Is Ferbey magic still there?

Randy Ferbey comes to The Roar Of The Rings having won a tour event last weekend in Quebec. (Sun...

Randy Ferbey comes to The Roar Of The Rings having won a tour event last weekend in Quebec. (Sun Media/Amber Bracken)

TERRY JONES, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:22 AM ET

It's different this time for the Ferbey Four.

Four years ago in Halifax they were the No. 1 seed, the team going into the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Olympic curling trials with all the swagger.

They'd won Briers in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2005 and three world championships, too.

Randy Ferbey, Dave Nedohin, Scott Pfeifer and Marcel Rocque qualified for the trials so many times over that sports columnists had editorialized that they shouldn't have to have a tournament to determine who went to Torino 2006, that this team earned the right to go direct.

But they went 4-5 in the trials and haven't been the same since. No Briers. No world championships. And not many events won despite qualifying for the playoff rounds in virtually every event they entered.

Oh, they've done well cashing cheques. And they've had some classic games against Kevin Martin in provincial finals. But until they beat Kevin Martin, Glenn Howard and Kevin Koe to win last year's Player's Championship, joining those three teams taking the direct route to the Roar of the Rings, it's been a struggle.

"Our confidence isn't quite as high as it was four years ago," said Ferbey.

"I don't spend a lot of time looking back at what we did right or what we did wrong. I forget about curling right after we've won or we've lost. All I know is we're ready to go," said the 50-year-old skip who throws third rocks and comes in 20 pounds lighter than in the past.

When they left Halifax four years ago they did try to figure out what went wrong just like Jeff Stoughton replayed the "no chance" loss to Brad Gushue in the final over and over.

Second Scott Pfeifer had given his newborn son the middle name Torino in anticipation of going to the Olympics.

They were 1-3 out of the gate with losses to Martin, Howard and then Gushue.

"I predicted carnage, I just didn't think it would happen to Randy," said Russ Howard, out of the gate at 4-0 with Gushue.

When it was over Ferbey big-pictured it: "They kicked the living crap out of us. It's done. It's over. It didn't work. It's four years of preparation down the drain."

Pfeifer said they landed hard.

"All that practice, planning and effort only to fall flat on our face for the biggest event in four years.

"It was an overwhelming disappointment.

"The turning point from my perspective was some sloppy play in the fifth end of our third game of the tournament against Gushue when we probably made the dumbest sweeping error in the six seasons Marcel Rocque and I had swept together.

"After that it seemed like everybody smelled blood and went in for the kill. Throughout the week it seemed like everybody capitalized on every opportunity they had against us."

That was then. This is now.

The target is off their back. And they think they're back on target.

They come to The Roar having won a tour event last weekend in Quebec.

"In the last three events, we've played exceptionally well," said Ferbey.

The skip says when everybody on the team is playing well they're as good now as they ever were.

"Marcel is our most confident player. He works harder than anybody. And he's a great team player," Ferbey said of the 38-year-old lead who steadies the ship.

"Scott Pfeifer is our key. If he plays as well as he's played in the past and as well as he's capable, I guarantee you we'll be on the podium Sunday.

"Dave Nedohin is getting his eye back and is making those amazing shots again."

Ferbey says it's been a long, hard road going hard to get the qualifying points, but now the fun begins.

It worked the other way around the last time.

TERRY.JONES@SUNMEDIA.CA


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