CURLING: New York men, Wisconsin 1 women advance to finals at 2008 U.S. Juniors

Feb. 09, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Feb. 9, 2008 New York men, Wisconsin 1 women advance to finals at 2008 Junior Nationals (PORTAGE, Wis.) - New York's Brandon Corbett team continues to live above their own expectations in clinching a spot in the men's championship final Saturday morning at the 2008 USA Curling Junior National Championships in Portage, Wis. Corbett (Rochester, N.Y.) and teammates Chris Bond (Henrietta, N.Y), Derek Corbett (Rochester, N.Y.) and Kell Orlando (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) knocked out Wisconsin's Brad Caldwell team, 9-5, to move on to the final today at 1 p.m. against Minnesota's Chris Plys team. "We got another tough one ahead of us," Corbett said of the match-up with Minnesota. "We've played this team twice so maybe the third time's the charm. I'd say we've exceeded our expectations, especially based on our last time." Corbett's team finished seventh at the 2006 Junior Nationals after posting just one win that week. Nina Spatola's Wisconsin 1 women's team punched their ticket to the championship final with a 6-2 victory over Miranda Solem's Minnesota 2 rink. Spatola, the 2006 U.S. junior champion, showed her experience as her team of Becca Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), Karlie Koenig (Waukesha, Wis.) and Jenna Haag (Milton, Wis.) controlled the game from the first end. They'll face Minnesota 1's Alex Carlson team in the women's championship game, also scheduled for 1 today. "We're really excited and pumped up to play them again," Spatola said of this afternoon's match with Carlson. "We need to bring ourselves down a little bit from this win, and go out there and win this one." After New York opened with a deuce, Caldwell made an open hit but rolled his shooter out giving up a steal of one to give New York a 3-0 advantage. New York got three stones in scoring position again in the third end until Collom made a double takeout and Caldwell coolly drew the button for one point to get on the scoreboard. Corbett capitalized on a missed takeout attempt by Caldwell in the fourth end to draw in for three points to take a 6-1 advantage. Wisconsin put the pressure on in the fifth end and answered with a deuce and forced Corbett to make a takeout for one in the following end. "The fifth end, we got in a bit of a jam but overcame that," said Corbett, a student at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. New York got four stones scattered around the house in the eighth end forcing Caldwell to draw the four foot past guards above the house for just one. After Corbett rolled his shooter stone out on a takeout, Wisconsin stole another point to keep their hopes alive. New York sealed the win with one point in the 10th end to advance to the final. Caldwell (Mapleton, Minn.) and teammates Matt Collom (Galesville, Wis.), Tyler Vietanen (Trempealeau, Wis.) and John Landsteiner (Mapleton, Minn.) are the men's bronze medalists. "I think they're a much better team than what we saw here today," Corbett said of his opponents. "They're a really good team." On the women's side, Spatola's team jumped out to a 2-0 lead early after stealing a single in the second end. Spatola applied the pressure in the third end getting a stone touching part of the button behind a guard that Minnesota 2 couldn't remove. Solem came up short with a draw giving up another steal. Solem would redeem herself in the next end but she was forced to draw in for only one point. "We felt like we controlled most of the ends," Spatola said. In the fifth end, Solem made a clutch double takeout to force Spatola to blank the end. Wisconsin scored one in the sixth end after Spatola missed a takeout with her first stone and Minnesota guarded its rock in the eight-foot. After Wisconsin stole a point in the eighth end, Solem's Minnesota team was forced to make a hit for one in the ninth giving the last-shot advantage back to Spatola. But the young Minnesota team didn't make it easy on her as Solem split in a stone above the rings to lie the three stones she needed in hopes of extending the game. Spatola made the hit for the win and her first trip back to the final since winning it in 2006. Solem (Cohasset, Minn.) and teammates Grace Gabower (Milton, Wis.), Julie Lilla (Trempealeau, Wis.) and Chelsea Solem (Cohasset, Minn.) will go home with a bronze medal in the team's first appearance at the Junior Nationals. 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. "It would be awesome to return to Junior Worlds and represent the U.S.," Spatola said. "It's such a different environment than a national event so if it's in the cards for us, I hope it happens that way." Line scores: Wisconsin 1 (Spatola)* 111 001 010 1 6 Minnesota 2 (Solem) 000 100 001 0 2 Wisconsin (Caldwell) 001 020 011 0 5 New York (Corbett)* 210 301 100 1 9 *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).