Team Gushue, with PEI’s Brett Gallant, to take on hometown Steve Laycock in Canadian Open final (Grand Slam)

(by Jonathan Brazeau)

YORKTON, Sask. — Saskatoon’s Steve Laycock grabbed the winning single in the eighth end to defeat Edmonton’s Brendan Bottcher 6-5 in men’s semifinal action at the Canadian Open Saturday night.

Steve Laycock (Photo: Anil Mungal)

The Yorkton-born Laycock is now off to his first career Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling final and faces Masters champion Brad Gushue, from St. John’s, N.L.

Bottcher is a chemical engineering student at the University of Alberta and had to rearrange his exam schedule in order to compete in the tournament as the sponsor’s exemption. Bottcher matched his career best Grand Slam finish as his team featuring Tom Appelman, Bradley Thiessen and Karrick Martin also reached the semis at the National last month.

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Gushue made it to his second Slam final of the season after scoring a deuce in seven and stealing one in the final frame to edge Calgary’s Kevin Koe 5-4.

Koe, who beat Gushue in last year’s Canadian Open final, blanked the first end and — after a very close measurement — was able to score two in the second. Gushue held shot stone in the third and attempted a tricky throw with his last rock to bounce back and take two but he hit a guard and ended up ruining his shot stone to give up a steal and Koe was out to an early 3-0 lead.

Brad Gushue (Photo: Anil Mungal)

Gushue bounced right back and got his deuce in four. Koe blanked the fifth and was held to one in six.

Watch the Canadian Open men’s final live on CBC at 2 p.m. AT.

Click to read this story at the Grand Slam website.

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