Rachel Homan Kaitlyn Lawes Brad Gushue Kevin Koe PointsBet Invitational

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

The two-time Olympic curling champion opened the match 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 team put together a two-point eighth end to go up 8-3. Deagle scored another before the game ended.

In other men’s tie 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 also won 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 win over Suzanne Birt.

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

Kaitlyn Lawes edged Emily Deschenes 10-8 and Kristie Moore, filling in for absent jumper 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.

The game continues through Sunday.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on September 22, 2022.

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