April 6, 2017 8:50 am
Updated: April 6, 2017 8:52 am

Canada’s Brad Gushue posts 9th straight victory at World Men’s Curling Championship

Team Canada skip Brad Gushue makes a shot during the 13th draw against Japan at the Men's World Curling Championships in Edmonton, Wednesday, April 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

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EDMONTON – The numbers are in Brad Gushue‘s favour at the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship in Edmonton.

He posted impressive wins over Jaap Van Dorp of the Netherlands and Japan’s Yusuke Morozumi on Wednesday to extend his unbeaten streak to nine games. Gushue has outscored his opponents 77-29 overall and games have been called early on seven occasions.

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Each early finish will help Gushue and his team stay fresh for the playoffs. The St. John’s skip, who has secured a berth in the Page playoff 1-2 game, is still bothered by a hip/groin injury so any saved throws are welcomed.

Team Canada skip Brad Gushue makes a shot during the 12th draw against Netherlands at the Men’s World Curling Championships in Edmonton, Wednesday, April 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward


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“It’s a huge positive,” Gushue said. “The less I can be on it the better, to be honest. At this point I don’t need more reps or more volume. I feel comfortable with the ice and I feel comfortable with how I’m throwing it.

“So if I can keep the fatigue down and be ready come the weekend, I think that’s a positive.”

Gushue’s 8-3 victory in the morning was followed by a 10-2 rout in the afternoon.

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Sweden’s Niklas Edin improved to 8-1 with a 10-4 victory over Switzerland’s Peter de Cruz (7-2) in the evening draw and has qualified for the playoffs. Edin is alone in second while de Cruz sits third.

Team Canada skip Brad Gushue looks on as his team takes on the Netherlands during the 12th draw at the Men’s World Curling Championships in Edmonton, Wednesday, April 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

John Shuster (6-3) of the United States has sole possession of fourth place after beating China’s Rui Liu 8-2 in evening play.

Japan’s Morozumi (5-4) is in fifth place. China’s Liu, Italy’s Joel Retornaz, Scotland’s David Murdoch and Norway’s Steffen Walstad are in a four-way tie for sixth place at 4-5.

The top four teams will make the playoffs.

Team Canada skip Brad Gushue reacts to his shot during the 12th draw against Netherlands at the Men’s World Curling Championships in Edmonton, Wednesday, April 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

In the early game, Gushue opened with a three-point first end. Van Dorp was held to a single in the fourth and Gushue tacked on a deuce in the fifth end.

The Dutch side scored two points in the seventh but Gushue replied with a pair to wrap things up in eight ends.

Team Canada skip Brad Gushue looks on as Japan skip Yusuke Morozumi brings a shot into the house during the 13th draw at the Men’s World Curling Championships in Edmonton, Wednesday, April 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Against Japan, Gushue’s five-point fourth end put the game out of reach. He iced it with a deuce in the seventh.

At least six ends must be played per game at this competition. Teams can decide to shake hands early if the game has turned into a rout.

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Gushue has posted two six-end wins and three seven-end victories so far.

Canada skip Brad Gushue makes a shot as lead Geoff Walker (left) and second Brett Gallant sweep during the 13th draw against Japan at the Men’s World Curling Championships in Edmonton, Wednesday, April 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

By only going the regular 10-end length on two occasions in round-robin play, he has saved 21 ends overall — the equivalent of more than two games.

That’s important for a team still feeling the effects of a long, tough grind at the Tim Hortons Brier.

“When we came in we weren’t fully recovered,” Gushue said. “So to have a few lighter games, it has certainly been a benefit.”

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The 1-2 game between the top two seeds is set for Friday night. The winner will advance to Sunday’s gold-medal game.

Team Canada skip Brad Gushue calls a shot during the 13th draw against Japan at the Men’s World Curling Championships in Edmonton, Wednesday, April 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

The Page 3-4 game between the third and fourth seeds will be played Saturday afternoon. The winner advances to the evening semifinal and the loser will play for bronze Sunday against the semifinal loser.

Kevin Koe skipped Canada to a gold medal at last year’s world championship in Basel, Switzerland. Gushue beat Koe in the Brier final last month in St. John’s.

 

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