CURLING: 2002 Olympian McCormick remains undefeated at 2008 Nationals

Feb. 19, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 19, 2008 McCormick rink keeps record perfect at 2008 USA Curling National Championships (HIBBING, Minn.)-Debbie McCormick's rink is the lone undefeated team after dominating Aileen Sormunen's young team, 8-3, Tuesday night at the 2008 USA Curling National Championships at the Hibbing Curling Club. With the win, McCormick sits alone at the top of the standings after Cassie Potter's team handed Patti Lank's team its first loss of the round robin, 7-6. It was an inconsistent night for Sormunen (Duluth, Minn.) and teammates Courtney George (Duluth, Minn.), Molly Bonner (Virginia, Minn.) and Jordan Moulton (Highland Park, Ill.) as they dealt with being short, heavy and wide on many of their last rocks resulting in steals by McCormick's veteran team. Both teams started out by making draws for deuces and McCormick regained the lead with a takeout for one after Sormunen got a stone buried to McCormick's on the side of the button. The trouble for Sormunen's 2007 junior national championship team began in the fourth end as Sormunen's tap-back for one was too light. In the following end she'd end up light again, this time trying to draw into the eight-foot. Another steal followed in the sixth end when Sormunen made a takeout but rolled her shooter stone out of the house. McCormick (Rio, Wis.) and teammates Allison Pottinger (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Nicole Joraanstad (Madison, Wis.) and Natalie Nicholson (Bemidji, Minn.) put more pressure on the young team in the seventh end and Sormunen drew down into the four-foot but ended up too wide. After a measurement in the eighth end, Sormunen finally hung one point on the scoreboard. McCormick made a perfect draw to the button to score one to end the game in the ninth end. With the win tonight, Potter's team improves to 2-1 in a tie for third place with Lank. Potter (Minneapolis) and teammates Jamie Haskell (Bemidji, Minn.), Jackie Lemke (Medford, Wis.) and Maureen Brunt (Portage, Wis.) made a takeout in the first end but rolled their shooter out for just one point. A steal of two in the second end though gave them a comfortable lead for the rest of the game."It's good to have an early lead like that because it helps you to relax a little bit,"said the 2006 Olympian Potter. Lank was forced to hit for one in the third end with Potter reciprocating. The teams exchanged deuces in the next two ends and Lank made a tough takeout for one in the seventh after Potter's team got three stones in the house. Lank's team set up a steal when their skipper drew behind a guard to the four-foot and Potter missed a runback attempt with her first stone. Lank drew another one in and Potter was only able to remove one after hitting and rolling off of her own stone in the side of the house. Lank made a takeout behind a long guard but Potter was able to follow her in for one point."It was probably our best game we've played yet,"Potter said."We had better weight control, but we still need to work a little more."Charrissa Lin (New Haven, Conn.) led her team to its first victory of the competition with a 12-5 win over Anne Stuhlman's team from New York. Lin broke open a tight game in the sixth end for four points, almost five, but her shooter rolled out after the takeout. Trailing 8-3 after that Stuhlman's team only got one in the seventh end but stole another in the eighth to pull within three points. Lin sealed the win with four more in the ninth end. The round robin continues through Thursday afternoon with the Page System playoffs beginning at 9 a.m. Friday. The winning teams at the 2008 Nationals will represent the U.S. at the 2008 World Championships. The women's event is scheduled March 22-30 in Vernon, British Columbia. The 2008 Men's World Championship is slated April 4-13 at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D. Live scoring from the 2008 Nationals can be found on the USA Curling website at Game scores: Potter 7, Lank 6; McCormick 8, Sormunen 3; Lin 12, Stuhlman 5 Women's standings: McCormick (Wisconsin) 4-0 Sormunen (Minnesota) 3-1 Lank (New York) 2-1 Potter (Minnesota) 2-1 Gervais (North Dakota) 0-3 Lin (Connecticut) 0-3 Stuhlman (New York) 0-3 Men's standings: Brown (Wisconsin) 5-1 Disher (North Dakota) 5-1 Romaniuk (Washington) 4-2 George (Minnesota) 4-2 Fenson (Minnesota) 3-3 Shuster (Minnesota) 3-3 Larway (Washington) 3-3 Birr (Minnesota) 2-4 Wilberg (Wisconsin) 1-5 Roe (Wisconsin) 0-6 USA Curling is sponsored by AIT Worldwide Logistics, AmerAust Technologies and Nike as well as by AT,T through a joint marketing program with the U.S. Olympic Committee. (30) For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling,, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell).