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U.S. Curling Nationals: Fenson tops Stevens in opener

The U.S. Curling Nationals are underway in Kalamazoo, Mich., and a pair of Bemidji rinks faced off in the first day of play Saturday.

Team Fenson defeated Team Stevens 9-4, pulling away by leaving two rocks each in the sixth and seventh ends.

Playing on Team Fenson is skip Pete Fenson, Joe Polo of Bemidji, Shawn Rojeski of Chisholm and Tyler George of Duluth.

Playing on Team Stevens is skip Matt Stevens, his brother Cody Stevens, Bob Liapis and Jeff Breyen.

Eric Fenson is curling third on Team Farbelow of Minneapolis, which lost its opener 6-5 in an extra end to Team Kakela of Rolla, N.D.

The national championships began Saturday with first round-robin play matches between the 10 teams. The top four teams advance to the page playoffs.

Play continues today with Team Fenson taking on Team Hames out of Buffalo, N.Y. Team Stevens takes on Team Brown of Madison Wis.

On Monday, Team Fenson faces Team Birr of Mankato and Team Wight of Canandaigua, N.Y. Team Stevens will take on Team Johnson of Snohomish, Wash. and Team Kakela.