London ON – The first playoff game, #1 Newfoundland playing #2 Manitoba had to go to extra ends to make a decision. Only once in the last 6 years has the #2 team advanced to the finals on Sunday, but that team was led by Brad Gushue so who better to make this fairy tale happen again.
Newfoundland played a strong first half, taking two in the third but the game changed momentum as it got along. In the 8th end, Manitoba stole one after a Newfoundland mistake, and the former world champion is not one to let opportunity pass. In the 10th end, with Manitoba and Newfoundland unsure who was lying shot rock, a draw was called by Newfoundland, but they were already laying one by millimeters, and failed to take two with the hammer.
This set the scene for an 11th deciding end, Manitoba with the hammer, and Jeff Stoughton fighting to get the bie. With Gushue’s final shot, he placed his stone in the back 4 foot, and allowed Manitoba to place the straight draw for the win and the Finals showing on Sunday.
So Newfoundland will play the winner of the 2:30 Saturday game between Ontario and Alberta at 7:30 Saturday night… the winner facing Manitoba on Sunday.
Scott and Karen Beck are covering the Brier for The Cornwall Free News. They will be posting another story and bunch of photos Monday!