Koe cruises to 4-0

An Alberta clipper continues to roll through the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon at the Tim Hortons Brier, Canadian Men’s Curling Championship. Kevin Koe not only jumped his record to 4-0 on Monday afternoon, he did it in short order, beating Mike Gaudet’s P.E.I. crew 8-2 in eight ends. Koe says he was more comfortable with the ice conditions today, and while he says the team played well, the score more reflected the fact his opponents were struggling.

Kevin Koe watches his sweepers at the 2012 Tim Hortons Brier. (Photo: CCA/Michael Burns Photography)

“The ice was a lot better out there today, nice keen speed, has to be about 10 feet faster today, said Koe. “It was tough sledding out there trying to make draws.” He added he was happy to get off the ice early and get away from the arena before his evening draw. Koe will try to make it 5-0 when he plays the home-favourite Saskatchewan team of Scott Manners. The Saskatchewan unit sat at 2-2 after a morning loss to Kevin’s younger brother Jamie of the Territories, who continues to be the good-news story of the Brier at 3-1. Big brother is happy and looking forward to their brotherly tilt Wednesday morning.(Continued Below…) Draw 7 Photos
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“Yeah, it looks like they’re playing great, and he’s playing great personally so hopefully he keeps it up,” said Kevin” Meanwhile, Newfoundland/Labrador’s Brad Gushue got off the carpet with a much-needed 10-5 win over Nova Scotia. British Columbia stunned Manitoba 9-5 and New Brunswick hammered Northern Ontario 8-3 in other games. After a slow start, the Rocksters put up a four spot in the fourth end and then stole two deuces in a row to grab the game by the throat. Happy to get the monkey off his back, Gushue said the team still needs to play better. “To be honest, that’s probably the worst game we’ve played,” said Gushue. “I think Jamie (Nova Scotia skip Murphy) struggled out there today and missed shots they wouldn’t normally miss.” Still the much-needed win comes as a relief. “A win’s a win no matter how you get it, so I’m pretty happy that we’re on the board. Hopefully we come out tonight and play a little bit better because I don’t think every team is going to struggle like they did today.” Gushue (1-3) takes on the red-hot Polars in the evening draw. In one of the strangest games so far this week, B.C.’s Jim Cotter outlasted Manitoba’s Rob Fowler, scoring three in the ninth to put away an otherwise close game. The way the Left Coasters came out of the hack, it didn’t look good. Fowler scored an opening deuce and in the second Cotter had what seemed like a routine shot for three. Instead, he pulled the string and gave up a steal of one. Then the tables turned quickly, with B.C. scoring six consecutive points, taking one then stealing the next five. While Fowler battled back with one, then a steal of one, a missed double-raise in the ninth left Cotter a draw for three and handshakes. “It was definitely a strange game,” said Cotter. “I was terrible in the first two ends. The guys were all throwing good and making their shots so I knew we just had to stick to the program and I had to pick it up a little.” Cotter said he’s happy with the momentum his team is building after beating both Saskatchewan and Manitoba after an 0-2 start.” “Yeah, Rob’s a great team, obviously a fabulous team coming out of Manitoba, but we’re getting stronger… I just have to pick it up a little.” B.C. (2-2) takes on Quebec (1-3) in the evening draw. Manitoba (3-2) has the night off. In a tale of two teams going in opposite directions, New Brunswick’s Terry Odishaw handed Brad Jacobs and his Northern Ontario crew their second straight loss. The Soo crew got off to a terrible start and were down 7-1 at the break. At times, there seemed to be some tension in the ranks of the Northern Ontarians, something not lost on Odishaw. “They struggled in the beginning and played fantastic towards the end, but they were missing shots they don’t normally miss,” said Odishaw. After a sluggish start, what has been the biggest reason for the New Brunswick turnaround? (Continued below…) httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2oksRgLhM4 “I’d say we’re getting used to the ice; I’d say we’re not playing world champions,” he said. Odishaw’s last Brier appearance was in 1998 in Winnipeg when he skipped his crew to a 4-7 mark. What’s the biggest difference 14 years later? “Not much of a difference,” he says. “I’ve got more grey hair, and I’m about 40 pounds heavier, but other than that it’s the same Brier.” The New Brunswickers (2-3) have the night off, while the battle of Ontario is the feature game with Jacobs (2-2) taking on Glenn Howard (3-1)