EDMONTON — With just one day of round-robin play left at the Canadian Olympic curling trials, Glenn Howard of Coldwater, Ont., is still the man to beat.
A draw to the four-foot in an extra end kept Howard’s perfect record intact Wednesday as he scored a single point to beat Edmonton’s Kevin Koe 7-6.
Howard (5-0) is alone in first place with two games remaining.
“One more down,” said Howard. “5-0 is absolutely surreal right now. It’s just where we want to be but we’re playing well and I think we’re getting a little bit better every game and I have to say the ice has never been better.”
Koe, who entered the game with a 3-1 record, forced an extra end by scoring two points in the 10th. There are few automatics in curling but giving Howard an easy draw with the game on the line is one of them.
“I felt really felt confident throwing the last draw,” said Howard. “Craig (Savill) made the two chip shots and I’ve got the real comfort zone and the four-foot at the end to make that shot.”
Co-favourite Kevin Martin rolled to his third straight win, pounding long-time rival Randy Ferbey 9-5 in a much anticipated matchup of Edmonton teams.
Martin, now alone in second place at 4-1, jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second end and cruised from there.
“It was only lopsided after three. As soon as we got the three you’ve got a good lead and we kept it throughout the game,” said Martin, who has seen steady improvement from his teammates.
Ferbey was at a loss to explain his team’s poor performance.
“It was a horrendous second end, to be honest,” said Ferbey. “We had an awful end — we weren’t thinking out there. Whether it was the rocks, the ice, where I was putting the broom down . . .
“Anytime you give those guys a three point lead even though we tried to come back it’s a difficult task. The end result was we lost the game that we deserved to lose.”
Ferbey, Koe and Winnipeg’s Jeff Stoughton remain tied with 3-2 records. Stoughton dumped Jason Gunnlaugson of Beausejour, Man., 8-4. Wayne Middaugh picked up his first victory, dropping Simmons 7-5. Both teams are 1-4 and out of the running.