2006 Olympian Shuster advances to 1-2 play-off game at 2010 US Olympic Team Trials

Feb. 27, 2009, 10:30 a.m. (ET)
BROOMFIELD, Colo. (Feb. 26, 2009) - 2006 Olympic bronze medalist John Shuster (Duluth, Minn.) advanced to tomorrow's page playoff 1-2 game after a brief tiebreaker game with Todd Birr (Mankato, Minn.) this afternoon at the 2010 U.S. Olympic Team Trials at the Broomfield Event Center.

Shuster and teammates Jason Smith (Cape Coral, Fla.), Jeff Isaacson (Gilbert, Minn.) and John Benton (St. Michael, Minn.) only needed five ends to get past Birr, 9-1.

The game started in favor of Birr and teammates Paul Pustovar (Hibbing, Minn.), Greg Wilson (Vernon Hills, Ill.) and Kevin Birr (St. Peter, Minn.) when Shuster came up short on his draw and gave up a steal of one. But Birr's team wouldn't score again as Shuster's team rattled off nine straight points.

"We caught them on an off day," Shuster said of Birr's team. "Those guys played their hearts out this morning. We just need to continue to stay focused."

Shuster will now play No. 1 seed Tyler George in tomorrow's 1-2 page playoff game. The winner advances to Saturday's championship final. The loser of the 1-2 game plays the winner of the game between No. 3 seed Birr and No. 4 seed Craig Brown (Madison, Wis.) in tomorrow night's semifinal.

The men's championship final is set for 3 p.m. Saturday followed by the men's game at 3 p.m. The winning team will be nominated to the U.S. Olympic Committee as members of Team USA at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Live scoring from the event is available at www.usacurl.org/curlingrocks in the scoreboard.

Line score:
*Shuster 021 24x 9
Birr 100 00x 1

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