Koe advances to Alberta final

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:10 AM ET

OLDS -- For the 16th year in a row an Edmonton team is going to the Brier.

But, unless the Ferbey Four finds their game and/or gets rid of the picks, for the first time since 1999 it's going to be somebody other than them or Olympian Kevin Martin headed to the grand national rock show.

Here Saturday night there was more pickin' than grinnin' for the once trump team of Dave Nedohin, Scott Pfeifer and Marcel Rocque in losing 10-6 to the hot hand of Kevin Koe and his team of Blake MacDonald, Carter Rycroft and Nolan Theissen.

SEMIFINAL VS. APPELMAN

Koe and his "We're-too-good-a team-not-to-get-to-a Brier" bunch, advanced to today's 2 p.m. final while Ferbey has a 9:30 date with Edmonton Ted Appelman in the semifinal.

Appelman beat Brent Bawel of Calgary 8-6 in the 3-4 game Saturday night.

"You're not going to win a game like this, not when you get four rocks picked," said Ferbey's last rock thrower Nedohin.

"We played O.K. But those picks were ridiculous. Take four of Kevin's rocks away on picks and see what the score is," he said of the rocks he threw which picked up some sort of debris on the ice.

"This team has been together 13 or 14 years and I haven't seen that happen once. They weren't just four picks, they were four picks on his last rock. I've never seen that before," said Ferbey.

The 50-year-old skip said the team would have no problem recovering to play again today.

"The only problem is that we now have to get up at 7 a.m. instead of 11 a.m.," he said.

This has been a hard event on the old body.

Ferbey ended up in three consecutive extra-end games as a result of inconsistent play throughout the lineup, have had moments here where they looked like their old selves and other moments where they looked old and worn-out and other moments when they looked like they've lost all their luck.

Other than the picks, this isn't anything new here. This has been going on for the past several seasons and especially the last three years at the provincial championships since they went to the 12-team triple knockout Page playoff system.

Ferbey's history in the 1-2 game, as has been the case in the 'A' event final and the tournament final, has been a series of horror stories since they went to this format.

The team which went to the Brier five consecutive years at the front end of the decade, is now 0-3 in this game as well as 0-3 for the 'A' final and now needs to beat Appelman to make a match in the final which they've lost the past two years to Martin and his Olympians.

Ferbey has been 0-6 against Martin's team which heads to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games Monday morning. But in the first two years he was 5-0 against Koe at this event.

It's been Koe who knocked the Ferbey Four off in the A final and the 1-2 game under the Page playoff system here this year and Koe who now goes directly to this afternoon's final which will be telecast live on Shaw TV around the province at 2 p.m.

"He's playing well," said Ferbey of Koe. "I've seen this before. When a skip is playing as well as he's been playing the rest of the team doesn't have to be playing well."

7-3 AFTER FIVE

Koe scored two, three, two on the odd numbered ends to lead 7-3 at the fifth-end break only to watch Ferbey score a single on three consecutive ends. Koe scored three in the ninth to put it away.

"They had quite a few picks," said Koe. "They did. We didn't have one.

"We've been one of the top teams in the world. But so far we haven't been able to get there. Part of it is because of the province we play. The other part is that we had one three years ago in Drayton Valley and gave it away. That was ours," he said of MacDonald missing draws to the eight foot in both the 10th and 11th ends to lose to Martin.

"Hopefully we'll get the big one we've been missing."

To do it, he thinks he'll have to beat Ferbey one more time.

"I'd be surprised if they're not in the final," he said.

TERRY.JONES@SUNMEDIA.CA


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