're not going to get handed anything from that team."
The road to get to this point has been bumpy for Gushue this year compared to last, when the team went undefeated to claim gold against Sweden in Edmonton.
It was a low-scoring affair between the two curling juggernauts one year ago — until Canada scored two in the 9th end to take a 4-2 lead. That would be the final score. Gushue led all curlers in that championship game by shooting 91 per cent.
Now the scene is set for another Gushue vs. Edin battle for granite glory.
"They have the hammer in the game which is a big advantage," Gushue said. "The focus in the first five ends is going to be to wrestle that away."