First Name: Team Dacey 2004 Brier Curling Champion
Sport: Curling
Inductee Type: Team
Year Inducted: 2021

For all intents and purposes, the 2004 Brier was over.

The score was 8-4 after seven ends.

Team Alberta, skipped by Randy Ferbey, was dominating Team Nova Scotia, skipped by Mark Dacey. The game was proceeding to script, with the world’s best team making quick and easy work of the Bluenosers.

The deficit was insurmountable. Certainly, the majority of the 12,000 fans at Saskatchewan Place in Saskatoon thought so. As did many fans on the east coast of Canada, who shut off their TV’s and shuffled off to bed before the hour got too late. Heck, even the CBC TV announcers thought they had seen enough, and started talking about the 2005 Brier in Edmonton, where the Ferbey team would be gunning for a record fifth straight title. That’s because their fourth straight was basically a done deal. Team Ferbey was too good and their lead was too big.

Almost everyone believed that.


“After that seventh end, I was kind of standing by myself at centre ice,” recalls Mark Dacey. “The guys weren’t too happy with me because I had been playing so poorly. Our fifth player, Mat Harris, came to talk to me and basically said, ‘Hey man, get your sh*t together! Strange things happen in Brier finals. Keep fighting!’ His language was actually a bit more colourful than that, but you get the point! For me, it was a complete mindset shift, which I absolutely needed. I remember thinking, ‘He’s right, no more handouts, make them earn it.’”

Team Nova Scotia, made up of Dacey, Bruce Lohnes, Rob Harris and Andrew Gibson took advantage of a couple of rare Team Ferbey mistakes and managed to score three in the eighth end. All of a sudden, it was 8-7 Alberta. Nova Scotia then forced Ferbey to settle for one in the ninth. 9-7 Alberta. This set the stage for the most memorable and tense final end in Brier history. Team Nova Scotia, with the hammer, trailing by two…

“Marcel Rocque (Team Ferbey lead) had left his first two rocks high in the house,” remembers Dacey. “They were kind of overlapped in the top of the eight-foot, and we needed something to hide behind. When it came to Bruce’s first shot, I asked him to play a wide out-turn come-around the high corner guard. My team thought I had lost my mind!”

In fact, the CBC microphones clearly picked up the dissension.

“Oh my God,” said Rob Harris.

“I don’t like it either, but he wants it,” responded Lohnes.

The problem was, the rock would have to be thrown wide, along a frosty path of ice that was not familiar to the team

Harris again yelled to Dacey, “Are you sure?”

Dacey was.

Lohnes took a deep breath, focused, and executed the shot to perfection. After Ferbey removed the guard, the Nova Scotia skip called upon his third for some more magic.

“When Bruce was rolling, he could make any shot in the book,” says Dacey. “Here, in the 10th end of the Brier final, he made the best come around draw I have ever seen. The space we were dealing with was the size of a postage stamp. Bruce threw it beautifully, Andrew and Rob swept it perfectly, and suddenly the pressure was on Ferbey!”

The next five minutes are the stuff of Brier legend. Team Alberta removed the stone Lohnes threw first and then, after some animated discussion on what to do next, Dacey settled in and threw an in-turn draw that settled in the back four-foot. There were now two Nova Scotia stones behind cover.

Team Alberta missed heavy with their last stone leaving Nova Scotia lying two, with a draw to the four-foot to score three and win the Brier.

Dacey didn’t waste much time.

“I didn’t think about it too much,” he recalls. “I had thrown this shot thousands of times…although admittedly, never in a situation like this!”

As he released the stone, CBC announcer Don Wittman described it as “the biggest shot of Mark Dacey’s career.”

Indeed it was. This was Dacey’s moment, and he seized it…

“I was right behind the sweepers yelling in their ears as the rock glided down the ice. As it neared the four-foot I knew it was perfect.”

As the rock stopped on the top of the button, bedlam ensued. Harris and Lohnes started hugging. Gibson was jumping up and down uncontrollably. And CBC curling analyst Mike Harris was gushing. “Those are three of the best shots I’ve ever seen, the last three shots to win that game,” he shouted to the national TV audience.

Amidst all the chaos, Dacey was sharing an unforgettable moment with the person who introduced him to the game.

“My Dad had jumped the boards to join in the celebration,” he remembers. “The hug we shared was the most special moment of my career.”

Team Dacey had authored the most dramatic and most unlikely comeback in Brier history. And Nova Scotia had it’s third-ever Brier title, and first in over 50 years.

“Curling Gods and destiny were both at work, no question,” Dacey reflects. “But we also executed to perfection. Down four with three ends to play and from that point, we basically didn’t miss a shot. Seventeen years later, I still get goosebumps thinking about what Andrew, Rob, Bruce and I were able to do.”

***Team Dacey formed in 2002 and curled together until 2007. During that time, they had three top-3 finishes at the Brier—first in 2004, second in 2003, and third on 2006. They also finished third at the 2004 World Curling Championships in Sweden.***

[Article by Bruce Rainnie]

  • Brier Champion, 2004
  • Came from 4 points down with 3 ends to play to win the championship game
  • 3rd place in the World Championships, 2004
  • Earned berths in the 2004 Continental Cup, 2005 Strauss Canada Cup, and M&M Skins
  • 2nd place at the 2003 Brier
  • 3rd place at the 2006 Brier

Team Members: Mark Dacey (skip), Andrew Gibson (lead), Mat Harris (fifth), Rob Harris (second), Bruce Lohnes (third), and Peter Corkum (coach)