Canada’s Gushue beats Edin for world gold

EDMONTON — Canada’s Brad Gushue won 2006 Olympic gold in a blowout. His first Brier title last month was a nailbiter.

The St. John’s skip went the patient route for the latest title of his glittering curling career.

Gushue waited until the ninth end to strike in a 4-2 victory over Niklas Edin on Sunday night.

The game’s first deuce gave Gushue the lead and he ran Sweden out of rocks in the 10th for his first world men’s championship.

“I’ve been a curling fan for a long time,” Gushue said. “And not to toot our horn, but I’ve got to give my team credit. That was a pretty dominant performance for the whole week.”

Gushue, third Mark Nichols, second Brett Gallant and lead Geoff Walker swept the 11-game round robin and beat Edin twice in the playoffs.

The Canadians swept the all-star awards and became the first rink to go undefeated at this event since Winnipeg’s Kerry Burtnyk in 1995. Gushue is the first skip to do it in the 12-team era.

“I really focused on my mental game and just thought about this moment and the Brier for a long time,” Gushue said. “For it to come true shows the power of mind, I guess. It’s incredible.”

In the ninth, Gushue drew to the four-foot ring to score the pair. He kept up his strong play in the 10th with a double takeout on his first throw.

Gushue raised his arms in triumph as his final stone approached the hogline before hitting the Swedish rock for the victory.

“It’s awesome,” Gushue said. “That was a stressful game. Niklas and his team played so well. You have to give them credit. They’re one of the best teams in the world.

“It took everything we had to beat them tonight.”

Edin, who lost to Gushue in the Page playoff 1-2 game Friday, got another crack at him after beating Switzerland’s Peter de Cruz in the semifinal Saturday.

The two-time world champion had some stones undercurl late in the game and it proved costly.

“We were still behind the whole game, and we needed to get something good to happen for us and we didn’t do that,” Edin said. “Congrats to the better team for the win.”

The game was a chess match over the first eight ends. Both teams were trying to put pressure on but solid shot making and few mistakes kept scoring to a minimum.

After an opening blank, Gushue faced two Swedish stones with his final throw in the second end and delivered a hit and stick for a single.

Edin faced a similar situation in the third. The two-time world champion faced two Canadian rocks and drew to the button to pull even.

Gushue was unusually animated at times. He was exasperated after a throw was slightly offline in the fourth end, his hit rolling out a little too far for a single.

He recovered in the fifth end with a brilliant double takeout that forced Edin to settle for one.

The teams blanked the sixth and seventh ends. Gushue provided an emphatic fist pump after nailing a double takeout for another blank in the eighth.

Gushue, who missed the first few months of the season with a left hip/groin injury, wrote his name in the history books with the victory. He’s the first skip to win gold at the world juniors (2001), Winter Olympics and the world men’s championship.

“The biggest thing is we’re writing it in as world champions,” he said. “And this team, we’re world champions after all the work we’ve put in over the last couple years. The commitments, the sacrifices, and ups and downs that we had, to be here right now is awesome.”

Earlier in the day, de Cruz defeated American John Shuster 7-5 to win bronze. The Swiss side took control with a four-ender in the seventh end.

“We’re happy with where we are,” de Cruz said. “Now we have to try and learn how to beat the very best.”

Announced attendance at the Northlands Coliseum was 7,292 for the final, bringing overall attendance to 85,214. A bump of 3,500 was expected once overall suite numbers were released.

The venue holds the world men’s championship attendance record of 184,970 in 2007.

Ottawa’s Rachel Homan won the world women’s championship last month in Beijing. She also went undefeated en route to her first world title.

Calgary skip Kevin Koe won the 2016 world men’s title in Basel, Switzerland. Koe lost to Gushue in the Brier final last month in St. John’s.

The 2018 world men’s playdowns will be held Mar. 31-Apr. 8 in Las Vegas.

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