Kevin Koe defeats Mike McEwen to book spot in Pyeongchang
Calgary native will represent Canada in men's curling at Winter Olympics
Calgary's Kevin Koe will represent Canada in men's curling at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Koe defeated Winnipeg's Mike McEwen 7-6 in the men's final of the Roar of the Rings, Canada's Olympic trials.
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"It's hard to put into words," Koe said. "Obviously it's unbelievable."
The final was a back-and-forth battle that went the distance. Koe forced McEwen to a single in the ninth end to get the hammer coming home.
In the 10th, McEwen had one stone biting the top of the four-foot and one at the back. Koe's team put everything they had into the sweep and the draw gave them the winning point.
"What a game, we beat a great team," Koe said. "It came down to last shot and I'm glad we had last rock.
"I honestly wasn't sure it was going to make it but what sweeping by the boys."
This will be the first Olympic appearance for Koe and second Brent Laing. Lead Ben Hebert and third Marc Kennedy won Olympic gold in 2010 with skip Kevin Martin.
Hebert threw his broom in the air when the winning stone settled.
"We emptied the tank on that one," he said. "Thankfully we got it there and now we get to celebrate."
Koe earned a berth in the final by taking first place in round-robin play with a 7-1 record. McEwen, second Matt Wozniak, lead Denni Neufeld and third B.J. Neufeld beat Team Gushue of St. John's, N.L., in the semifinal to advance.
McEwen prepared for either result
The teams exchanged singles before McEwen came through in the fourth end with a brilliant double takeout for two.
Koe responded with a deuce and McEwen gave up a steal in the sixth end when he was a tad heavy with a tap. However, the Winnipeg skip tied the game at five in the seventh end with a hit for a pair.
McEwen put his last stone in the eighth at the top of the four-foot ring but Koe drew in behind it for a single that was confirmed with a measure.
"It sounds fake, it sounds surreal," McEwen said. "But I was prepared for the emotions of winning and losing, either way. One hundred per cent that's genuine and real. I'm OK."