By THE CANADIAN PRESS

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. – The men’s semifinals are set at the Grey Power Players’ Championship curling event.

Edmonton’s Kevin Martin and Randy Ferbey, Glenn Howard of Coldwater, Ont., and Mike McEwen of Winnipeg all advanced from Saturday’s quarter-final draw at the season’s final Capital One Grand Slam of Curling event.

Martin remained in the hunt for his sixth career Players’ Championship title with a 7-5 victory over Winnipeg’s Jeff Stoughton, while Howard picked up his fourth consecutive victory of the tournament with a 7-4 decision over Ted Appelman of Edmonton.

Ferbey improved to 4-0 after holding off Kevin Koe of Edmonton 7-5. McEwen advanced after scoring one point in the eighth for a 5-4 win over Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L.

Martin and Ferbey were set to meet later Saturday in one semifinal, with Howard against McEwen in the other.

In a rematch of the 2009 Brier final, Martin led Stoughton 3-2 after three ends and was able to extend his lead to two points in the fourth after securing a one-point steal.

“The steal of four to go two up, that was pretty big,” said Martin. “Then we go into the (fourth end) break and that is such a momentum builder. If they get a deuce in four, you go into the break, it’s quite a big change. That was the big one.”

Leading 4-3 in the sixth, Martin seized control of the game with a delicate tap for two points.

Howard, the tournament’s defending champion, was pushed by Appelman for six ends before breaking a 4-4 tie with an open draw for three points in the seventh.

Ferbey can clinch the final direct Canadian trials berth if his team wins the championship. A Ferbey loss in the semifinals or final will allow Middaugh to grab the final spot.


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