Cupid not so kind on St. Valentine's Day at 2012 USA Curling National Championships
(ASTON, Pa.) - There was plenty of Valentine's Day heartbreak for several of the women's team in this afternoon's action at the 2012 USA Curling National Championships at IceWorks Skating Complex as the teams start jockeying for playoff spots.
In the sixth round of the women's competition, Cassie Potter (St. Paul, Minn.) and Allison Pottinger (Eden Prairie, Minn.) remain on top of the women's standings with several teams breathing down their backs.
Potter (St. Paul, Minn.) and teammates Jamie Haskell (White Bear Lake, Minn.), Jackie Lemke (Medford, Wis.) and Stephanie Sambor (Minot, N.D.) jumped out to a big lead against Patti Lank's defending champions and held on for a 9-6 win to better their record to 5-1. Several missed shots in the second end and a heavy draw from Lank led to Potter's team stealing four points. A steal of two more points in the third end then gave Potter a commanding lead. Lank's team started to battle back but came up short of completing the rally. The loss drops Lank to 2-4 in the nine-game round robin standings.
Pottinger (Eden Prairie, Minn.) and her team of Nicole Joraanstad (Verona, Wis.), Natalie Nicholson (Bemidji, Minn.) and Tabitha Peterson (Eagan, Minn.) played a steady match in which the team shot 82 percent to defeat Janice Langanke's rink, 8-5.
Erika Brown, Aileen Sormunen and Alex Carlson all posted wins to move to 4-2 and tied for third place. Sormunen's team defeated Maureen Stolt, 6-4, after Stolt was wide and heavy on her final draw as she tried to tie the game with a single in the 10th end.
"They made a lot of nice shots and then once we finally got our draw weight figured out - how to throw it to beat the curl and the non-curl, we started making more shots and that really helped," Sormunen said.
The back-to-back wins by Team Sormunen keeps them well within reach of a playoff berth. "That was a really big win for us," said Sormunen, a two-time U.S. junior champion. "We've got three more games, and we figure if we win them all we can still get the one or two seed. We're excited. We're just ready to play. I don't want any time in between the games. I just want to keep going."
Carlson (Wayzata, Minn.) and teammates Monica Walker (Brighton, Mass.), Kendall Moulton (Minneapolis) and Jordan Moulton (Minneapolis) defeated Kim Wapola's rink, 9-5, to keep pace with the top of the pack.
"We just played pretty well. The ice changed pretty bad at half and we struggled with that a little bit but we came back," Carlson said. "We have three games to go and two losses and there are only two teams with one loss ... so we're in a pretty good spot right now."
Live webstreaming courtesy of USA Curling's involvement with the 12th End Sports Network and the U.S. Olympic Committee can be found at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/usa-curling. Scores, standings, game schedule and athlete biographies can be found online at www.usacurl.org/curlingrocks.
Check out some post-game interviews on our event YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/PhillyCurling2012.
This is the first opportunity for teams to qualify for the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, which will take place Nov. 11-16, 2013, in Fargo, N.D. The top two men's and women's team from the 2012 Nationals earn direct berths. In addition, the winning teams from the 2012 Nationals earn the privilege to represent the U.S. at the 2012 World Championships. The 2012 Ford World Women's Championship will take place March 17-25 in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. The 2012 World Men's Championship will be staged in Basel, Switzerland, March 31-April 8.
To request media accreditation for the event, please go to http://2012usacurlingnationals.com/ and look under the "News and Press" section. A complete competition schedule also is located at the link above.