Top seeded teams get back on track at 2010 Junior Nationals
(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - Becca Hamilton and Jillian Walker both shrugged off opening-day losses to post their third straight wins for their respective teams as the round robin continues in Bemidji, Minn., at the 2010 USA Curling Junior Nationals.
Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.) and teammates Karlie Koenig (Waukesha, Wis.) and Jenna Haag (Milton, Wis.) have won the junior title before - back in 2008 with Nina Spatola, who aged out of junior competition this season. They're joined by Grace Gabower (Janesville, Wis.) this season and are now in a three-way tie for second place behind the defending champions from Minnesota led by Alex Carlson. Hamilton's team defeated inter-state rival Kimberly Rhyme tonight, 8-6, to keep the win streak alive.
Walker (Medfield, Mass.) is playing in her first junior nationals without big sister Monica Walker with whom she and teammate Nikki Rossetti played in two junior championship title games, bowing out in both attempts. Joining Walker and Rossetti to earn the 8-7 win in an extra end tonight against Minnesota II's Miranda Solem rink are Nicole Arsenault (Brick, N.J.) and Abigail Morrison (Falmouth, Mass.).
New York's Katlyn Beebe rink (2-2) got back on track with an 11-2 rout of Laura Murphy's Massachusetts team. Amanda Tucker's North Dakota I rink bounced back from the team's first loss this morning with an 8-6 defeat of fellow North Dakotan Ann Podoll.
In action earlier this afternoon, Washington's Sean Beighton rink scored a lot of points early and often to hold back North Dakota's Erik Jensen rink, 9-3, to improve to 4-0. Aaron Wald's Minnesota II rink kept pace by stealing a point in the extra end to hand Brandon Corbett's rink back-to-back losses in the final frame. Corbett falls to 2-2 in the standings. Wald's counterpart - Trevor Andrews of Minnesota I - improved his mark to 3-1 with an 8-4 win over Matthew Brown's team from Illinois. Stephen Dropkin dropped his second straight match while Blake Morton of Wisconsin I improved to 2-2 as Morton and teammates Marcus Fonger (Cottage Grove, Wis.), Tommy Juszczyk (McFarland, Wis.) and Calvin Weber (McFarland) defeated Dropkin, 7-5, with a key steal of two points in the seventh end.
The round robin continues through Thursday afternoon. The champions will be determined Saturday afternoon. The winning teams move on to represent the USA at the 2010 World Junior Championships March 6-13 in Flims, Switzerland.
Game scores (men, 12 p.m.): Washington 9, North Dakota 3; Wisconsin II 11, Alaska 2; Minnesota II 5, New York 4; Minnesota I 8, Illinois 4; Wisconsin 1 7, Massachusetts 5
Game scores (women, 4 p.m.): Wisconsin I 9, Wisconsin II 6; New York 11, Massachusetts II 2; Minnesota I 6, Alaska 4; North Dakota I 8, North Dakota II 6; Massachusetts I 8, Minnesota II 7 (extra end)
Minnesota I (Carlson) 4-0
Massachusetts I (Walker) 3-1
North Dakota I (Tucker) 3-1
Wisconsin I (Hamilton) 3-1
Minnesota II (Solem) 2-2
New York (Beebe) 2-2
Alaska (Persinger) 1-3
North Dakota II (Podoll) 1-3
Wisconsin II (Rhyme) 1-3
Massachusetts II (Murphy) 0-4
Minnesota II (Wald) 4-0
Washington (Beighton) 4-0
Minnesota I (Andrews) 3-1
Massachusetts (Dropkin) 2-2
New York (Corbett) 2-2
Wisconsin I (Morton) 2-2
Wisconsin II (Gabower) 2-2
North Dakota (Jensen) 1-3
Alaska (Birklid) 0-4
Illinois (Brown) 0-4
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