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Ferbey, Kleibrink to Canada Cup finals on Sunday

Edmonton’s Randy Ferbey and Shannon Kleibrink of Calgary have advanced to Sunday’s finals of the Canada Cup at the Farrell Agencies Arena in the Gallagher Centre.

Saturday morning, in a playoff battle of Section leaders, Ferbey got the best of a familiar foe, Edmonton’s Kevin Martin, 6-2, clinching the win with a three-spot in the seventh end.

Ferbey had finished atop Section B with a 4-1 mark, while Martin had a similar record in Section A.  The crossover A1 vs B1 Page playoff game promised a trip to the final (Sunday at 7:30 pm CT/9:30 pm ET, live on TSN) for the winner, while the loser gets another chance in tonight’s semi-final at 7:30 pm, also live on TSN.

Martin, the recent record-setting, consecutive undefeated Brier winner and reigning world champion, thus suffered his second successive defeat here, after losing his final game of the round robin to Wayne Middaugh Friday evening.

Ferbey, a six-time Brier, four-time world and three-time Cup winner, began the game with hammer and never looked back, taking a 3-1 lead into the fifth end break after a steal of one in that end.

For the past two years, Martin, who also has two previous Canada Cup wins, had defeated Ferbey in six straight provincial championship contests enroute to advancing to the Brier the past two years.

“Things were definitely going their way this week,” said Ferbey’s fourth-rock tosser David Nedohin.  “Today things didn’t go their way. They had a game where they were a little flat and we played reasonably well. It was bound to happen eventually that we’d beat them and I’m glad it was today.  We may have to do it again but maybe there’s no guarantee of that.  We’re just happy to be in the final and to sort of get that monkey off our backs — probably an ape, actually.  We never got frustrated by how we were playing. It’s just that the results weren’t there (against the Martin rink).”

Martin will now meet Jeff Stoughton of Winnipeg in the semi-final this evening, in a rematch of the recent Brier finalists.  Stoughton, who finished second in Section B, also with a 4-1 mark, the same as Ferbey, prevailed 5-3 over Toronto’s Wayne Middaugh in the A2 vs B2 match.  Middaugh is now eliminated.

In the women’s A1 vs B1 game, 2006 Olympic bronze medallist Shannon Kleibrink proved a 6-4 winner over Marie-France Larouche of St. Romuald to advance to Sunday’s final at 8:30 am CT/10:30 am ET, live on TSN.

Kleibrink and Larouche both compiled 4-1 marks in the round robin while winning their respective A and B Sections.  A steal of two in the eighth gave Kleibrink a 6-2 lead, enough of a cushion for the victory.

“That probably was one of our better games of the year,” said Kleibrink, who won the 2005 Canada Cup in Kamloops.  “We finally put it all together.   We controlled it all the way but she’s (Larouche) still dangerous.”

Kleibrink has already clinched a spot in the 2009 Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials, December 6-13 in Edmonton, as has Glenn Howard of Coldwater, Ontario, along with reigning world champions Jennifer Jones and Kevin Martin.

Larouche now goes to this afternoon’s semi-final at 3:00 pm CT, also live on TSN, where she’ll meet Calgary’s Cheryl Bernard, who eliminated Regina’s Michelle Englot, 8-5 in the A2 vs B2 game.