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Gushue tops Bottcher to improve to 2-0 at Tour Challenge

Brad Gushue Brad Gushue - The Canadian Press

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — Reigning Canadian men's curling champion Brad Gushue improved to 2-0 at the HearingLife Tour Challenge on Wednesday with a 6-5 win over Brendan Bottcher.

Gushue, of St. John's, N.L., scored two in the eighth and final end to edge Bottcher in a back-and-forth showdown between two of curling's top rinks.

Gushue has won three of the last four Canadian men's championships (2020, '22, '23), with Bottcher, from Spruce Grove, Alta., winning the other in 2021.

In other Draw 7 results, Switzerland's Yannick Schwaller defeated Matt Dunstone of Kamloops, B.C., 6-5, Norway's Magnus Ramsfjell downed Korey Dropkin of the United States 6-5 and Aaron Sluchinski of Airdrie, Alta., defeated Wouter Gosgens of the Netherlands 7-3.

In an earlier men's draw, Olympic champion Niklas Edin earned his first win with a 9-4 victory over American John Shuster.

The veteran Swede, who dropped his round-robin opener a day earlier, scored a deuce in the sixth end and added three more points in the seventh.

In other early games, Italy's Joel Retornaz beat Winnipeg's Reid Carruthers 4-2 and Japan's Riku Yanagisawa edged Calgary's Kevin Koe 6-5.

Ross Whyte topped reigning world champion Bruce Mouat 6-3 in a battle of Scottish rinks.

In women's action, defending champion Rachel Homan of Beaumont, Alta., improved to 2-0 with a 6-4 win over Jennifer Jones of Springwater, Ont.

Swedish veteran Anna Hasselborg also moved to 2-0 with a 6-5 win over four-time Canadian women's champion Kerri Einarson of Gimli, Man.

Italy's Stefania Constantini beat Kate Cameron of New Bothwell, Man., 7-6 and South Korea's Seungyoun Ha downed Clancy Grandy of Coquitlam, B.C., 7-5.

Japan's Satsuki Fujisawa defeated Winnipeg's Kaitlyn Lawes 8-2 in the late draw Wednesday night.

South Korea's Eun-Ji Gim beat Norway's Marianne Roervik 7-4, Switzerland's Silvana Tirinzoni topped American Tabitha Peterson 5-4 and Scotland's Rebecca Morrison edged Sweden's Isabella Wrana 5-4.

Play continues through Sunday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 18, 2023.