It's great to be home!

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:18 AM ET

INNISFAIL -- Nineteen sleeps.

"I can't wait," said Scott Pfeifer.

"I'm going to be counting down the days."

The Ferbey Four is headed home to what is now guaranteed to be the most ballistic Brier in history - one which has already smashed all attendance records and can now be expected to smash them to smithereens.

"That was our biggest win at provincials ever," raved Pfeifer.

And not because the 8-6 extra-end nail-biter over Edmonton's Jamie King made them the first rink in Alberta history to win the province five times in a row.

Nor because it provided Randy Ferbey with his eighth Purple Heart to match Cliff Manahan from the '30s and '40s.

"The first four don't mean anything compared to this one. This one means everything. Getting to play in a home Brier is the ultimate," said Pfeifer.

PFEIFER MADE THE SHOTS

Dave Nedohin, thanks to two double takeouts by Pfeifer, one in the 10th and another in the 11th, had a simple shot in the extra end to win it.

But it wasn't until after he sealed the deal that he closed his eyes and tried to picture how it's going to be - playing in front of Oiler-sized crowds during the March 5-13 event, which has already sold more than a quarter million tickets.

"Getting to any Brier is pretty special. But I'm really looking forward to stepping on that ice. I mean we've been on that ice, dropping pucks at Oiler games after we've won Briers. It's going to be hard to comprehend playing in front of a crowd like that every day."

When the Edmonton organizers said they believed they could draw 300,000, a lot of people scoffed. If there's the reaction to this I expect, they might hit that this week.

This team, which won a 34th consecutive game at the provincial championships, is headed home to try and match Ernie Richardson's four Brier titles in five years.

"People don't always want to see the champions win again at the Brier, but I'm sure it will be different this year," said Ferbey.

"It's going to be incredible. In Calgary, I had the hairs standing on the back of my neck for the final with all the people in the Saddledome. It's hard to picture that it could be like that every draw at this Brier."

Asked about the turning point of this terrific tilt here yesterday, Ferbey laughed.

"The turning point was in 1997 when I got Dave Nedohin to play for me."

Equalling Manahan's Purple Heart record, he said, he didn't even know about.

"It doesn't mean anything right now. I'm sure it will when I retire. But right now all it's about is playing in this Brier in Edmonton.

Ferbey, who almost never shows emotion, had the body language of relief when it was over.

When Nedohin gave up one on a steal in an attempt at putting King away with a three or four-ender in the eighth end, Ferbey whacked a rock with his broom.

"Ah, it was out of frustration," he said. "That one was my fault. I apologized to the guys for a bad line call."

It almost cost them the game.

"What a game," Nedohin told the crowd on the P.A. system when it was over.

"Just unbelievable."

COMPLIMENTING KING RINK

To a man, the Ferbey rink went out of their way to compliment Blake MacDonald and Jamie King's rink.

"They're a world-class team," said Nedohin.

"Unreal," said Rocque. "In the eighth end I felt like I had a pit in my stomach.

"We had a couple of knockout punches we missed. But Scott came up with a big shot on 10 and another big shot on 11," he said of a pair of double take-outs that made it easy in the end.

"The one on the 11th was the biggest shot I've ever made at provincials by far," said Pfeifer.

Nedohin told the crowd they're headed home on a mission.

"We're going to Edmonton to give it everything we have to bring the Brier back to Alberta," he said.

The crowd here wanted it for Ferbey from the start of the week to the finish.

And nobody in the crowd wanted it more than Edmonton 2005 Brier committee head Terry Morris.

"This is just fantastic," he raved. "I want to give them all a big hug."


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