On the money

ANGELA MacISAAC -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:30 AM ET

KAMLOOPS, B.C. -- There's a new Canada Cup king.

Kevin Martin unseated two-time defending champ Randy Ferbey at the Strauss Canada Cup yesterday with a 6-5 victory in the all-Edmonton men's final.

And, since both already had sewn up their berths at Olympic trials in Halifax Dec. 3-11, this one was all about the money. Martin earned $37,250, including $33,500 for the title victory, while Ferbey had $25,000 on his runner-up cheque.

Ferbey, who just seven days prior won his sixth Brier title on home ice, wasn't at all disappointed.

"I never expected anything more than this," said Ferbey, whose gas tank has been running on empty all week. "It's a bonus. If you had told me we'd come here and be in the final, I'd jump at the opportunity.

"It would have been nice to beat him but they're a good team. You have to be on top of your game for these guys."

Ferbey, vice Dave Nedohin, second Scott Pfeifer and lead Marcel Rocque have pulled out of the $150,000 PharmAssist Players Championship, which starts Wednesday in St. John's, Nfld. They intend to rest until the worlds in Victoria April 2-10.

"We're looking forward to going home," Ferbey said. "We have a little bit of time off and we're definitely looking forward to it."

Martin, third Don Walchuk, second Carter Rycroft and lead Don Bartlett don't have that luxury. They drove home last night and fly out today for St. John's.

But fatigue wasn't masking the grin on Martin's face.

"It's been a terrific year for us," said Martin, who won $115,250 on the World Curling Tour this season and cracked the $1-million career mark.

"We're off to St. John's to see if we can finish the season off."

Holding hammer but giving up one in the first, Martin fired a 12-ft. angle-raise double takeout for two in the second end, preventing what seemed to be a sure steal.

Ferbey tied it in the third with Nedohin's draw but Martin wrested control with a big steal in the sixth.

Martin agreed the second end was key.

"Getting down 3-0 is not a good situation against Ferbey but, mind you, the last time we played, we were down 3-0 and we won," Martin said, referring to the Canadian Open championship game in Winnipeg in January.

"It was an important shot but just as important was the next end to force them to one. We stumbled, at least I did, out of the block. But we had the hammer and that was really the difference because we got the point and then stole."

But the big double takeout didn't go ahead without some serious discussion.

"That's a tough shot to call because we don't know the ice yet," Martin said.

"I thought it would move a little over but how much?

"It had to be a very precise shot and the game might be on the line."

Both Martin and Ferbey will return to the Canada Cup next year -- Martin as defending champ and Ferbey as 2005 Brier champ.

The Canadian Curling Association announced yesterday a three-year extension on Kamloops' host contract, through 2009.


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