In Players’ Championship curling event next week
ST. JOHN’S – The Players’ Championship will be a homecoming for Adam Casey of Seven Mile Bay.
© Jason Simmonds/Journal Pioneer
Adam Casey in action during the 2012 Players’ Championship in Summerside.
The product of the junior program at the Silver Fox Curling and Yacht Club in Summerside is the second stone with the Brad Gushue rink from St. John’s, N.L. Gushue is one of the 24 teams – 12 men and 12 women – competing in the Grand Slam of Curling’s season-ending event at Eastlink Arena in Summerside from April 15 to 20.
“I always look forward to coming home,” said Casey in a phone interview on Thursday evening. “I try to get home as often as I can, which is not very often.
“Any chance I get to play in Summerside is great, and I get to see everybody and reconnect. . .
“Hopefully, lots of people come out and cheer us on. I’m really looking forward to it. I love playing in Credit Union Place.”
This is Casey’s third season with Team Gushue, which also includes third stone Brett Gallant of Charlottetown and lead Geoff Walker.
“I’ve really enjoyed playing with Brad, Brett and the other guys (Ryan Fry and current lead Walker),” said Casey. “We all have a great relationship, and get along really well on and off the ice.
“I have learned a lot from Brad. He’s obviously a pretty talented guy, and knows the game inside out. It’s been a great experience for me, I have no negative things to say.”
The Gushue rink will have had a month’s break when it begins play in Summerside. After going 6-5 (won-lost) in the Tim Hortons Brier Canadian men’s championship in Kamloops, B.C., the Gushue rink then advanced to the final of the Grand Slam’s National event on March 16 in Fort McMurray, Alta., losing 7-6 to Glenn Howard.
“It was actually cool to be in Fort McMurray,” recalled Casey. “There were a lot of Newfoundlanders up there, and it was in a building my father (Ron Casey) used to manage back in the ‘80s or ‘70s, sometime way back.
“Our expectations are high. The competition is great. Summerside is going to be treated to some great curling. We don’t have an easy pool. I think we have (Kevin) Martin, Howard, (Kevin) Koe and a few other names people may recognize. It’s going to be a challenge, but we are all throwing pretty well right now. We’d like to end the season on a win.” Adam Casey
“Some of the same staff are still there, and they were coming up and introducing themselves to me, which was unique.”
After losing to Howard on the last shot of the game, Casey and Co. come to Summerside full of confidence.
“Our expectations are high,” said Casey, who resides in St. John’s and is working towards his masters of applied science in industrial engineering through Dalhousie University. “The competition is great.
“Summerside is going to be treated to some great curling. We don’t have an easy pool. I think we have (Kevin) Martin, Howard, (Kevin) Koe and a few other names people may recognize.
“It’s going to be a challenge, but we are all throwing pretty well right now. We’d like to end the season on a win.”
However, Casey knows the other 11 men’s teams also have the same goal.
“There are no free spaces on the bingo card,” said Casey. “There are a lot of teams going in with that mindset, and a lot of teams going in, like the Martins and Howards, knowing this is the last time they will play an event with that exact lineup.
“I think there will be some sentimental value to those guys because they have been together for so many years, and have had such a good run. . . They’ll definitely want to go out on top.”