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Curling: Pottinger rink takes lead at USA national women's meet

PHILADELPHIA — The Allison Pottinger rink of St. Paul suffered its first loss Tuesday night, but is still tied for first place of the USA National women’s curling championships after seven draws in the 10-team round robin event.

Tuesday afternoon the team, which includes Bemidji curler Natalie Nicholson, improved to 6-0 with an 8-5 victory over Abigayle Lindgren of Grand Forks. But the Alexandra Carlson rink of Wayzata, Minn., handed Pottinger its first defeat in the evening draw, winning 6-5 by scoring one point in the 10th end. Pottinger led 4-2 after five, but Carlson scored once in each of the next three ends to take a 5-4 lead. Pottinger tied it with one in the ninth.

Pottinger and Nina Spatola of St. Paul share first place with 6-1 records.

In the earlier match, Pottinger took a 3-1 lead with a pair in the third end and, after Lindgren closed to within 3-2 with a point in the fourth, Pottinger took control with three in the fifth. Leading 6-4 late, Pottinger upped the cushion to 8-4 with a pair in the eighth end.

The Potter rink of St. Paul, which is skipped by Bemidji native Cassie Potter and includes Bemidji resident Jamie Haskell, improved to 5-2 Tuesday with a 6-4 victory over Spatola and a 9-2 win over Lindgren.

Spatola stole a point in the first end but Potter answered with two in the third and a solo steal in the fifth. Spatola tallied two in the seventh but Potter countered with a pair in the eighth and preserved the victory with one in the 10th end.

Potter dominated the game against Lindgren, scoring two in the first end and adding a pair of three-point ends.

In the men’s division, the Eric Fenson rink of Bemidji won twice on Tuesday to improve to 2-4, while Eric’s brother Pete, also skipping a Bemidji rink. lost twice to fall to 3-3.

Four teams share the top spot with 4-2 records after six sessions of the round-robin portion of the tournament. On Tuesday morning, the Eric Fenson rink defeated the Pete Fenson rink 6-5 when it scored the winning point in the 10th end. Eric went on to drub the U.S. Olympic representative John Shuster rink of Duluth 12-6 in Tuesday’s second game.

Pete Fenson fell to Tyler George of Duluth 5-2 in the Tuesday afternoon draw.

Joining skip Eric Fenson on the team are Bemidji curlers Josh Bahr, Jon Chandler and Mark Haluptzok.

Curling with Pete Fenson are Joe Polo of Bemidji, Shawn Rojeski of Chisholm and Ryan Brunt of Portage, Wis.

The teams were knotted 1-1 until the fourth end when Eric Fenson scored three. Pete Fenson tallied two in the fifth and, after Eric Fenson answered with one in the sixth, Pete Fenson struck for three in the seventh to open a 6-5 lead.

Eric Fenson, however, battled back with the tying rock in the eighth and stole a point in the 10th to complete the victory.

The Shuster rink, which includes Bemidji State University student Jared Zezel, stands at 3-3.

National Curling Tournament


Women’s Division


Pottinger (St. Paul) 6-1, Spatola (St. Paul) 6-1, Carlson (Wayzata) 5-2, Potter (St. Paul) 5-2; George (Duluth) 4-3, Coleman (Seattle) 3-4, Maroldo (New York) 3-4, S.Anderson (Philadelphia) 2-5, Lindgren (Grand Forks) 1-6, A.Anderson (St. Paul) 0-7


Monday’s Late Draw

Draw 9: Carlson 9, S.Anderson 8; Pottinger 11, Maroldo 1; Potter 8, A.Anderson 6; Spatola 9, George 2; Coleman 7, Lindgren 6

Tuesday’s Draws

Draw 11: Coleman 9, A.Anderson 4; Potter 6, Spatola 4; George 6, Carlson 5; Pottinger 8, Lindgren 5; Maroldo 9, S.Anderson 8

Draw 13: Potter 9, Lindgren 2; George 9, A.Anderson 3; Spatola 9, S.Anderson 2; Maroldo 4, Coleman 3; Carlson 6, Pottinger 5

Wednesday’s Draws

Draw 15: Pottinger vs. Spatola; Carlson vs. Coleman; Potter vs. Maroldo; S.Anderson vs. A.Anderson; George vs. Lindgren

Draw 17: Coleman vs. S.Anderson; Lindgren vs. Spatola; Pottinger vs. George; Potter vs. Carlson; A.Anderson vs. Maroldo

Men’s Division


Brown (Wisconsin) 4-2, George (Duluth) 4-2, McCormick (Duluth) 4-2, P.Fenson (Bemidji) 3-3, Schuster (Duluth) 3-3, Stolt (St. Paul) 3-3, Clark (Washington) 4-2, E.Fenson (Bemidji) 2-4, Leichter (New York) 2-4, Pustovar (Duluth) 1-5


Monday’s Late Draw

Draw 8: George 9, Shuster 5; Stolt 6, E.Fenson 5; Pustovar 6, Leichter 5; Clark 7, Brown 3; P.Fenson 7, McCormick 6

Tuesday’s Draws

Draw 10: E.Fenson 7, P.Fenson 6; Shuster 9, Leichter 1; Brown 10, Stolt 4; McCormick 8, George 4; Clark 6, :Pustovar 4

Draw 12: Brown 8, Pustovar 7; McCormick 8, Stolt 2; George 5, P.Fenson 2; Clark 7, Leichter 6; E.Fenson 12, Shuster 6.

Wednesday’s Draws

Draw 14: Clark vs. Stolt; George vs. Brown; McCormick vs. E.Fenson; Shuster vs. Pustovar; P.Fenson vs. Leichter

Draw 16: Leichter vs. McCormick; P.Fenson vs. Pustovar; Stolt vs. Shuster; E.Fenson vs. Brown; George vs. Clark

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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