|Showdown in Cowtown
CALGARY, March 14, 2009 -- Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton will face Alberta's Kevin Martin in the final of the Tim Hortons Brier here Sunday evening.
Stoughton advanced to the final with an 8-6 win over Ontario's Glenn Howard in the semi-final here at the Saddledome Saturday night.
With the victory, Stoughton has now won five games straight heading into tonight and will be attempting to become the first team in Brier history to win the Brier after qualifying for the playoffs through tiebreakers. It would also be Stoughton's third Canadian men's curling championship and first since 1999.
Stoughton, however, will be facing a formidable opponent in Alberta's Martin, who is a perfect 12-0 at this event and will carry a Brier record 25-game winning streak into tonight's final (6 p.m. MT, TSN).
"They've been on a little bit of a rampage, that's for sure," Stoughton said of Alberta. "But hopefully their run comes to an end with us."
It bears noting that Stoughton is the last team to beat Martin at the Brier -- back in Hamilton in 2007 in the 3 vs 4 page playoff game.
Saturday night, Stoughton needed an inturn draw -- something that had befuddled him all game -- with the last rock of the 10th end to secure the victory over an Ontario foursome that had been beaten just twice all week in the round-robin but lost back-to-back games in the playoffs, falling to Alberta in the 1 vs 2 game Friday night and then Manitoba in the semi-final.
"I let the guys down there," Howard said afterward. "I didn't play very well."