Brad Gushue emerged from "a fog" for a 7-6 extra-end win Wednesday night as he and his St. John’s teammates began defence of their title at the Canadian Beef Masters, the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event being held in Truro, N.S., this week.
Gushue, Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant and Geoff Walker defeated Matt Dunstone’s team from Saskatchewan after travelling more than 10,000 kilometres from Chongquing, China, where they had finished as runners-up in the China Open, an event that concluded Sunday.
“I’m not really tired, I’m kind of in a fog, to be honest,” Gushue told the GSOC website after the first-game victory. “It just doesn’t feel comfortable. I was pretty tired at the start of the game and I got better as it went on.
“I don’t know if I’m going to be able to sleep (Wednesday) tonight. Our clocks are all out of whack, that’s for sure. Hopefully, we can adjust over the next couple days and get some regular rest.”
Gushue and Co, who went 7-0 in winning the last Masters in Lloydminster, Sask, face Manitoba’s Reid Carruthers this evening, then John Shuster of the United States and Jason Gunnlaugson of Winnipeg on Friday in preliminary-round play of the 15-team, men’s division. The men's and women's fields at the Masters are divided into three pools each, with the top eight in preliminary play advancing to the playoffs, starting Friday.
Gushue is looking for a 12th Grand Slam title and second of the new season. His two-time Canadian Brier men's champions defeated Carruthers in the final of the Elite 10 held in Chatham, Ont., late last month
He hopes the momentum his team picked up late in the win over Dunstone carries over for their remaining games in Truro and that he doesn’t need the “smoke and mirrors” act he said was required in their opener.
“For six ends, it was a little foggy out there,” Gushue said. “I thought we played pretty good in the seventh, eighth and ninth ends.”
Twitter: @tely sports