BRANDON, Man. — Kevin Koe took the quick route to a Brier final for once.
The Alberta skip will appear in his sixth final at the Canadian men's curling championship Sunday with a decisive 9-4 win Saturday over Northern Ontario's Brad Jacobs.
After claiming the title in 2016, 2014 and 2010, Koe can join Randy Ferbey, Kevin Martin and Ernie Richardson as the only skips to win four Briers.
It would also be the fourth time Koe has skipped a winning team with at least one new player in the lineup each time.
Koe, vice B.J. Neufeld, second Colton Flasch and lead Ben Hebert from Calgary's Glencoe Club are unbeaten at the Tim Hortons Brier with a 12-0 record.
"We're where we need to be," the skip said.
Koe won the Page playoff between the top two seeds for the first time in his career to take direct route to the final. He's had to come through the semifinal in five previous appearances.
"It's nice for once," Koe said. "I'm glad we don't have a full day off like it used to be. We'll get some good rest, probably get to practice tomorrow some time and be ready tomorrow night."
Jacobs needs to beat Brendan Bottcher's wild-card team in Sunday afternoon's semifinal to gain a rematch with Koe at night.
Edmonton's Bottcher ousted defending champion Brad Gushue 7-2 in Saturday's playoff between the third and fourth seeds.
Alberta bolted out front early against Northern Ontario scoring two with hammer in the first end, stealing three in the second and generating another deuce in the fourth for a 7-1 lead.
"It's definitely a bit shocking," Neufeld said. "You definitely don't go into any of these games like this at the end here thinking you're going to have a five-nothing lead after two ends.
"It's so early in the game there you have to keep the pedal on the floor."
Jacobs shook hands after eight ends.
Koe's shooting percentage was 94 compared to 56 for Jacobs, while rest of Northern Ontario's lineup hovered around 90 per cent.
"That loss right there, that's all on me," Jacobs said. "That's on my shoulders. The boys played great in front of me. I told them I'll be better tomorrow and that's the plan."
A soft in-turn tap by Koe had Jacobs facing three Alberta stones in the second. Jacobs's last shot hung up on a guard to give up a three-pointer.
"The second end was a little bit of a funny end," Koe said. "Neither team knew if they were sitting good or in trouble.
"I made a good one on my first and then Brad missed and he was in big trouble, and just missed his last shot. One of those big ends that you know was probably game over."
Neufeld and Flasch joined Koe and Hebert prior to this season.
Koe, Marc Kennedy, Brent Laing and Hebert sat out Alberta playdowns last year to prepare for the Winter Olympics where they finished fourth.
"For me and Ben, we'd love to win another," Koe said. "Our teammates, they've never done it."
After losing two to open the provincial men's championship, they've won 17 games in a row.
Northern Ontario dominated the early part of the tournament. Jacobs won eight in a row — including six that were over after eight ends — and the skip didn't have to throw his last shot in the 10th in any of them.
But the wheels began to wobble for the Sault Ste. Marie rink in the championship pool. They've lost three of four heading into the semifinal.
While Koe and company sweated a lot more than Northern Ontario for wins during the week, they were relentless Saturday night.
"It's been a grind," Koe said. "It doesn't feel like we've won all our games for sure the way it's gone.
"I hope we come out and play our best game. It's a Brier final. You're playing a great team."