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CURLING: Potter clinches playoff spot, Fenson needs tiebreaker

EVERETT, Wash. -- Cassie Potter’s team earned a playoff berth at the 2017 USA Curling National Championships on Thursday.

Potter, originally from Bemidji, will take on the Nina Roth team in a semifinal match at 4 p.m. today to determine who will advance to Saturday’s gold-medal game.

The winner of today’s game will take on the Jamie Sinclair rink in the title game. Sinclair finished 6-1 in the round-robin.

Roth’s squad beat Potter’s 8-4 on Thursday, dropping Potter to the No. 3 seed.

Potter and teammates Jackie Lemke and Sophie Bader had to play without lead Stephanie Sambor for the second straight game due to illness.

Potter’s rink finished with a 5-2 overall record.

Fenson rink goes to tiebreaker

On the men’s side, Pete Fenson’s team needed a tiebreaker late Thursday night to determine if they would be advancing to the playoffs.

Fenson's rink, which also includes Alex Fenson and Mark Fenner of Bemidji and Jared Zezel of Hibbing, lost to Brady Clark 7-4 in the final game of the round robin and finished with a 5-4 overall record.

Also finishing with a 5-4 record was the Craig Brown rink of Madison, Wis. Brown’s team beat Darryl Sobering’s team 8-4 on Thursday afternoon to force the tiebreaker.

That matchup wasn’t set to begin until 10 p.m. CST and was incomplete at presstime.

However, the winning team will become the No. 4 seed and will take on No. 3 seed Todd Birr in the Page 3-4 playoffs.

John Shuster’s team earned the top seed and Brady Clark will be the No. 2 seed. Those two teams will face off at 9 a.m. today with the winner advancing to the championship final on Saturday.

The winner of the Page 3-4 game, which also will take place at 9 a.m. today, will then play the losing team from the Page 1-2 game in a single semifinal game at 7 p.m.

Team USA beats Scotland at World Juniors

The 2017 World Junior Championships also kicked off Thursday in Gangneung, South Korea, and another Bemidji native helped lead the team to victory.

Graeme Fenson is a member of Team USA, which opened the world juniors with a 7-6 victory over Scotland.

Fenson’s teammates include skip Andrew Stopera of Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., Luc Violette of Lake Stevens, Wash., and Ben Richardson of Issaquah, Wash.

Team USA broke a 2-2 game open in the seventh end against Cameron Bryce’s rink when the American men converted for four points. Scotland took points in the next three ends to tie the game but the U.S. men hung on to score a single in the extra end for the win.

The U.S. men return to the ice today to take on Italy, which lost to Switzerland, 8-3.

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