Koe not impressed

CON GRIWKOWSKY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:08 AM ET

A week ago, Kevin Koe's team was at Rexall Place, chasing their Olympic dream at the Roar of the Rings.

They finished one game out of the playoffs with a 4-3 record, losing to Kevin Martin, Glenn Howard and Jeff Stoughton.

They were well-deserving of their fourth-place ranking, losing only to the three playoff teams.

Yesterday, Koe and his crew hit the ice again for the Edmonton and district zone playdowns being held at the Glen Allan rink in Sherwood Park.

UNDERSTATEMENT

To say Koe is less than thrilled to be grinding it out for a spot at the 2010 provincials would be an understatement.

"We sure don't want to be in it and I doubt if our heads will be in it," said Koe, who figures the powers that be should have considered giving the team the open bye to the provincials.

"Hopefully, we can get by on talent," he added.

A bye spot opened up when Martin won the trials and, according to an interpretation of the Alberta Curling Federation rules, it was filled by the third-place finisher on the ACF Tour, Warren Hassall of Lloydminster.

"We're definitely not happy to be here," said Koe, who figures the team deserved consideration for the vacant CTRS ranking bye. "It was either a stupid decision or a stupid way to do it."

Koe believes the scenario of what happens when the defending Alberta champion wins the trials needs to be better defined.

The good news is that the ACF has four years to figure it out.

"It's pretty clear with (Randy) Ferbey taking the defending champ spot, they've basically eliminated the CTRS spot for this year," said Koe.

"The intent was always for there to be one. I don't know. They obviously need to get those rules straightened out."

VAGUE WORDING

The team did appeal the ruling based on what they considered vague wording.

"We had some discussions," said Koe.

"Basically, the response was 'We understand where you're coming from,' but the rules aren't very clear for something like this.

"You've got to think every scenario should be looked at, and this one was obviously missed."

It seems like every year one of Alberta's big three has to go through the whole playdowns grind, and this year it's Koe's turn. It would have been easier to swallow under a different circumstance.

"We've always made it through," said Koe.

"This one is a bit unique since we're just coming off the trials last week."

After playing in one of curling's high-profile events, Koe is heavily favoured to be one of the six Edmonton teams advancing to next month's northerns in Wetaskiwin.

EXTRA ENDS: The women's northern Alberta playdowns continues today at the Avonair Club. A couple of berths to the early January provincial in Calgary will be decided at 2:30 p.m. (A final) and 7 p.m. (B final) ... The Roar of the Rings proved to be a huge hit for TSN. Martin's win over Howard attracted 1.2 million viewers. That's the highest curling audience ever for TSN and nearly double the 693,000 who watched the 2005 final between Brad Gushue and Stoughton. Cheryl Bernard's win over Shannon Kleibrink attracted 832,000 viewers up from the 559,000 who watched the final of the 2005 women's trials final.

CON.GRIWKOWSKY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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