On a collision course

Randy Ferbey shakes hands and poses for a photo with Kevin Martin before they get into their...

Randy Ferbey shakes hands and poses for a photo with Kevin Martin before they get into their check-in line at the Westjet counter at the Edmonton International Airport Wednesday, November 30, 2005. (SUN/Walter Tychnowicz)

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 1:19 PM ET

The two heated Alberta rivals are on a collision course for a repeat of one of the best Grand Slam finals ever witnessed.

Both Kevin Martin and Randy Ferbey qualified for the quarter-finals of the Canadian Open by posting their third straight victories at MTS Centre yesterday.

Martin, the defending champ, defeated fellow Albertan Mark Johnson 6-5, setting the stage for a repeat of a final that featured circus shots from both sides at the very same venue last year.

"We're in the quarter-final," said Martin, who had clipped Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton 8-6 late Thursday. "I definitely felt the pressure (against Stoughton). Mark played well against us, he always has. But, mission accomplished so far."

Martin, who was playing Norway's Pal Trulsen in a rematch of the 2002 Olympic gold-medal final last night, is guaranteed at least $7,000.

ENJOYS THE BRIGHT LIGHTS

And Martin readily admitted that he relishes such stages as this.

"I enjoy it a lot," he said. "You don't win 'em, all. But on ice this good, we can entertain. You're not scared to play any shot. You can just have at 'er and let the cards fall where they may."

Ferbey also advanced to the quarter-finals with a 10-7 win over USA's Olympic-bound Pete Fenson. Last year, Ferbey made it to the playoffs through a tie-breaker.

"Obviously, we're playing better than we did last year but we aren't blowing anybody out," said Winnipeg's David Nedohin, who throws last brick for Ferbey. "We've had a good year so far, except for Halifax so hopefully, we can still salvage something out of the rest of the year."

Although Nedohin took some satisfaction in beating an Olympian, the Ferbey foursome readily admit they are in this for the cash.

"We're basically in it for the money right now, to be honest," Ferbey said. "That's all anyone here's for."

Saskatchewan's Bruce Korte also advanced to the playoffs at 3-0 when be downed Manitoba's winless Randy Dutiaume 8-2.

Meanwhile, Manitoba's Dave Boehmer improved to 2-1 when he clipped Quebec's Pierre Charette 9-7 in an extra end.

"It was nice to pull that one out after they had us for pretty well the whole game," said Boehmer. "It's nice to win two straight after losing our first. We didn't play very well in the first one (loss to Ontario's Glenn Howard).

"We haven't had a great year, at least by our standards, so it would be nice to win some money here."

Alberta's John Morris also improved to 2-1 with a 7-6 comeback victory over Newfoundland's Olympic-bound Brad Gushue.

"Yeah, we fought back and it feels good to beat Gushue after they beat us in Halifax (Olympic trials)," Morris said. "And I got lucky on my last shot, it just picked in there (behind cover).

"There is some satisfaction in beating an Olympian. I felt bad for them, though. That's a good team and I think they'll do very well at the Olympics."

Stoughton, who beat Johnson 9-6 to improve to 1-1, was playing B.C.'s Jim Cotter last night.

Manitoba's Ryan Fry dropped to 0-3 when Fenson overwhelmed him 11-5.

The last draw of the round robin goes today at 10 a.m., with any tie-breakers in the afternoon and the quarter-finals at 6 p.m.


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