CURLING: Defending champions handed second loss at 2008 U.S. Mixed

March 16, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 16, 2008 Defending champions handed second loss at 2008 U.S. Mixed Championship (DETROIT) - North Dakota 2's Duane Symons rink has been the surprise team in the early going at the 2008 U.S. Mixed National Championship. Symons (Langdon, N.D.) and teammates Val Nash (Devils Lake, N.D.), Chad Carlson (Fisher, Minn.) and Christine Mikulich (Eveleth, Minn.) improved to 3-0 Sunday night after knocking off the defending champions from Washington skipped by Brady Clark. North Dakota 2 needed 11 ends to take down Washington, 8-6, after coming out on the positive side of a back-and-forth game. The North Dakota team regained the lead in the seventh end with two points followed by a steal of one and held off Washington's late rally to stay in pace with Connecticut for first place in the standings. Connecticut's Derek Surka team stopped Jerod Roland's North Dakota 1 team, 7-6, to up its record to 3-0. After taking a 3-0 lead, the East Coast team saw their lead disintegrate as Roland (Petersburg, N.D.) and teammates Stephanie Roland (East Grand Forks, Minn.), Steve Roland (Petersburg, N.D.) and Stephanie Sambor (Bismarck. N.D.) scored a single in the fourth end and stole four points over the next two ends. Connecticut rallied to score four straight to seal the win. Minnesota's Peter Stolt team got its first win of the competition with an 11-9 win over Doug Boyd's Illinois rink. Stolt (Plymouth, Minn.) and teammates Maureen Stolt (Plymouth, Minn.), Tim Jeanetta (Elk River, Minn.) and Margeaux Ackerman (Minneapolis) scored three points in the 10th end to grab the win and hand Illinois its second loss. The hometown team skipped by David Loan (Brighton, Mich.) got its first win after defeating the 2007 mixed semifinalists from Wisconsin, 7-6. Loan and teammates Kelly Mayes (Berkley, Mich.), Ryan Fletcher (Royal Oak, Mich.) and Kathy Cross (St. Clair Shores, Mich.) fell behind early to Lemke's Wisconsin squad after they scored four points in the second end. However, Michigan used steals to earn the victory. 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. Game scores: North Dakota II 8, Washington 6; Connecticut 7, North Dakota I 6; Minnesota 11, Illinois 9; Michigan 7, Wisconsin 6 Standings: Connecticut 3-0 North Dakota 2 3-0 Arizona 2-1 North Dakota 1 1-1 Illinois 1-2 Michigan 1-2 Minnesota 1-2 Washington 1-2 Wisconsin 1-2 Alaska 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).