Schultz, Fenson gain playoff berths

Bemidji's defending national champion curling teams will both be in the playoffs today after cementing berths Thursday. For Jessica Schultz it required a tiebreaker win over Cristin Clark 10-4 Thursday night after falling in the afternoon round t...

Bemidji's defending national champion curling teams will both be in the playoffs today after cementing berths Thursday.

For Jessica Schultz it required a tiebreaker win over Cristin Clark 10-4 Thursday night after falling in the afternoon round to Deb McCormick 7-5.

Pete Fenson ended on a winning note beating Craig Brown 11-5 to finish 7-2.

Schultz goes against Margie Smith this afternoon at 2 p.m. with the winner advancing to tonight's game against the 1-2 loser at 7 p.m.

That winner plays in the final Saturday morning.


Schultz reversed a 9-8 loss to Clark in the fifth draw Wednesday. She will be trying to reverse a 9-4 loss to Smith in the opening draw Sunday.

Clark took a 1-0 lead in the first but never came close again.

Schultz countered with two in the second, stole two in the third and one in the fourth for a 5-1 lead.

She countered Clark's two points in the fifth with one in the sixth and seventh and matched Clark's counter in the eighth with one in the ninth, then closed out the match in style with a steal of two in the 10th.

She needs three more wins to retain the national title and head to the World Championships at Grande Prairie, Alberta March 18-25.

Should she be successful Cassie Johnson should be back in action for that meet.


Clark 100-020-010-0 - 4


Schultz 022-101-101-2 - 10

Fenson is top seed

The defending champion Pete Fenson rink of Bemidji closed out round robin play with its seventh straight win Thursday to gain the top seed for today's World Trials playoffs.

Fenson stopped Craig Brown 11-5 in his final match to finish 7-2.

North Dakota's Craig Disher beat Jason Larway 10-5 in the other top match, also finishing 7-2 but losing the top seed on its earlier loss to Fenson.

Larway fell into a third place tie with Todd Birr of Mankato who shaded Rich Ruohonen of Brooklyn Park 6-5 in his final match to also end 6-3.

No tiebreakers were needed with Fenson and Disher to clash in today's opener with Birr facing Larway.

The Fenson-Disher loser will then meet the Birr-Larway winner for the second berth in Saturday's final.


Fenson won last year's title and went on to earn the Bronze medal at this year's Winter Olympics.

Shawn Rojeski, Joe Polo and John Shuster complete the rink.

Other final scores found Paul Pustovar beating Don Barcome Jr. 7-6 and Todd Schroeder stopping Greg Eigner 10-5.

Brown, Pustovar and Ruohonen tied for fifth at 4-5 with Schroeder and Barcome winning three and Eigner one.

Ironically that one win came over Fenson.

It was old home week in the Fenson finale with Brown once a member of the Eric Fenson national Junior champions in 1997 and brothers Matt and

Cody Stevens curling third and second.

But Fenson took control at the start, opening with two in the first and stealing one in the second.


Another pair in the fourth widened the gap to 5-1 and two more in the eighth opened it to 7-3.

Brown stayed in contention with a pair in the ninth but Fen son closed strong, laying four in the 1oth to pull away.

Disher and Larway were tied 4-4 after five. But Disher scored four in the sixth and closed out the match with two more in the eighth.

Birr went ahead 6-4 with three in the eighth and limited Ruohonen to one in the 10th to preserve his win and gain a berth in the playoffs.

Pustovar took a 5-0 lead with three the third and carried a 7-3 lead into the eighth.

Barcome scored once that end and stole singletons in the ninth and 10th but came up one short.

Schroeder scored three in the third to take a 6-3 lead and widened an 8-5 lead with a pair in the seventh to end his match.



Draw 9

Brown 001-001-102-0 - 5

Fenson 210-200-020-4 - 11

Disher 103-004-02 - 10

Larway 010-210-10 - 5

Birr 010-200-030-0 - 6

Ruohonen 002-011-000-1 - 5

Barcome 000-111-011-1 - 6


Pustovar 113-000-200-0 - 7

Schroeder 303-110-2 - 10

Eigner 030-002-0 - 5

Schultz falls

Schultz' path to the playoffs took a jolt when McCormick scored three in the ninth to overcome a 5-3 deficit and went on to hand the defending champs a 7-5 setback.

It dropped the Bemidji quartet into a three way tie for third with Smith and Clark.

Smith gained the final four despite a 10-3 loss to Amy Wright in her final game. Clark created the tiebreaker with a 7-5 victory over Norma O'Leary.

Smith advanced on the basis of previous wins over Schultz and Clark. Schultz and Clark met for the final berth in the night tiebreaker.

Clark had won their round robin match 9-8.

Patti Lank was upended by Aileen Sormunen 9-4 in her final match to drop into a first place tie with McCormick.

That pair will meet today at 2 in the 1-2 match up.

Smith faces Schultz in the 3-4 match up with that winner going against the Lank-McCormick loser at 7 for the final spot in Saturday's title match. That match takes the ice at 10.

Schultz fell behind 2-0 in the opening end but scored once in the third and stole singletons in the fourth and fifth for a 3-2 lead.

After McCormick scored one in the seventh to tie, Schultz countered with two in the eighth.

But the big ninth turned the tide and Bemidji was unable to make up the difference.

Sormunen jumped to a 4-0 lead after two and never looked back in handing Lank her second loss of the week. It was 6-1 after five with each team scoring three in the second half.

Wright scored in six of the nine ends to beat Smith, scoring three in the fifth to take a 6-2 lead and going on from there.

Clark held a 5-2 lead after seven before O'Leary fought back to tie with a steal in the ninth. But Clark used the hammer to score twice in the 10th to win.


Draw 7

Schultz 001-110-020-0 - 5

McCormick 200-000-103-1 - 7

Sormunen 220-020-100-2 - 9

Lank 001-001-011-0 - 4

Smith 010-100-100 - 3

Wright 102-031-012 - 10

O'Leary 000-101-021-0 - 5

Clark 011-010-200-2 - 7

World Curling Team Trials


Team Won Lost

Pete Fenson 7 2

Craig Disher 7 2

Jason Larway 6 3

Todd Birr 6 3

Rich Ruohonen 4 5

Craig Brown 4 5

Paul Pustovar 4 5

Don Barcome Jr. 3 6

Troy Schroeder 2 7

Greg Eigner 1 8

Games Thursday

Schroeder def. Eigner 10-5

Disher def. Larway 10-5

Fenson def. Brown 11-5

Pustovar def. Barcome 7-6

Birr def. Ruohonen 6-5

Games Friday

Page playoffs

Fenson vs. Disher, 2 p.m.

Larway vs. Birr, 2 p.m.


Fenson/Disher loser vs. Larway/Birr winner, 7 p.m.

Game Saturday


Fenson/Disher winner vs. semifinal winner, 2 p.m.


Team Won Lost

Patti Lank 5 2

Debbie McCormick 5 2

Margie Smith 4 3

Jessica Schultz 4 3

Cristin Clark 4 3

Aileen Sormunen 3 4

Amy Wright 2 5

Norma O'Leary 1 6

Games Thursday

Sormunen def. Lank 9-4

McCormick def. Schultz 7-5

Wright def. Smith 10-3

Clark def. O'Leary 7-5


Schultz def. Clark 10-4

Games Friday

Page playoffs

Lank vs. McCormick, 2 p.m.

Smith vs. Schultz, 2 p.m.


Smith/Schultz winner vs. Lank/McCormick loser, 7 p.m.

Game Saturday


Lank/McCormick winner vs. semifinal winner, 10 a.m.

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