Nothing like a little luck to go with a lot of skill.
Glenn Howard, trying to avoid giving up more than a steal of one to rival Kevin Martin, instead pulled off an improbable triple to win the Canadian Open Grand Slam curling event on Sunday afternoon in Winnipeg.
The 8-4 victory made Howard just the third skip to win all four of the yearly Grand Slam events in his career, after Edmonton's Martin and Toronto's Wayne Middaugh.
This one looked to be heading for an eighth and final end after a great shot by Martin, down 5-4, on his last stone of the seventh dumped a Howard rock out of the button and left the defending world champion sitting two inside the four-foot.
In their discussions before their own final shot, Howard's rink basically settled on either getting one for themselves (best case) or eliminating one of their opponent's stones and allowing a steal of one.
But sometimes the curling gods are afore ye (here on Robbie Burns Day), and Howard's outturn down the left side nicely slid by a guard and his own high rock before it got a thin double hit that not only eliminated both Martin stones but left Howard scoring three.
The Coldwater, Ont., skip slid down the ice with his hands out in a "Can you believe it?" shrug. Martin's rink called it quits.
"It feels fantastic," Howard said to Scott Russell of CBC Sports, just before accepting a cheque for $24,000.
"That sure wasn't the way I thought it would end.... I thought [Martin] would steal one."
Not this time.
Both the Howard and Martin rinks have already qualified for the Canadian Olympic trials later this year and they are clearly the best two teams in the country right now.
They have split 10 of the last 11 Grand Slam events going back two seasons (Middaugh won The National in Quebec City last month), and Martin was the two-time defending champ in this bonspiel.
This year's final leg is April at the Players' Championship in Grand Prairie, Alta.