June 25th, 2024

Koe, Dunstone each 3-0 to start 2022 Brier

By Dale Woodard on March 7, 2022.

Kevin Koe and Matt Dunstone have come out of the gate undefeated at the 2022 Tim Hortons Brier.

But the respective Alberta and Wildcard #2 skips are aware there’s still more than a week of curling left as the Canadian men’s championship draws in for Day 4 Monday at the Enmax Centre in Lethbridge.

Still, both rinks improved to 3-0 in the Sunday afternoon draw as Koe and his Calgary rink downed Ontario’s Glen Howard 7-5, while Dunstone and his Saskatchewan rink from Regina topped Thomas Scoffin of the Yukon 9-5 in eight ends.

In Sunday afternoon’s draw in front of some Alberta flag-waving fans, Koe hit and stuck on his last shot with hammer in the 10th to count for one and seal the win.

“Both teams played pretty well,” said Koe. “They’ve been playing really well and their record hasn’t rewarded them yet. It was well-played. They let us off the hook in the first end and after that we played really well.”

Koe started the weekend with a 9-8 win over Saskatchewan’s Colton Flash in the opening draw Friday and moved to 2-0 with a 14-3 win over Nathan Young of Newfoundland at Labrador Saturday night.

“Obviously our first game wasn’t great, especially myself,” said Koe. “The last two games have been really solid. That (Sunday) was good game. Good crowd, good intensity and playing a good team. So we’re where we need to be. 3-0 is a good start and we just have to keep playing well.”

Koe comes into this year’s Brier looking for his record breaking fifth title.

But the Calgary skip said he doesn’t think about that.

As well, there’s plenty of curling left to be played.

“I love playing here and I have good memories here and it’s just comfortable in this city and the building and great to have the home town support, too,” said Koe. “We have lots of fans and lots people pulling for us. We’re where we need to be, but it’s still Sunday and there’s still a week to go. So a long way to go.”

With two games on the slate today, Dunstone had his team look to keep rolling.

“We’ve just been really sharp,” said Dunstone. “We’ve had a really good handle on the ice from the get-go and putting a lot of our draws in good spots and that has been key.”

On Sunday, Dunstone scored two in the first and stole one in the second for a quick 3-0 lead.

After Scoffin scored one in the seventh and stole another in the eighth to cut Dunstone’s lead to 6-5, the Saskatchewan rink put up a three-ender in the ninth as the teams shook hands one end early.

“It was a strong start,” said Dunstone. “We got that early lead and then we started limping through it a little bit. Today was our worst game of the three, for sure. So we’ll get back to the room, have a chat and regroup for (today). We have a big, two-game day. We’re still solid, but we have to be a bit better.”

Dunstone faces Newfoundland and Labrador’s Nathan Young (1-2) in the 8:30 a.m. draw and Koe in the 6:30 p.m. draw.

“We have two great teams tomorrow,” said Dunstone. “We start with the Young team in the morning. It’ll be our first morning game of the week, we’ll just try to be sharp early in the morning and that’s going to be the key, make sure we’re up and at them and feeling like we have been for the evening and afternoon draws.”

In addition to facing Dunstone, Koe plays the Yukon in the 8:30 a.m. draw this morning.

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