Gushue, Einarson earn big wins at Pan Continental Curling Championships

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KELOWNA, B.C. — Brad Gushue didn’t take long to get over an opening day loss at the Pan Continental Curling Championships at Kelowna Curling Club.

The Canadian skip from St. John’s N.L., who dropped an 8-5 decision to Jongduk Park of South Korea on Sunday in the men’s A Division round-robin opener, knocked off Anton Hood’s New Zealand team 8-2 in Monday’s early draw.

Gushue, with vice-skip Mark Nichols, second E.J. Harnden and lead Geoff Walker, scored one in the opening end and Hood responded with two in the second. Gushue then scored two in the third, one in the fourth and two more in the fifth and then coasted to the seven-end victory.

In other early draw results, South Korea beat Jay Merchant’s Australian crew 9-6, Korey Dropkin’s U.S. squad, skipped by Andrew Stopera, beat Randolph Shen’s Taiwan team 8-2 in eight ends, and Riku Yanagisawa of Japan rocked Rayad Husain’s Guyana crew 9-2 in seven ends.

In the late draw, Gushue (1-1) plays unbeaten U.S. (2-0), Japan (2-0) plays Australia (0-2), New Zealand (1-1) meets Guyana (0-2), and Taiwan (0-2) plays South Korea (2-0).

In women’s action, Kerri Einarson’s Canadian crew from Gimli, Man., rebounded from a Sunday night loss to defeat Jennifer Westhagen’s Australian team 9-5 on Monday to improve to 2-1.

“I play good with a lack of sleep,” Einarson joked. “As a skip, you revisit all those shots (you missed) throughout the night. You have to put that aside and really focus on learning the ice and figuring out our throws. Today, we got our rocks in some really good spots and put some pressure on them.”

As the game progressed, skip Einarson, vice-skip Val Sweeting, second Shannon Birchard, lead Briane Harris and national coaches Renée Sonnenberg and Viktor Kjell did not have to reach too deep into their tool box to get past winless Australia (0-3).

Einarson ended the game with a score of two in the eighth, followed by a steal of one in the ninth to defeat the Australian nation, which is seeking its first-ever appearance at the women’s world curling championship.

Einarson is looking forward to a two-game day on Tuesday against New Zealand’s Team Jessica Smith (1-2), followed by Team Tabitha Peterson of the U.S. (3-0).

In other women’s action Monday, New Zealand’s Team Smith beat Cynthia Lu of Taiwan (0-3) 11-7; Japan’s Satsuki Fujisawa (3-0) remained undefeated after a 9-1 win against Mexico’s Adriana Camarena (1-2); and Peterson of the U.S needed an extra end to defeat South Korea’s Eunji Gim (2-1) 9-8.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 30, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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