Gushue rink third Nichols tests positive for COVID-19, out of Brier

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. – Team Brad Gushue third Mark Nichols has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the playoffs at the Tim Hortons Brier.

The team made the announcement Friday night ahead of their page seeding matchup against Canada’s Brendan Bottcher. The team does not have an alternate, so they will play the rest of the way with Gushue, Brett Gallant and Geoff Walker.

“Despite taking the necessary precautions, Mark Nichols unfortunately tested positive for COVID-19 today,” the release said. “Mark is experiencing mild symptoms and is currently isolating. Due to event protocols, Mark will no longer be able to compete in the Tim Hortons Brier. The team will play the rest of the event with three players. We wish Mark all the best and a speedy recovery.”

Team Gushue, who are fresh off winning bronze at the Winter Olympics in Beijing last month, were the only rink in Lethbridge to get through round robin play with a perfect 8-0 record as Wild Card 1.

The 42-year-old Nichols has been apart of the current version of Team Gushue for the past eight seasons, winning the Tankard in 2017, 2018 and 2020. They also won a world title in 2017. Nichols also played third for Gushue from 1998 to 2011, winning a world junior championship in 2001 and Olympic gold in 2006.

The winner between the Bottcher-Gushue clash will move on to Saturday’s page playoff 1 vs. 2 game while the loser will play in the 3 vs. 4 contests.

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