Martin is money

CON GRIWKOWSKY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:36 AM ET

LLOYDMINSTER -- The rich just get richer.

Kevin Martin's team beat hometown hero Warren Hassall $500-$250 in last night's A winner's Skins game at the Wayside Inn Classic.

Both teams donated their skins winnings to junior curling in Lloydminster.

Martin is looking for his first-ever win in the event when the playoff round gets underway today.

The Skins game came down to a draw to the button with the final Skins worth $350 carried over from the last two ends.

Martin's lead Ben Hebert was on the button while Hassall's lead, his brother Chris, was just wide.

"There's no sense in the skips going out and skipping the whole game ... rotating is really fun," said Martin. "How often do the two leads get to go head to head for the draw to the button?"

HAD BETTER YEARS

Martin has had better years than his 29-3 start and .937 winning percentage.

The team has lost just once since running the table in Bonnyville, that was in last week's final in Brooks to Glenn Howard.

"Everything's going good and the guys are throwing well," said Martin. "We'll see what happens. In all the years, we've been here, we must have found 19 different ways to not get into the final. Things haven't panned out, so I'm not counting any chickens. History has been in the way."

As A event winners, both Martin and Hassall will have hammer advantage as far as the final.

"It's a big deal," said Martin, who could not ride that advantage when the rule was first instituted last year.

Getting into today's final would give Martin enough money to move past the idle Howard into No. 1 spot on the World Curling Tour money list.

Martin would like nothing better than to go into the Grand Slam event in Waterloo holding the hot hand.

Meanwhile, Bryan Miki of Surrey beat Kevin Koe 7-6 in one of the B Event semifinals, while Calgary's Steve Petryk is also in, with a 6-4 win over Daley Peters of Beausejour, Man.

Petryk has Sherwood Park's Rob Schlender throwing last rocks for him on a first-year lineup.

"Steve had a pretty good run at the provincials last year," said Schlender. "We talked about getting two good attitude young guys. It works real well when you have the right personality traits and it's really starting to work out."

The team has taken some time to finds its legs.

They went out three straight at the Saville Shootout, lost a C qualifier in New Westminster, then qualified in Bonnyville, then here.

"Every weekend, we're getting a little better," said Schlender. "We're steadily improving every game. I have big expectations for this team."

Miki felt fortunate stealing the final point when Koe's last rock Blake MacDonald was heavy on his draw.

"We will definitely take it," said Miki, who played front end for Greg MacAulay's 2000 world championship team. "It's unfortunate because Blake had been curling well and they deserved it.

"But, the curling gods were looking down on us."

Another member of that team, third Brent Pierce is also at Lloydminster as part of the Sean Geall foursome.

C EVENT FINALS

In last night's C Event finals it was: Geall vs. Peters; Chris Schille vs. Jamie King; Robert Murdoch vs. Koe and Randy Ferbey vs. Dean Ross.

The winners moved onto today's playoff round, while the losers went home with $1,500.


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