McCormick cruises to spot in championship final at 2010 US Olympic Team Trials

Feb. 27, 2009, 10:32 a.m. (ET)
BROOMFIELD, Colo. (Feb. 26, 2009) – Debbie McCormick is back in a familiar spot - playing for the championship title - after winning tonight's page playoff 1-2 game at the 2010 U.S. Olympic Team Trials at the Broomfield Event Center.

McCormick (Rio, Wis.) and teammates Allison Pottinger (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Nicole Joraanstad (Madison, Wis.) and Natalie Nicholson (Bemidji, Minn.) played well at all four positions en route to a 9-4 defeat of Amy Wright's team. McCormick’s squad has won the nationals for the past three years in a row – in fact, every year since the last Olympic Trials when McCormick finished second.

"Our first goal was to make the one-two game," Joraanstad said. "Now we can rest up, visit with our families, and be ready for Saturday. We just really wanted to go out here tonight and play in the moment."

Wright (Duluth, Minn.) will now play Patti Lank's team, which eliminated Erika Brown from contention, in tomorrow night's semifinal. McCormick's squad will have the day off and wait to see who they'll play in Saturday's final, which is set for 10 a.m.

Lank and teammates Caitlin Maroldo (Rochester, N.Y.), Ann Swisshelm (Chicago) and Chrissy Haase (Schenectady, N.Y.) finished second to McCormick last year at the Nationals in Hibbing but will have one more game to get past to return to the final.

"I don't think we wish we were playing on the other sheet. We just wanted to come back from a game we hadn't played really well in, and do better," said Maroldo, who works as a chemist.

Brown and teammates Nina Spatola (McFarland, Wis.), Nina Reiniger (New York City) and Laura Hallisey (Medfield, Mass.) put the first points on the board with a steal of one in the second end. Lank earned a single in the third after Maroldo made a dandy freeze to a Brown stone in the back of the four-foot to set things up. After Lank stole a point, Brown would regain the lead with an open hit for two in the fifth end. Lank's team would be forced to one in the sixth end but steal a key deuce in the seventh when Brown came up heavy drawing for one against two Lank stones around the four-foot. Lank's team made a takeout of a Brown rock in the top of the four-foot in the 10th end for the win.

"We tried really hard to stay in every moment, every shot," said Swisshelm, who played alongside McCormick at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

McCormick's rink took advantage of the last-rock tonight scoring with McCormick converting an angle raise tap-back for two points to begin the game. Wright would be forced to draw for one in the second end but evened the score with a steal of one. After scoring another deuce, McCormick's team would steal two after Wright flashed her takeout of two McCormick stones in the four-foot. Leading 7-4 after eight ends, McCormick's team locked up their ninth win of the week with another deuce.

Live scoring from the event is available at in the scoreboard.

Line scores:
Wright 011 001 010 x 4
*McCormick 200 220 102 x 9

Brown 010 020 011 0 5
*Lank 001 101 200 1 6

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