Brier: Kevin Koe edges Menard to reach final
Alberta will face John Morris and B.C. for title on Sunday
Kevin Koe made a last-rock draw to the button Saturday to score a 9-8 win over Quebec in an extra end that lifted him into the final Sunday of the Canadian men's curling championship.
They face John Morris and British Columbia, who had no trouble disposing of Koe Friday night in the 1-2 Page playoff at the Tim Hortons Brier.
"Last night they just beat us up and down the lineup so you know I think we've got better to offer than last night," said the Alberta skip, seeking his second Brier title.
"Hopefully we can play like we did today."
Quebec skip Jean-Michel Menard said it was disappointing but they were happy with the way they played, including Saturday morning's win against three-time Brier champion Jeff Stoughton of Manitoba to get into the semifinal.
"We're very satisfied the way we played the last five or six games," said Menard.
"We played a great game this morning against Stoughton and now we gave these guys a good run today. It's disappointing because the way we were playing I thought we maybe had a sniff to win . . . The magic ran out today."
Menard and third Martin Crete, second Eric Sylvain and lead Philppe Menard capitalized on Manitoba's mistakes and were more in control than the 7-6 final score suggested in the earlier game.
Quebec and Manitoba traded deuces in the second and third ends but mistakes in five forced Stoughton to try a hit for a single and he rolled out for a steal.
"The fifth end was just a terrible combination of shots," said Stoughton, who at 50 said his team would review their future at the end of the season.
"I mean we came deep on Mark's draw, let 'em make a double, then Jon bumped ours out, then we missed the hit and roll, then I missed the double, then I missed the hit and stick for one."
Koe stays steady
In the semifinal, for six ends at least, Koe played the game that eluded him twice in as many days at Brier. With near perfect draw weight, Alberta scored two in the first end, two in the third and two in the fifth.
Then, up 6-4 in seven, he missed a hit for a single. He was heavy and wide, almost flashed and left a steal of two for Jean-Michel Menard and Quebec to tie it up.
"We'd played great to get up to get up three and just to give it up with one bad shot is not ideal for sure," said Koe.
A point in eight and a steal in nine gave him an 8-6 lead coming home but Menard made a last-rock double in 10 to force the extra end. Koe used the hammer to score the winner with his last rock.
Quebec will meet Stoughton for bronze Sunday morning.
Menard opened the Brier at 3-4 and made an amazing run to get in to the playoffs from fourth place, capped by a win over Alberta in their final round-robin game Friday.
Menard scored a deuce in the second but said many shots just didn't go their way the first few ends.
"But we hung in tight and made a nice deuce in the 10th end," he said.
In the 11th, Menard said they thought it was a tough draw for Koe because of the frosty ice conditions in the warm building.
"A little more weight and he could have slid across the house but he did a good job and put it right on the lid."
Attendance has been good the last few days at Interior Savings centre but appears headed for numbers in the mid 60,000 range, that would amount to about half the figure at the last Brier in Kamloops in 1996.