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Martin to face Morris at Canadian Curling Trials semifinal

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The Canadian Press
12/6/2013 6:46:10 PM
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WINNIPEG -- Kevin Martin will have to beat his former third John Morris once more to get a shot at making it to another Olympics.

The two will meet Saturday in the men's Olympic Trials curling semifinal to determine who will play Brad Jacobs on Sunday in the final for the coveted spot on the Olympic team.

Martin defeated Morris 7-6 in an extra end to clinch second in the men's standings Friday. But Morris also advanced to the semifinal after Kevin Koe beat Mike McEwen 5-4, guaranteeing Morris a third-place finish.

Martin is hoping he can repeat the feat Saturday en route to a fourth Olympics berth. He won gold in 2010 and silver in 2002 and also went to the 1992 Games.

"I hope so," he said after Friday's win. "It will be a tight game again but it was good to get through that one and the hammer in the semi and we'll hopefully play another good game (Saturday).

"I would have to say we have to play a little better than (Friday) as a team. We were a little bit sloppy on a couple of ends."

Morris was happy with how his team played.

"I think we had a real sound strategy and kept control most of that game," he said.

The exception was the sixth end when Martin scored three.

"If we can just pick it up maybe just a half notch then we can win this thing . . . I like our chances," said Morris, who was born in Winnipeg but has made his name curling for both Ontario and Alberta.

The former two-time world junior champion joined Martin's Edmonton-based rink in 2006 but abruptly left in April to sign with and skip Jim Cotter's squad out of the Vernon and Kelowna curling clubs. Cotter moved to third.

Martin then picked up another Manitoba native, former Randy Ferby fourth rock Dave Nedohin, to replace Morris.

In women's action, Sherry Middaugh of Coldwater, Ont., advanced to a semifinal showdown with Ottawa's on Friday night. The winner will face Winnipeg's Jennifer Jones in Saturday's final.

Middaugh ousted the last hometown favourite standing, Chelsea Carey, in a tight 6-3 tiebreaker. Neither skip really took many chances until a mistake by Carey's second in the eighth end.

Kristen Foster flashed on a guard and started a chain reaction that helped Middaugh get two for a 4-2 lead. She forced Carey to take one in the ninth and came home one up with the hammer, scoring two more in 10.

"You certainly don't expect that," said Middaugh. "(Perhaps) just a half shot, not a total miss but then we took advantage of it."

Carey was predictably disappointed but hoped her team's overall performance would silence those who suggested it didn't belong at the trials.

"We've proved that before but for whatever reason, nobody believes it," she said. "Maybe if we keep proving it, people will catch up."

In other men's action, Jacobs completed the round robin with a 7-4 victory over John Epping, who finished last with a 1-6 record.

Jeff Stoughton defeated Glen Howard 9-3 but both were already out of playoff contention. Stoughton finished 3-4 and Howard 2-5.

Kevin Martin (Photo: The Candian Press)

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(Photo: The Candian Press)
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