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Alberta rallies late to remain unbeaten at Tim Hortons Brier

BRANDON, Man. – Kevin Koe and Team Alberta (3-0, Calgary) shook off first-half struggles to score nine points in the final three ends and rally for a 12-7 win over Terry Odishaw and Team New Brunswick (1-2, Moncton) Monday morning at the Tim Hortons Brier, presented by AGI.

Team Alberta was pushed hard by New Brunswick but pulled out the win on Monday morning. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

The three-time Tim Hortons Brier champion gave up a steal of three in the fourth end when his last-rock draw wrecked in the 12-foot to fall behind 5-2.

But the veteran Koe, with third B.J. Neufeld, second Colton Flasch, lead Ben Hebert, alternate Tom Appelman and coach John Dunn, didn’t panic and eventually turned the game around.

“It definitely was not pretty,” understated Koe. “Struggled a bit with draw weight and some lines, the steal of three was a disaster.”

His draw, he said, had the right weight but the wrong line. After an exchange of singles the Alberta crew began their comeback with three in seventh on a perfect tap-back by Koe, added two in the ninth and put an exclamation mark on its comeback with a steal of four in the 10th.

“We did a good job hanging in there and making him have some tough shots at the end,” said Koe, who said he remained confident through the game because of the five-rock Free Guard Zone rule.

“Then you try to make him make tough shots. They’re a veteran team but hopefully some nerves set in (when they realize) they have a chance to win… and we played a great last three, four ends.”

Nova Scotia fans had reason to cheer on Monday. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

The win kept Alberta atop the standings in Pool B, tied with two-time defending champion Brad Gushue and Team Canada (3-0, St. John’s) who built an early lead and cruised to a 10-4 win over Jim Cotter and Team British Columbia (2-1, Vernon).

Scott McDonald of Team Ontario (1-2, Kingston) had a pair of three-enders to record his first Tim Hortons Brier win, 9-2 over David St. Louis and Team Nunavut (0-3, Iqaluit).

Stuart Thompson and Team Nova Scotia (2-1, Dartmouth) scored one in the 10th end to nip Jamie Koe of Team Northwest Territories (0-3, Yellowknife)

The 2019 Tim Hortons Brier continues with draws today at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (all times CST).

Live scoring, standings and statistics for the 2019 Tim Hortons Brier are available at www.curling.ca/scoreboard/

TSN and RDS2 (streamed on ESPN3 in the United States) will provide complete coverage of the 2019 Tim Hortons Brier. CLICK HERE for the complete schedule.

For ticket information for the 2019 Tim Hortons Brier, go to www.curling.ca/2019brier/tickets.

This story will be available in French as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/2019brier/?lang=fr