CURLING: Minnesota men defend title at 2008 U.S. Juniors

Feb. 09, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Feb. 9, 2008 Minnesota men defend title at 2008 Junior Nationals (PORTAGE, Wis.) - The defending champions from Minnesota proved to be too much to handle for New York's Brandon Corbett rink as Chris Plys led his team to a lopsided 11-3 win to defend their national title Saturday afternoon at the 2008 USA Curling Junior National Championships in Portage, Wis. "We're pumped to go back to Worlds," said Plys who will represent the U.S. at the World Junior Championships March 1-9 in Ostersund, Sweden. His team finished fifth at last year's Worlds. "We hope to go out and do a little better than last year." This is the third junior title in a row for Minnesota's Plys, 20, and fourth overall - tying him with fellow Minnesotan Kevin Johnson for the most junior titles. "I've always had a good team behind me," Plys said of the streak. Plys (Duluth, Minn.) and teammates Aanders Brorson (Duluth, Minn.), Matt Perushek (Eveleth, Minn.) and Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.) opened the game with a deuce after Corbett missed a takeout on the Minnesota stone half buried behind a guard. "We tried to come out a little hotter than yesterday," said Plys, a student at Lake Superior College in Duluth, Minn. Corbett (Rochester, N.Y.) and teammates Chris Bond (Henrietta, N.Y), Derek Corbett (Rochester, N.Y.) and Kell Orlando (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) tried to blank the second end after they couldn't get a big end set up but their rock spun onto the top of the rings putting them on the scoreboard. Minnesota looked to be in trouble late in the third end when Plys couldn't draw in a second stone but Corbett nicked a guard trying to take out the Minnesota stone in scoring position and spun off and pushed another Minnesota rock into scoring position. Plys came down and made the takeout on the New York stone in the four-foot for two. "All week we'd been on the other side of the breaks so it was nice to kind of catch a few," Plys said. The back-breaker for New York came in the fifth end when Minnesota scored three when Plys drew down through a port to the four-foot to leave New York scrambling for points. New York's bad luck continued as Corbett's final stone in the seventh end chipped his own two stones out giving Plys a draw for four to seal the win. 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. Men's gold medal game Minnesota 1 (Plys) 202 030 4XX 11 New York (Corbett) 010 101 0XX 3 *last stone in first end USA Curling is sponsored by AIT Worldwide Logistics, AmerAust Technologies and Nike as well as by AT,T, General Motors, The Home Depot, and Bank of America 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).