Stoughton's overwhelming week

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:06 PM ET

REGINA — If you thought capturing a world championship wasn’t as rewarding as winning the Brier, all you had to do was listen to Jeff Stoughton’s team on Sunday night in the moments after it had won Canada’s 33rd international crown.

Stoughton, who won his second world title 15 years after his first with a 6-5 victory over Scotland’s Tom Brewster, said he welled up during the pre-game introductions.

Third Jon Mead, who was a robotic curling machine at the Brier, actually thought about leaving the playing surface late in Sunday’s final because the emotion of the moment and playing for his late mom Penny were almost too much to bear.

Lead Steve Gould, a close friend of Mead’s from their childhood days, couldn’t say his third’s name in the post-game interviews without choking up.

Second Reid Carruthers? He couldn’t believe he was a world champion. He’s only 26, so perhaps the decades of work his three older teammates had put in didn’t make him as emotional. Still, the moment had the same impact on all of them.

It was simply overwhelming.

“There is nothing better than a world championship because it’s better than a Brier,” Stoughton said. “It’s one more step past the Brier.”

Here’s a look back at the last 10 days, when Stoughton’s crew became kings of the Queen City.

THE ROARS

It’s not often Saskatchewanians get behind a Winnipeg team, but the support Team Stoughton enjoyed during the week was phenomenal.

The atmosphere was electric for Thursday night’s round-robin finale against Norway, and it was even better for the final.

“We’re very honoured to play in front of a home crowd like this that was cheering us on constantly,” Stoughton said. “Hats off to Regina for putting on a great show and supporting our team.”

The hospitality and friendliness of the hosts, as it always is on the Prairies, was second to none.

MR. CHARISMA

Ulsrud won the Collie Campbell Award, as voted upon by the players, for best exhibiting sportsmanship and ability.

The guy is a great quote and always has a smile on his face. The World Curling Federation should be using him as their poster boy, and, from what I hear, the ladies like him, too.

Actually, the whole Norwegian team, just like the Canadian squad, understands it is there to entertain. Norway second Christoffer Svae, between ends of a playoff game, danced the entire time to Akon’s Nobody Wants to See Us Together, and the crowd ate it up.

The fact Stoughton did a spin-o-rama in the world final shows how much he gets it as well.

THE 10TH

There has never been a wackier end than the 10th between Canada and Norway on Thursday night, when Stoughton’s team won more than $18,000 in the 50-50.

The image of coach Norm Gould going down the stairs with his arms raised, his mouth open, his eyes wide and his left hand clutching the winning ticket, was one of the most memorable moments of the week.

LET’S GO SCOTLAND GO!

The Scottish brigade won the “Best Fans Award” going away. Led by Tom Andrews, the father of Scottish second Scott, the dozen or so blue-clad, kilt-wearing supporters didn’t stop.

The day after a member of the Scottish media won a few thousand in the 50/50 draw, they chanted, “Buy a drink! Buy a drink!” when he walked past their section.

It was 10 a.m.

It didn’t look like they were kidding.

SPORTSMANSHIP

About an hour and a half after Brewster’s final stone came up light in the 10th end of the final, there he was in a second-floor conference room at the Delta Hotel, sharing a cocktail or two with his teammates — and the Canadians.

You won’t see that after the Stanley Cup final.

FINAL WORD

Stoughton, when I asked him if he was motivated by the fact his peers seeded him second at the Safeway Championship, thinking perhaps he was headed for the twilight of his career:

“There could’ve been that, but I guess they won’t say that anymore.”

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca


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