STEVENS POINT, Wis. - Washington's Chris Pleasants team needed one extra game to earn the right to become Team USA as they defeated Brad Caldwell's team, 9-4, in a tie-breaker game Sunday afternoon at the 2009 Winter World University Games Trials in Rice Lake, Wis.
The Pleasants rink now joins the Katherine Stewart rink as representatives for the USA (pending final approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee) at the 2009 Winter World University Games, Feb. 20-27 in Harbin, China.
After losing to Jerod Roland's team, 7-6, in the morning draw, the Seattle-based team headed to a tiebreaker game when Caldwell's team defeated Jerad Daul, 8-0, to create a matching 4-2 record.
In this afternoon's tiebreaker match-up, Pleasants (Seattle) and teammates Zachary Radmer (Seattle), Jon Chartrand (Seattle) and Bret Nordlund (Issaquah, Wash.) defeated Team Caldwell for the third time in this tournament by capitalizing on steal opportunities. The Pleasants rink took singles in the first two ends but Caldwell (Mapleton, Minn.) and teammates Matthew Collom (Galesville, Wis.), Tyler Vietanen (Trempealeau, Wis.) and John Landsteiner (Mapleton, Minn.) evened the score with a deuce in the third end. The Washington squad answered with three points and then a steal of two to build a 7-2 after five ends. Caldwell would add two more points but Pleasants finished off the game with singles in the next two ends.
This will be the first major international appearance for all four members of the Pleasants team. Joining Stewart on the women's team are Amanda McLean (Duluth, Minn.), Casey Cucchiarelli (Wausau, Wis.) and Sarah McLeod (Esko, Minn.).
This will be the third time curling is featured as a medal sport at the bi-annual WWUG. The U.S. won its lone medal back in 2007 when Olympian John Shuster led his team to the gold medal.
Chris Pleasants (Washington) 5-2
Brad Caldwell (Minnesota) 4-3
Jerod Roland (North Dakota) 3-3
Jerad Daul (North Dakota) 1-5
USA Curling is sponsored by AIT Worldwide Logistics, AmerAust Technologies and Nike.