A noisy young crowd appreciated the curling Thursday morning at the Home Hardware Canada Cup as a couple of lopsided matches ended early at Affinity Place.
None were more early than Brad Gushue’s 7-2 win over John Epping, a win that was greatly aided by Gushue’s five in the fourth end.
“We played two games back to back yesterday and we’ve got two games back to back today,” said Gushue, now 2-1. “The fact we can get off the ice an hour earlier and put our feet up and get a good meal is good. The timing between games yesterday was really tight.”
The five he scored in the fourth was the highest anyone has scored yet in this Canada Cup.
“We made a bunch of really good draws and had the angles working in our favour,” said Gushue. “John took on a really risky shot on his first and it worked out well for us. He probably missed what he was trying by a millimetre but he ended up taking out one of his own and we were laying four.”
Gushue bumped the next Epping shot out of the four-foot and ended up with a crucial five. It was crucial for Gushue to capitalize on the rare error from Epping, who was 2-0 Wednesday.
“We played John lots and we know he plays the riskier shots sometimes,” Gushue said. “You always have to be careful not to leave too many rocks around the rings. All of a sudden, he makes a great shot and he’s got three or four.”
The crowd noise from multiple classrooms watching the curling from the stands was noticeable for the curlers. A couple of classrooms from Weyburn were in to watch Joanne Courtney, the second on the Rachel Homan rink and were heard loud and clear. Other classrooms were also present on both sides of Affinity Place.
“It’s loud and the constant noise is loud so the communication within our team you have to amp it up,” said Gushue. “You have to scream a bit louder and sometimes you miss it but it’s not that much different than when you get into a stadium and there’s 6,000 or 7,000 people. The constant noise is pretty loud here.
“It’s great to see the kids come out to events like this and get them aware of curling and open their eyes to it.”
The 8-3 win by Homan (2-1) over Laura Walker (0-3) was important for that team to stay within a game of the lead.
“We played a good game last night, but we just let it slip away a little bit at the end,” said Courtney. “We’re really just trying to learn the ice and focus on what we need to do in order to get better and figure it out by the end of the week.”
Thursday morning’s other scores were Kerri Einarson (2-1) over Jennifer Jones (2-1) 6-3, Chelsea Carey (1-2) over Casey Scheidegger (2-1) 7-6 and Brad Jacobs (3-0) over Reid Carruthers (0-3) 5-4 with an exciting draw to the four foot by Jacobs for the last shot.
Thursday’s afternoon draw will see matches between Alli Flaxey vs Carey, Darcy Robertson (1-1) vs Walker, Matt Dunstone (0-2) vs Jacobs, Brendan Bottcher (1-1) vs Gushue and Kevin Koe (2-1) vs. Epping (2-1).