|Skip Brad Gushue of the Newfoundland/Labrador rink hollers instructions during the 15th draw against Manitoba at the 2011 Brier. (QMI Agency/Sue Reeve)
LONDON, ONT. - Two more teams booked their spots in the 2011 Brier playoffs Thursday morning with decidedly different victories.
Brad Gushue of Newfoundland/Labrador made a free draw for three in the eighth when Manitoba skip Jeff Stoughton double-jammed on a hit, then stole two more in the 10th to win 8-5 and leave both teams at 8-2. Joining them was Ontario’s Glenn Howard, who trounced Jamie Koe of the Territories 9-2 and took over -– for the time being at least -– top spot based on his earlier wins over Stoughton and Gushue.
Alberta’s Kevin Martin, who had the morning off, is at 7-2, with games left against Koe and Howard. Gushue’s win put a major dagger into Brad Jacobs’ hopes as the Northern Ontario skip, sitting at 5-4, needs to win out and have Martin lose twice.
Given that Koe is 3-7, that’s not very likely.
Elsewhere in the 15th draw, Jim Cotter of B.C. beat up on Eddie MacKenzie of P.E.I. 7-1 while James Grattan of New Brunswick took two in the 10th to beat Steve Laycock of Saskatchewan 6-4. Cotter, Grattan and Laycock are all 4-6, Francois Gagne of Quebec and Shawn Adams of Nova Scotia are 3-6 and MacKenzie is 1-9.