Martin streak now 27 in a row

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:19 AM ET

LONDON, Ont. – The interviewer, working on the obvious angle, approached the curler.

“So, talk to us about the streak,” he said to Marc Kennedy.

“You mean the one-in-a-row?” said the Alberta second.

Well, yes. If you don't carry it over from two years ago when Kevin Martin's team missed the Brier because they were otherwise occupied winning a gold medal for Canada at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, that's what it is.

But it's now 27. And counting?

After a bit of a wobbly start, Martin's men, who had gone 26-0 in running the table in winning both the 2008 and 2009 events, registered a 6-2 win over Brad Jacobs of Northern Ontario.

Two years ago in Calgary, Martin broke the all-time Brier winning streak of 23 consecutive wins set by Randy Ferbey's four-time champions.

So the record was in the books despite the fact Martin missed last year's Brier to win a gold medal for Canada at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

But they don't have to start over. It's not one-in-a-row.

Brier record keepers decided the winning streak would carry over for the rink heading into this Brier, although they reserve the right to create two different categories if somebody wins 27 straight in consecutive calendar years somewhere in the future.

That news didn't seem to matter to the team when they left the ice after a game which was a bit wobbly in the beginning then was instantly over in the sixth end when Jacobs threw one through a hole two Martin rocks which were “just a little more than a rock wide,” according to the Edmonton skip.

“I'm not even thinking about it. I don't know what to say. I hope it goes to 28,” said Martin, who curled 89% on frosty first day ice in rainy London, a condition which will be cured by $40,000 worth of dehumidifier rentals to be installed overnight.

“We went to Calgary two years ago wanting to break that record,” said Hebert of the Ferbey 23-game run. “In the past it was in the back of our minds. Now we look at it as just meaning that we're winning. The four of us never talk about it.”

Kennedy, who shot the lights out at 96% (“I was a little fortunate because I was throwing the hits, the draws were the tough shots”) said the streak is not a focus.

“We're happy we're 1-0 at this Brier by beating a good team to start the event.”

He said he believes the team found out something about themselves this day.

“I think we have a little extra motivation at the Brier that we didn't have last year. Maybe there was an Olympic hangover.”

Martin meets James Grattan of New Brunswick Sunday morning and plays Jim Cotter's B.C. bunch in the afternoon draw.

Grattan, the giant killer who stole two when Glenn Howard who came up light on a last rock draw as Ontario went down 5-4 to open proceedings, lost the nightcap 9-4 to Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton after the Buffalo Boys crushed B.C. 10-4 for openers.

Stoughton, holds the honour of being the last guy to beat Martin in a Brier, defeating the Old Bear's new team in the 3-4 game of the Hamilton 2007 Brier where they went 8-3 in the round robin.

While the big picture storyline here is Martin's attempt to become the first skip to win five Briers, it isn't the focus of this team.

“We're interested in what we do together with this team,” said Morris, who played here last night despite the flu.

“Our focus going in is on the five years we've been together. If we can help the skipper capture a few Brier records in the process, then good.

“We never thought we'd have a record like this,” said the player who skipped Ontario to a Brier final against Ferbey in 2002.

It's not just this record.

This team went undefeated to win the Olympic gold medal and is 20-0 in four provincial finals, having gone 5-0, winning A event, the 1-2 game and the final all four years.

“It's awesome,” said Kennedy.

“A couple of those we should have lost.”

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terry.jones@sunmedia.ca


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