Glenn Howard, Richard Hart, Brent Laing and Craig Savill celebrate after winning the 2008-09 Masters title. (Photo: Anil Mungal)

Howard tops Koe in extra end to win 3rd straight Masters title

November 16, 2008, 4:30 PM

WATERLOO, Ont. — It was deja vu as Glenn Howard defeated Edmonton’s Kevin Koe for the second consecutive season to win the Masters.

The encore was a tight back-and-forth battle with the two teams trading singles through the match until the decisive extra end where Howard fired a short runback with his last to prevail 4-3 in Sunday’s final winning the first of four Grand Slam of Curling events this season.

Howard, third Richard Hart, second Brent Laing and lead Craig Savill became the first team to win the same Grand Slam of Curling event three seasons in a row. It’s also their third straight Grand Slam win in the series dating back to last season.

“I thought it was a terrific game,” Howard said. “I thought it was really well curled. We were all making shots. We’d get something going and then they’d make a great shot to get out of it. Then they’d get something going and we’d make a great shot to get out of it.”

Team Howard earned $24,500 and 36.000 Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) points while Koe took home $16,500 and 27.000 CTRS points.

The two rinks met in last season’s Masters final, held earlier this year in Saskatoon, where Howard won 7-3.

Koe continues to look for his first Grand Slam of Curling title as a skip slipping to a 0-5 record in the finals.

“I thought we played pretty good,” Koe said. “We had our chance in the eighth to get our deuce and that’s the way we played it. We missed one (shot) that end and it ended up hurting us.”

The Edmonton-based rink includes fourth Blake MacDonald, second Carter Rycroft and lead Nolan Thiessen with Koe throwing third stones.

Howard finished round-robin play with a 4-1 record and earned playoff wins over Reid Carruthers and Jeff Stoughton to reach the final. Koe finished the preliminary stage at 3-2 to make the tiebreakers and needed three wins Saturday over Thomas Ulsrud, Kevin Martin and Brad Gushue to punch his ticket to the championship game.