They won't meet until Friday morning's draw, but curling greats Kevin Martin and Glenn Howard are both back at the 2012 Capital One Canada Cup of Curling looking for return trips to the final in the 10th edition of the event.
Martin went perfect throughout the Canada Cup last year in Cranbrook, BC and won in the final, 7-4, over Howard. That was payback for 2010 in Medicine Hat where Howard won his first Canada Cup with a win over Martin in the final. The two rinks have squared off in the Canada Cup final three times with Martin winning two of them.
Martin has found a lot of success at this event as he's the only person to win it four times and he's been to the final for the past seven years. He says staying out of the loss column for as long as possible is key in an event like this with so many good curlers taking part and only three teams advancing to the playoffs on the weekend.
“Don't lose too soon,” said Martin. “With only seven teams, 4-2 will get you a tiebreaker, but three losses and you're done. So, go as long as you can before you get the first loss, that's the key.”
The Martin rink hasn't been playing up to their usual dominant standards so far this season on the World Curling Tour, but have found success, winning one event and making it to the final of another.
The 46-year-old Olympic gold medalist says they're doing alright coming into this week's event, “We've played a lot already this year and we're hitting our stride not bad right now. It would sure be nice to finish off the Canada Cup right again, but we'll see how it goes, it's a tough field.”
The Howard rink is struggling coming off a dominating end to last season that saw them capture the 2012 Tim Hortons Brier and the World Championship. Howard says they just need to start making more shots to turn things around, “We're not playing quite to our typical standard and we're normally use to playing very well and making all the shots all the time. We've had a few misses in the last few games.
“Bottom line is, I think we're ready. We practiced lots over the last week and a half and are ready for the Canada Cup.”
Howard says getting a few breaks is key during a short and talent-laden event like this, “Really making the right shots at the right time, as silly as that sounds. You have a draw against three, you've got to make that shot, or you have a draw to get three, you've got to make that shot. Don't do anything stupid and hopefully get some breaks along the way.”
Both teams will be playing just for the Canada Cup title as they've already booked their tickets to the 2013 Roar Of The Rings Olympic Trials.
The Canada Cup gets underway on Wednesday morning at Mosaic Place with four games on the ice starting at 9:00am. Click here for a full schedule.
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