Based on recent history, the odds of representing Alberta in the Canadian men’s curling championship increase considerably if your first name happens to be Kevin.
Since 2006, either Kevin Martin or Kevin Koe has worn Alberta’s colours at the Tim Hortons Brier. Martin has accomplished the feat six times, and the other three provincial titles belong to Koe.
The two faced off once again, Feb. 9 in Lacombe, Alta., for the provincial final and it was the Koe foursome that came out on top, earning the trip to Kamloops, March 1-9 for the 2014 Tim Hortons Brier, presented by SecurTek.
“It was good to beat him (Martin) to get there,” said Koe. “He’s beaten us three times in the final… this was our first win. You know if you’re going to win the province, you’re going to have beat him somewhere along the way.”
Koe, with third Pat Simmons, second Carter Rycroft and lead Nolan Thiessen, will be making his third appearance at the national championship. In 2010, he defeated Ontario’s Glenn Howard in an extra-end of championship match, and went on to win gold at the world championship.
The 2012 Tim Hortons Brier wound up with a rematch between the two in Saskatoon and this time it was Howard who won the Tankard.
The Koe team, from the Glencoe Club in Calgary, had a rough ride at the 2013 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Canadian Curling Trials, but came back strong in the provincial playdowns.
“We knew it was going to be tough going into the Roar in Winnipeg,” said Koe. “We didn’t have our best week, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes. It was nice to bounce back and get to the Brier.”
With Kamloops a relatively short trip for Alberta curling fans, there could well be a vocal contingent of supporters in the Interior Savings Centre.
Brother Jamie will also be there, representing the Northwest Territories Yukon for an eight time.
“He’s been there every year we have,” says the elder Koe. “It’s always good to see him there… and one thing for sure, we’ll have the whole family out supporting us both.”
Although the 2014 championship has the added incentive of the champions returning next year to compete as Team Canada, Koe said he’s not really looking that far into the future.
“The Team Canada format is definitely good for the Brier. But we’re not thinking of next year at this point,” he says. “It’s probably going to be Carter’s last year, so it would just be nice to go out on top as a team.”
“You Gotta Be There” for the 2014 Tim Hortons Brier in Kamloops’ Interior Savings Centre. Reserve your seats now by clicking here.