Grand theft Olds

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:34 AM ET

OLDS -- It looked like the same old story for Kevin Koe.

A panic weight call on his last rock in the extra end looked like another big gulp at the provincials.

But then it turned out to be the same it's-getting-old story for Randy Ferbey.

The result was Koe winning the A Event final and Ferbey in the same circumstances he's been at the Boston Pizza provincial curling playoffs for the previous two years.

0-3 IN A FINALS

It's only the third year of this format and so far Ferbey is 0-3 in A Event finals after a 10-8 loss here Thursday night.

Ferbey was in the A final last year in Wainwright and the year before in Spruce Grove, losing both to Kevin Martin. Both years he battled back to reach the A-B game of the Page playoff system again losing to Martin.

And both years he then won the semi-final to advance to the final and lost to Martin yet again.

But the one thing Ferbey could always count on at the provincial championship was beating Koe.

"That takes a big monkey off our back," said the skip who has done very well on the cashspiel tour and, along with Martin, Glenn Howard and Ferbey qualified directly to the Roar of the Rings Olympic curling trials.

"Just to beat him in any game, much less this game, is a big monkey off that back. We lost five to him in the last two years -- two last year and three the year before.

"It's a big win for us because it means we get hammer and choice of rocks in the A-B game," he said of the match which pits the winners of A event and B event on Saturday night.

Koe and his crew of Blake MacDonald, Carter Rycroft and Nolan Thiessen came oh- so-close to making it to the Brier in 2007 in Drayton Valley.

MacDonald missed last-rock draws to the eight-foot in both the 10th and 11th ends. He gagged on the chance to go to the Brier not once but twice.

Koe now throws last rock and figured he should have won it in the 10th end.

"I had a chance to make mine so that he wouldn't have had a shot," Koe said of Ferbey last-rock thrower Dave Nedohin.

A SHADE HEAVY

On the extra end MacDonald "panicked a little bit on the call," he said of putting the brooms to it and allowing it to go a shade heavy.

But Nedohin missed his shot to win it.

"I hit it on the wide side," Nedohin said of the double attempt. "We seem to lose this game every time. But we always battle back and get to the final. It's another bump in the road."

Ferbey said the ice was a challenge for them this day.

"We had a few little gliches," he said. "The ice was very poor today and it caught us a bit before it caught them."

You don't generally see a lot of lead changes in curling but this one went from 2-0 Ferbey to 3-2 Koe to 4-3 Ferbey to 5-4 Koe in the first five ends. But then Koe stole one in six and it wasn't until the ninth that Ferbey reclaimed the lead 8-7 before forcing Koe to take one in 10 and then Koe winning with the steal in 11.

Ferbey dropped back to B Event where Brent Bawel of Calgary and Warren Hassall of Lloydminster meet in one semifinal while Rob Armitage of Red Deer gets a second shot at Ferbey after losing 9-2 Wednesday night.

Everybody else is down to their last life in the 12-team triple knockout event.

Ferbey, who went to the Brier five straight years from 2001 through to 2005, winning four of them with his iconic team of Nedohin, Scott Pfeifer and Marcel Rocque, blew a four-point lead after eight ends in the morning and needed an extra end to put away James Pahl 8-7 while Koe dispatched Ted Appelman 6-4 in the all-Edmonton semi-finals to make the match.

After an opening day in which the four top-seeded Edmonton teams put themselves in position to dominate, both Pahl and Appelman are down in C event with another Edmonton team (Wade White) while Calgary, Lloydminster and Red Deer teams had 2-0 days here yesterday.

Maybe it really is an "all things are possible" year here.

TERRY.JONES@SUNMEDIA.CA


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