King of curling can be dethroned: Team 'Toba

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:27 AM ET

Will this intense chase to land a 2009 Canadian Curling Trials berth be all for naught?

Will it be fruitless to even try to knock off Alberta's mighty Kevin Martin? After all, Martin just won his second straight Brier without losing a single game in either one.

Martin simply overwhelmed Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton in 10-4 in Sunday's Brier final in Calgary.

So, is Martin truly unbeatable?

"I wouldn't say that," Manitoba lead Steve Gould responded yesterday. "If that were the case, then we wouldn't lace them up. But they're very good. All four of them play well. But you see it all the time when guys get it going and they've got their mojo going right now.

"It's funny because I remember growing up, they said that Russ Howard's team was the best team that ever played and blah, blah, blah ... All you keep hearing is how everyone is the best ever but there's going to be another best-ever coming around the corner that will be better than Martin."

Manitoba second Rob Fowler pointed out that Stoughton was the last team to beat Martin at a Brier -- in 2007.

In fact, the Manitoba champs will only have to get their own mojo together for one week, assuming it qualifies for the Olympic trials.

"We're good," Gould declared. "We're close. We can compete with those guys. There's not that big a difference ... We can win. We believe it. You don't have to be good every time, just that one week ... We proved this week that we still have a few left in us."

Fought back

Indeed. The Buffalo Boys fought back to get into a tie-breaker, then beat Newfoundland's Olympic gold-medallist Brad Gushue in the three-four playoff and Ontario's 2007 world champion Glenn Howard in the semifinal.

"Sometimes, it's not in the cards but we're very proud of how we pulled ourselves together and performed under pressure," Gould said.

They did get to the final playing in the best Brier field ever assembled.

"That proved to everybody that this team is capable of going all the way next December in the Olympic trials," Fowler suggested. "It feels pretty good to have done that but it was pretty difficult to sit on the podium in second place when we could not finish the deal."


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