Bottcher Wins First Career Brier

Brendan Bottcher defeated Wild Card Two’s Kevin Koe as Team Alberta won the Canadian men’s curling championship.

The Alberta skip beat Koe 4-2 on Sunday to win his first Tim Hortons Brier title.

Koe conceded as Bottcher sat three in the 10th end and Koe conceded when he didn’t have any options to score two for the tie.

Bottcher had reached the last three finals but had to settle for silver on each occasion.

“Those three years were tough, each one of them for different reasons,” he said. “But it just makes tonight so much more special that we persevered and we worked so hard.”

Koe was going for a record fifth Brier title as skip.

After the teams blanked five of the first six ends, with Alberta forcing Wild Card Two to a single in the third, the game opened up in the seventh as Koe flashed a stone after it picked. He missed a double-takeout to set up Bottcher for a draw for three.

The pressure was maintained on Koe as Bottcher forced them to make a tough double-takeout against five to salvage a single.

Bottcher settled for a point in the ninth and down two with hammer, Wild Card Two were unable to build the end they wanted for the necessary pair to force an extra.

Bottcher and teammates Darren Moulding, Brad Thiessen and Karrick Martin enjoyed a celebratory team hug in the spectator-free Markin MacPhail Centre.

“I don’t remember life ever not dreaming and wanting this,” Moulding said. “It’s my whole life’s work. It’s kind of overwhelming actually. But this is what I always pictured for sure.”

The Edmonton-based foursome made their Brier debut together in 2017 and have now exorcised the demons of three final defeats.

“Losing in this game sucks, for lack of a better word,” Bottcher said. “It really sucks. It sucked the first time, it sucked the second time and it sucked just as much the third time.

“We all show it differently but (the win) just means so much to us and I think that was really on display here tonight when we closed it out.”

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