CURLING: Olympians McCormick, Potter post wins at 2008 U.S. Nationals

Feb. 19, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 19, 2008 No big surprises in women's action at 2008 USA Curling National Championships (HIBBING, Minn.) - After a wild Monday night at the 2008 USA Curling National Championships, Tuesday morning was much more predictable as the top teams in the field came away with wins at the Hibbing Curling Club. Debbie McCormick and Aileen Sormunen led their teams to victories to improve to 3-0 and tied for first place. Patti Lank's team, which had the bye this morning, also is undefeated at 2-0. "It was a big win, we need them early in the week with such a small field," McCormick said. McCormick (Rio, Wis.) and teammates Allison Pottinger (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Nicole Joraanstad (Madison, Wis.) and Natalie Nicholson (Bemidji, Minn.) conquered a feisty game with New York's Anne Stuhlman team, 9-5. McCormick's defending national champions opened with a deuce but had a draw for three and came up short. In the second end, Stuhlman was forced to draw for one as McCormick's team kept three of their rocks in the house. After McCormick came up short on her draw in the third end, Stuhlman's team tied the game. "They played really well and Anne made the most of her opportunities," McCormick said. "I missed a lot of my last shots. The ice felt faster to me today, but I'll fix that and come back strong tonight." Although McCormick's team built a 5-2 lead after five ends, Stuhlman (New Hartford, N.Y.) and teammates Diane Higgins (Richfield Springs, N.Y.), Lisa Mitchell (Lancaster, Mass.) and Karen Rogowski (New York Mills, N.Y.) came creeping back with a deuce in the fifth end and a steal in the sixth end. McCormick only got one in the seventh but stole the next two ends as they applied pressure to get the win. Sormunen (Duluth, Minn.) had an easier time with her match, scoring often in an 11-6 defeat of Charrissa Lin's East Coast team. Sormunen (Duluth, Minn.) and teammates Molly Bonner (Virginia, Minn.), Jordan Moulton (Highland Park, Ill.) and Sophie Brorson (Duluth, Minn.), who was filling in for vice skip Courtney George who got food poisoning last night, got to work right away scoring three in the second end as Lin's team seemingly struggled with broom placement. They scored five then in the fourth end when Lin's team couldn't convert their takeouts throughout the end. Lin tried to get her team back in it with a deuce in the fifth end and then with a draw for another two in the seventh but it was too little, too late as they conceded the loss. Cassie Potter's team bounced back from their loss yesterday with a 9-5 win over the Gillian Gervais rink from North Dakota. Potter (Minneapolis) and teammates Jamie Haskell (Bemidji, Minn.), Jackie Lemke (Medford, Wis.) and Maureen Brunt (Portage, Wis.) recovered from a sluggish start to grab four points in the third end as Potter drew down to the back of the house. Gervais made a double takeout in the fifth end but removed her other shot rock and had to settle for just one point. Potter, the 2006 Olympian, answered with a deuce after getting two stones buried early and Gervais missed a takeout with her last toss. Gervais and teammates Stephanie Roland (East Grand Forks, Minn.), Stephanie Jensen (Bismarck, N.D.) and Sarah Felchle (Bismarck, N.D.) began a late rally as they scored in three straight ends to pull within one point. But, Potter made a takeout when Gervais couldn't get her stone buried in the four-foot in the 10th end to preserve the win. The women return to action at 7 tonight while the men hit the ice at 2 p.m. 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: Sormunen 11, Lin 6; McCormick 10, Stuhlman 5; Potter 9, Gervais 5 Women's standings: Women's standings: McCormick (Wisconsin) 3-0 Sormunen (Minnesota) 3-0 Lank (New York) 2-0 Potter (Minnesota) 1-1 Stuhlman (New York) 0-2 Gervais (North Dakota) 0-3 Lin (Connecticut) 0-3 Men's standings: Brown (Wisconsin) 4-1 Disher (North Dakota) 4-1 Romaniuk (Washington) 4-1 Fenson (Minnesota) 3-2 George (Minnesota) 3-2 Larway (Washington) 3-2 Shuster (Minnesota) 2-3 Birr (Minnesota) 1-4 Wilberg (Wisconsin) 1-4 Roe (Wisconsin) 0-5 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).