It came down to a millimetre.
Kevin Koe’s rink (Calgary, Alta.) had the hammer in the extra end placing his last shot just outside the button in what appeared to be an identical distance from the Swedish rink Niklas Edin’s rock.
With $18,000 on the line at the World Curling Tour Ashley Home Store Curling Classic, the measuring stick came out and the rink’s decided it was Koe’s 7-6 victory.
“They are one of the top teams in the world. We play them quite a bit and they are getting better and better. It was a back and forth game, some real good shots, a few misses out there and fortunate for us we made that last one,” said Koe.
A big fourth end for Koe’s rink spurred a comeback to beat the 2014 Olympic bronze medallist’s.
Up one point, 6-5, heading into the eighth end without the hammer, Koe’s rink set up guards. However, Edin’s rink, being skipped by Erikkson at this event to help prepare if he is needed to take that position at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics for the Swedish national team, answered by finding a way around them.
The intense end of play finished with Ericsson picking up a point to tie it 6-6, with almost every rock in play.
In the extra end, and with Koe holding the hammer, it was a textbook start with two long guards set up by Edin’s rink. Team Koe then got a tick off a guard with a biter on the rings. Koe then got the double kill but left the centre guard. Team Edin’s next shot slid right to the back behind the button leaving Koe to take out his guard. Edin then released a perfectly sitting guard.
With his second to last shot, Koe missed the double but cleared off the guards. Ericcson’s final shot sat in the house bumping his rock barely outside the button making the scoring area really small for Koe. With his $18,000 shot, Koe sat his stone also just outside the button calling for the measuring stick to come out.
“It’s great,” said Koe of the win. “There is a lot of good teams here anytime you can just come though with a victory in a tough field event it makes you field good and you know it is going to give us some confidence I still think we are not firing all cylinders we had a few misses out there but going right direction.”
Edin’s team, who win $12,00 for second place in Penticton, have already qualified for the Olympics and Koe’s team will be heading to the Canadian Olympic curling trials.