CURLING: 2006 Olympian Potter wins third straight at 2008 U.S. Nationals

Feb. 20, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 20, 2008 Potter rink wins third straight at 2008 USA Curling National Championships (HIBBING, Minn.) - 2006 Olympian Cassie Potter led her team to its third straight win in defeating 2002 Olympian Debbie McCormick, 8-4, Wednesday afternoon at the 2008 USA Curling National Championships at the Hibbing Curling Club. Potter (Minneapolis) and teammates Jamie Haskell (Bemidji, Minn.), Jackie Lemke (Medford, Wis.) and Maureen Brunt (Portage, Wis.) controlled most of the match and had good rock placement throughout most of the match. Potter's team broke open a close match with a steal of two in the fourth end after McCormick came up short trying to draw into the house. McCormick (Rio, Wis.) and teammates Allison Pottinger (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Nicole Joraanstad (Madison, Wis.) and Natalie Nicholson (Bemidji, Minn.) made a draw for two in the following end after Potter missed a takeout. Potter tried to split a third stone into scoring position in the sixth end but didn't hit it firm enough and settled for two. Potter's team stole one in the seventh end after they got three stones nearly frozen in the side of the eight foot and McCormick only removed two of them. After exchanging singles, McCormick conceded the win to Potter. In the battle of the New York teams, Patti Lank improved to 3-1 with a 9-4 win over the Anne Stuhlman rink. Lank built a 4-0 lead early but surrendered three in the fifth end. Lank made a takeout but jammed Stuhlman's stone in the back of the house allowing Stuhlman to draw in for three. "We sort of lost control there after giving up that three but we came back strong in the sixth," said vice skip Caitlin Maroldo (Rochester, N.Y.). Lank's veteran team answered with five in the sixth end and only allowed Stuhlman's team one point in the seventh to secure the win. "It's a good bounce-back from last night," Maroldo said. "We just gotta be more sharp on our hits and rolls. The ice is tricky and really weight sensitive so if you make some good hits and rolls, you're going to score a bunch." 2005 junior national champion Gillian Gervais led her team to its first victory of the competition with an 8-6 defeat of Charrissa Lin's rink. Gervais and teammates Stephanie Roland (East Grand Forks, Minn.), Stephanie Jensen (Bismarck, N.D.) and Sarah Felchle (Bismarck, N.D.) took the lead in the third end with a deuce and never let up as they put a lot of rocks in play and forced Lin to make tough shots. The Gervais team would steal singles in the next two ends to go up 5-2 at the half-way mark. Lin (New Haven, Conn.) drew for two in the eighth end to pull within two points but couldn't get the points she needed in the 10th for the win. The women return to the ice at 8 tonight while the men hit the ice at 4 p.m. The round robin concludes Thursday afternoon. The Page System Playoffs begin 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: Lank 9, Stuhlman 4; Potter 8, McCormick 4; Gervais 8, Lin 6 Women's standings: McCormick (Wisconsin) 4-1 Sormunen (Minnesota) 3-1 Potter (Minnesota) 3-1 Lank (New York) 3-1 Gervais (North Dakota) 1-3 Lin (Connecticut) 1-4 Stuhlman (New York) 0-4 Men's standings: Disher (North Dakota) 6-1 Romaniuk (Washington) 5-2 George (Minnesota) 5-2 Brown (Wisconsin) 5-2 Larway (Washington) 4-3 Birr (Minnesota) 3-4 Fenson (Minnesota) 3-4 Shuster (Minnesota) 3-4 Wilberg (Wisconsin) 1-6 Roe (Wisconsin) 0-7 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).