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Team NWT looking for redemption as Brier pre-qualifier kicks off

Team NWT can improve its chances of moving on to the 2016 Brier with a strong showing against Nunavut Thursday night.

Skip Jamie Koe and the rest of his rink will compete against Nunavut, Nova Scotia and the Yukon in a pre-qualifier for the men’s national curling championship, which is being held in Ottawa this year.

While the main draw kicks off Saturday, pre-qualifying action gets underway at 5pm mountain time Thursday.

Teams will play three round-robin games before a Saturday final decides who moves on to the main event.

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Koe will try to rebound from a disappointing 2015 Brier that saw his rink go winless in 11 tries. As defeats piled up in Calgary, the 38-year-old even turned to his Twitter followers for suggestions.

Because of last year’s struggles, Team NWT wasn’t guaranteed automatic entry into this year’s championship. That had some fans bracing for Koe’s retirement since he’d previously expressed his distaste for the relegation format.

Koe’s best performance at the men’s national championship came back in 2012, when he finished fourth in round-robin play with a record of 7-4.

Last month, the territory’s female curlers just missed out on an opportunity to compete in the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Grande Prairie.

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