Jamie Koe is all done with curling for this season and he ended off on a winning note.
Koe skipped his rink of Kerry Galusha, David Aho and Megan Koehler to victory at the NWT Mixed Curling Championship in Fort Smith on Sunday thanks to a 9-2 win over Hay River’s Darcy Delorey in the final.
The win capped off an unbeaten weekend for the foursome as they won all four of their round-robin games, earning a bye right to the final.
“We had a good four days of curling down there,” said Koe. “We started out slow but we played to our best down the stretch and we peaked at the right time.”
Five teams in total from Yellowknife, Hay River and Fort Smith hit the ice looking to win the final territorial championship of the competitive season. Koe and company started out against Delorey and needed to muster everything they could to pull out a 5-3 victory.
Koe said that win was a big one right off the bat because it meant an advantage when it came down to final placings.
“You always want that bye to the final and beating Darcy in the first game was big,” he said.
From there, Koe reeled off wins over Sawer Kaeser and Jim Lockhart of Fort Smith and Sarah Stroeder, the other rink from Yellowknife to top the standings. Stroeder and Delorey ended up in the semifinal, which Delorey won by a score of 6-3 after he managed to run Stroeder out of rocks in the final end.
Koe had the hammer going into the final and got off to the best possible start by scoring three in the second end after a blank in the first end. Delorey scored a single in the fourth before Koe scored another three in the fifth. Koe then went on to steal a single in the sixth, followed by another steal of two in the seventh and that was enough for Delorey to shake hands.
“We had some close games in the early going all weekend but we were able to close them out,” said Koe.
The trip to Fort Smith came on the back of the Tim Hortons Brier, which finished up just before the mixed territorials, and Koe said the fatigue was there for both he and Aho.
“It was a quick turnaround from the Brier and hit the road,” he said. “We still managed to get into things quickly and the spirit was there. Everyone played really well and now it’s time to think about nationals.”
The foursome will get the chance to represent the NWT at the Canadian Mixed Curling Championship in Quebec in November and there’s some more meaning to the event now as there is a World Mixed Curling Championship, which is still in its relative infancy, having only been held since 2015.
Koe skipped the NWT to a silver medal at mixed national in 2015 and he said it’s a big event for him and the rest of the team.
“It’s a big event for us now, considering we came close to winning it all before,” he said. “We’ve been close but we’re hopeful we can bring the title back to the NWT.”