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Sask vs. Canada matchup highlight of day two at the Brier

Day 2 wrapup: Mike McEwen’s win over Brad Gushue was the feature game on second night of the Brier at the Brandt Centre.

REGINA - The action on the ice started to get busy on day two of the 2024 Montana’s Brier in Regina. 

The day featured two draws, headlined in the evening by a Draw 3 featured matchup between Mike McEwen and Team Saskatchewan versus Brad Gushue and Team Canada.

It was a matchup between two skips who had faced one another before, with McEwen having some success against Gushue in previous Brier matchups including in the round robin last year. On this night, McEwen and the Saskatchewan team was on their game, hitting seemingly shot after shot, while the Gushue team seemed to be off theirs.

McEwen quickly took a 2-0 lead, and after Gushue tied it 2-2 by the third end, McEwen scored two in the fourth, a steal of one in the fifth where McEwen took out several Gushue rocks on one throw, one in the sixth and one in the eight to build a 7-3 lead. 

It would be too much for Gushue to overcome. He scored two in the ninth and then was held to one in the tenth, with McEwen on last rock knocking out a Gushue stone from the house to preserve a 7-6 Sask. victory. 

"Ultimately it came down, Mike outplayed me," said Gushue after the game.

"Mike played really well. I didn't play anywhere near as good as I usually do. So, take it on the chin and come out ready tomorrow."

"I love how we played this game, it was a solid team performance," said McEwen. "We've got to take advantage of when Brad and team are not at their best. And they weren't at their best tonight and we had like a really good solid four-person performance, I thought."

McEwen also thought the ice was "definitely different than last night. There was more movement... I thought we adjusted a tiny bit better than they did."

It was another raucous crowd greeting both Saskatchewan and Team Canada, with the crowd roaring with every big play. Fortunately, there was no repeat in this game of a fan incident that took place when Gushue was in action on Friday night against Nova Scotia.

Late in that contest, a fan sitting in the front row adjacent to the ice surface where Team Canada was playing was ordered by officials to leave, apparently for hassling and yapping at the Gushue team. Play was halted briefly as officials dealt with the disruptive individual, who departed without further incident. 

Other action on Saturday night saw the battle of the Koes: Kevin Koe of Alberta versus Jamie Koe of the Northwest Territories. In the end it was Kevin who prevailed 8-4.

Quebec’s Julien Tremblay got off to a fast 5-0 start against Shane Latimer and Nunavut and cruised to a 11-4 win while Tyler Smith and PEI finished odd Matthew Manuel and Nova Scotia 11-7.

In Draw 2 action earlier that afternoon, an all-Manitoba matchup saw the team of Reid Carruthers and Brad Jacobs beat Matt Dunstone by a 7-5 score. 

Ontario and Scott Howard beat Catlin Schneider’s BC team by an identical 7-5, scoring three in the final end to win it.

The other two games were blowouts as Trevor Bonot and Northern Ontario beat James Grattan and New Brunswick 9-4, while Brendan Bottcher of Alberta beat Andrew Symonds of Newfoundland and Labrador 11-3.