Glenn Howard defeats Greg McAulay to win National title

February 3, 2002, 8:00 PM

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. — Glenn Howard captured the inaugural National Grand Slam of Curling title defeating Greg McAulay 9-7 in Sunday’s final at Sault Memorial Gardens.

The Coldwater, Ont., team of Howard, third Richard Hart, second Collin Mitchell and lead Jason Mitchell collected $30,000 of the $100,000 purse. It’s Howard’s first Grand Slam as a skip after earning two Players’ Championship titles while third for his brother Russ.

Howard jumped out to a 3-0 advantage with a deuce in the first followed by a steal in the second.

The two teams alternated singles in three and four and then pairs of points in five and six as Howard maintained a three-point advantage to lead 6-3.

McAulay, the 2000 world champion, counted another two in the seventh to close the gap to one, but Howard pulled away with a three-ender in the eighth to make it 9-5. McAulay earned another deuce in the ninth.

The Richmond, B.C., team of McAulay, third Brent Piece, second Bryan Miki and lead Jody Sveistrup earned $18,000.

Snow falling through vents in the roof caused a delay as the match was shifted to another sheet on the ice.