OTTAWA — Calgary’s Kevin Koe is off to the Olympics.
Koe clipped Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen 7-6 in Sunday’s Roar of the Rings men’s final for the right to represent Canada at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Here’s how Koe pulled it off:
1ST END: A good start for McEwen as Koe couldn’t convert with the hammer and was forced to draw for just one. KOE 1, MCEWEN O
2ND END: Who needs sweepers when you can just draw to the button on your own? McEwen landed the lid for a single as neither Matt Wozniak nor Denni Neufeld had to give it extra gas to the tee-line. KOE 1, MCEWEN 1
3RD END: It’s singles going steady. McEwen sat two stones, Koe had to hit the shot rock and stick around for a point. KOE 2, MCEWEN 1
4TH END: That’s why they call him Magic Mike. McEwen pulled off the double for a deuce to take the lead. MCEWEN 3, KOE 2
5TH END: First they were swapping single points and now they’re trading twos. Koe sat stones across the house and McEwen opted for a hit and stick rather than risk messing up the double that led to a deuce. KOE 4, MCEWEN 3
6TH END: You can’t see me. McEwen hit and rolled under the cover of guards, but Koe managed to draw for shot rock with sweepers Brent Laing and Ben Hebert pulling the string to the back of the four-foot circle. McEwen tried to tap it, however, he didn’t hit it hard enough and Team Koe’s Marc Kennedy dragged the shooter an inch far enough to steal. KOE 5, MCEWEN 3
7TH END: Gotta keep ’em separated. Koe bumped out McEwen’s shot stone but rolled over and off the top of the other out in the wings. That set up another deuce situation for McEwen, who hit and rolled to stay on the other side of the house with his first skip stone and nose-hit Koe’s shot rock on his last to bring things level. KOE 5, MCEWEN 5
8TH END: The intensity here is of Olympic proportions. McEwen drew to the top of the four-foot circle with his last to sit three counters. Koe drew as well and the sweepers saved it to get it to the back of the four-foot. Out came the measuring stick and survey said: Koe. KOE 6, MCEWEN 5
9TH END: This is heavy, Doc. A troublesome end by Team McEwen with three misses in a row led to Team Koe lying a triangle of counters. McEwen drew for the equalizer. KOE 6, MCEWEN 6
10TH END: Down to the wire, of course. Would you expect anything else? McEwen sat shot stone right outside the back of the four-foot circle and drew his last in line to the top side just above the four. Koe drew and Kennedy had to jump in to help Hebert and Laing drag it into the red paint for the win. KOE 7, MCEWEN 6
NOTES: Koe topped the round-robin table at 7-1 with the lone blemish on his record being a 6-3 decision Friday night to Brad Gushue. … McEwen, who earned the third seed with a 5-3 record, defeated Gushue 6-4 in Saturday’s semifinal. … Earlier, Ottawa’s own Rachel Homan is heading to the Winter Olympics after defeating Calgary’s Chelsea Carey 6-5 in the women’s final.