Canada's Brad Gushue advances to final of Pan Continental Curling Championships

CALGARY — Canada's Brad Gushue downed Japan’s Riku Yanagisawa 8-2 on Saturday in the men's semifinal of the Pan Continental Curling Championships.

Gushue from St. John's, N.L., will take on third-seed Byeongjin Jeong of South Korea in Sunday's gold-medal game.

The South Koreans defeated second-seed Korey Dropkin of the United States 9-6 to lock up a spot in the tournament's final.

Gushue had a 6-1 round-robin record while Japan had lost its first four games, only to string together three wins to squeak in as the playoffs' fourth seed.

Japan conceded after the eighth end when Canada stole a single point.

“The way the ice is, it is kind of deteriorating as the game goes. It’s very important at the beginning of the game to get those rocks into position, and if you can get a lead, you can control it in the second half," said Gushue.

"If you have to play those finesse shots in the second half, they’re much tougher. We’ve been pretty aggressive in the first half of games to try and get a lead and then just hold on."

Kerri Einarson's crew from Gimli, Man., lost 6-5 to Japan's Satsuki Fujisawa on Saturday afternoon as the Canadian squad couldn't get their rocks in the right spot in the final two ends.

"Just not the finish that we wanted in nine or 10, We just didn't get our rocks in the right spot, and they did," said Canadian vice-skip Val Sweeting. "It was really close and we fought hard."

Skip Einarson, Sweeting, second Shannon Birchard and lead Briane Harris attempted a thin angle raise on their final shot of the game with hopes of scoring the one point needed for the win. The raised stone connected with one of Japan’s counters but didn’t stick around the four-foot, which gave Japan the steal and the win.

The loss puts Canada into Sunday's bronze-medal game against top-seeded Team Tabitha Peterson of the United States.

Japan will take on fourth-seed Team South Korea’s Team Seungyoun Ha in the gold-medal game on Sunday. South Korea defeated the U.S. 11-4 in the second semifinal game.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 5, 2022.

The Canadian Press