Two-time Olympian John Shuster of the Duluth Curling Club grabbed the last playoff berth at the 2012 USA National Championships by making a double-takeout to beat Eric Fenson 6-4 on Thursday at IceWorks Skating Complex in Aston, Pa.
Shuster and teammates Jared Zezel and John Landsteiner of Duluth and Zach Jacobson of Langdon, N.D., finished round-robin play 6-4, having lost 10-5 to Craig Brown earlier in the day. The Shuster rink faces Brown's rink again in the Page Playoff 3-4 match at 11 a.m. today.
Defending champion Pete Fenson (9-1) of Bemidji, Minn., was runner-up in the round-robin portion and will meet Heath McCormick (10-0) in the Page Playoff 1-2 match at 11 a.m., with the winner advancing to Saturday's gold-medal match. Fenson's team includes Joe Polo of Duluth and Shawn Rojeski of Chisholm.
Top-seeded Tyler George of Duluth was eliminated by losing 6-4 in extra ends to Pete Fenson and 8-4 to Brown to finish 4-6.
Aileen Sormunen of Duluth defeated Alex Carlson of Wayzata, Minn., 10-2 in a Page 3-4 playoff Thursday night at the USA Curling Championships to advance to the women's semifinals in Aston, Pa.
Sormunen, along with teammates Courtney George, Amanda McLean and Miranda Solem face U.S. Olympian Cassie Potter of St. Paul in today's 3 p.m. semifinals. The winner faces Allison Pottinger of Eden Prairie, Minn., in Saturday's 9 a.m. championship match.