Nolan Thiessen (left) and Carter Rycroft sweep a stone thrown by Pat Simmons in the Prestige Hotels Curling Classic men’s final Monday at the Vernon Curling Club.

Koe outlasts Brady for third Vernon cashspiel title

Kevin Koe's Calgary-based rink claims third Prestige Hotels Curling Classic title Monday afternoon at Vernon Curling Club.

Kevin Koe has been a model of consistency this season.

He and his Calgary-based rink of third Pat Simmons, second Carter Rycroft and lead Nolan Thiessen have reached either the finals or semifinals in each of the three World Curling Tour events they have entered this year.

Koe, a former world champion (2010, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy), put it all together for his first cashspiel win Monday at the $26,000 Prestige Hotels Curling Classic at the Vernon Curling Club.

The Alberta foursome brushed back reigning U.S. men’s champion Brady Clark 6-5 in the championship game to pocket $7,500.

The Vernon spiel has been a cash cow for the 38-year-old Koe, a Yellowknife native who collected back-to-back titles in 2009 and ‘10.

“We always like coming out here,” said Koe, who blanked the seventh end, and then ran Clark out of rocks in eight.

“You know you’re going to get good ice and it’s always been one of our favourite spiels.”

With the Olympic trials for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia set for early December, Koe is pleased with his rink’s steady play. They won five straight games to claim the Prestige crown, including a 5-4 semifinal win over China’s Rui Liu.

“Everything this year is gearing up towards the trials and part of that is going to spiels where there’s good ice because that’s what it’ll be like (in Winnipeg).”

Clark and Koe began the final trading deuces, with Koe taking a 4-2 lead into the fourth end. The rinks swapped singles in four and five before Clark made a recorded a double for two in six.

U.S. lead Darren Lehto set up a couple of tricky guards, just over the hog line, to open the eighth end. Rycroft made a solid double takeout to pave the way for a Koe draw for the win.

After a shaky 2-2 start, Clark’s Lynwood, Wash. crew (Sean Beighton, Phil Tilker and Darren Lehto) won four straight to reach the final and collect $5,500. They doubled Vernon’s TJ Perepolkin 8-4 in Monday morning quarterfinal play, and then bounced another Vernon rink skipped by John (Johnny Mo) Morris 9-8 in the semis.

“We just started making shots within tolerance,” said Clark, a senior business analyst with Liberty Mutual. “Instead of open misses, we’d make a half shot or 3/4 shots.

“We picked up on the weight a lot better and just started rolling. You get a few breaks here and there and all of a sudden you’re scoring points.”

Clark is entered in the U.S. men’s trials, but a win there doesn’t guarantee and Olympic berth. The winner must battle for one of two spots in an open international trials event.

“It’s a big year and we’re just making sure we’re doing everything possible to be as prepared as we can,” said Clark. “We’re just trying to make sure we’re getting all the best competition here in Canada.”

Perepolkin (Deane Horning, Tyler Orme and Chris Anderson) went 4-1 to secure a playoff berth and $3,250 in his rink’s season opener. Semifinalists earned $4,250.

“It’s important for us to represent our club in an event like this, even if you haven’t played many games yet,” said Perepolkin, whose 16-month-old daughter, Hana, is already a regular fixture at the Vernon club.

“We were a little disappointed with our performance against this Clark team, but they were on fire. We ran into a hot team and didn’t bring our A-game.”

Just Posted

Coldstream celebrates spring with Easter egg hunt

The family-friendly event takes place Mackie Lake House Saturday, April 20 at 10 a.m.

Vernon woman launches sewing studio

“I know there’s a lot of people up and down the valley that would love to sew.”

Vipers win pivotal game 5 to take 3-2 series lead

Vipers beat the Trail Smoke Eaters by a score of 5-2 and will look to end the series Saturday night in Trail at 7 p.m. at the Trail Memorial Centre. Contributed: Vernon Vipers Staff

None injured in small fire near Lumby

“It looks like it was accidental, definitely nothing suspicious.”

Vernon road closed again following landslide

The road that was reopened Thursday morning was closed again Friday following geotechnical engineer report.

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

Former Okanagan teen found safe after disappearing from YVR airport

Ethan Burnett, 14, was found safe in Kelowna on March 22

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

2 fires in Victoria caused by cigarettes prompts warning from deputy fire chief

Two separate fires caused by cigarette butts were avoidable

Most Read