Brad Gushue qualifies for Brier
Olympic gold medallist Brad Gushue was one of three high-profile skips who officially booked their spot Sunday at next month's Brier.
Gushue, former world champion Jeff Stoughton and Olympic silver medallist Kevin Martin won their respective provincial championships Sunday to qualify for the Canadian men's curling championship in Hamilton from March 3 to 11.
Gushue, who posted an 8-4 win over Trent Skanes in the Newfoundland and Labrador playdowns Sunday, wasn't able to compete at the provincial championships last year because it coincided with the Torino Winter Games.
Stoughton's rink defeated Peter Nicholls 8-5 to win the Manitoba title and Kevin Martin beat Kevin Koe 9-7 in an extra end in the Alberta championship.
Randy Ferbey's team, winner of three world titles, suffered a 6-3 playoff loss to Koe on Saturday.
Other provincial winners decided Sunday were Peter Gallant (Prince Edward Island), Paul Dobson (New Brunswick), Mark Kehoe (Nova Scotia), Al Harnden (Northern Ontario), Pat Simmons (Saskatchewan), Jamie Koe (Yukon/Northwest Territories), and Dean Joanisse (B.C.).
The Quebec provincial championship concludes Tuesday with defending Brier champion Jean-Michel Ménard looking to earn a return trip to the Canadian championship.
The Ontario provincials start Monday featuring a field that includes former world champion Wayne Middaugh and Glenn Howard, a finalist at last year's Brier in Regina.
The winner of this year's Brier final on March 11 (CBC, 6:30 p.m. ET) will represent Canada at the world championships in April in Edmonton.