Koe wins Alberta

Nolan Thiessen (left to right), Pat Simmons, Kevin Koe and Carter Rycroft celebrate winning the...

Nolan Thiessen (left to right), Pat Simmons, Kevin Koe and Carter Rycroft celebrate winning the Boston Pizza Cup at the Edgeworth arena in Camrose, Alta., Feb. 12, 2012. (AMBER BRACKEN/QMI Agency)

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:27 PM ET

CAMROSE, ALTA. - This time there will be no asterisk beside Kevin Koe’s name on the scoreboard at the Brier.

Koe is going to the Brier March 3-11 in Saskatoon and it isn’t because Kevin Martin was away winning an Olympic gold medal.

“Two years ago they said we got there because he wasn’t here. Well, this year he was here. And we won it,” said the Skip.

Two years ago Martin won the Olympic gold. But Koe validated his provincial title by winning both the Brier and the world championship.

Second Carter Rycroft, who won an Olympic silver medal with Martin at Salt Lake in 2002, said “we took the asterisk off on that two years ago one like Randy Ferbey did when he won the Brier when we didn’t play that year.

“It was interesting to have Martin here and not play him in the final. I’m sure everybody wanted a Koe-Martin final.”

Bottom line is that this will be Koe’s second Brier in the last three years.

Koe defeated Brock Virtue’s 20-something Calgary crew 6-3 in the final after the kids upset Martin for the second time in the event in the Sunday morning semi-final.

The final was a forgettable boring bit of business as Koe kept Virtue’s yellow rocks out of the house from beginning to end. But the 2012 Boston Pizza Cup was a most memorable week. And Koe and company were almost flawless.

“We made all the shots we had to make this week,” said the skip.

“This week was the best we played this year for sure.”

In the end, the numbers in the final said it all.

Rycroft curled 100%, Simmons 96%, Koe 92% and Thiessen 88%. The team out-curled the kids 94%-78%.

There are all sorts of terrific angles which came with this win.

For one, Koe, who was born and raised in the Canadian North, will join his brother Jamie representing the Territories in Saskatoon and spend the time in between watching his sister Kerry Galusha skipping in the Scott Tournament of Hearts in Red Deer.

“The last time we were at the Brier, Jamie was there, too, and we won it. It’s nice when the whole family is going.”

Then there’s Pat Simmons, the alleged crazy chiropractor from Moose Jaw, who gave up a chance to play for his home province in the Brier in Saskatoon to play third for Koe.

He’s not only going to be going to Saskatoon, he’ll be going with with a real chance to win. It’ll be a Brier field which doesn’t appear to have to usual degree of difficulty.

“I probably am crazy. But it worked out,” said Simmons, who skipped a team in the last Brier in Saskatoon and was booed when the team got off to an 0-4 start.

“Pat made all the shots,” said Koe. “And he proved to be a calming, steadying influence.”

Then there’s a whole new storyline.

It’ll be a CALGARY team at the Brier.

Might want to put an asterisk on that one.

Koe officially became the first the first Calgary team to win a trip to the Brier since Ed Lukowich in 1994.

It was the first provincial final featuring two Calgary teams since Harold Breckenridge defeated Mickey Pendergast in 1990.

Breckenridge went to the Brier where he was a sorry 4-7 for the week. Lukowich didn’t do much better, going 5-6.

The last two Calgary teams, thus, were 9-13 at the Brier.

“Don’t tell us that,” said Rycroft.

While they were announced as being from the Edmonton Saville Centre in the pre-game introductions, the Koe team is officially listed out of the Calgary Glencoe.

Koe who has lived in Edmonton and Grande Prairie working in the oil patch for years, has moved to head office in Calgary. Simmons maintains a temporary winter residence in Caglary. Rycroft, Thiessen and former third, now fifth man, Blake MacDonald are all from Edmonton.

But Calgary? Why not? It’s a good story. And it’s not like all four members of Kevin Martin’s Edmonton team are from Edmonton.

“It’s mostly a sponsor thing,” said Thiessen.

“We’ll have two guys practicing at the Glencoe in Calgary and three at the Saville Centre in Edmonton,” said Rycroft.

“As a full team, we’ll probably go down to Calgary for a few days once and come up to Edmonton for a few days once.”

Who cares? Doesn’t matter now. When they won here Sunday they became Alberta.


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