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Brad Gushue rink in the opening-day mix in Vegas

Lisa Weagle begins sweeping a rock thrown by Brad Gushue during their mixed doubles game at the Continental Cup curling competition in London Ont., on Thursday. Gushue teamed with Weagle to defeat Oskar Eriksson and Anna Hasselborg of Sweden 7-3. The Continental Cup sees players representing North America take on those from the rest of the world in regular-format curling games, mixed doubles and skins games. In a Thursday evening draw, Gushue and his regular teammates — Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant and Geoff Walker — downed Peter de Cruz of Switzerland 7-2. — Michael Burns photo
In this file photo, Lisa Weagle begins sweeping a rock thrown by Brad Gushue during their mixed doubles game at the 2018 Continental Cup curling competition in London Ont. Gushue will be teamed with Weagle in mixed doubles again today, the opening day of the 2019 Continental Cup in Las Vegas. — Michael Burns photo/Curling Canada

Brier winners playing doubles on opening day of Continental Cup

Brad Gushue and the members of his St. John’s rink all hit the ice Thursday for opening-draw play at the 2019 World Financial Group Continental Cup in Las Vegas, but they won’t be together.

The four members of the two-time defending Brier champions will be competing in mixed doubles as Gushue teams up with Lisa Weagle of the Rachel Homan rink; Mark Nichols with defending world women’s champion skip Jennifer Jones; Brett Gallant with Jocelyn Peterman, his long-time mixed doubles partner and a member of the Jones rink; and Geoff Walker with Kaitlyn Lawes, yet another of Jones’s teammates.

The Gushue rink reunites for regular team play Friday night against Bruce Mouat of Scotland.

The Continental Cup format sees Gushue’s and five other teams from North America taking on six rivals from  Europe in a four-day competition.

It’s described as curling’s version of the Ryder Cup, with a blend of traditional curling games, mixed team play, skins competition and mixed doubles games. There are also team scrambles, where men’s and women’s teams will be mixed to form new same-gender lineups.

All games are being broadcast by TSN. Thursday’s mixed doubles draws are 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Newfoundland time.

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