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Top-seeded Brad Gushue earned an 8-4 win over Nicholas Deagle in first-round action Thursday at the PointsBet Invitational.

The two-time Olympic curling medallist opened the game with a three-point first end before eventually taking a 6-1 lead after the fourth.

After Deagle scored two in the fifth end, followed by two scoreless ends for both sides, Gushue’s side put together a two-point eighth end to go up 8-3. Deagle scored one more before the game came to a close.

In other men’s draw action, fourth seed Kevin Koe opened his tournament with a strong 13-4 win over Jack Smeltzer. No. 5 Reid Carruthers defeated Braden Calvert 11-2 while John Epping was also victorious with a 7-4 triumph over Mike McEwen.

Earlier in the day, Rachel Homan jumped out to an early five-point lead and rolled to a comfortable 8-4 victory over Suzanne Birt.

Homan, who throws fourth on a team now skipped by third Tracy Fleury, threw 89 per cent in the first-round win at Willie O’Ree Place.

Kaitlyn Lawes outscored Emily Deschenes 10-8 and Kristie Moore, filling in for absent skip Casey Scheidegger, edged Kerry Galusha 8-7.

Penny Barker scored three points in the 10th end for a 10-9 win over Hollie Duncan in the lone early upset.

Play continues through Sunday.

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