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Manitoba, Canada lead early


ST. JOHN'S, N.L.—Adam Casey has enjoyed a rather nomadic Tim Hortons Brier experience since making his debut at the national men's curling championship five years ago.

He made three appearances with Brad Gushue's team from Newfoundland and Labrador before skipping his own rink out of P.E.I. the last two years.

Now Casey is back at the Brier with Saskatchewan—becoming just the fifth player to win purple hearts with three different provinces or territories.

“I think ideally you'd stay with the same group of guys and you'd get to know every little intricacy about them,” Casey noted yesterday.

“But I think that's not always a reality," he added. ”You always have that search for the right fit.

“I think that's what's been happening to me the last few years.”

Casey and Brier rookies Catlin Schneider, Shaun Meachem, and Dustin Kidby are off to a good start at this year's competition with two wins in their first three games.

They dropped a 6-5 decision to Manitoba's Mike McEwen in their opener Saturday before rebounding yesterday with an 11-5 win over Alberta's Brendan Bottcher and an 8-3 victory over Jamie Koe (Northwest Territories).

McEwen and Canada's Kevin Koe led the round-robin standings at 3-0 going into play today.

Casey, Gushue, Brad Jacobs (Northern Ontario), and Jamie Murphy (Nova Scotia) were tied in third place at 2-1.

Howard, Menard, Kennedy, and B.C.'s John Morris were at 1-2 while Jamie Koe (0-3) and Bottcher (0-3) remained winless.

Casey joined Gushue in 2011 and made his first Brier appearance the following year in Saskatoon.

Casey left the St. John's-based team in 2014 and was replaced by the returning Mark Nichols.

Casey's P.E.I. team then went its separate ways last spring.

The only other men's players to win three different provincial or territorial championships are Morris (Ontario, Alberta, B.C.), his father, Earle Morris (Manitoba, Quebec, Ontario), Ryan Fry (Manitoba, N.L., Northern Ontario), and Chris Schille (N.L., Saskatchewan, N.W.T.)

With former Brier champion Pat Simmons on board as coach, the team hopes its momentum will continue at Mile One Centre.

“They're a really good group in a sense that I think they have all kinds of potential and yet they're already playing at a very high level,” Simmons said.

“So that's a nice thing for us to see in Saskatchewan.”

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