JUNIOR CURLING: Dropkin rink advances to playoff semifinals
SEATTLE — The Korey Dropkin rink of Massachusetts dominated the final few ends and coasted to a 9-4 victory over Ethan Meyers of Duluth in the opening round of the National Junior Men’s Curling Championship Page playoffs Friday afternoon.
The Dropkin rink was playing against the Jake Vukich rink of Washington late Friday night in another elimination game; that match was not complete at presstime. The winner will advance to the championship match today at noon.
During the round robin portion of the tournament Dropkin and Meyers tied for third place and Friday afternoon’s match was a win-or-go-home affair.
Meyers took a 1-0 lead with a rock in the opening end but the Dropkin rink, which includes Bemidji curlers Alex Fenson and Mark Fenner, took a 2-1 lead with one in the third and a steal of one in the fourth.
Meyers regained the advantage with three in the fifth but Dropkin controlled play the rest of the way.
In the sixth end Dropkin scored two and tied the game 4-4. The rink took the lead for good with a steal of one in the seventh and iced the victory by stealing two in the eighth and two more in the ninth.
In Friday’s Page playoff winner’s bracket opener, Scott Dunnam of Pennsylvania stopped Vukich 7-5.
That outcome propelled Dunnam into the playoff championship where the rink will face the winner of Friday’s late match between Dropkin and Vukich.
The title game will be played at noon today.
The champion will represent the United States at the Junior World Tournament Feb. 26-March 5 in Flims, Switzerland.
Junior Men’s National Curling
Winner’s Bracket: Dunnam (Penn) 7, Vukich (Wash) 5
Elimination Bracket: Dropkin (Mass) 9, Meyers (Duluth) 4
Friday’s Late Elimination Game
Dropkin vs. Vukich
Dunnam vs. Dropkin/Meyers winner, noon