Jeff Stoughton defeats John Morris in extra end to win Canadian Open

January 8, 2006, 10:00 PM

WINNIPEG — Jeff Stoughton edged Calgary’s John Morris 7-6 in an extra end to win the Grand Slam of Curling’s Canadian Open title on home ice Sunday at the MTS Centre.

Stoughton, third Jon Mead, second Garry VanDenBerghe and lead Steve Gould earned $30,000 in the tournament following a heartbreaking runner-up finish last month at the Olympic Trials.

“This was by far the best Slam event to play in,” Stoughton told the WCT. “And to win one at home … this is just such a fantastic rush.

“But you have to give credit to [Team Morris] as they shot the lights out all week and really proved they’re one of curling’s heavyweights.”

Stoughton opened with the hammer and just missed on a runback attempt to give up a steal of one. Looking at three counters in the second, Stoughton settled for a single to tie it 1-1.

Morris had an opportunity to score four in the third end but misfired and could only get two. Another Morris miss in the fourth end gave Stoughton a draw for a deuce to knot it back up 3-3.

Stoughton held Morris to one in the sixth and then struck big with a three-ender in the seventh to lead 6-4 when Morris wrecked a raise attempt and left a draw for three.

Following a blank in nine, Stoughton could have put the game away in the 10th with a double takeout of two rocks, but his shooter rolled out leaving Morris a difficult double of his own that he managed to pull off to force the extra end.

“I think we played my last shot a little conservatively,” Stoughton said. “If we stick that shot, John has nothing, but he made a great shot to tie it up.”

Stoughton’s shooter in the extra end stuck around on the button to count for final shot following a hit, roll and tap.

The team of Morris, third Kevin Koe, second Marc Kennedy and lead Paul Moffatt claimed $18,000.

Stoughton also edged Edmonton’s Kevin Martin 6-5 in an extra end during the semifinals. Morris beat reigning world champion Randy Ferbey of Edmonton 7-5 to reach the final. Martin and Ferbey earned $12,000 for making it to the final four.

NOTES: A special Olympic exhibition match was held Sunday afternoon during the semifinals between Canada’s Shannon Kleibrink and American Cassie Johnson. Kleibrink thumped Johnson 11-4. … Canada’s men’s rep Brad Gushue of St. John’s went 2-2 through the round-robin portion and was ousted with a 5-2 loss to Dave Boehmer of Petersfield, Man., in a tiebreaker. Gushue will play in the Canada Cup later this month in Kamloops, B.C., before departing for the Turin Winter Olympics.