Brad Gushue nailed a clutch final shot to score two in the final end and lift his St. John’s, N.L., rink to a 6-5 victory over Steve Laycock and win the Canadian Open title Sunday.
The team of Gushue, Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant and Geoff Walker earned their second Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title this season after capturing the Masters last month.
Nichols, a key member of the 2006 Olympic gold medal winning crew in Turin, returned to play third after being with Jeff Stoughton's rink in Manitoba. Gallant, a PEI native, shifted down to second, while lead Geoff Walker came from Alberta three years ago.
Gushue held the hammer coming home trailing 5-4 and seemed to be in trouble when Mark Nichols attempted to run back one of his own rocks and knock out Laycock’s shot stone but missed and opened up enough room for Laycock to lie three with his first throw. Gushue made a key double takeout to sit right on the button with his first shot. Laycock placed his final rock in the four-foot and froze right on top, however, Gushue decided to go for two — and the win — by easing his last rock into the house and past Laycock’s stone to get the deuce.
Laycock played a strong game and took out Gushue’s shot stone that ran back to knock another out of the rings to get a 2-0 lead in the first. Gushue matched with a deuce of his own in the second. Laycock was forced to settle for a single in the third but stole one in the fourth to retake the two-point lead.
Gushue scored another pair in five to tie it 4-4. Laycock blanked the sixth and settled for one in six.
Later today, Ottawa’s Rachel Homan faces Scotland’s Eve Muirhead in the first ever Canadian Open women’s final.