JONES: Kevin Koe heading to Boston Pizza Cup final

If anyone were to decide to spend an eight day vacation in Grande Prairie in early January in northern Alberta with temperatures of -30C, this would be the way to go.

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At this point, for Kevin Koe, it’s winter vacation.

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If anyone were to decide to spend an eight day vacation in Grande Prairie in early January in northern Alberta with temperatures of -30C, this would be the way to go.

For Koe, BJ Neufeld, John Morris and Ben Hebert, the Boston Pizza Cup was most relaxing with a little light morning exercise every other day.

Koe, in search of his 10th trip to the Brier, made it to the Boston Pizza Cup final at 4:30 p.m. Sunday on Sportsnet without any angst.

Team Koe played four games – all morning draws – and won them by a combined 34-10.

“Our format is perfect but now with the combined events it’s getting too long. We were supposed to be here last Sunday and we played four games until Saturday, ”Koe said of the Alberta men’s and women’s combination.

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“It was really different playing four games at 9 am. No problem with that, but I’m not sure it’s ideal for trying to sell tickets in the future.

Normally, both the “A” Event Finals and the 1-on-2 playoff system play are evening draws and fill venues. But this year, with the government’s capacity restrictions and in particular the rule of no food and especially the ban on combined drinks at temperatures of -30 ° C all week, it was impossible to present the event as a celebration of Brier-type curling, as originally planned by Curling Alberta. There were few fans.

But given the COVID-19 factor, it was a total triumph to bring it to the four national televised games on Sportsnet and fans across the province got to watch it with the start of the live broadcast. For the week, 234,213 of them watched.

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Half of the other provinces have canceled their events and appointed their representatives. The players praised Curling Alberta for creating this creative and meaningful opportunity to play for the titles.

On Saturday morning, Koe took a 6-1 lead over Calgary Glencoe teammate Jeremy Harty after three ends, despite the fact that he drew five in the third end and was ” content ”of four.

Koe won it 10-3 shaking hands in the seventh end with a chance to score four or five if he threw his last stone leaving Harty at the end of the 8 p.m. semi-final against Edmonton’s Ted Appelman for make the match.

“If you miss a shot it might as well be a five-a-side draw,” Koe said with a laugh.

“It’s been a good week so far, but it only matters if we finish it,” said Koe, who got the last stone advantage for the final. We want to be Team Alberta in Lethbridge at Brierand, that’s what we’re focusing on.

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While the Boston Pizza Cup was a single float parade all week, the opposite was true with the Sentinel Storage Alberta Scotties women alternating draws with the men’s triple knockout.

Lethbridge’s Casey Scheidegger on Friday, after winning her first six games, took a two-headed lead with the hammer in the final round robin draw when it all fell apart on one end.

Kelsey Rocque of Edmonton scored three goals in the 10th to win and tie three with Laura Walker of Edmonton, all with 6-1 records.

This was settled with the combined distances in inches from the pin in the pre-game final stone advantage pulls on the button and Walker won.

Walker 131.7. Rocque 167.9. Scheidegger 201.1.

That sent Walker to Sunday’s final at 11 a.m. and Scheidegger and Rocque back for a semi-final rematch for the first of four live national broadcasts from Sportsnet at the first combined Alberta Provincial Championships.

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The former double junior world champion Rocque, the day after her incredible comeback, did not fail to reproduce it. Scheidegger’s team who missed their last four shots to give up three points and the game in the 10th end on Friday stole two in the first end, two more in the second and another in the third.

Five-nothing!

In the end, Rocque shook hands with a score of 10-7 on the board after nine, which made it look close. This was not the case.

“It’s always horrible when you come home, but that’s what it is when you play against big teams. Hope we come back. said Rocque.

“We had some really good shots early to put the pressure on and got a few breaks,” Schedegger said.

“Walker is a great team and we’ll have to bring our ‘A’ game. We’re just excited to be back in the final and plan to build on the experience, ”said Schedegger, who represented Albert at the Scotties four years ago.

Walker will have the final rock on Sunday as she tries to move on to a third Scotties in a row. She beat Rocque in the final two years ago and was selected to represent Alberta again without a provincial championship and the Scotties in a bubble in Calgary.

“We had an incredibly close game with Scheidegger earlier this week and we’re pretty much tied with them this year,” said Geoff Walker’s wife who will travel to the Olympics with Brad Gushue’s side.

“I expect a good game on Sunday.”

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