Baden field included Olympic teams heading to Sochi from Sweden, Norway, Great Britain, Switzerland, Denmark, Russia.
The 2013 Baden Masters had a familiar champion once again as Brad Gushue won his 3rd career event title in Switzerland, going undefeated in the opening event of the Men’s Tour season. The Canadians would go on to edge out Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud 4-3 in extra ends, after controlling much of the final game. Gushue opened scoring by stealing a single in the first end, then held Ulsrud off the board until the 4th end when they tied the game at 1. Gushue scored a single in the 6th end and then stole another point in the 7th end for a 2 point lead.
Ulsrud was able to score 2 points in the 8th end to tie the game at 3 after regulation, but Gushue held the all-important last shot hammer in the extra end, which he used for make an open hit for the win.
The Champions Tour Event, which is affiliated with the World Curling Tour, boasted a lot of international flavour including Olympic teams from Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Great Britain, Switzerland, as well as lineups from Czech Republic, France, Germany and Latvia, along with the lone-Canadian team, the Gushue foursome which included Brett Gallant, Adam Casey and Geoff Walker of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Undefeated after the round robin, Gushue posted a 7-2 win over Switzerland’s Alex Attinger in the Quarterfinals, and then upended reigning back-to-back Baden Masters champion and Swiss Olympic representative Sven Michel 8-1 in the semifinals to advance to the championship game against Ulsrud.
“(The Semifinal) was a good game, a bit closer than the score indicated. Got a good break to score our first three when he was light on a tap. From there we were able to keep the peddle down and get a couple steals,” said Brett Gallant after the game.
“They (Michel) typically are tough to beat at this event so winning that game was huge.”
“(Michel) have the advantage of getting ice in mid-June which is definitely helping them improve to one of the top teams right now.”
Ulsrud’s ever-so-bright Norwegian team, also known as “The Pants,” boasted an undefeated record going into the final, beating reigning World Mens Champion and Swedish Olympic representatives Niklas Edin 8-3 in the quarterfinals, and moving past Pascal Hess of Switzerland with a 6-4 win the semifinals.