CURLING: North Dakota 2 halts losing skid to stay in playoff hunt at 2008 U.S. Mixed

March 19, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 19, 2008 North Dakota II gets back on winning track at 2008 U.S. Mixed Championship (DETROIT) - The Duane Symons rink representing North Dakota II snapped a two game losing skid to stay in the middle of the playoff hunt Wednesday afternoon at the 2008 U.S. Mixed National Championship at the Detroit Curling Club in Ferndale, Mich. Symons (Langdon, N.D.) and teammates Val Nash (Devils Lake, N.D.), Chad Carlson (Fisher, Minn.) and Christine Mikulich (Eveleth, Minn.) defeated North Dakota 1's Jerod Roland, 12-7, and are tied for second place with Arizona's Fred Maxie at 5-2. Wisconsin is right on their heels at 4-2. In today's match against Jerod Roland's team, North Dakota II went heavy on the throttle scoring in six of 10 ends played. Roland (Petersburg, N.D.) and teammates Stephanie Roland (East Grand Forks, N.D.), Steve Roland (Petersburg, N.D.) and Stephanie Sambor (Bismarck, N.D.) got off to a solid start scoring three points in the opening end. North Dakota II would score in the next three ends, however, to build a 5-3 lead. After Roland's team was forced to take one point in the fifth, Symons took control of the offense again as his team scored a deuce and stole three points. Roland cut the lead to 10-7 with three points in the eighth end but North Dakota II scored two more in the ninth to sew up the victory. Washington's Brady Clark rink got back on the winning track with an 8-6 defeat of Alaska's Dennis Thies. Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.) and teammates Cristin Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.), Darren Lehto (Snohomish, Wash.) and Bev Walter (Seattle) are now 2-4 in the standings with three games left in the round robin as they try in earnest to defend their title. Washington took a 5-3 lead in the fourth end with a deuce and never trailed again. With five losses, Alaska now joins Illinois and Michigan as teams eliminated from the playoff race. Wisconsin's Ryan Lemke rink improved to 4-2 after stealing the 11th end to defeat Minnesota's Peter Stolt rink, 9-8. Lemke (Medford, Wis.) and teammates Jackie Lemke (Medford, Wis.), Kroy Nernberger (Madison, Wis.), Rebecca Wood (Wausau, Wis.) and Megan O'Connell (Medford, Wis.) tied the game with a deuce in the 10th end after trailing the entire game to force the overtime. Connecticut's Derek Surka team remains in first place at 6-1 after handing David Loan's Michigan team a 10-0 loss. Their final two games are against Wisconsin (4-2) and Illinois (2-5). The round robin continues at 7 tonight and concludes Thursday night. The semifinals are set for 4 p.m. Friday. The bronze-medal game is planned at 10 a.m. Saturday followed by the gold-medal game at 1 p.m. Game scores: Connecticut 10, Michigan 0; Washington 8, Alaska 6; North Dakota II 12, North Dakota I 7; Wisconsin 9, Minnesota 8 (extra end) Standings: Connecticut 6-1 Arizona 5-2 North Dakota 2 5-2 Wisconsin 4-2 Minnesota 4-3 North Dakota 1 3-4 Washington 2-4 Alaska 2-5 Illinois 2-5 Michigan 1-7 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).