In the end, it all came down to a draw to the button.
In front of a sold out crowd at The Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre in Banff, Alta, Jeff Stoughton and his All-Star team emerged victorious at Sunday's Travelers All-Star Curling Skins Game Presented by Pinty's final. Team Stoughton defeated five-time TSN skins champion Kevin Martin and his All-Star teammates earlier Sunday afternoon following their semifinal win on Saturday over Team Brad Gushue. In total, Stoughton takes away $70,500 in prize winnings at TSN's two-day All-Star event that featured the Top 16 Canadian men's curlers – as voted by fans.
Playing with an All-Star team featuring Dave Nedohin (Third), Brent Laing (Second), and Ryan Harnden (Lead), this victory marks the first TSN skins title for the two-time World Champion Stoughton. Stoughton's prize money from this weekend totals $70,500, which includes $38,000 won in Sunday's final, plus $17,500 won in Saturday's semifinal, and a $15,000 winner's bonus. After this weekend, Stoughton's career TSN skins game winnings now total $108,500.
Martin began the final with an early lead by winning the second end, taking $4,000 following a first end carry-over. Stoughton won the third end and $3,000 to bring the game closer. He then pulled ahead following carry-overs in the fourth and fifth ends to take $13,000 in the sixth end. Both Stoughton and Martin made incredible shots to force a seventh end carry-over, with the eighth end also going undecided - leading to a sudden death finish. Following a dramatic draw to the button, Stoughton's 11.5 cm shot secured the remaining $22,000 in prize money plus a $15,000 winner's bonus - bringing his final tally at the two-day event to $70,500.
Stoughton earned his place in Sunday's Travelers All-Star Curling Skins Game Presented by Pinty's final following his victory over Brad Gushue's All-Star squad in Saturday afternoon's first semifinal, while Martin advanced following a victory over Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games medal hopeful Brad Jacobs' rink in last night's second semifinal.
Overall results from the Travelers All-Star Curling Skins Game Presented by Pinty's are as follows:
- Team Stoughton: $70,500 ($55,500 in skins prize money + $15,000 winner's bonus)
- Team Martin: $15,500
- Team Jacobs: $9,500
- Team Gushue: $4,500 ($3,500 in skins prize money + $1,000 draw to the button bonus)
Following this weekend's event, Martin remains the TSN skins game all-time leader in prize money, having won a record $440,850.