Koe’s rink wins Alberta play down

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Katie Brickman
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Pat Simmons releases a stone during Super League curling action in October.

It was a memorable weekend for Kevin Koe’s rink at the Boston Pizza Cup in Camrose, Alberta. The Calgary based rink of second Carter Rycroft, lead Nolan Thiessen, and Moose Jaw’s Pat Simmons, who plays third, went undefeated at the provincial play down from Feb. 8-12.

“We had a good week,” said Simmons. “It was one of those things where everything started to click.”

In their first draw, they defeated Tom Appelman 9-3 on Thursday and downed Jamie King 7-4 on Friday. Koe’s rink met Olympic gold medalist Kevin Martin in the A-Qualifier draw and won a close 6-5 game to advance to the playoffs. On Saturday, Koe’s rink would defeat Brock Virtue 9-2 to advance to the final draw. With the loss, Virtue’s rink had to play another match against Martin’s rink to determine who would play Koe’s rink. The young Virtue team upset the veteran Martin team to advance. With the second meeting of the weekend, Koe’s rink would come out on top with a 6-3 win.

“It was nice to see what we are capable of and play well,” said Simmons. “We all played well throughout the weekend and good things happened.”

In the final game, Koe kept Virtue’s rocks out of the house from beginning to end to seal the five game undefeated streak.

“It went really good,” said Simmons. “It was an all-round focused weekend and everyone played well and the results speak for themselves.”

This season brought changes for Koe’s team as Blake MacDonald retired and is now the team’s fifth man. With the retirement, Simmons was brought in to play third and with the goal to go to represent Canada at the Olympics in Russia in 2014, the adjustment period seems to be over.

“Any time you have a new team there is an adjustment period and we are getting to the point where we are just about to read each other’s minds out there and getting familiar with each other,” stated Simmons.

For more on this story, read a future edition of the Times-Herald.

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