The great Labrador Loppet 2017...a picture perfect day
It was no April fool!
Team Canada rink from St. John’s defeats Sweden 4-2 in final
Canadian skip Brad Gushue (left) celebrates his gold-medal win over Sweden with third Mark Nichols (second from left), second Brett Gallant and lead Geoff Walker (right) at the men's world curling championship in Edmonton on Sunday.
©Canadian Press photo/Jonathan Hayward
Brad Gushue and his curlers from the Bally Haly Golf and Country Club in St. John’s capped off a dream season in Edmonton Sunday night, winning the Ford world mens curling championship with a hotly-contested 4-2 win over Sweden’s Niklas Edin.
The championship was Canada’s second straight as Gushue, Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant and Geoff Walker ran the table at the Northlands Coliseum, going 13-0.
It’s the first time a team has been unbeaten in the world men’s championship since Canada’s Kerry Burtnyk of Winnipeg was 11-0 in 1995.
Canada was thoroughly dominant in Edmonton, outscoring the opposition 100-41 overall.
Gushue broke open a tight 2-2 affair with two in the ninth end, the only end in which a deuce was scored.
Gushue controlled the final end, running Edin out of rocks.
“What a stressful game,” Gushue told TSN afterwards. “They (Sweden) played so well. They’re one of the best in the world, and it took everything we had to beat them.”
Sunday’s final was a matchup of the Page 1-2 playoff game Friday night when Gushue beat Edin 7-4.
The St. John’s rink earned the right to represent Canada in the worlds following a thrilling victory in the Tim Hortons Brier last month at Mile One Centre when Gushue beating reigning Canadian and world champ Kevin Koe 7-6 on last shot.
With the victory, Gushue makes Canadian curling history by becoming the first skip to win gold medals in the world juniors, Olympics and world championship. Like his skip, Nichols, Gushue’s long-time vice, also completed the global curling trifecta Sunday.
The championship is Canada’s 36th on the world stage. Sweden is No. 2 on the all-time list with seven titles.
Edin won the last two world championships held in Canada, 2013 in Victoria, B.C. and 2015 in Halifax.
With a podium finish in Edmonton, the Gushue team also punched its ticket to the Canadian Olympic Trials in early December in Ottawa.
The winner of the Trials represents Canada in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics in South Korea.
The Gushue rink is not returning to Newfoundland from Edmonton, but heading to Toronto, site of the World Curling Tour Players Championship, beginning Tuesday.