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MacDuff welcomes Gushue and teammates into exclusive club

Jack MacDuff reacts to the crowd as the team is introduced during the opening ceremonies at the Tim Horton's Brier curling championship at Mile One Centre in St. John's on March 4. MacDuff won Newfoundland's first Brier title in Regina in 1976 and now is joined by Brad Gushue as skips who have taken Brier championships for the province.
Jack MacDuff reacts to the crowd as the team is introduced during the opening ceremonies at the Tim Horton's Brier curling championship at Mile One Centre in St. John's on March 4. MacDuff won Newfoundland's first Brier title in Regina in 1976 and now is joined by Brad Gushue as skips who have taken Brier championships for the province.

Jack MacDuff no longer feels alone.

Immediately after Brad Gushue, Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant and Geoff Walker won the 2017 Brier Canadian men’s curling championship — Newfoundland and Labrador’s second such title — the skip of Newfoundland’s first Brier-winning team offered his congratulations.
“What a game and what a performance the entire week,” said MacDuff from his home in Moncton, N.B., after the Gushue rink edged Team Canada 7-6 in Sunday’s Brier final at Mile One Centre in St. John’s
“Few people know hard it is to get your name on that trophy. It is so spectacular to see these four great guys join the club on behalf of Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Joining MacDuff and his 1976 team of Toby MacDonald, Doug Hudson and Ken Templeton in an exclusive group is definitely the biggest reward for the new champions. For Gushue, who was competing in his 14th Brier, and Nichols, in 13th, it also represents the successful conclusion to a long, and often arduous quest.
Besides the Brier Tankard, there are also some very tangible rewards for the win.
The Gushue team will earn about $225,000 in prize money and Sport Canada funding over the next two years. As well, they will represent Canada at the 2017 world men’s curling championship in Edmonton.
If Team Gushue — now Team Canada — wins a medal at the worlds next month, it also gets a direct-entry berth into the 2017 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Canadian Olympic Curling Trials in Ottawa in December,
As well, as defending champions, Gushue and his teammates, will be wearing the Team Canada colours at the 2018 in Brier, producing a benefit for other curlers in this province. That’s because for the first time since 2006, when Gushue and Nichols couldn’t compete in the Brier because they were winning gold at the Torino Olympics, Newfoundland and Labrador will be represented at the Brier by a team skipped by someone other than Gushue.

bmcc@thetelegram.com

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