He led Mike McEwen through the entire match, but it was a three-ender in the ninth that secured Kevin Koe’s 7-3 victory in the Home Hardware Canada Cup.
“He put a clinic on out there tonight,” says lead Ben Hebert. “Kevin always plays good in big games; he’s always been a big game player and tonight he was our leader and got the job done, and when your skip plays like that it’s tough to lose.”
Not only is Team Koe taking home the $14,000 prize, the win gives them a direct-entry berth into the 2017 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Canadian Curling Trials, giving them a chance to represent Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. Koe says he has a bit of unfinished business with that event, having won only two of seven round-robin games in 2013.
“We put this team together with the goal to do well at those trials. Obviously for me personally the last one was disappointing, but they’re tough to win; they’re the hardest to win, so it’s a couple of years away and we’ll just keep working and hope we’ll be ready to go once that time comes.”
Koe lived in Grande Prairie up until four years ago, making the win a special one for him. McEwen, who earned a bye into the finals, credits his opponent with having an almost perfect game.
“That’s what we did to them in the round robin. I made everything and they couldn’t beat us because B.J. [Neufeld] and I, you know the boys played amazing and that’s what it was like tonight. You gotta tip your hat to them; they were probably 95 [per cent] plus as a team.”
McEwen adds that this was probably their best curling of the year so far, even better than events that they’ve won.