Minnesota's Pustovar rink defends senior title

Jan. 31, 2010, 8:03 p.m. (ET)

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - They'd won men's nationals together nearly a decade ago but today they were on opposite sides battling for the right to wear USA again in the men's gold-medal final at the 2010 U.S. Senior National Championship in Portage, Wis.

Paul Pustovar (Hibbing, Minn.) and Geoff Goodland (Eau Claire, Wis.) teamed up to win the 2002 Nationals and make the semifinals at the Worlds that year in Bismarck, N.D. But that was a long time ago. Both have since won the U.S. senior title - Pustovar last year and Goodland back in 2007.

With the double knockout provision in place, Pustovar, 58, and teammates Brian Simonson (Hibbing), Tom Harms (Pengilly, Minn.), Don Mohawk (Nashwauk, Minn.) and John Kokotovich (Hibbing) had to defeat Goodland's team twice in 8 hours today to advance to the World Seniors once again.

In the afternoon match, Pustovar's team needed an extra end to knock off Goodland's team, 7-6, with a key steal. It was the first loss of the tournament for Goodland and teammates Pete Westberg (Naperville, Ill.), Tim Solin (Mahtomedi, Minn.) and Ken Olson (Plymouth, Minn.). Pustovar's rink then defeated Goodland for a second time to officially eliminate him, 8-3. Pustovar, who has won just about every type of curling title it seems, trailed until the half-way mark when the team scored three and didn't look back. After Goodland was held to a single in the fifth end, tying up the game, Pustovar delivered the knockout punch with a big four-ender. A steal in the next end brought the senior title home for Pustovar's northern Minnesota rink.

The 2010 World Senior Championships will take place April 16-24 in Chelyabinski, Russia. On Saturday, Sharon Vukich's team from Seattle clinched the women's title.


Line score, men's championship final:

Paul Pustovar 000 304 1x 8

*Geoff Goodland 101 010 0x 3

*last rock in first end


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