FAIRBANKS — The Alaska Region, skipped by Greg Persinger, moved into today’s men’s title match of the USA Curling Club National Championships at the Fairbanks Curling Club.
Persinger and team members Chad Persinger (third), Jason Ostnes (second) and Dave Hufman (lead) play at noon today against the Minnesota Region, skipped by Mark Willmert, of St. Paul, Minnesota.
The second-seeded Alaska men advanced with an 8-7 playoff victory on Friday night against the third-seeded
Dakota Territory Region, skipped by Tucker Smith, of Bismarck, North Dakota.
The Dakota Region led 3-0 in the bottom of the second end. Alaska answered with 4-0 run from the top of the third through fifth ends.
The Persingers, Ostnes and Hufman tacked on their final four points in the seventh through ninth ends.
The Dakota Region’s other members are Dan Buresh (third), Curt Bradbury (second) and Roger Smith (lead).
It will be the second time in two years that Greg Persinger plays in a national final. He was part of Lynnwood, Washington-based Team Brady Clark’s run to the men’s title at the 2016 USA Curling National Championships in Jacksonville, Florida.
In Friday’s other men’s playoff, the Dakota Region pulled off an 11-7 upset of the top-seeded Grand National Region, skipped by Benjamin Guzman, of Wayland, Massachusetts.
Grand National led 4-2 in the top of the third end but Minnesota built momentum four points from the bottom of the fourth through sixth ends.
The other Minnesota members are Chris Dolan (third), Tim Gartner (second) and Brian Agre (lead). Grand National’s other members are third Andy McKellips, second Mike Samson and lead Jim Fitzgerald.
The Alaska women, skipped by Kaye Hufman, lost 7-5 to Grand National during the women’s playoffs earlier Friday.
Third-seeded Alaska, which includes Adie Callahan, Catharine Persinger and Terra Bowen, plays for the bronze medal at noon today against fourth-seeded Minnesota, skipped by Jamie Kraus, of Proctor, Minnesota.
Minnesota’s other members are Kerry Hadiaris, Zoe Meisinger, Amy Swanoski and alternate Mary Shields.
Grand National, skipped by Yelizaveta Furman, of Mahwah, New Jersey, held off a surge by Alaska, which scored twice in the top of the fourth and seventh ends, and scored once in the sixth end. Grand National led 5-2 in the bottom of the fifth end and tacked on points in sixth and 10th ends.
Grand National, whose other members are Christi Freeman-Kirchner, Alice Yeh and Lynn Salmon, play for the title at noon today against the Dakota Territory Region, skipped by Ann Podoll, of Fargo, North Dakota.
Dakota won 7-4 against Kraus and Minnesota in the other playoff.
Dakota also comprises Madonna Fitzgerald, Carmen Delaney, Carissa Thomas and Rachel Workin.
Contact News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports.