Three men's teams move on to playoffs at 2010 Junior Nationals

Jan. 28, 2010, 10:17 a.m. (ET)

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - Washington's Sean Beighton rink put the brakes on Minnesota I's five-game win streak to grab a share of first place tonight at the Bemidji Curling Club at the 2010 USA Curling Junior Nationals in Bemidji, Minn.

Beighton (Edmonds, Wash.) and teammates Derrick Mclean (Bothell, Wash.), Sam Galey (Seattle) and Joe Purvis (Kenmore, Wash.) handed Trevor Andrews a 5-3 defeat after stealing consecutive ends late in the game. They'll face Aaron Wald's Minnesota II rink tomorrow morning in the final draw of the round robin. All three teams are tied for the top spot at 6-2. At stake is claiming the No. 1 playoff spot for the Page System playoffs, which get underway Friday night. The top four teams advance but No. 1 plays No. 2 with the winner advancing to the final. The losing team plays the winner of the game between the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds in the semifinal to get a second shot at the gold-medal game.

North Dakota's Erik Jensen rink doubled its win total with a convincing 8-2 defeat of Matt Birklid's Alaska rink. Jensen (Bismarck, N.D.) and teammates Marcus Tucker (St. Thomas, N.D.), Ryan Tucker (St. Thomas, N.D.) and Kyle Kakela (Rolla, N.D.) stole four points in the fourth end to keep the Alaska boys chasing. Blake Morton's Wisconsin I rink handed Wald's Minnesota II squad a 7-5 loss to even the team's record at 4-4. Morton's counterpart, Wisconsin II's Tom Gabower, improved to 5-3 with an 8-3 win over Illinois, which is still seeking its first win of the tournament. Also improving to 5-3 is Brandon Corbett's team after they knocked off regional rival Stephen Dropkin, 10-7, with back-to-back steals to end the game. Because Gabower and Corbett play in the final game of the round robin, no tiebreaker games should need to be played. Washington, Minnesota I and Minnesota II all clinch berths but tomorrow's results should determine seeding.

In women's action earlier today, Alexandra Carlson's win streak went to seven games as Carlson (Wayzata, Minn.) and teammates Tabitha Peterson (Eagan, Minn.), Tara Peterson (Eagan, Minn.) and Sophie Brorson (Duluth, Minn.) used a big fifth-end in which the team scored four points to get past Jillian Walker's Massachusetts I team and clinch a spot in the playoffs. The loss dropped Walker's team to 4-3 in the standings. After several close matches, North Dakota II's Ann Podoll finally picked up a second win by handing Becca Hamilton's team a 9-4 loss. Podoll's team took advantage of several steal opportunities to put a halt to the Wisconsin rink's five-game win streak.

Miranda Solem and Amanda Tucker also helped their teams' goals of making the playoffs by improving to 4-3. Solem and teammates Alex Schieber (Portage, Wis.), Chelsea Solem (Cohasset, Minn.) and Julie Lilla (Trempealeau, Wis.) went heavy on the offensive attack against winless Laura Murphy's rink from Massachusetts. Tucker's team scored four points in the seventh end to hold of Katlyn Beebe's New York rink. Wisconsin II's Kimberly Rhyme rink picked up a third win with an extra-end win over Alaska's Vicky Persinger to hang on to playoff hopes.

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 (noon, women): North Dakota I 9, New York 5; North Dakota II 9, Wisconsin I 4; Minnesota II 12, Massachusetts II 5; Wisconsin II 9, Alaska 8 (extra end); Minnesota I 7, Massachusetts I 3

Game scores (4 p.m., men): Wisconsin I 7, Minnesota II 5; New York 10, Massachusetts 7; North Dakota 8, Alaska 2; Wisconsin II 8, Illinois 3; Washington 5, Minnesota I 3


Women's standings:

*Minnesota I (Carlson) 7-0

Wisconsin I (Hamilton) 5-2

Massachusetts I (Walker) 4-3

Minnesota II (Solem) 4-3

North Dakota I (Tucker) 4-3

Alaska (Persinger) 3-4

New York (Beebe) 3-4

Wisconsin II (Rhyme) 3-4

North Dakota II (Podoll) 2-5

Massachusetts II (Murphy) 0-7


Men's standings:

*Minnesota I (Andrews) 6-2

*Minnesota II (Wald) 6-2

*Washington (Beighton) 6-2

New York (Corbett) 5-3

Wisconsin II (Gabower) 5-3

Massachusetts (Dropkin) 4-4

Wisconsin I (Morton) 4-4

Alaska (Birklid) 2-6

North Dakota (Jensen) 2-6

Illinois (Brown) 0-8

*earned playoff spot


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