Brad Gushue looks relieved Monday as he clinches the win and the final playoff berth. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Last Updated: Tue Feb 21 02:23:10 EST 2006
Canada’s Brad Gushue showed plenty of determination Monday in claiming the final playoff berth in men’s curling at the Torino Olympic Winter Games.
Gushue made three clutch shots in critical situations to beat Pete Fenson of the United States 6-3 in the 12th and final draw at Pinerolo, about 50 kilometres from Turin.
“It is nice knowing we are in the playoffs now,” Gushue said. “If we have two good games now, from here on in, we achieve our goal.”
With the win, Canada completed the preliminary round at 6-3, eliminated defending Olympic champion Paal Trulsen of Norway and set up a rematch with the U.S. (6-3) in Wednesday’s medal round (1 p.m. EST).
“They are going to want to beat us as much as we want to beat them,” said American vice Shawn Rojeski. “If we go out and play a good game together, we can win.”
Finland (7-2) finished first overall and faces Great Britain (6-3) in the other semifinal.
“That’s fine,” British skip David Murdoch said. “It’s what we expected.
“We get a chance to get our revenge on Finland. We are going in very confident.”
Fenson stole one in the first end when Gushue came up soft on a hit and stick, but the Canadian skip responded with a draw to count two in the fourth.
Gushue regained the hammer in the fourth with a splendid double-takeout that left Canada lying two, forcing Fenson to draw to the button for a single point.
Gushue blanked the sixth to retain last-rock advantage, then conceded a steal of one in the seventh when it picked on debris.
Trailing 3-2 in the eighth, Gushue bumped up to remove two American stones, then parlayed a precision takeout into two points for a 4-3 lead.
Fenson made a fatal mistake in the ninth, leaving two rocks vulnerable in the four foot and Gushue capitalized with a hit and roll to the button directly behind a Canadian guard.
That forced Fenson to concede one and put Canada ahead 5-3 heading home.
Gushue hit and stuck for one to complete the scoring in the 10th.
“I feel much better today than I was feeling in the last couple of days,” he said.
Also Monday, Germany embarrassed Denmark 10-1 and Switzerland humbled host Italy 10-2, both in six ends.
The Swiss (5-4) also needed a Canadian loss to force a Tuesday tiebreaker, so began rooting for the U.S.
“We could hear the Swiss yelling and stuff,” Fenson chuckled. “We expected that.”
with files from CP Online
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