Ontario Wins Tim Hortons Brier
HAMILTON (Sunday, March 11, 2007) - Ontario's Glenn Howard is the 2007 Canadian Men's Curling Champion.
Howard, with third Richard Hart, second Brent Laing and lead Craig Savill, beat Newfoundland's Brad Gushue 10-6 in the final of the Tim Hortons Brier here Sunday evening.
There were two turning points. In the seventh end, Gushue elected a very difficult double-takeout that could have netted him three and an 8-5 lead. But he crashed on a guard and gave up a steal of two instead.
And then in the ninth end, with Howard clinging to a 7-6 lead, the Coldwater skip tapped a Newfoundland counter back just far enough to count three and take the 10-6 lead that proved to be the final score.
It was the third Brier win for Howard, who played third for brother Russ Howard on Brier winning teams in 1987 and 1993. It was the first Brier title for third Richard Hart, second Brent Laing and lead Craig Savill, along with fifth Steve Bice and coach Scott Taylor.
Howard was asked how this win compares to the two previous.
"It's been so long, I've forgotten what it was like. It's been a long time, '93 man. I'm just ecstatic, I love the win, I love these guys, they played so well for me the last three years."
It was a difficult ending for Gushue, who opened the round-robin at 1-3 but went on an eight-game winning streak to advance to the final.
Gushue said his critical rock in the seventh end picked up some debris before it crashed on the guard.
"If we make it, we win. If I make a half-shot, we're one down with three to play, hammer in eight.
"Unfortunately, right out of my hand it grabbed something. Unbelievable that in that type of situation that would happen."
It was the ninth Brier win for Ontario and first since 1998.
With the win, the Howard team will now represent Canada at the Ford World Men's Curling Championship in Edmonton, Mar. 31-Apr.8.
The team also picks up berths to the 2007 Continental Cup, 2008 Strauss Canada Cup and the 2009 Canadian Curling Trials pre-event qualifier. The team also now receives $144,000 in Sport Canada funding over the next two years.
As finalists, both Howard and Gushue receive $40,000 in appearance money. Third place Manitoba received $30,000, while fourth place Alberta received $20,000.
Howard also won the Hec Gervais playoff MVP award.
The final attendance at Copps Coliseum was 107,199.