The second time was the charm for Kevin Martin.
In his second Olympics appearance, one of the most decorated Canadian curlers was able to add the only thing missing from his curling resume, a gold medal.
Martin and Canada defeated Norway 6-3 to capture Canada’s second straight men’s curling gold medal, following Brad Gushue’s win in 2006 in Turin.
“It’s a pretty proud moment for the four of us to get through undefeated,” Martin told CTV following the victory. “The guys came to play today.”
Martin previously represented Canada in the Olympics in 2002, losing to Norway in the gold medal game, missing a draw to the four-foot for the win in the final end.
With 2002 Norway skip Pal Trulsen in the crowd as a coach to the Norway team, Martin and his teammates were able to ensure that this time the veteran skip would come away with the top prize.
“If you get back again, then you have a chance,” Martin said.
Canada, with skip Martin, third John Morris, second Marc Kennedy, and lead Ben Hebert was too strong for Norway and skip Thomas Ulsrud, going undefeated with a 9-0 round robin record followed by wins in the semifinal and gold-medal game.
Martin was able to take a commanding 6-3 lead into the final end after making a quiet tap-back on a Norwegian stone on the button for a single point and was then able to run Norway out of rocks in the final end.
In the seventh end, Martin made a brilliant freeze on the Norway stone at the back of the four-foot that Ulsrud was unable to remove with his last stone. Martin was then able to draw to the eight-foot for two points and a 5-2 lead.
Martin, who struggled early in the match, recovered to have a strong second half, finishing the game shooting 78 per cent. It was the touch game that Martin dominated, shooting 94 per cent on eight draws.
Morris made key double takeouts in each of the fourth and fifth ends to put pressure on Norway that led to consecutive steals for Canada. Ulsrud was left with a draw to the button in both cases, but in the fourth end he was a little wide and came up well short in the fifth end.