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Bemidji curlers on National championship team

WAYLAND, Mass. – The Korey Dropkin rink captured the championship of the USA Junior Men’s Curling event Saturday as it stopped Jack Vukich of Washington 8-6 in the Page playoff final.

Among the curlers on the national championship rink are Mark Fenner and Alex Fenner of Bemidji.

Dropkin did not need to throw his final stone as Vukich, needing to steal two points, came up light on his final draw into the house.

The Dropkin rink will now represent the U.S. at the 2013 World Junior Championships Feb. 28-March 10 in Sochi, Russia, which is the Olympic venue for curling in 2014.

Dropkin (Southborough, Mass.), and teammates Thomas Howell (Brick, N.J.), Fenner and Fenson, had control of most of Saturday’s match from the beginning. The team grabbed a 3-1 lead with two in the third end and extended its cushion to 5-2 with two more in the fifth.

After eight ends Dropkin owned an 8-4 lead but Vukich made things interesting with a deuce in the ninth.

Vukich had the 10th end set up well to steal, or at least pressure Dropkin into a tough shot for the win, but Vukich’s final stone came up light as they tried to brush it into second scoring position and Dropkin never had to throw his final rock.

Dropkin 102 020 210 x - 8

Vukich 010 102 002 x - 6