'Toba's third the difference

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:05 AM ET

The final score was 7-6.

But really it was 94-69.

Those were the percentages of the two thirds.

Jon Mead was 94%. Mark Nichols was 76%.

“We lost because we had a terrible last five ends and because I didn't make a shot,” said Nichols, the about-to-retire third for Newfoundland/Labrador skip Brad Gushue's crew which gassed the 1-2 game of the Brier that sent Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton to Sunday's final.

“We just weren't making shots as a team. Brad saved us on a number of ends but I didn't make a shot the whole game.

“I was terrible.”

For Mead, who is a plus 10 at this Brier – meaning he's had a higher percentage than the third from the other team in all but one game, including a 97-67 percent differential against John Morris in the game against Alberta – said he's just having fun.

“It's an exciting time for everybody,” he said of returning with his old team this year, returning to the Brier and returning to the final.

Stoughton hadn't played in the 1-2 game since the Edmonton 1999 Brier, the last of the two he's won.

He lost the Roar of the Rings Olympic trials to Gushue in 2005.

“I'd like nothing better than to win this again and now we have a chance to do that.”

Gushue will play the Saturday night semi-final against the winner of the Kevin Martin vs. Glenn Howard 3-4 earlier in the afternoon.

“It's disappointing,” said Gushue of gassing a 3-1 lead with hammer.

“It came down to the last shot,” he said of Stoughton's draw to the lid in the 11th.

But he admitted it started coming unraveled earlier.

“We started missing the broom and throwing the wrong weight. We lost our momentum halfway through the game.”

Stoughton ended up at 89% to Gushue's 76% and the Manitoba team curled 90% to 80% by Newfoundland.

Follow me on Twitter.com/sunterryjones

terry.jones@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos