February 10, 2012
Koe puts end to Martin's undefeated run
By TERRY JONES, QMI Agency
CAMROSE, ALTA. - Sooner or later it had to happen somewhere.
It happened here.
Kevin Martin's unbelievable unbeaten run is done.
That’s when it comes to consecutive games won.
When it comes to consecutive provincial titles won in which he’s been in the event, that is still to be determined.
But as Kevin Koe said after a 6-5 win in the A Event final Thursday, it’s all on the table now.
“Since they went to this current format, the team which has won ‘A’ has won everything. And that includes me the year Kevin was at the Olympics.”
It was a 22-game winning streak dating back to 2006 stopped by Koe.
Martin hadn’t lost a single game at the Boston Pizza Cup in all the time Martin has played with his Olympic gold medal-winning team of John Morris, Marc Kennedy and Ben Hebert.
“That’s nice,” said Koe. “But I’m not going to get too excited about it.”
What is exciting, he said, are the benefits.
“We don’t have to play Friday. We get hammer and colour of rocks on Saturday night for the 1-2 game. And we have a guarantee we’ll play Sunday,” he said of the Page playoff system.
“But there’s a long way to go.”
The first year Koe declares his rink to be out of Calgary is the first year he beats Edmonton’s Martin.
A Calgary team hasn’t won the provincial title in 18 consecutive years.
The skip who was born and raised in the Territories and has lived in Edmonton, Grande Prairie and Calgary, has now relocated to the Cowtown where his main sponsors are located and where third Pat Simmons from Saskatchewan has rented an apartment.
Thus, Koe was inspired to declare the team to be now curling out of the Calgary Glencoe and for the first time in the history of this format, it was Calgary versus Edmonton in the A Event final.
You’d figure when Koe finally beat Martin at the BP Cup, he’d have shot the lights out to do it. But that really wasn’t the case.
“They’re not perfect,” he said.
No argument from Martin.
“We deserved to lose that one. We missed a lot of shots. We missed a lot of draws.”
That said, he was lucky to still be in the game for the fourth end.
“What a wonderfella he was that end,” laughed Martin of Koe managing to go through the narrowest of holes and taking out his own shot rock.
“He could have finished us with that. If he had made his shot he might have had six,” he said of the skip who beat him in the semifinal of the TSN Skins Game this year and won the big money the following day over Brier champion Jeff Stoughton.
“We were left with an easy two.”
“It would have been nice to have had the day off,” said Martin, who will play Tom Appelman in the B Event semifinal Friday afternoon with a chance to get into the B final in the evening and advance against Koe in Saturday’s 1-2 game.
Koe said he’ll be seeing that third-end shot in his head until he gets in the hack again Saturday night.
“There was hardly a hole,” he said of the space between two rocks he managed to find. “I couldn’t believe a rock could possibly pass through there.”
Martin didn’t bring his ‘A’ game to the A Event final. He used it up against Lethbridge product Brock Virtue and his team of players in their mid-20s training out of Calgary.
Virtue’s team is believed to be the next ones out of Alberta when Martin and Koe move on.
Martin scored one in the first end and then stole a point in four consecutive ends as he gave the Calgary skip a lesson of leaving him almost nothing with his last shot in what ended up as an 8-2 shake-hands-early job.
“We decided before we took to the ice that we wanted to take it to them and to constantly keep pressure on them,” said the Old Bear of the education provided.
“Any team here has to be at the top of every area of their game to win,” said Virtue.
That was proved not to be true only a few hours later.