Northwest Territories down Canada's Gushue 7-5

Jamie Koe's Northwest Territories squad (Photo: Curling Canada) outcurled the two-time defending champs en route to a huge win in Regina.

By: Cameron Sallaj

For the first time in Brier history, a team from the Northwest Territories defeated the defending champions, Team Canada. The feat came in Draw 7 of the 2024 Montana's Brier where Jamie Koe upset Brad Gushue by a 7-5 score to improve the Territories record to 3-1.

It was Team Canada who had early momentum, however, picking up a score of two in the first end. They then forced the Territories to a single point in the second end.

After a blank in three, Jamie Koe and his team of third Glen Kennedy, second Cole Parsons and lead Shadrach Mcleod rallied, stealing one in the fourth before a big steal of two in the fifth, giving them a 4-2 lead at the half.

The two rinks traded singles in six and seven with the team from the north holding a two-point lead. In the eighth, the Koe rink stole yet another point, putting them ahead 6-3 with just two ends remaining.

In nine, Team Gushue worked hard to generate a multi-point end and succeeded, scoring two to bring the game within one. In the tenth, however, Jamie Koe ended the game with an open hit for one and a strong 7-5 win over the two-time defending Brier champs.

As mentioned, this is the first time that not only Jamie Koe, but any team that has represented the Northwest Territories has defeated Team Canada at the Canadian men's curling championship. This year, however, Team Koe did so in convincing fashion with both third Glen Kennedy and skip Jamie outcurling Mark Nichols and Brad Gushue by thirteen and two percent respectively. Second Cole Parons also outshot E. J. Harnden by eight percent while lead Shadrach Mcleod only trailed Geoff Walker by six percent.

The Territories defeating Team Canada was not the only upset during Draw 7 at the Montana's Brier. Elsewhere, Quebec's Julien Tremblay (2-2; various clubs) downed Alberta's Kevin Koe (1-3; Calgary) 11-6 thanks to a score of four in the seventh end. Nova Scotia's Matthew Manuel (1-3; Halifax) also defeated an Alberta team, winning 6-2 over Airdrie's Aaron Sluchinski (2-1). The final game of Draw 7 saw PEI's Tyler Smith (2-1; Crapaud) record a 10-3 win over Nunavut's Shane Latimer (0-3; Iqaluit).

In Pool B, Saskatchewan's Mike McEwen currently lead the group with a 3-0 record as the only undefeated team. Behind them are the Northwest Territories who with their win improved to 3-1. Prince Edward Island and Alberta (Sluchinski) are now 2-1 while Team Canada and Quebec are one game behind at 2-2.

The next game for the Northwest Territories will be Monday night against Nunavut where they look to record their fourth win of the competition. Team Gushue will try to bounce back from the loss as they battle Kevin Koe in what's setting up to be a do or die match.

The next draw from the 2024 Montana's Brier is at 2:00 PM Central Time with Pool A set for action. In the featured game, Alberta's Brendan Bottcher (3-0; Calgary) looks to stay undefeated and improve to 4-0 while Northern Ontario's Trevor Bonot (2-1; Thunder Bay) tries to even the two teams records at 3-1.

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