World Men’s Curling Championship: Canada falls 9-3 to Scotland


Canada’s Brad Gushue settled for a silver medal at the world men’s curling championship after dropping a 9-3 decision to Scotland’s Bruce Mouat on Sunday.

Mouat scored a deuce in the second end and added two more points on a steal in the third.

He never relinquished the lead en route to his first world men’s title.

The Canadian side of Gushue, Mark Nichols, E.J. Harnden and Geoff Walker eliminated defending champion Niklas Edin of Sweden before beating top-seeded Yannick Schwaller of Switzerland in Saturday night’s semifinal.

But the host side was in chase mode for the final in front of a vocal home crowd at Ottawa’s TD Place.

Canada had the edge in experience, but the youthful Scots — with an average age of just under 29 — boasted big-game moments, too.

Mouat is a world junior champ, world mixed doubles champion and he took Olympic silver last year in Beijing.

With Bobby Lammie and Hammy McMillan in form on the front end and Grant Hardie and Mouat delivering on the back, the Scots refused to ease the pressure.

Canada had limited opportunities against a determined Scottish side. A few Canadian errors proved costly as well.

Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., was heavy with a draw to the four-foot ring in the third end and his hit-and-roll attempt rolled out in the fifth.

Mouat drew for two to take a 6-1 lead into the mid-game break to the delight of Scottish supporters in a back section of the arena.

Canada scored its first deuce of the game in the sixth end as Scotland appeared to play the scoreboard.

Mouat played a hit instead of a riskier double takeout.

The Scottish skip was content to take hammer and a three-point lead into the seventh.

After a blank, Gushue tried a hit and roll but couldn’t quite remove the Scottish stone from the 12-foot ring.

Mouat followed with a hit for three and Canada conceded.

It was Mouat’s third appearance on a world men’s podium. He finished third in 2018 and took silver in 2021.

Earlier in the day, Switzerland defeated Italy’s Joel Retornaz 11-3 for the bronze medal.

Gushue, Nichols and Walker, with Brett Gallant playing second, won gold in their first world men’s appearance in 2017 in Edmonton.

That foursome settled for silver in 2018 and 2022 when they fell to Edin both year in Las Vegas.

Harnden, who joined Gushue after Gallant’s departure last spring, won world silver in 2013 on a team skipped by Brad Jacobs.

As he did at the Brier last month in London, Ont., Gushue struggled at times during round-robin play.

A 6-3 loss to Scotland on Thursday evening resulted in a late-night practice session and team meeting the next morning.

Canada was in strong form leading into the final but couldn’t deliver a third straight win in the playoffs.

Scotland, as the No. 2 seed, enjoyed a quarterfinal bye before dispatching Italy in a semifinal that went to an extra end.

It was Scotland’s first title at this event since David Murdoch beat Canada’s Kevin Martin in 2009 at Moncton.

Announced attendance for the final was 5,604 to bring the overall total to 75,960.

Gushue, the 2006 Olympic champion, will be the Canadian entry at next year’s Brier in Regina.

The winner of that event will represent Canada at the 2024 world men’s championship in Schaffhausen, Switzerland.

Kerri Einarson skipped Canada to a bronze medal at last month’s women’s world championship in Sandviken, Sweden.

Jennifer Jones and Brent Laing will wear the Maple Leaf at the April 22-29 world mixed doubles championship in Gangneung, South Korea.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 9, 2023.

Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.

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