Team Kevin Martin celebrates with the National trophy (Photo: Anil Mungal)

Kevin Martin wins National to earn 5th straight Grand Slam

December 23, 2007, 8:00 PM

PORT HAWKESBURY, N.S. — Kevin Martin has made history winning his record fifth consecutive Grand Slam of Curling championship.

Martin captured the National title for the second straight season with a 5-2 victory over Kevin Koe in Sunday’s all-Edmonton final.

The team of Martin, third John Morris, second Brent Laing and lead Ben Hebert finished with an overall 7-1 record to earn $24,500 of the $100,000 prize purse. Laing regularly plays for Team Glenn Howard and was filling in for Marc Kennedy.

Team Martin won the National, Canadian Open and Players’ Championship titles last season and kicked off the four-leg 2007-08 Grand Slam of Curling season earlier this month claiming the Canadian Open again.

“I don’t know. We got a little lucky to win [in the semifinals] yesterday morning and after that we just steamrolled,” Martin told CBC Sports. “It’s a dream that’s going on and I hope it doesn’t end for a while.”

Martin has now won a record 13 titles in the series including a career Grand Slam.

Martin drew for two in the first to open the scoring. The teams split singles in the second and third ends and Martin took control stealing two in the fourth to pull away 5-1 heading into halftime.

Koe, who went 5-0 through round-robin play, couldn’t find a way to close the gap and blanked back-to-back ends before settling for a single in seven and Martin ran him out of rocks in the eighth.

It was a bit of deja vu as Martin defeated Koe 6-5 in the National final last season, which was also held in Port Hawkesbury.

Martin beat Winnipeg’s Jeff Stoughton 6-5 in the semifinals to advance to the championship game while Koe defeated Toronto’s Wayne Middaugh 6-5.

Koe, skips and throws third stones with fourth Blake MacDonald, second Carter Rycroft and lead Nolan Thiessen.

“It was a tough game,” Koe told CBC Sports. “We felt we played well. Kevin’s team threw well and unfortunately it came down to one end.”