Women’s playoff field undetermined at 2017 USA Curling National Championships


The three teams advancing to the women’s playoffs of the 2017 USA Curling National Championships will have to wait one more day to be determined after this afternoon’s results at XFINITY Arena of Everett.

Jamie Sinclair’s team picked up a key win as they handed Cassie Potter’s rink its first loss of the championship. Sinclair and teammates Alex Carlson (St. Paul, Minn.), Vicky Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska), and Monica Walker (St. Paul, Minn.) shot 85 percent in earning the 8-2 victory over Potter’s team.

“We knew that it was an important one and were feeling the pressure of it, but thankfully we came off a really good win yesterday and had some really good momentum going into this one and we came out firing,” Sinclair said. Potter, who won the national title in 2005, and teammates Jackie Lemke (Medford, Wis.), and Sophie Bader (St. Louis Park, Minn.) had to play without lead Stephanie Sambor (White Bear Lake, Minn.), who was suffering from a migraine.

“We’ve experienced playing against them before when they’re only three-handed and they’re quite good so we knew that wasn’t an advantage for us at all and that they’d come out playing well,” Sinclair said.

Team Sinclair broke open the game in the seventh end by scoring four points, and then stole two points to put the game away.

“We got a little lucky in that a few misses gave us some good opportunities, and I think that’s the only reason the score is the way that it was,” Sinclair said. “It was a really good battle and it felt good to pull out the win.” Nina Roth’s team earned a big win as well as they defeated the Cristin Clark rink, 9-2.

“We’re definitely in a must-win situation but we’ve been in those situations all season long and we’ve learned how to persevere so we’re going to be just fine,” Roth said after the win. Sinclair and Potter are now tied for first place with 5-1 records. Roth is tied for third place with Cory Christensen’s team, which lost in an extra end to Cora Farrell’s rink, 9-7.

Two-time Olympian Jessica Schultz (Richfield, Minn.) led her team to its second win of the championship as they took down Becca Wood’s rink, 9-5.

With just three playoff berths available, tomorrow morning’s round robin finale should determine how the playoff field shakes out. If needed, tiebreaker games would be played Thursday afternoon and shift the playoff game to Friday morning.

Game scores, 2 p.m. Wednesday: Schultz 9, Wood 5; Roth 9, Clark 2; Sinclair 8, Potter 2; Bear 9, Christensen 7 (extra end) Game scores, 9 a.m. Wednesday: Fenson 7, Clawson 4; Leichter 7, Dropkin 6; Shuster 8, Sobering 5; Clark 7, McCormick 6; Birr 8, Brown 5 Women’s standings: Cassie Potter (St. Paul, Minn.) 5-1 Jamie Sinclair (St. Paul, Minn.) 5-1 Cory Christensen (Duluth, Minn.) 4-2 Nina Roth (Madison, Wis.) 4-2 Cora Farrell (Fairbanks, Alaska) 3-3 Jessica Schultz (Richfield, Minn.) 2-4 Cristin Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.) 1-5 Becca Wood (Denver, Colo.) 0-6 Men’s standings: John Shuster (Superior, Wis.) 7-0Q Brady Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.) 6-1 Todd Birr (Blaine, Minn.) 5-2 Craig Brown (Madison, Wis.) 4-3 Pete Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.) 4-3 Alex Leichter (Boston) 3-4 Heath McCormick (Sarnia, Ontario) 3-4 Hunter Clawson (Clarksville, Md.) 2-5 Darryl Sobering (Broomfield, Colo.) 1-6 Stephen Dropkin (Minneapolis, Minn.) 0-7 Q=qualified to Page playoffs

Playoffs: Men: The top four men’s teams will advance to the Page playoffs and be ranked 1-4. The No. 1 seed will take on the No. 2 seed with the winner advancing to the final. The loser of the 1-2 game will take on the winner of the playoff between the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds in a single semifinal game.

Women: The top three teams advance to play in a modified Page playoff. If there is a clear-cut winner of the round robin (at least one game ahead of the second-place team), the top seed will advance directly to the final. In that scenario, the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds will play in a single semifinal to determine the other semifinalist. If there is not a clear-cut winner of the round robin, the teams will be ranked 1-3. The No. 1 team plays the No. 2 team with the winner advancing to the final. The loser would then play the No. 3 seed in a single semifinal to determine the other finalist.

What’s at stake: Ten men’s and eight women’s teams are competing for their respective 2017 national championship titles and a chance to represent the U.S. at the upcoming World Championships and 2017 Humpty’s Champions Cup.

Competition outlook: Teams are competing in a full round robin with the top four men’s teams advancing to the Page playoffs and the top three women’s teams competing in a modified Page playoff.

A complete competition schedule is posted at www.usacurl.org.

Webstream and social: A live webstream, in partnership with the U.S. Olympic Committee and the 12th End Sports Network, can be found at www.usacurl.org.

A schedule of which game will be the feature game per draw is posted at www.usacurl.org.

More information about the 2017 Nationals can be found at http://www.usacurlingnationals2017.com/ or on the event Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/usacurlingnationals2017/ Social media for the event: @usacurl and @curlingseattle on Twitter; @2017curlingnationals on Instagram. Hashtag: #curlingnationals Becoming Team USA: Beginning this year, any team ranked in the Top 25 of the year-to-date World Curling Tour Order of Merit (OOM) on Jan. 23, 2017, is eligible to represent the U.S. in the men’s or women’s 2017 World Curling Championships by winning the U.S. men’s or women’s 2017 National Championships, regardless of whether or not that team has the highest OOM points total among the top three finishers in the Nationals. Two teams have reached that ranking – the Heath McCormick and Nina Roth rinks. The 2017 Nationals will award teams OOM points as follows: First – 110 points; second – 85 points; and third – 65 points. To view the most current OOM points, http://go.teamusa.org/2il3Y50. USA Curling is sponsored by AtomOS, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, CryoMAX 8-Hour Cold Pack, Sitrin, The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, Ki Mobility, BalancePlus, and Brakebush Inc., and is partnered with Laurie Artiss Ltd. – The Pin People, United Airlines, 12th End Sports Network, and CurlingZone.

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