Fenson rink wins two of three at Olympic trials
FARGO -- The Pete Fenson rink of Bemidji won two of its first three games at the U.S. Olympic Team curling trials at Scheels Arena here.
After drawing a bye in Monday's afternoon round, Fenson defeated Heath McCormick of New York 6-5 in a dramatic conclusion to Monday's late draw. McCormick edged Fenson two years ago to earn the Olympic berth.
McCormick rallied to send the game into extra ends by scoring two in the ninth and one in the 10th, but Fenson scored one in the 11th to win it.
The teams will play a double round robin before moving into the playoffs on the weekend. The winner will advance to the final Olympic Qualifying Event next month in Germany.
In the opening round Sunday, Fenson scored two in the 10th end to nip Brady Clark of Washington 8-6. On Sunday night Fenson dropped a 9-4 decision to Tyler George of Duluth.
Fenson trailed only 5-4 in that game before George scored four in the eighth end to take command.
"It's great to get off to a good start and play well and manage the ice properly," Fenson said following his win in the first round. His teammates are Shawn Rojeski, Joe Polo and Ryan Brunt.
The Fenson-Clark contest was back-and-forth with Clark taking a 3-1 advantage with a steal in the third end. Fenson countered with three in the fourth end, however.
"I had a shot for four, we were making sure we'd get three," Fenson said of the big end.
Clark took a 5-4 lead with a pair in the sixth but Fenson tied the game with one in the sixth and took the lead with a steal in the seventh.
After Clark drew even with one in the ninth end Fenson scored a pair in the 10th.
In Sunday's late draw, George scored three in the fourth to open a 4-1 advantage and, after Fenson sliced the deficit to 5-4 with two in the seventh, George cemented the win with four in the eighth.
In the opening round of women's division play, the Allison Pottinger rink of Eden Prairie edged the Cassie Potter rink of St. Paul 9-8 in 12 ends Monday night. Potter rallied to force extra play with two points in the 10th, but Pottinger responded with the winner two ends later.
The Potter rink includes Bemidji sisters Cassie Potter and Jamie Haskell. Curling on the Pottinger team is Natalie Nicholson of Bemidji.
U.S. Olympic Trials
Shuster 3-0, Fenson 2-1, George 2-2, McCormick 1-2, Clark 0-3
Clark 021 002 001 0 - 6
Fenson 100 300 110 2 - 8
Fenson 001 010 20x x - 4
George 010 301 04x x - 9
McCormick 8, George 5
Shuster 10, Clark 4
Fenson 010 011 200 1 -- 6
McCormick 100 000 021 0 -- 5
George 8, Clark 3
Shuster 6, McCormick 5
Shuster 8, George 5
Noon: Shuster vs. Fenson; McCormick vs. Clark
Brown 1-0, Pottinger 1-0, Potter 0-1, George 0-1
Potter 100 100 400 200 -- 8
Pottinger 010 031 030 001 -- 9
Brown 10, George 3
Noon: Pottinger vs. Brown; George vs. Potter
7 p.m.: Brown vs. Potter; George vs. Pottinger