BY PAT MILLER
Both curling rinks with Bemidji ties advanced to the Page playoffs in the women's division of the National curling tournament in Aston, Pa.
The Allison Pottinger rink, which includes Natalie Nicholson who grew up in Bemidji, won the round-robin portion of the event with an 8-1 record. The Cassie Potter rink fashioned a 7-2 round-robin record.
The Potter rink includes sisters Cassie Potter and Jamie Haskell who were raised in Bemidji.
Both rinks are curling out of St. Paul.
In Thursday's No. 1 vs. No. 2 Page playoff draw Pottinger defeated Potter 6-4 and advanced to Saturday's championship match.
Pottinger tied Thursday's Page opener with one counter in the 10th end and won the game with a steal of two in the 11th end.
Thursday's other Page playoff game saw Aileen Sormunen of Duluth eliminate Alexandra Carlson of Wayzata 10-2.
Potter will face Sormunen 3 p.m. Friday in the Page semifinal. That winner will meet Pottinger for the title 9 a.m. Saturday.
The Pete Fenson rink of Bemidji accomplished its initial goal Thursday as it finished second in the round robin and earned a berth in Friday morning's No. 1 vs. No. 2 Page playoff game.
Pete Fenson will meet Heath McCormick of New York for an automatic berth in the final. McCormick finished the round robin 10-0. Among the victories was a 7-6 triumph over Pete Fenson Monday in the round robin.
Friday's other playoff game pits Craig Brown of Wisconsin against John Shuster of Duluth. Brown compiled a 7-3 round-robin record while Shuster was 6-4.
The Brown-Shuster loser will be eliminated from the tournament while the winner will face the Pete Fenson-McCormick loser 7 p.m. Friday.
That loser will also be bounced from the competition while the winner will advance to Saturday's 2 p.m. championship game.
Pete Fenson preserved his runner-up finish in the round robin by posting a pair of Thursday victories. In the morning round the team, which includes Ryan Brunt of Bemidji, tripped Tyler George of Duluth 6-4. In the afternoon session Pete Fenson belted Owen Sampson of North Dakota 7-3.
The Eric Fenson rink ended the round robin 3-7. In Thursday's action the rink, which includes Bemidji curlers Eric Fenson, Trevor Andrews and Quentin Way, was blanked 9-0 by McComick and dropped a 6-4 decision to Shuster.