It has a real ring to it

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:38 AM ET

In Nova Scotia, they'd call it "a wee bit all right.'' When Shawn Adams qualified for today's Brier final against Randy Ferbey, the Halifax Mayflower C.C. rink also qualified for the 'Roar of the Rings' Olympic Trials in his hometown.

The field for the Dec. 3-11 Olympic qualifier will now include three Halifax teams - Mark Dacey and Adams on the men's side and Colleen Jones on the women's side.

"He's got what he came for. He's got his spot in the Olympic Trials,'' laughed Randy Ferbey without managing to add "Yeah, that's the ticket.''

Adams and his rink of Paul Flemming, Craig Burgess and Sherwood Park native Kelly Middelstadt are winners before they throw a rock in the 5 p.m. Brier final.

"That win was great to get into the Olympic Trials, but we didn't come here to finish second,'' said Adams of Ferbey's light-hearted wish that the Bluenosers would go into the final figuring they'd already done Job 1 and were giving no thought to getting to the Ford World Curling Championships.

"We're looking at winning because it's another chance to wear the red maple leaf and go to the Worlds,'' said Ferbey.

"For us there's a lot involved, obviously. But that's what this game means to us. You have to win to get to the Worlds again.''

Ferbey doesn't have to worry about getting to the Olympic Trials. Technically he's qualified about six different times.

The first qualifying criteria is to win a Brier. But Randy Ferbey and rink took care of that ages ago. The result was that the second-place rink from the Calgary 2002 Brier, John Morris, punched his ticket by winning the Brier semifinal.

DID THE SAME THING

At the 2003 Halifax Brier, Dacey did the same thing by winning the semifinal.

With both Ferbey and Dacey qualified last year in Saskatoon, British Columbia's Jay Peachey qualified by just making it to the semifinal.

Other rinks to make it through via other routes are Brad Gushue's Newfoundland rink, which finished 6-5 here this year, Pat Ryan's B.C. rink and Jeff Stoughton's Manitoba team.

Two spots remain with the field to be filled from the results of the Strauss Canada Cup and the final season tour point standings.

"We tried not to think about it, but it was hard not to,'' said Adams of the berth in the trials in his hometown.

"The thing with the Brier is I've watched it every year on TV since I can remember. When you start curling every year, you start thinking of winning the Brier.''

Try being Mittelstadt.

THAT NUMB FEELING

He did a double yesterday. As a Sherwood Park native area curler, he made it into the final of the Brier along with a bunch of guys who live there. And he made it into the World Trials in his new locale where he's attending university.

"I'm kinda numb,'' he said.

"It's amazing for me. This whole Brier here has been amazing for me. And as much as you try not to think about the Olympic Trials, it's been in the back of my mind.''

The Nova Scotia rink making it to the final makes it even more compelling in that Alberta lost last year's final to Mark Dacey of Nova Scotia after losing to Dacey in the round robin to lose last rock advantage.

"Their rink matches up very well against our rink,'' says Nedohin.

"They have a really good rink and Nova Scotia has had our number,'' said Nedohin.

"Burgess is an amazing second. He ranks right up their with Scott Pfeifer. Flemming and Randy both make all their shots at third. And Shawn has shown me a lot this week,'' Nedohin said of the last-rock thrower matchup.

Ferbey lost to Adams in the roundrobin to make it three straight defeats to the Bluenosers. The difference this time is that unlike those three games against Nova Scotia, Ferbey will have last rock. The Alberta rink is 34-1 with last-rock advantage in the last five Briers, losing only to Russ Howard in the opening game of the Calgary 2002 Brier.

"That's huge for us,'' said Nedohin.

"That is a big advantage for our rink. It gives us a chance to go up 2-0 early. And we're the kind of rink which can take a chance and give up a steal and not think of it as a real bad thing.''

Ferbey was willing to give the game plan away.

"We're going to go out to get that lead. If we get a lead, we're extremely tough to beat. That's the game plan.

''We're really confident. We're playing well. There are a lot of nerves involved in this game, but we've been there before and we handle it better.'' 


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