Gushue rink alone atop Tankard standings

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Skip Rick Rowsell shouts instructions to his sweepers during his game against defending champion Brad Gushue at the Tankard provincial men’s curling championship at Baly Haly Thursday afternoon. Gushue won 8-4.

Defending champs win twice, remain undefeated through three draws at provincial men's curling championship

Defending champion Brad Gushue has the only undefeated rink after the first three draws the Tankard provincial men’s curling championship at Bally Haly Golf and Curling Club in St. John’s.

Gushue, who has won the last seven Tankards and 10 of the last 11, sits at 3-0 after winning both his games Thursday. The Bally Haly skip and his team beat Rick Rowsell of the St. John’s Curling Club (Re/Max Centre) in afternoon play and Colin Thomas, also of SJCC in the late draw, both by 8-4 scores.

Ken Peddigrew (SJCC) and Trent Skanes of Bally Haly are tied at 2-1.

Skanes had a chance to keep pace with Gushue heading into their round-robin matchup today, but lost to Peddigrew in Thursday’s night-time draw. In that one Peddigrew took a 1-0 lead with the hammer in the first and never looked back. He stole five points in the next three ends for a 6-0 lead and eventually prevailed 8-5.

In the other late game Thursday, Andrew Symonds got his first win of the week, defeating SJCC clubmate Rowsell 10-2.

In the other afternoon games, Thomas blanked Peddigrew 8-0, while Skanes scored two with the hammer in the 10th end to edge Symonds 6-5.

Preliminary action in the single round-robin event finishes today with two draws, at 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The top two teams advance to the playoffs after any necessary tiebreakers, which would be played on Saturday.

If the first-place rink went undefeated in the round-robin, it would have to be beaten twice to be denied the championship.

The final or finals are also set for Saturday, but could be extended into Sunday depending on the number of any required tiebreakers and if there needs to be a two-game final.

The Tankard winner will represent Newfoundland and Labrador at the Tim Hortons Brier national men’s championship March 1-9 in Kamloops, B.C.

Organizations: Curling Club, Max Centre

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Kamloops

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