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Brad Gushue winless after opening day of mixed doubles trials

Michael Burns/Curling Canada — Brad Gushue and Val Sweeting look to get into the win column today in Portage la Prairie.
Michael Burns/Curling Canada — Brad Gushue and Val Sweeting look to get into the win column today in Portage la Prairie.

His teammates have much better starts in Portage la Prairie event

The other members of his Brier and world men’s champion team had good starts Tuesday at the Canadian mixed doubles Olympic Trails, but Brad Gushue of St. John’s, who is teamed with Val Sweeting of Alberta, couldn’t come away with a win on the opening day of the Portage la Prairie, Man., event.
Gushue and Sweeting are 0-2 after a 7-6 loss to Brendan Bottcher and Dana Ferguson and a 6-3 defeat at the hands of Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris in the opening draw.
Mark Nichols, Gushue’s longtime third, and Jennifer Jones are 2-1 after a busy opening day. They cruised to a 9-3 win over Jason Gunnlaugson and Shannon Birchard in their first game,  lost 6-3 to Jill Officer — Jones’s second — and Reid Carruthers in a second game and picked up their second victory in the late draw to finish Tuesday at 2-1.
Gushue’s lead Geoff Walker and his fiancee, Laura Crocker, are 2-0 heading into the second day of play.
Brett Gallant, Gushue’s second, and Jocelyn Peterman are the top-seeded team in the event and easily won their opener, downing Wayne and Kimberley Tuck 11-4, then won again in late play to join Walker-Crocker at 2-0,
The 18 entries in the Trials are divided into two pools, with each team playing eight preliminary-round games. Six draws will be played daily through Thursday.
The first- and second-place team in each pool advance along with the next four teams in the overall standings. The playoffs begin Friday and the final is scheduled for Sunday.
The winning duo will represent Canada when mixed doubles curling makes its Olympic debut at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games, Feb. 9-25.

sports@thetelegram.com

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