MONCTON, N.B. — Canada’s Kevin Martin is hoping the third time’s the charm as he earned a rematch with Scotland’s David Murdoch on Saturday by edging Switzerland to advance to the final of the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship.
The defending champion played an uncharacteristically defensive game against Ralph Stoeckli’s rink in the semifinal, eventually winning 6-5.
After being held to a single point in the first end, Martin stole a point in the second, before being blanked in the fourth and fifth ends.
Things finally broke open for the Canadian skip in the sixth.
Martin made a hit to score three points and took control with a 5-1 lead, but Stoeckli battled back with two in the eighth and a steal of one in the ninth and tenth ends.
It’s the second straight year that Martin lost the one-versus-two playoff game to Murdoch and had to enter the final via the back door.
“We came back with a little better game tonight which is good,” said Martin.
“We didn’t put up much of a fight in the last two games against him. Come up with a game something like this and we should do okay.”
Martin maintains the two losses to Murdoch aren’t a problem as his prepares for a second straight final against Scotland. Instead, this is the game he has been waiting for.
“Exactly. You can’t win this thing unless you get to Sunday night and so we’ve done what we can and we’re there,” smiled Martin.
“So let’s roll the dice and we’ll see.”
Stoeckli saw his seven game winning streak come to an end and will play in today’s bronze medal game against Thomas Ulsrud of Norway.
“I don’t really care if I lose 10-0 or 6-5. A loss is a loss,” shrugged Stoeckli. “I think (Martin) didn’t feel too comfortable out there at the beginning.”