Fourth time’s the charm, as they say.

Maybe that’s not the correct saying but for Kevin Koe, who cares? He finally gets to go to the Winter Olympics.

It’s the only major event left out of his current resume but it’s one that can be filled thanks to a 7-6 win over Manitoba’s Mike McEwen in the Roar of the Rings Olympic qualifying final in Ottawa on Sunday night.

Kevin Koe, formerly of Yellowknife, won a ticket to the 2018 Winter Olympics during a nail-biter final Olympic qualifier in Ottawa Sunday night.
Curling Canada/ Michael burns photo

It took a draw to the four-foot with his last stone in the 10th end to seal the deal for the Calgary resident who was born and raised in Yellowknife.

Koe opened the game with last rock advantage and both teams traded singles in the first three ends as Koe took an early 2-1 lead. McEwen came back with a deuce in the fourth, which was answered by Koe in the fifth end, which gave Koe a 4-3 lead at the midway break.

Koe stole a single in the sixth end to increase his lead to 5-3 but McEwen scored a deuce in the seventh to tie the game at 5-5. They would trade singles in he eighth and ninth ends to set up the drama of the 10th end, where Koe would do what every skip worth their weight in salt needs to do: draw for the win, which he did against two McEwen stones surrounding the button.

“When I let it go, I really liked it,” said Koe following the game. “It’s just so much pressure and they’re (McEwen) such a great team and they had a great week. Obviously, we feel fortunate to win and we hung in there.”

Koe and his team of Marc Kennedy, Brent Laing, Ben Hebert and Scott Pfeifer received their medals and Olympic jackets immediately following the final, which they will wear on the ice at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea in February.

James McCarthy

After being a nomad around North America following my semi-debauched post-secondary days, I put down my roots in Yellowknife in 2006. I’ve been keeping this sports seat warm with NNSL for the better...

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