Our Brier, our rink

CON GRIWKOWSKY -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 12:12 PM ET

INNISFAIL -- The Edmonton Brier committee got the matchup they were looking for. Four-time defending champ Randy Ferbey will meet Jamie King in today's 2 p.m. final for the Kia Cup, emblematic of curling supremacy in this province.

King advanced to the final by putting a stop to a five-game win streak by Red Deer's Rob Armitage with a sloppy 7-5 win in last night's semifinal.

The large crowds played havoc with ice conditions, which affected both teams.

"We just kind of had to hang in there,'' said King's last stone, Blake MacDonald.

"It was a bit like pulling out your hair, but we pulled it out, so that's good. We had to stay real attentive.

"One more shot at him. I still don't feel like we've given him our best. We still have something to show everybody here, so hopefully we can bring that game to the table.''

Today's final will be a chance to avenge a 6-5 loss to Ferbey in a wild pool winners' game yesterday afternoon.

"If you get to the final, everybody starts all over again,'' said King, who took his third straight one-rock loss to Ferbey.

"At least they're not blowouts. It means we're close. We just have to find a way to get over that hump.''

King took a 4-3 lead after seven with three consecutive steals manufactured by brilliant hit-and-flop buries. But the best MacDonald could do in a disastrous ninth end was hold Ferbey to a steal of one.

"We definitely weren't out of it after the first few ends,'' said MacDonald. "It didn't work out very well for us in nine.

''That seems to be what happens against those guys. It's not necessarily that they're playing that well, but we weren't making the shots we normally make. We'll have to work on that when we get another shot at him.''

Going into today's final, the King rink can at least feel confident that they've managed to create a couple of lengthy on-ice debates for Ferbey.

"The more you get him sweating, the more you're getting him playing,'' said King.

"We had him concentrating on our game for a while.''

Alberta's great tradition of world-class teams has raised the level of the contending pack and King is no exception.

"When you look at the calibre of teams that are here in provincials, Armitage has really picked up his game this year,'' said King.

"John (Morris) and them and our team and (Kurt) Balderston. There's a lot of great teams. It has a lot to do with the fact Randy Ferbey and Kevin Martin play in this province.

''There's no doubt about it.''

Today, King has a chance to join the elite group that's capable of bringing a Brier title home.

EXTRA ENDS: Jeff Stoughton was eliminated yesterday in the Manitoba playdowns.


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