Jamie Koe will compete in his 11th Tim Hortons Brier after his rink claimed this weekend’s NWT playdowns in Yellowknife.
The 2017 men’s national curling championship will be held in St. John’s, Newfoundland between Mar. 4 and Mar. 12.
Koe and his team of Chris Schille, Brad Chorostkowski and Robert Borden had a couple of scares this weekend, but ultimately finished the playdowns with a perfect record of 6-0.
“We had a pretty good weekend,” Koe told Moose FM. “We kind of started peaking towards the end of the weekend.”
Koe’s rink went 3-8 at the 2016 Brier after going winless in the previous championship.
Because the territory’s curlers finished ninth last year, they won’t have to participate in a pre-qualifying round robin to determine the tournament’s final seed.
Koe says that’s a big relief after being forced to compete in one last year.
“It’s huge,” he said. “The second we got out of [the pre-qualifier] last year we were on the ice 45 minutes later for our first game of the actual Brier so we were pretty tired.
“It’s a big relief that we can just focus on the event we’re in and not the pre-event.”
Team NWT avoided relegation ahead of this year’s championship by finishing above New Brunswick, British Columbia and Prince Edward Island last year.
With the Brier just over a month away, Koe says his team will be training hard to make sure they’re competitive in St. John’s.
“Our goal is to be competitive and to be in the games,” he said. “Hopefully we can be around at the end of the week.”