USA Curling

American men earn playoff spot; women eliminated at 2009 World Seniors

April 30, 2009, 12 a.m. (ET)

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - Paul Pustovar and the American men punched their tickets to Saturday's playoffs with another win Thursday at the 2009 World Senior Championships at the Dunedin Ice Stadium in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Pustovar (Hibbing, Minn.) and teammates, Brian Simonson (Hibbing, Minn.), Tom Harms (Pengilly, Minn.) and Don Mohawk (Nashwauk, Minn.) defeated New Zealand for their fourth straight win and earned the No. 1 playoff seed in the blue group. They finish the round robin tomorrow against Italy (0-4). Sweden and Switzerland, both at 3-1, face off in the final game of the round robin which will drop one of the team's to a second loss. (The worst the Americans can do is finish at 4-1 as well but they've already defeated both Sweden and Switzerland so they'd earn the No. 1 seed regardless of a win or loss).

In the men's red group, Canada (5-0) and Scotland (4-1) have earned semifinal spots. In the semifinals, Canada will play the winner of the game between Sweden and Switzerland while the U.S. plays Scotland, the No. 2 seed in the red group.

Sharon Vukich (Seattle) and teammates Joan Fish (Hansville, Wash.), Cathie Tomlinson (Seattle) and Aija Edwards (Hansville, Wash.) were eliminated from playoff contention after losing to Switzerland's Renate Nedkoff rink, 12-1, in the final game of the round robin. Earlier in the day, they picked up their third win when they got past Italy's Lucilla Macchiati, 7-3. They finish with a 3-4 record for sixth place. The women's playoff match-ups will be Canada-Sweden and Switzerland-Scotland.

The American men needed an extra end to hold off New Zealand's Peter Becker rink, 8-7, to keep their record spotless. After the Kiwis scored three points in the final end of regulation, Pustovar helped his team earn a single and the win.

The playoffs get underway at 9 a.m. Saturday. Live scoring from the event can be found online at http://2009nzwscc.co.nz/. All times are local (local time; 16 hours ahead of EST).

Line scores:
Italy 010 001 1x 3
*USA women 201 130 0x 7

USA men 103 020 101 8
*New Zealand 020 101 030 7

USA women 000 010 0x 1
*Switzerland 111 105 3x 12
*last rock in first end

Standings:
WOMEN:
*Canada 7-0
*Switzerland 5-2
*Scotland 4-3
*Sweden 4-3
Japan 3-4
USA 3-4
New Zealand 2-5
Italy 0-7

MEN:
Blue group:
*Canada 5-0
*Scotland 4-1
Japan 3-2
Australia 2-3
Hungary 1-4
England 0-5

Red group:
*USA 4-0
Sweden 3-1
Switzerland 3-1
Finland 1-3
New Zealand 1-3
Italy 0-4
*clinched playoff spot

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