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No trouble in the bubble for Brad Gushue and his St. John's teammates

These masked men came away with the money Sunday in Halifax. Brad Gushue’s team from the Remax Centre (St. John’s Curling Club) won the Dave Jones Stanhope Simpson Insurance Cashspiel over the weekend at the Mayflower club. Gushue and teammates Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant and Joel Krats are shown accepting the $4,000 first-place prize. — Submitted photo
These masked men came away with the money Sunday in Halifax. Brad Gushue’s team from the Remax Centre (St. John’s Curling Club) won the Dave Jones Stanhope Simpson Insurance Cashspiel over the weekend at the Mayflower club. Gushue and teammates Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant and Joel Krats are shown accepting the $4,000 first-place prize. — Submitted photo - Contributed

Canadian men's champions — with one lineup change — go undefeated in Halifax event as they take title in their first event of the season

It’s been about eight months since they last threw curling rocks in a game situation, but the curlers on Brad Gushue’s St. John’s rink showed no hint of rust when they hit the ice over the weekend in Halifax.

In their first event since winning the Tim Hortons Brier last spring in Kingston, Ont., Team Gushue from the Remax Centre (St. John’s Curling Club) ran the table at the Dave Jones Stanhope Simpson Insurance Cashspiel over the weekend at the Mayflower club in Halifax.

They capped off an unbeaten (6-0) weekend with an 8-4 win over Stuart Thompson from the host city in the final.

Tied 4-4, Gushue scored four in the seventh end to secure the victory.

Sharing the win were vice skip Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant and Joel Krats.

Krats, an 18-year-old from Labrador City who currently resides in Mount Pearl, was added to the squad in place of lead Geoff Walker.

Walker lives in Edmonton, making the trip to Halifax inside the Atlantic Bubble and the required self-isolation problematic.

Krats was second on Daniel Bruce’s N.L. team which finished second at the junior nationals last season in Langley, B.C., and he curled second stone for Nathan Young’s winning squad at the 2020 and 2019 provincial under-18 championships.

Gushue advanced to the final with a 6-1 win over another Halifax curler in the semifinal, Andrew Gibson.

The St. John’s rink scored two in the first end, stole one in the second, stole two in the fourth and scored one in the sixth end.

In the final, it was Thompson striking first with a steal of one in the first end. Gushue rebounded with two in the second and a steal of two in the third end. Thompson stole points in the fourth, fifth and sixth ends before Gushue got his four in the seventh.

Team Gushue averaged 10 points per game in the event, and allowed an average of four points per game.

It’s Gushue’s second win of the Dave Jones event — he also took the title in 2015 — and the team plans to play more events in Atlantic Canada this season.

“We’ll stick in the Atlantic bubble this year and play some events we haven’t played before, or in a very long time,” Gushue said.

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