BROOMFIELD, Colo. (Feb. 25, 2009) -
With one game remaining in the men's round robin, Minnesota's Tyler George rink has locked up the No. 1 playoff seed after picking up another win Wednesday night at the 2010 U.S. Olympic Team Trials at the Broomfield Event Center.
The George rink improved to 7-1 after defeating Mike Farbelow team, 8-5. They'll be the top seed for the page playoffs set for noon Friday. In the page playoffs, the No. 1 seed plays the No. 2 seed with the winner advancing to Saturday's final. The loser of the 1-2 game plays the winner of the game between the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds. The losing team from the 1-2 game plays the winner of the 3-4 game in the semifinal Friday night.
"We're just staying focused," said Kevin Johnson (Duluth, Minn.), who plays second for Team George. "Our goal was to be in the one-two game but with this field, you never know. We're playing with a lot of confidence and know that no one can beat us."
Todd Birr (Mankato, Minn.) and John Shuster (Duluth, Minn.) posted wins and are tied for second place with 5-3 records. Birr's team held off Craig Disher, 8-4. With the last stone in the 10th end, Disher (Rolla, N.D.) needed to move a lot of granite to avoid the loss but his attempted takeout jammed as he made contact too firmly. Shuster held off the reigning U.S. and world junior champions led by Chris Plys (Duluth, Minn.), who played second for Shuster the past few seasons. It took an extra end but Shuster's team held on for an 8-7 win.
"The guys in front of me have been playing really well. I actually haven't been playing that great," Shuster said. "Every game has been tough. It took me awhile to get comfortable here for some reason."
Greg Romaniuk (Snohomish, Wash.) kept his playoff hopes alive with a 7-6 win over Kevin Deeren (Chicago). Romaniuk and teammates Doug Pottinger (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Leon Romaniuk (Seattle) and Troy Schroeder (St. Paul, Minn.) scored three points right out of the starting blocks and held off a late rally by Deeren's team to improve to 4-4.
The defending champions, led by Craig Brown (Madison, Wis.), had four stones around the four foot when Mark Johnson went to throw his final stone in the extra end. Johnson would miss the raise triple and fall to 4-4 in the standings.
At this point, only Plys and Deeren have been eliminated from the playoff hunt.
Live scoring from the event will be available at www.usacurl.org/curlingrocks
in the scoreboard.
Photos can be found at: http://www.curlingrocks.net/photo-gallery.php
Brown 10, Johnson 8; Shuster 8, Plys 7; George 8, Farbelow 5; Romaniuk 7, Deeren 6; Birr 8, Disher 4 STANDINGS Men
**clinched No. 1 playoff seed Women
*clinched playoff berth
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