CURLING: Connecticut, North Dakota 2 lead pack at 2008 U.S. Mixed

March 16, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 16, 2008 Connecticut, North Dakota 2 lead the pack at 2008 U.S. Mixed Championship (DETROIT) - Derek Surka's Connecticut team and North Dakota 2's Duane Symons team lead the pack with 2-0 records at the 2008 U.S. Mixed National Championship. Connecticut's Derek Surka (New Haven, Conn.), Charrissa Lin (New Haven, Conn.), Sean Murray (Edgewood, Md.) and Rachel Sethi (Falls Church, Va.) won their second game with an easy 11-2 win over Alaska's Dennis Thies rink. Alaska started out with the last-rock advantage but the Connecticut team stole the first four ends to build a 9-0 lead. Alaska scored two in the fifth end but watched as Connecticut scored another deuce to force the Alaskans to concede the match. North Dakota 2's Duane Symons rink won its second match with a 9-6 win over Wisconsin's Ryan Lemke rink in the morning draw. Symons (Langdon, N.D.) and teammates Val Nash (Devils Lake, N.D.), Chad Carlson (Fisher, Minn.) and Christine Mikulich (Eveleth, Minn.) had the afternoon off but return to action tonight against the defending champions from Washington. Brady Clark's team fell to 1-1 after losing to Illinois in an extra end, 8-7. Doug Boyd's Illinois team scored three points in the ninth end to take the lead and forced Washington to a single in the 10th end to go for the win in the 11th. Arizona's Fred Maxie rink improved to 2-1 with a 6-3 win over Minnesota's Peter Stolt team. Maxie (Phoenix) and teammates Cindy Kortebein (Knoxville, Tenn.), Richard Maskel (Green Bay, Wis.) and Jan Legacie (Edmore, N.D.) defeated Michigan's David Loan team earlier in the day for their first win. In this afternoon's match, Arizona stole three points in the eighth end to break open a close game and cruise to the victory. North Dakota 1's Jerod Roland team stole three straight ends to defeat Alaska this morning and keep pace with the front of the pack at 1-0. The round robin continues through Thursday. The semifinals for the event are set for 4 p.m. Friday followed by the gold-medal and bronze-medal games next Saturday afternoon. Live scoring from the event can be found at http://www.mixed08detroit. Standings: Connecticut 2-0 North Dakota 2 2-0 Arizona 2-1 North Dakota 1 1-0 Illinois 1-1 Washington 1-1 Wisconsin 1-1 Alaska 0-2 Michigan 0-2 Minnesota 0-2 USA Curling is sponsored by AIT Worldwide Logistics, AmerAust Technologies and Nike. (30) For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling,, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell).