Glenn Howard wins bittersweet Brier bronze
There was much more at stake for the winner of Sunday afternoon’s Tim Hortons Brier bronze-medal game than a pile o’ cash.
Both teams got $20,000 cresting money and winner Glenn Howard takes home an extra $10,000 to help him get over his stretch-run collapse.
Howard drew the button in the extra end to dispatch Brad Gushue of Newfoundland 7-6.
But the win couldn’t get the bad taste out of the Ontario skip’s mouth.
After losing the morning semifinal 9-7 to Brad Jacobs of Northern Ontario, Howard continues to be a former Brier and world champion.
“Two words — absolutely ridiculous — that we’re playing that game,” said Howard. “We shouldn’t be out there right now.”
Once he got over the disappointment, Howard got down to business of trying to snap his three-game losing streak.
“We both tried very hard and wanted to win that game,” said Howard. “It was a terrific game. There were a lot of great shots made and fortunately, I made my last one.
“It was a little bittersweet, obviously, winning that game. I’m absolutely exhausted right now. Dead tired.”
Gushue had a chance to win with a double on his last shot in the 10th.
“It’s getting a little monotonous, to be honest,” said Gushue.
“We had a chance, I guess, in 10. I’m not sure we could have made it much better than we did. Maybe if I hit it a bit thicker.”
Gushue is still looking for his first Brier win, even though he’s made the playoff round seven times in 10 appearances.
He finished his week losing four of his last six starts after he was 7-0 out of the gate
“It sucks,” said Gushue. “To have a good week and have it end on this note and to lose the games we lost all week. I thought we played pretty good. I’m not sure if I missed a shot in that game and to lose leaves me scratching my head.
“We played a good team. They came back after a tough loss this morning and I thought they played pretty solid.”
Also on the line Sunday were points toward qualifying for the Olympic trials.
Howard has already qualified for the trials later this year in Winnipeg.
There was considerably more at stake for Gushue, who’s heading off to Grande Prairie and Victoria the next two weekends.
Gushue’s team is still in the hunt for the two-year Canadian Team Ranking System berth, trying to become one of six teams to gain a direct entry into the trials later this year.
With Kevin Martin going to Palm Springs while the rest of his team heads to Grande Prairie, Gushue has a great chance to narrow the 37-point gap he needs to make up over Toronto’s John Epping.
“This would have given us 10 more points,” said Gushue. “We’re chasing every point we can. I don’t think it’s unrealistic. It’s a little disappointing to only get 20 points here. It just means we’re going to need a couple of good runs in the next few weeks.”