Koe rink headed to Brier

Times-Herald Editorial Staff
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Kevin Koe is back on top.

Skip Kevin Koe throws against John Morris during draw 4 at the 2013 Roar Of The Rings championship in Winnipeg, Monday, December 2, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

After a slow start at the Boston Pizza Cup Albert men’s curling championship in Lacombe, Alta., the Koe rink is headed to the Tim Hortons Brier.

Koe defeated Kevin Martin from Edmonton 7-5 in the championship final on Sunday.

The Calgary rink includes Moose Jaw’s Pat Simmons, Carter Rycroft and Nolan Thiessen.

The rink lost two of their first three games in the 12-team, triple-knockout competition, but the 2010 Canadian and world champion were able to pull it together in the end.

This was the first competition the team has entered after taking two months off following their disappointing run at the Canadian Olympic trials in December.

Koe qualified through the C-event after dropping their first game 12-6 to Wade White.

They shook off some rust with an 8-2 win over Lloyd Hill, but then lost 4-2 to Matthew Blandford.

The rink beat Mark Johnson 7-3 then Rob Schlender 7-4 to reach the page playoff against Charley Thomas. They edged the Thomas rink 8-7 in a back-and-forth game. That win put them in the semifinal against Blandford again, where they won 8-4.

In the final, Koe was down 3-0 after two ends, but pulled through to tie it at 4-4 after five ends. Koe scored a go-ahead deuce in the eighth end and then stole for one in the 10th end to seal the victory over Martin.

Koe is the first skip since the current format began to win the title without winning the A final.

This is the third time in the last four years that Koe faced off against the Martin. Martin had defeated Koe in four of their five career meeting as skips in the provincial championship prior to this meeting.

This is the third time this decade that Koe will be headed to the Brier. He lost in 2012.

The Tim Hortons Brier takes place Mar. 1 to 9 in Kamloops, B. C.

Organizations: Boston Pizza Cup Albert, B. C

Geographic location: Lacombe, Calgary, Moose Jaw Kamloops

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