Kevin Martin defeated longtime rival Glenn Howard while Niklas Edin downed world champion Jeff Stoughton on a busy Thursday night at the GP Car and Home Players' Championship in Grande Prairie, Alta.

Martin's Edmonton rink took charge early, stealing a point for a 3-0 lead in the second end after Howard missed his last stone for a potential big score.

Howard, the 2007 world champion from Coldwater, Ont., was held to a single point throughout the match, which ended 5-1.

Edin's Swedish foursome stole the pivotal seventh end on the way to a 7-4 victory.

On the women's side, Ottawa's Rachel Homan made a fantastic runback double to score four against Krista McCarville of Thunder Bay, Ont., and later added another big four-count for a 10-3 win.

Meanwhile, Scotland's Eve Muirhead, the world's only four-time world junior champion, edged Calgary's Shannon Kleibrink 5-4.

The Grande Prairie crowd roared when hometown favourite Desiree Owen ran Chelsea Carey of Morden, Man., out of stones for a 5-3 win.

Earlier Thursday, Calgary's Cheryl Bernard defeated McCarville 6-4.

Newly crowned world champion Stoughton beat 2010 world titleholder Kevin Koe 9-4.

Koe's squad, competing in their last tournament before the retirement of third Blake MacDonald, rallied for a deuce in the sixth end, but a Stoughton three in the seventh end brought on the handshakes.

"You kind of forget how many rocks Kevin Koe likes to put in play," said Stoughton, who won the world men's curling championship last weekend in Regina. "There's a lot of ends where there's a lot of congestion around that four-foot, and we were fortunate to get a three and took control of the game."