Stoughton waited a long time for this win

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:20 PM ET

LONDON, Ont. Twelve years isn't a long time on the sands of time, or even the pebble of time.

Not in a Canadian competition which has now had 82 editions and which New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and the Territories have never won.

But a dozen year's is an eternity in Manitoba.

It was forever for Jeff Stoughton, Jon Mead, Reid Carruthers and Steve Gould who won the Tim Hortons Brier for first themselves and their families and then for their province here Sunday.

Stoughton won the last Brier for Manitoba last century.

That was the Edmonton 1999 'Last Shootout of the Century' Brier.

It's just such a great feeling, said the skip in his ninth Brier. So much satisfaction. It's over. I'm just so glad we could finish this thing off the right way.

My team has been unbelievable this week. I don't know what to say about our team. Just freakin'

unbelievable, he then told the crowd in the presentations.

We are really looking forward to rocking the crap out of Regina, he said of the Ford World Curling Championship.

In another media scrum which followed, Stoughton said there will be a lot of people from Winnipeg driving the five hours to Regina.

Stoughton has been knocking on the door again and again. But this time he felt like they were going to have it answered.

It just felt like we were going to win this thing. It might be out last time here.

Stoughton joined Manitoba's legendary three-time Brier champion skips Don Duguid and Ken Watson, not to mention Matt Baldwin and Ron Northcott, the other three-time winners sitting behind four-time winning skips Ernie Richardson, Randy Ferbey and Kevin Martin.

Mead was Stoughton's third in 1999. He left Stoughton after the team lost the final of the Halifax 2005 Roar of the Rings and returned this year.

I'm numb, he said. I'm dumbfounded.

I can't believe it. I don't believe it.

The best part of it, I think, is that we did it against two Olympic gold medal winners and a world champion, he said of Olympic winners Brad Gushue and Kevin Martin and 2007 world champion Howard who has since lost three straight Brier finals.

Gould, who played with Stoughton when he won his first Brier in 1996, was his alternate in 1999.

I don't count that one in 1999, said Gould, who shot 99% and added to his total of ticks which played a big part on the day and during the Brier.

I didn't do anything for that group other than show up.

To win this, especially against such a great field ...

And for Manitoba, all I can say is that it's not easy to come to this thing and win. Look at those teams which have won during that time. Randy Ferbey and Kevin Martin and Glenn Howard ... they're all great teams.

People kept asking 'How come you keep getting there and can't win them?

All I can tell you is when you get there and win them, you cherish them.

It was Manitoba's 27 Brier, now two more than second-place Alberta, recorded in front of 8,261 fans, a near sellout in John Labatt Centre.

It was a great scene at what was a first rate Brier, despite the total attendance of only 113,626 with an extra draw for a bronze medal game, as the fans welcomed the two teams to the ice.

The crowd became so silent as the game started, they could hear the rocks as they traveled down the ice. And then it stayed quiet when Stoughton hit for two and a 2-0 lead on the second end, two more to make it 4-2 in the fifth and then stole two more the following end and forced Glenn Howard's home province team to chase the game the rest of the way without having much hope of catching it.

It ended up 8-6.

It ended up with Stoughton making a double takeout and ending up with his team in his arms. He headed for the boards and threw himself in the arms of his wife, with Mead following to do the same with his.

More than anybody, their wives know how long it's really been.


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