Road to gold

ANGELA MacISAAC -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:03 AM ET

Only one thing is truly missing from the Randy Ferbey trophy case.

An Olympic gold medal.

And anyone familiar with Randy Ferbey, Dave Nedohin, Scott Pfeifer and Marcel Rocque would know only gold will do.

That's why they made the Continental Cup in Medicine Hat their eighth weekend of curling this season.

"Our schedule is so busy," said Ferbey yesterday, on his way home to Edmonton from the Gas City. "I think we're playing 12 out of 13 weekends in a row. We're going to Europe in January and we have three more events here in the next few weeks."

The foursome leaves home tomorrow for Saskatoon and the Point Optical Classic, where the rink will run into Calgary's John Morris and Darren Moulding.

But the Ferbey resume is already impressive. Three Brier titles (2001-03), two world championships ('02-03), two Canada Cup crowns ('03-04), a McCain Skins title ('02), four Alberta titles ('01-04) and countless cashspiel victories.

Now, all hands are on deck, focusing on the Canadian Olympic trials. Ferbey, Nedohin and Rocque have taken leaves of absence from the jobs. Pfeifer is working a limited schedule.

The trials are a year away -- set for Dec. 3-11 at the Halifax Metro Centre -- and Ferbey earned a berth with his 2003 Canada Cup victory. But Ferbey and crew are playing like the trials are tomorrow.

"It's one last goal we want to accomplish together," Ferbey said.

"We're doing whatever we can to get ready for that and hopefully events like (the Continental Cup) help."

The Ferbey rink was in fine form at the Ryder Cup-style event, securing North America's 228-172 over Europe. In the men's skins, Nedohin's open hit for a deuce in the eighth and final end against Peja Lindholm was worth 33 points for a 47-13.

It's no secret Ferbey's rink thrives under pressure. And he makes no bones about putting more of it on his team, especially Nedohin, who throws last rocks.

"He's shown time and time again that he makes the big shots in the big games," Ferbey said, basking in the glory of securing North America's victory over Europe in the third Continental Cup Sunday in Medicine Hat. "Hopefully, he'll continue for the next few years."

PLAYDOWN TIME: The season of playdowns gets underway this weekend, starting with the juniors. Defending provincial women's champion Megan Kirk of Lethbridge is among the 21 men's and women's teams in the District 3 playdowns at Garrison Curling Club.

Action starts at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

Meanwhile, the District 1 playdowns go at the Oilfields Curling Club in Black Diamond, starting Friday. And the women's District 2 playdowns will run in Hanna.

ON ROCKS: Two Edmonton teams battled in the final of the $45,000 Terroco Classic in Red Deer yesterday. Mark Johnson got the 8-4 win over Rob Schlender ... Glenn Howard of Coldwater, Ont., picked up $12,000 after a 9-6 victory over Al Lyburn of Brandon at the Painted Hand Classic in Yorkton, Sask. Lyburn got $8,000 ... On the women's side, B.C.'s Kelley Law took the Abbotsford Classic by beating Brenda Garvey 9-7 Sunday. Calgary's Heather Rankin lost 10-7 to Garvey in the semifinals ... Renee Sonnenberg of Sexsmith edged Kelly Scott of Kelowna, 7-6 in the final of the SaskPower Schmirler Classic in Regina.


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