The latest round of NNSL Media’s Greatest Of All Time had all the makings of a great knock-down, drag-out battle and it didn’t disappoint.

In what turned into the most spirited match-up of the first round so far, the 1994 NWT junior boys curling rink of Kevin Koe, Jamie Koe, Mark Whitehead and Kevin Whitehead held on to defeat the Fort Smith Fire Department curling foursome of Howard Brazeau, Dick Cisarowski, Jim Schaeffer and Mickey MacEachern after the votes were tallied Wednesday morning.

Kevin Koe, left, calls the line as Kevin Whitehead, Mark Whitehead and Jamie Koe lay the brushes during action at the 1994 Pepsi Canadian Junior Curling Championships in Truro, N.S. The rink lost in the final of that year’s championships in the most heartbreaking of fashions but they are moving on in NNSL Media’s Greatest Of All Time competition.
photo courtesy of Sport North

The juniors, who were the quite possibly the hardest of hard-luck runners up after losing the boys final of the Canadian Junior Curling Championships that year to Alberta on a burned rock, jumped out to an early lead but the firefighters began a furious comeback after the town of Fort Smith began to rally around one of its most famous teams ever. Brazeau skipped his rink to the Dominion Firefighters Curling Championship crown to back-to-back crowns in 1976 and 1977, the first rink from the NWT to win a national curling title, with Dave Dragon leading the way as coach.

The first round will come to an end next week as the final opening-round contest will pit the 2010 edition of the NWT Rebels women’s broomball team, bronze medalists at that year’s World Broomball Championships, versus the 2013-2014 edition of the Yellowknife Wolfpack peewees, one of the finest teams to ever compete on the minor hockey tournament circuit.

James McCarthy

I've been hanging around the office as the sports editor for the better part of the last 16 years. In August 2022, NNSL Media decided to promote me to the managing editor's position, which I accepted after...

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