CURLING: Three-way tie for first place develops at 2008 U.S. Club Nationals

March 05, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 5, 2008 Three-way tie for first place at U.S. Club Nationals (STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - The playoff push intensified Wednesday afternoon as a three-way tie for first place developed at the 2008 U.S. Club Nationals in Mankato, Minn. Illinois, Wisconsin I and Minnesota each boast 5-1 records with the latter two teams losing their first matches of the competition today. North Dakota improved to 4-2 with a big win today over Wisconsin I to sit in fourth place with three games remaining in the round robin. Jeff Wright's Illinois team survived an extra end against Maryland's Scott Edie team to post an 8-7 win. Wright (Libertyville, Ill.) and teammates Nils Johansson (Highland Park, Ill.), Russ Brown (Lake Forest, Ill.) and Ken Brown (Deerfield, Ill.) took a seemingly comfortable 7-4 lead after scoring four points in the seventh end. But, Edie's team of Michael Fry (Wheaton, Md.), Ron Aubin (Columbia, Md.) and Michael Campbell (Catonsville, Md.) scored three points in the next three ends to force the extra end. Rick Tangedal's North Dakota squad handed Dave Brown's Wisconsin I team its first loss with a 12-6 defeat after scoring five points in the eighth end. Oregon improved to 3-3 as Doug Shaak and his Evergreen Curling Club teammates Jeff Tomlinson (Vancouver, Wash.), Tristan Smith (Mountain View, Calif.) and Daniel Sorensen (Vancouver, Wash.) defeated Minnesota's Rueben Harris team, 10-5. Oregon never trailed in this game as they built an early lead and set the offense at high-octane. Ohio's Stuart Cohen rink notched a second win of the tournament with a 9-5 win over Ian Journeaux's Wisconsin II rink. Cohen (Columbus, Ohio) and teammates Jeremy Caron (Columbus, Ohio), Kevin Mechenbier (Powell, Ohio) and Frank Mayer (Sunbury, Ohio) fell behind to the Wisconsin team late in the game but countered with three points in the eighth end and stole the remaining two ends to post the win. Washington's John Rasmussen rink also notched its second win as they soundly defeated Colorado's Brett Gleeson team, 18-2. Rasmussen (Edmonds, Wash.) and teammates William Rugen (Seattle), Liam Barksdale (Seattle) and Doug Kauffman (Lynnwood, Wash.) stole two points in the opening end and never looked back as Colorado suffered its sixth loss in the team's first appearance at the Club National Championships. The action continues today with draws at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. The round robin concludes Friday afternoon. The top four teams qualify for Saturday morning's semifinals. The men's and women's championship finals are set for 2 p.m. Saturday. Live scoring can be found at The U.S. Club Nationals, now in its fourth year, does not lead to the World Championships, rather rewards the top league-playing team in the U.S. The winners of the recent U.S. National Championships in Hibbing represent the U.S. at the Worlds. Game scores: Ohio 9, Wisconsin II 5; Oregon 10, Minnesota 5; Illinois 8, Maryland 7 (extra end); North Dakota 12, Wisconsin 6; Washington 18, Colorado 2 Standings: Men: Minnesota (Harris) 5-1 Wisconsin 1 (Brown) 5-1 Illinois (Wright) 5-1 North Dakota (Tangedal) 4-2 Maryland (Edie) 3-3 Oregon (Schaak) 3-3 Ohio (Cohen) 2-4 Washington (Rasmussen) 2-4 Wisconsin 2 (Journeaux) 1-5 Colorado (Gleeson) 0-6 Women: Minnesota (O'Leary) 5-0 Illinois (Lawless) 4-1 Wisconsin (Pahl) 4-1 New York (Meechai) 3-2 Maryland (Drummie) 3-2 North Dakota 1 (Bohlman) 3-2 Texas (Willingham) 1-4 Arizona (Tait) 1-4 Ohio (Festersen) 1-4 North Dakota 2 (Jaster) 0-5 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).