Sunday, April 15, 2007

TPC: We did it!

by Jill Officer

CALGARY – If you’re any kind of curling fan you know that our team (photo by CurlingZone) and Kelly Scott’s squad have played each other enough over the years, so it was no surprise, really, that we were set to face them again in Saturday night’s Tylenol Players’ Championship final.

It was a huge game for both sides. For Team Scott, a bye straight to the 2009 Olympic Trials was on the line because it would mark a third “major” win for them... which is exactly what you need to get you directly into the trials. For us, it would be a second major win, meaning we would need only more over the next two years.

Plus, it was the final of a big event and worth a lot of money.

To the game... it was close until the fifth end when we just wrecked on a guard on Jen’s shot to give Scott a draw for four. Yikes. Okay, so we regrouped and knew that if we could just score two then either we could force or steal in seven to keep it close. We get our two, force to one and get our two again to go to the extra. Could it be any closer? Nope. Then we pulled out the steal in the extra!

How excited are we? Extremely, and for a few reasons. Now we have won two major events. As I mentioned, one more over the next two years and we go straight to the 2009 Olympic Trials. Also, a good pot of money, back-to-back Players’ Championship titles, and I'm sure there are a bunch of curling fans who thought Kelly Scott had our number... guess not.

Now, briefly over to the men’s side. My squad filled me in on the action at the Corral from Saturday afternoon as they took in the men’s quarter finals while I caught some zzzzzzz. Anyway, seems Team Kevin Martin got a HUGE break late in their game against the world champs, Team Glenn Howard. With Howard up 4-3 playing the seventh and hitting for one to go up a couple coming home, Howard’s rock picked... and Martin stole three!! Yikes. Needless to say Glenn wasn’t too happy. They did manage to get their deuce in the eighth, but lost in the extra end.

So in the semis, Team Kevin Koe (who is being skipped this week by Kevin Park while Koe and his wife Carla celebrate the birth of their second child) defeated the baldest team out there, Team Randy Ferbey, while Martin defeated Saskatchewan’s Team Pat Simmons.

Now for the rematch, people... this should be a good final on CBC on Sunday. Team Martin versus Team Koe. For those of you who don’t know, these are the same two teams that played each other in the Alberta provincial final to go to the Brier.

We all know who ended up at the Brier, but let’s just say the Curling Gods were definitely with the Martin team in that game as Team Koe had two chances to win and were in complete control of the situation, but unfortunately weren't able to execute. I’m sure there will be some strong desires for the Koes to beat Martin in yet another big game... last month, Martin beat the Koes again in the final of the third Grand Slam, The National in Port Hawkesbury.

Will the presence of Martin’s old 1991 Brier champion teammate KPark make the difference this time?

Well, that’s it for me from the Corral. I should be back in Brandon just in time to see the end of the men’s final on television. Thanks for reading, and make sure ya’ll tune in now, ya hear?

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