SAULT STE MARIE, Ont. — Brad Gushue of St. John's, N.L., opened the third Grand Slam of Curling event of the season by beating Winnipeg's Mike McEwen 7-6 in an extra end on Tuesday in his first match at the National.
Gushue started strong, building a 3-0 lead over the first two ends and was up 6-4 after seven before McEwen scored a deuce to tie it in the eighth.
Gushue went undefeated through the first two Grand Slams of the year — the Masters in October and the Tour Challenge in September.
In other Day 1 action, Kevin Koe of Calgary downed Scotland's Greg Drummond 7-3, Toronto's John Epping beat China's Rui Liu 5-3, Winnipeg's Jason Gunnlaugson doubled up Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., 6-3, and South Korea's Chang-Min Kim defeated Winnipeg's Reid Carruthers 7-3.
On the women's side, Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg shut out Switzerland's Alina Paetz 7-0 in the afternoon draw.
China's Binhyu Wang beat Allison Flaxey of Caledon, Ont., 6-3 and Edmonton's Val Sweeting downed Binia Feltscher of Switzerland 9-5. Tracy Fleury of Sudbury, Ont., edged Ottawa's Rachel Homan 5-4 in an extra end in the lone women's evening draw.
The Canadian Press