Something 'special' from Martin, Ferbey

CON GRIWKOWSKY -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:36 AM ET

LLOYDMINSTER -- It didn't take long for the scheme to get hatched.

Right after Randy Ferbey and Kevin Martin found out they'd be playing in last night's $750 Skins Game, the Friday night shuttle diplomacy began.

The two Edmonton rinks had already qualified for today's championship round at the $75,000 Wayside Inn Classic with wins in their A qualifiers, so the banter began around the tables about how to give the fans something special.

Somebody suggested the front ends play the back ends if for no other reason than to see how Ferbey and Martin would get along playing on the same team.

After a convoy was sent to Martin's table, they came back with a message that third John Morris had agreed but that Ferbey would have to play lead.

Finally, it was agreed that everybody would take turns at every spot.

And, when the teams launched their surprise format, the fans lapped it up ... even though a couple of B qualifiers were going on at the same time.

Wouldn't you know it?

When they cashed the final $250 Skin, the front-enders smoked the back enders. The front-enders won $400, the back-enders won $350.

Considering the pride involved, it was a delicious moment.

"I need 10 minutes to cool down," joked Ferbey, invoking the NHL clause. "Actually, we talked about doing something like this 10-15 years ago. I hope the fans enjoyed it. I know we did."

Fellow skip Martin also seemed to enjoy the unique format.

"It's a different flavour," said Martin.

"I couldn't believe, with all the top guys sweeping, we didn't make more shots. We ticked a few guards, they didn't. It was fun and it was good."

Naturally, there was time for the front end to curl.

"At the end of the day, the moral of the story is that curling is a team game and everybody has a role," said Ferbey's lead Marcel Rocque. "It looked like Randy was bored when he was playing front end the way he was sweeping. It was a fun game."

But Ferbey had the last word.

"The lesson you've got to take from this is even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then," Ferbey said.

Jamie King and Mark Klinck won their B qualifiers, making the first four of eight teams in today's playoff round Edmonton-based.

King took out Pierre Charette of Quebec 7-3.

"We were talking before we came here about how many former World and Brier champions there were in the field," said King, No. 45 on the world curling tour's money list. "For a first-year team to come out of B is awesome."

Klinck beat fellow Edmontonian Kevin Koe 9-8 in the other B final.

"We're not here to donate money, we're here to get it back," said last-rock thrower James Pahl, whose team sits at No. 32 on the WCT list.

"I don't mean for that to sound cocky, but the other 31 teams here feel the same way."

Still, the Skins Game stole the show last night.


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