Johnson wins two at curling nationals

Bemidji's Cassie Johnson rink opened play with two victories Monday at the U.S. national curling championships at Utica, N.Y. Johnson opened with a decisive 11-2 win over Nancy Richard, then cruised to a 10-3 victory over Alexandra Carlson. Defen...

Bemidji's Cassie Johnson rink opened play with two victories Monday at the U.S. national curling championships at Utica, N.Y.

Johnson opened with a decisive 11-2 win over Nancy Richard, then cruised to a 10-3 victory over Alexandra Carlson.

Defending champion Deb McCormick also went 2-0 on the first day. That rink includes Natalie Nicholson of Bemidji.

Johnson stole deuces in three ends to end her first match after seven ends.

"The ice was real consistent. We liked the speed of it," said lead Maureen Brunt. "We played real well and capitalized on some missed shots. We had real good communication today as well and we just want to build on that."


Johnson stole a deuce in the third after Richard's last takeout hit the stone too thin and rolled out.

After drawing for four points in the fifth, Johnson and teammates Jamie Johnson askell, Jessica Schultz and Brunt kept the lead, stealing a deuce in the sixth with Richard couldn't remove two Johnson stones in the four foot. Richard conceded after the seventh when Johnson stole two more when Richard's draw attempt came up short.

Johnson stayed unbeaten, taking her second start Monday afternoon 10-3 from Carlson in an all-Minnesota match.

It was a one-sided match from the start for Bemidji's Olympians. Johnson opened with two in the first, led 3-1 after three and expanded the margin to 8-1 after six.

Carlson got two in the seventh which Johnson matched in the eighth to end the match early.

McCormick, with Bemidji's Nicholson as lead, opened with a 6-3 win over Minnesota's Alexandra Carlson. tying the score at 2-2 in the fifth and stealing singletons in the next three ends to pull away.

"The ice is real weight sensitive," said Nicholson. "We had a couple of draws for two where we missed opportunities.

McCormick went to 2-0 with a 10-2 win over Richard. McCormick rolled to a 7-1 lead after five and closed out the match with three in the seventh.


Patti Lank needed an extra end to shade Cristin Clark 7-6. Clark rallied from three down in the ninth and 10th to tie.

Fenson falters

As he has in the past, Fenson got off to a slow start, winning his Saturday opener 6-3 over Scott Edie before falling twice Sunday.

After three draws, Craig Disher and Jason Larway were in the lead at 3-0 with Todd Birr and Rich Ruohonen at 2-1.

Edie stuck with Fenson through seven ends but could never get the deuce he wanted. Fenson never trailed and broke open the game with one in the eighth and a steal of one in the ninth to widen the gap to three.

Disher, Ruohonen, Craig Brown and Larway were other winners.

Black Sunday

Things went to pot Sunday. Jeremy Roe took a 4-0 lead at the start, saw Fenson fight back to trail 6-5 after seven, then scored twice in the eighth and stole three in the tenth to win11-5.


The Wisconsin rink enjoyed great draw weight through the match while Fenson's foursome struggled with the swingy ice.

The deciding pair in the eighth came after vice skip Mark Hamilton made two great freezes. After blanking the ninth end, Fenson tried to set up a big end to close out the game but missed a takeout with his last toss to give Roe its final three.

It was Roe's second win this year over Fenson, beating the Bemidji rink at a Duluth bonspiel earlier this year.

Other winners were Larway, Disher and Ruohonen.

Third draw

Things got even worse Sunday night when another young Wisconsin team, Ryan Lemke, administered a 13-5 beating, breaking open a 7-5 game with a pair in the seventh and four in the eighth.

Lemke went ahead 7-1 early, getting three in the third and four in the fourth.

Lemke capitalized on several Bemidji misses to steal two key ends. Fenson was short on a draw against a four in the fourth and suffered the same fate in the eighth after a great shot by Lemke to softly tap out Fenson's shot rock.


Other winners were Birr, Larway and Disher

Fenson battled Ruohonen on Monday night.

Johnson gets this morning's bye while Fenson faces Birr in the afternoon and Johnson goes against Lemke tonight.

Fourth draw

Fenson got back to .500 Monday noon with an 8-1 win over Pustovar. A three spot in the sixth widened a 2-1 lead and another three in the eighth ended the match.

The first two points came on steals in the third and fourth.

Other winners were Disher, Edie, Birr and Brown.




At Utica, N. Y.

Women's Division

First Draw

Richard 100-100-0--- 2

Johnson 012-042-2---11

McCormick 6, Carlson 3

Lank 7, Clark 6


Second Draw

Johnson 210-221-02--10

Carlson 001-000-20 -- 3

McCormick 10, Richard 2

Clark 7, Stuhlman 6

Standings: Johnson 2-0, McCormick 2-0, Lank 1-0, Clark 1-1, Stuhlman 0-1, Carlson 0-2, Richard 0-2

Men's Division

First Drew

Fenson 202-000-011---6

Edie 020-000-100---3

Disher 6, Roe 2

Ruohonen 7, Birr 3

Larway 7, Pustovar 5

Second Draw

Roe 220-110-020-3---11

Fenson 002-001-200-0--- 5

Larway 7, Lemke 6

Disher 6, Pustovar 5

Birr 8, .Edie 4

Ruohonen 9, Brown 7

Third Draw

Fenson 100-022-00--- 5

Lemke 003-400-24---13

Birr 6, Brown 3

Larway 8, Ruohonen 6

Pustovar 10, Roe 4

Disher 9, Edie 2

Fourth Draw

Pustovar 000-010-00---1

Fenson 001-103-03---8

Disher 7, Ruohonen 2

Edie 8, Roe 3

Birr 10, Lemke 2

Brown 8, Larway 5

Standings: Disher 4-0, Larway, Birr 3-1, Ruohonen, Fenson, Brown 2-2, Edie, Lemke, Roe, Pustovar 1-3.

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