One-shot knockdown

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 12:10 PM ET

HALIFAX -- You'd call it the ''Halifax Explosion'' except that was the world's largest man-made explosion before Hiroshima here in 1917 when a French munitions carrier collided with a Belgian relief vessel, killing 1,900 and injuring There weren't that many people in the building as the world's top two curling teams collided three blocks up the hill from Halifax harbour to open the ''Roar of the Rings'' Olympic Trials here yesterday.

So let's call it the Halifax Eruption. Or the 'Roar on the Shore'. Or something.

It certain was something.

It was the seventh end when Martin made the shot that caused 6,764 fans to erupt in amazement and appreciation.

Actually they roared twice.

They raised the roof on both Martin shots on the seventh end, which resulted in four points and an 8-5 win over the four-time Brier and three-time world champions from the same city.

"That first shot he made was brilliant,'' said Ferbey of his hated Edmonton rival who represented Canada at both the Albertville 1992 and Salt Lake 2202 Olympic Winter Games.

"That game was about one shot,'' said Ferbey's last rock-thrower Dave Nedohin.

SHOT THAT WON THE GAME

"I thought we played well, but one shot, two shots if you want to count the second one - but there wouldn't have been a second one to make if he doesn't make the first one - was the difference.'' said Ferbey. "That shot won the game.''

The first shot was a 18-foot angle double takeout with a degree of difficulty of good bloody luck. On his second shot Martin made a straight back double raise take out to crack the four ender.

"That second shot looked sensational. But it was just a nose hit,'' said Nedohin. "That first shot was way harder.''

Ferbey agreed.

"That second shot was there. But that first shot ... it's what you expect out of Kevin.

"Kevin is Kevin. His eyes light up for a shot like that. Kevin is best at those. Those long angle run backs are his specialty.''

Nedohin said they'd be happy to give Martin or any other curler in the world the same shot again and again and again.

"You want to put people in a position where they're looking at exceptionally difficult shots like that. That's the idea. Kevin made the big shot. I missed a double,'' said Nedohin.

Martin said he, Himself, missed one on the fourth end that made him think, "oh, oh, that could cost us the game.''

Unbelievable. Ferbey and Nedohin raving about Martin! And Martin admitting he missed a shot! On the same day!

Martin out-curled Nedohin 87% to 84% with last rocks, Ferbey had his man Don Walchuk 91% to 89%, Carter Rycroft had a big 95% to 83% edge on Scott Pfeifer at second and Don Bartlett out-curled Marcel Rocque 93% to 88% at lead.

The last time these two teams played, in the final of the Canada Cup, Martin made another circus shot to beat Ferbey - an off-the-boards 12-foot angle raise double takeout for two to remove two counters Ferbey had behind guards.

LOSING THE FIRST GAME

Nedohin pointed out they won the 2002 Calgary Brier after losing their first game and won last year's Worlds in Victoria after losing their first game.

But they'd never lost here before.

The Halifax 2003 Brier was the one where Ferbey went wire to wire at 13-0 to take the title. They have the same driver they had here before. He drove them on the same route to the rink for every game for their third Brier title.

"Hopefully this isn't the start of a streak the other way,'' laughed Nedohin.

One loss isn't a big deal in any other event. But every loss is a big deal in this one.

It was like Jeff Stoughton of Winnipeg said after losing his first game to Calgary's John Morris.

"You can tell yourself you're in a tie for second. But really, you're tied for sixth.''

Martin said his goal is to go 7-2. Ferbey says you can't go worse than 6-3.

"I'm glad we've got that one out of the way,'' said Ferbey. "We can't complain. We played well. Kevin made one whale of a shot. And the fans liked it.''

The fans loved it. They may see it again in the final.


Videos

Photos