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Top-ranked Gushue earns first-round victory at PointsBet Invitational

Team Ontario skip Rachel Homan directs her team against Team Nova Scotia at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Feb. 22, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

FREDERICTON — Top-seeded Brad Gushue earned an 8-4 win over Nicholas Deagle in first-round action Thursday at the PointsBet Invitational.

The two-time Olympic curling medallist opened the game with a three-point first end before eventually taking a 6-1 lead after the fourth. 

After Deagle scored two in the fifth end, followed by two scoreless ends for both sides, Gushue's side put together a two-point eighth end to go up 8-3. Deagle scored one more before the game came to a close.

In other men's draw action, fourth seed Kevin Koe opened his tournament with a strong 13-4 win over Jack Smeltzer. No. 5 Reid Carruthers defeated Braden Calvert 11-2 while John Epping was also victorious with a 7-4 triumph over Mike McEwen.

Earlier in the day, Rachel Homan jumped out to an early five-point lead and rolled to a comfortable 8-4 victory over Suzanne Birt.

Homan, who throws fourth on a team now skipped by third Tracy Fleury, threw 89 per cent in the first-round win at Willie O'Ree Place.

Kaitlyn Lawes outscored Emily Deschenes 10-8 and Kristie Moore, filling in for absent skip Casey Scheidegger, edged Kerry Galusha 8-7. 

Penny Barker scored three points in the 10th end for a 10-9 win over Hollie Duncan in the lone early upset.

Play continues through Sunday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2022. 

The Canadian Press

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