CURLING: Playoff picture takes shape at 2010 Junior Nationals
Terry Kolesar
(715) 344-1199 ext. 202
January 27, 2010 10:46 AM
Jan. 27, 2010

Playoff picture starting to take shape at 2010 Junior Nationals

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - Becca Hamilton's Wisconsin I women's team took one more step closer to earning a playoff spot with the team's fifth straight win at the 2010 USA Curling Junior Nationals in Bemidji, Minn.

Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.) and teammates Karlie Koenig (Oconomowoc, Wis.), Jenna Haag (Milton, Wis.) and Grace Gabower (Janesville, Wis.) defeated Jillian Walker's team from Massachusetts, 3-2, in last night's action in a very defensive game. The win puts the team at 5-1 just behind Alexandra Carlson's Minnesota I team, which improved to 6-0 with an 8-3 defeat of North Dakota I's Amanda Tucker team. Walker's team drops to third place at 4-2.

Miranda Solem's Minnesota II team kept its playoff hopes alive with a 7-3 win over New York's Katlyn Beebe to improve to 3-3 for a four-way tie for fourth place. The top four teams after the round robin concludes advance to the page system playoffs. Solem (Cohasset, Minn.) and teammates Alex Schieber (Portage, Wis.), Chelsea Solem (Cohasset, Minn.) and Julie Lilla (Trempealeau, Wis.) scored in the first two ends to build a 3-0 lead and limited New York's offense after that. The loss drops Beebe's squad to 3-3 as well. Alaska's Vicky Persinger rink is in the mix as well after posting the team's third win with a 10-7 defeat of Ann Podoll's North Dakota II team. Kimberly Rhyme's Wisconsin I rink scored five points in the third end in the match-up with Laura Murphy's team from Massachusetts en route to a 12-6 win to improve to 2-4 in the standings.

In men's action this morning, both teams from Minnesota posted wins to remain at the top of the standings at 6-1. Right behind them at 5-2 is Sean Beighton's Washington rink, which posted a lopsided 14-1 win over Matt Brown's team from Illinois. Staying in the playoff hunt are Wisconsin II's Tom Gabower and New York's Brandon Corbett rink, both earning wins today. Stephen Dropkin lost to Aaron Wald's Minnesota II team to remain in a tie with New York and Wisconsin II at 4-3.

With two games left in the round robin for the men, a few key matchups of the top teams remain to be played to shake out the playoff teams.

The round robin continues today with draws at noon, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Playoffs get underway on Friday with the top four teams in each division advancing. The finals are set for Saturday at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The winning teams move on to represent the USA at the 2010 World Junior Championships March 6-13 in Flims, Switzerland.

Game scores (7 p.m., women): Alaska 10, North Dakota II 7; Minnesota II 7, New York 3; Wisconsin I 3, Massachusetts I 2; Minnesota I 8, North Dakota I 3; Wisconsin II 12, Massachusetts II 6

Game scores (8 a.m., today, men): Minnesota I 9, Alaska 5; Washington 14, Illinois 1; Wisconsin II 9, Wisconsin I 4; New York 7, North Dakota 6 (extra end); Minnesota II 8, Massachusetts 7

Women's standings:
Minnesota I (Carlson)        6-0
Wisconsin I (Hamilton)        5-1
Massachusetts I (Walker)    4-2
Alaska (Persinger)        3-3
Minnesota II (Solem)        3-3
New York (Beebe)        3-3
North Dakota I (Tucker)        3-3
Wisconsin II (Rhyme)        2-4
North Dakota II (Podoll)        1-5
Massachusetts II (Murphy)    0-6

Men's standings:
Minnesota I (Andrews)        6-1
Minnesota II (Wald)        6-1
Washington (Beighton)        5-2
Massachusetts (Dropkin)    4-3
New York (Corbett)        4-3
Wisconsin II (Gabower)        4-3
Wisconsin I (Morton)        3-4
Alaska (Birklid)            2-5
North Dakota (Jensen)        1-6
Illinois (Brown)            0-7

USA Curling is sponsored by AIT Worldwide Logistics, Nike, bitRail, Laphroaig Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky and is partnered with CurlingZone.

For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling,, 608-338-9900 (cell), 715-344-1199, Ext. 202 (office) 
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