Men's field tightens up at 2018 Olympic Team Trials

By Terry L. Davis | Nov. 13, 2017, 3:40 p.m. (ET)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nov. 13, 2017

Men’s standings tighten up at 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling

(OMAHA, Neb.) – The men’s standings tightened up this afternoon at the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling as Todd Birr’s team handed John Shuster’s rink their first loss at Baxter Arena.

Birr (Blaine, Minn.) and teammates John Benton (Blaine, Minn.), Hunter Clawson (Clarksville, Md.), and Tom O’Connor (Brooklyn Center, Minn.) scored a critical deuce in the ninth end to put the pressure on Shuster’s team. Two perfect draws by Birr, who won the men’s national title in 2007, created a difficult triple takeout attempt for three-time Olympian Shuster, who was only able to remove three as Birr earned an 8-5 win.

“Being up to playing the 10th, with John being such a good player, we wanted to make sure that we didn’t really leave him an option for more than two,” said Benton, who was teammates with Shuster at the 2010 Olympics.  “That’s a big win for us. We’re back to 2-2 and in the thick of things. That also brings John’s team back into the pack. So, things are tightening up like everyone probably expected.

Brady Clark’s team got into the win column today with a 6-5 victory over Craig Brown’s rink.

“That was our first complete game of the week,” said Clark, a two-time men’s national champion. “This team is easy to get going on a roll. It feels good to play a really sharp game. The team just set me up fantastically and made things easy for me.”

In the lone women’s match today, Nina Roth’s team scored multiple points with the hammer on the way to a 9-2 victory over Cory Christensen’s team. The win improves Roth (McFarland, Wis.) and her team of Tabitha Peterson (St. Paul, Minn.), Aileen Geving (Duluth, Minn.), and Becca Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.) to 2-1 in the women’s triple round robin.  

The teams will return to the ice at 7 tonight as the round robin continues. A link to the live webstream of the round robin can be found at www.NBCSports.com. Game scores will be posted online after each draw at www.usacurl.org. Standings and stats also will be available.

 

Draw 5 scores: Birr 8, Shuster 5; Roth 9, Christensen 2; Clark 6, Brown 5

 

Men’s Standings (double round robin):

John Shuster                    3-1

Heath McCormick           3-1

Todd Birr                           2-2

Craig Brown                     1-3

Brady Clark                       1-3

 

Women’s Standings (triple round robin):

Nina Roth                         2-1

Jamie Sinclair                   1-1

Cory Christensen            1-2

             

The round robin continues through Wednesday night. If needed, tiebreakers will take place on Thursday morning. The playoffs, a best two-out-of-three series, will begin on Friday and continue through Saturday night, if needed.

 

USA Curling is hosting the event with Baxter Arena and the Omaha Sports Commission, in partnership with the Aksarben Curling Club and the United States Olympic Committee. The men’s and women’s teams that win the Trials will be named to the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team, pending approval by the United States Olympic Committee.

 

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For more information: Terry Davis, Director of Communications, terry.davis@usacurl.org, 608-338-9900 (mobile) or 715-344-1199, Ext. 202 (office).