Minnesota teams tied for first at 2010 Junior Nationals

Jan. 27, 2010, 12:43 p.m. (ET)

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - Aaron Wald's perfect record was shattered once again by in-state rival Trevor Andrews in the battle for the top spot in the men's division this afternoon at the 2010 USA Curling Junior Nationals in Bemidji, Minn.

Andrews and his Bemidji, Minn., teammates Aaron Tasa, Jarl Wagner and Mark Fenner jumped out to a fast start against Wald's previously undefeated team and held on for the 8-3 win to grab a share of first place. Keeping pace at 4-2 are Washington's Sean Beighton rink, which dropped its second straight match, and Stephen Dropkin's team from Massachusetts. Dropkin (Southborough, Mass.) and teammates Korey Dropkin (Southborough, Mass.), Thomas Howell (Brick, N.J.) and Ryan McMakin (Potomac, Md.) battled back from an early deficit against Washington and stole three key points in the ninth end to earn the team's fourth win of the week.

Alaska's team of Matt Birklid, Atticus Wallace, Ryan Flippo and Oliver Halvarson (all of Fairbanks) won the team's second straight match with a 6-4 win over Blake Morton's Wisconsin I team to better their record to 2-4. Wisconsin II's Tom Gabower rink improved to 3-3 with a 6-4 defeat of Erik Jensen's North Dakota team. Gabower (Janesville, Wis.) and teammates Daniel Brown (Winona, Minn.), Marcus Oldenburg (McFarland, Wis.) and Mikey Juszczyk (McFarland, Wis.) rallied in the second half and stole the 10th end to hold off Jensen. New York's Brandon Corbett rink put the brakes on a two-game losing streak with a 9-3 win over Matt Brown's Illinois rink.

In women's action this morning, Alexandra Carlson picked up her fifth win to remain undefeated. This time Carlson (Wayzata, Minn.) and teammates Tabitha Peterson (Eagan, Minn.), Tara Peterson (Eagan, Minn.) and Sophie Brorson (Duluth, Minn.) slid past Alaska's Vicky Persinger rink, 6-4. Jillian Walker's team won its fourth straight to improve to 4-1 with an extra end win over Miranda Solem's Minnesota II rink. Walker (Sudbury, Mass.) and teammates Nikki Rossetti (Framingham, Mass.), Nicole Arsenault (Brick, N.J.) and Abigail Morrison (Falmouth, Mass.) took an early lead after scoring four points in the fourth end against the 2008 U.S. junior bronze medalists. A key steal in the eighth for Solem's team kept them in the lead before the teams exchanged singles with Walker earning the win in the 11th.

In the battle of North Dakota teams, Amanda Tucker's squad, the state champions, got the better of Ann Podoll's rink once again, 8-6, despite having an early lead. New York's Katlyn Beebe rink improved to 3-2 to stay in the playoff hunt with a 12-1 win over Laura Murphy's Massachusetts II squad. In the battle of the Badger State, Becca Hamilton led her Wisconsin I team to a 9-6 win over Kimberly Rhyme.

The round robin continues today with one more round of action at 7 p.m. and picks up tomorrow with draws at 8 a.m., noon, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Playoffs get underway on Friday with the top four teams in each division advancing. The finals are set for Saturday at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The winning teams move on to represent the USA at the 2010 World Junior Championships March 6-13 in Flims, Switzerland.

Game scores (women, 8 a.m.): Wisconsin I 9, Wisconsin II 6; New York 12, Massachusetts II 1; Minnesota I 6, Alaska 4; North Dakota I 8, North Dakota II 6; Massachusetts I 8, Minnesota II 7 (extra end)

Game scores (men, 2 p.m.): New York 9, Illinois 3; Alaska 6, Wisconsin I4; Massachusetts 8, Washington 4; Minnesota I 8, Minnesota II 3; Wisconsin II 6, North Dakota 4


Women's standings:

Minnesota I (Carlson) 5-0

Massachusetts I (Walker) 4-1

North Dakota I (Tucker) 4-1

Wisconsin I (Hamilton) 4-1

New York (Beebe) 3-2

Minnesota II (Solem) 2-3

Alaska (Persinger) 1-4

North Dakota II (Podoll) 1-4

Wisconsin II (Rhyme) 1-4

Massachusetts II (Murphy) 0-5


Men's standings:

Minnesota I (Andrews) 5-1

Minnesota II (Wald) 5-1

Massachusetts (Dropkin) 4-2

Washington (Beighton) 4-2

New York (Corbett) 3-3

Wisconsin I (Morton) 3-3

Wisconsin II (Gabower) 3-3

Alaska (Birklid) 2-4

North Dakota (Jensen) 1-5

Illinois (Brown) 0-6


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