NORTH BAY, Ont. - Saskatchewan's Max Kirkpatrick claimed the gold medal at the 2015 Canadian mixed curling championship with a 7-4 win over Jamie Koe of the Northwest Territories on Saturday.
Kirkpatrick's team from the Swift Current Curling Club — third Jolene Campbell, second Chris Haichert and lead Teejay Haichert — won Saskatchewan its 10th gold medal, tying it with Alberta for tops in the category.
"Oh, fantastic. Unbelievable, unbelievable," said the 54-year-old Kirkpatrick. "It was just a really well-played game, both teams played really well. My team was playing so well. We kept the pressure on them, but we had to make everything. It was unreal. My team curled fantastic."
Saskatchewan had to withstand some early pressure from Koe's team from Yellowknife — third Kerry Galusha, who is Koe's twin sister, second Robert Borden and lead Megan Cormier.
After Saskatchewan took a 3-1 lead with a third-end deuce, Koe made the shot of the championship in the fourth, negotiating a narrow port and hitting into crotch to record a triple takeout and score tying deuce.
But Saskatchewan came back strongly with two more in the fifth, held the Territories to one in the sixth, and put the game away with two in the seventh.
Kirkpatrick said following up Koe's stunning shot in the fourth with a deuce in the fifth was crucial for his team.
"If I threw my last shot in the fourth into the boards, he doesn't get a deuce," said Kirkpatrick. "I kind of put it in the only place I could where he could make the deuce. That was a little unfortunate, but we came right back with the deuce in five, and that was key."
With the win, the Swift Current foursome earns the right to wear Canadian colours at the inaugural World mixed championship next September at a location to be announced by the World Curling Federation.
"It's unbelievable. I can't even fathom that yet," said Kirkpatrick.