CURLING: One playoff spot up for grabs at 2008 U.S. Juniors

Feb. 08, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Feb. 8, 2008 One playoff spot left to be determined at 2008 Junior Nationals (PORTAGE, Wis.) - One playoff spot is still up for grabs after the round robin concluded this morning at the 2008 USA Curling Junior National Championships in Portage, Wis. The North Dakota, Wisconsin and Washington men's teams all finished with 6-3 records. Based on head-to-head competition, Wisconsin's Brad Caldwell rink automatically advances to the playoffs as the No. 3 seed behind No. 1 Minnesota 1 (Chris Plys) and No. 2 New York (Brandon Corbett) who will play in the Page System 1-2 game at 8 tonight. North Dakota's Erik Jensen and Washington's Matt Thomas will battle at 2 p.m. today in a tiebreaker match for the last berth. Washington handed North Dakota its most lopsided loss of the week earlier in the round robin with a 9-1 final score. On the women's side, the playoff picture was already determined after last night's results. Minnesota 1's Alex Carlson team finished the round robin at 8-1 and secured the No. 1 playoff seed. They'll face Nina Spatola's Wisconsin 1 team (7-2) in the Page System 1-2 playoff game at 8 tonight with the winner advancing to the championship final on Saturday. In the 3-4 game, Minnesota 2's Miranda Solem team (7-2) will face Monica Walker's Massachusetts rink (6-3). Solem's team stole two points in the 10th end to defeat Utah's Miranda Schieber team this morning. Caldwell's Wisconsin team defeated Washington 8-3 to clinch the playoff spot. Caldwell (Mapleton, Minn.) and teammates Matt Collom (Galesville, Wis.), Tyler Vietanen (Trempealeau, Wis.) and John Landsteiner (Mapleton, Minn.) capitalized by mistakes late in the game. After scoring a deuce in the seventh end to break a 3-3 tie, the Wisconsin squad stole two points in the eighth and a single in the ninth. Corbett's New York team will make their first playoff appearance when they battle the defending champion Chris Plys team from Minnesota in the 1-2 playoff match. Corbett (Rochester, N.Y.) and teammates Chris Bond (Henrietta, N.Y.), Derek Corbett (Rochester, N.Y.) and Kell Orlando (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) posted a 12-3 win over Grant Rahn's Illinois team to finish the round robin with a 7-2 record in the team's second outing at Junior Nationals. Live scoring can be found on the USA Curling website at The round robin continues through Friday morning followed by the Page System playoffs in the evening. In the playoffs, the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds will face off with the winner advancing to the championship final and the losing team playing the winner of the No. 3 v. No. 4 game in a semifinal. The championship finals are set for 1 p.m. Saturday. The winning teams from the 2008 Junior Nationals will represent the U.S. at the 2008 World Junior Championships March 1-9 in Ostersund, Sweden. Standings: Women: *Minnesota 1 (Carlson) 8-1 *Wisconsin 1 (Spatola) 7-2 *Minnesota 2 (Solem) 7-2 *Massachusetts (Walker) 6-3 Alaska (Hufman) 5-4 Illinois (Stewart) 4-5 Utah (Schieber) 3-6 North Dakota (Tucker) 3-6 Pennsylvania (Anderson) 2-7 Wisconsin 2 (Schaffer) 0-9 Men: *Minnesota 1 (Plys) 8-1 *New York (Corbett) 7-2 *Wisconsin (Caldwell) 6-3 Washington (Thomas) 6-3 North Dakota (Jensen) 6-3 Minnesota 2 (Wald) 5-4 Massachusetts (Dropkin) 4-5 Illinois (Rahn) 2-7 Alaska (Birklid) 1-8 Michigan (Smith) 0-9 *playoff berth USA Curling is sponsored by AIT Worldwide Logistics, AmerAust Technologies and Nike as well as by AT,T through a joint marketing program with the U.S. Olympic Committee. (30) For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling,, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell).