Jeff Stoughton will never forget the last time he played Brad Gushue.
It was in Halifax at the Canadian Olympic Trials in December 2005 and the Newfoundland skip eked out an 8-7 win, dashing Stoughton's Winter Games dream. Gushue, of course, went on to win the gold medal at the Turin Olympics.
It will be the first meeting between the two since that fateful day in Halifax over a year ago in the first draw of the $100,000 BDO Canadian Classic Open, an event in which Stoughton is defending champion. The two take to the ice at 5:30 p.m. at the MTS Centre.
"There's nothing that's going to replace the loss to him last time but any time we play them we want to beat them just as badly as I'm sure they want to beat us," said Stoughton yesterday. There's a little more incentive in the fact that the last time they played us they beat us."
Stoughton, supported by Ryan Fry, Rob Fowler and Steve Gould, said he wasn't sure if the home-ice advantage would play a part.
"Sometimes teams prefer to be at home and some prefer to be on the road," said Stoughton. "We've had success both ways -- with family and friends watching and without. But I think it's a special feeling when you're playing in front of your hometown and your home crowd."
Stoughton, you may recall, remarked that Gushue had "no chance" to win the Oly Trials that year. So the only question remaining now is does Gushue have a chance against him tonight?
"Yeah, I guess he does," said Stoughton with a laugh.