You’d think Jamie Koe would have wanted a bit of rest after taking on some of the world’s best at the Tim Hortons Brier earlier this month in Lethbridge, Alta.

But there was a title to defend this past weekend and it’s one Koe is looking to parlay into another title that has eluded him.

Koe and his rink of Margot Flemming, Cole Parsons and Megan Koehler slid away with the NWT Mixed Curling Championship crown on Saturday at the Yellowknife Curling Centre. The foursome beat Ed Sattelberger and his crew of Marta Moir, Ian Moir and Anneli Jokela in three straight games in a best-of-five series to determine the winner. The best-of-five was how it was decided as Koe and Sattelberger were the only two skips to enter.

Koe said it was nice to win it in three straight but they weren’t walkovers by any stretch.

“The final scores don’t tell the whole story,” he said. “We had a close one in the first game until about the sixth end and we had a big end in that one. The second game was probably one of the best we’ve played as a team and the third was a battle.”

The first game was on Friday evening and as Koe talked about, it was a close affair. Sattelberger started with the hammer and scored a single before Koe answered with a deuce in the second. Sattelberger scored another single in the third and then stole in the fourth to jump out in front, 3-2. Koe would score two in the fifth to take the lead back, 4-3, with the dagger coming in the sixth as Koe stole four followed by another steal in the seventh to put it away and win, 9-3.

Game 2 saw Koe in control pretty much throughout as he opened with the hammer and put up three in the first end, followed by a steal in the second to open up a 4-0 lead. Sattelberger got a single back in the third to get on the board but Koe would drop a five-spot in the fourth to blow the doors open at the mid-game break. Both teams would trade singles before Sattelberger shook hands after the sixth, giving Koe a 10-2 win.

With their tournament life on the brink, Sattelberger came out swinging in Game 3 and stole in the first end to take a 1-0 lead, though it could have been a lot more, said Koe.

“Ed played a great first end,” he said. “They were lying three close to the button and I had to play a real good shot to give up just one. It could have easily been a steal of three and we’re on the back foot right off the bat.”

Koe managed to navigate that minefield and scored three in the second to go out in front, 3-1. Sattelberger got one back in the third before Koe scored a deuce in the fourth, followed by a steal of two in the fifth to extend the lead to 7-2. Sattelberger scored a single in the sixth and shook hands after that, giving Koe a 7-3 win and the title.

Having just two teams in the championship was something Koe was happy to see, given the amount of curling he’s had in recent weeks.

“Getting games is good but thankfully, not too many,” he said. “Cole and I just got back from the Brier (March 14) and we were a bit sloppy getting back on our own ice but we got the mechanics down quickly and we played really smooth all weekend.”

And so it’s back to the Canadian Mixed Curling Championship this coming November in a location yet to be determined by Curling Canada but Koe has one thing on his mind: winning gold.

This will be the same rink which scored a bronze medal last November in Canmore, Alta, but Koe said it was a missed opportunity.

“I thought we had gold last year, especially with the good run we had,” he said. “We fell short in the semifinal but we’re targeting gold this year. We’ve had a look at some of the provinces and there are some real good curlers playing mixed this year so we’re going to get a plan in place to peak by early November and be ready for another big run.”

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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