By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
Two weeks ago, it would have seemed unlikely that Brad Gushue would even make the trip to Oshawa for the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling national tournament.
A horrific fall, while competing in Turo, N.S. on Oct. 31, saw Gushue lose his balance and land head first on the ice. He was left bleeding and needing seven stitches to close the wound.
However, he rebounded in a big way, winning the Oshawa event after beating Reid Caruthers and his team for his third Grand Slam title in the past two seasons.
“I got better as each day went on. I had a few ups and downs, some games were better than others,” Gushue said following the victory. “Time is going to heal it for sure…I think the only issue for me right now is the psychological part,” he said, noting nervousness when moving around on the ice.
Gushue and his team, made up of Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant and Geoff Walker, all from St. John’s, Newfoundland, went 3-1 throughout the tournament, and faced some close calls in the final match.
A near deadlock for the first four ends was broken by Gushue jumping ahead 3-1 in the fifth, going on to a 7-2 victory.
With the few close calls early on, Gushue, a 2006 Olympic gold-medallist, felt his team was fortunate to come out on top.
“I thought we played pretty good, but definitely had some luck on our side for sure,” he said.
Along with the title, Gushue takes home $24,500 of the $100,000 men’s purse.
On the women’s side of things, the team skipped by Rachel Homan took the title over Tracy Fleury and her team.
Homan and her Ottawa based team finished 7-0 in the major event.
The Grand Slam of Curling continues on Dec. 8 with the Meridian Canadian Open in Yorktown, Sask.