'Tobans take it on chin

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:53 AM ET

HALIFAX -- It 'shore' looks like 'The Old Man and the Newfoundland Kid' have a chance now.

Newfoundland's Brad Gushue has denied any animosity towards Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton since the week started for suggesting that adding Russ Howard to his roster would mess up his team's chemistry, leaving him no chance to win the Canadian Curling Trials. In fact, Manitoba lead Steve Gould called Gushue to apologize and second Garry Van Den Berghe said adding Howard was a great move.

But Gushue and his partners simply shot the lights out last night to beat the Bison Boys 7-4 at the Halifax Metro Centre.

"I was very pleased with the guys and the way they handled it," said Gushue, who made a double-kill for four in the ninth end to break open the best game of the week. "We wanted to win not because of what he said but because we needed the win."

Gushue outshot Stoughton 97%-90%.

'NO CHANCE?'

One fan in the stands was holding up a sign that read, 'NO CHANCE?' during the match. But Stoughton never saw it.

"Point it out, I'll go find it next game," he said with a laugh. "It was a great game, there were good shots and everyone was very complimentary. He made a good shot in nine. We put ourselves in a hole to let him have a great shot."

Stoughton fell to 4-2 and a three-way tie for third place with Alberta's Kevin Martin and B.C.'s Pat Ryan.

"We can't be disappointed," Stoughton said. "We just have to re-group and win (today's) game (against Ontario's Glenn Howard). Then, we're right back at it for the last day and that last day's going to be pretty wild. So, I'm looking forward to it."

Despite the loss, Stoughton was not overly concerned.

"We're playing really well and if we keep playing really well, then everything should take care of itself," he said.

"You're playing great teams so, you're going to play great and you're still going to lose and vice-versa.

"I just hope we can continue on. It seems like draw weight is not an issue out here for myself and I just hope I can keep it right through to Sunday. That's the goal."

Gushue improved to 5-1 and a first-place tie with Alberta's John Morris. Gushue plays B.C.'s winless Jay Peachey today.

"That's a big game for us, getting six wins and that's all we're focused on," he said.

Earlier, Stoughton had shellacked Alberta's Randy Ferbey 11-2 to hand the reigning world champ his fourth loss of the week.

"Stoughton's team absolutely beat the crap out of us, that's the bottom line," Ferbey said.

"Obviously, we hope we have gotten rid of one of the top teams and that feels pretty good," said Stoughton, who was not about to sympathize.

"I'm sure they're very disappointed right now. But feel sorry for them? I don't think you can. I mean, you're a competitor and every time you play a team, you want them to play really bad and you to play really well to have games like that. It doesn't happen very often.

"You're not going to blow someone out when they're making their shots. It wasn't really us making our shots, it was them sort of playing their worst."

Meanwhile, Ryan downed both Gushue and Nova Scotia's Mark Dacey while Howard beat Martin 8-6 to improve to 3-3.


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