U.S. teams ready for Players' Championship

By Terry L. Davis | April 10, 2018, 2:46 p.m. (ET)


April 10, 2018


U.S. teams ready for Players’ Championship


(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – Three U.S. teams have qualified to compete this week in the prestigious West Jet Players’ Championship in Toronto.


Teams skipped by Nina Roth, Jamie Sinclair and John Shuster will compete in the six-day event where $300,000 in prize money is up for grabs. The Grand Slam event features 12 of the top men’s teams and 12 of the top women’s teams based on the World Curling Tour’s year-to-date rankings.


Sinclair (St. Paul, Minn.) and her team of Alex Carlson (St. Paul, Minn.), Vicky Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska) and Monica Walker (St. Paul, Minn.) are currently ranked No. 9 while Roth (McFarland, Wis.) and her team of Tabitha Peterson (St. Paul, Minn.), Aileen Geving (Duluth, Minn.) and Becca Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.) are No. 10. Shuster (Superior, Wis.) and his Olympic champions – Tyler George (Duluth, Minn.), Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.), and Joe Polo (Duluth, Minn.) are currently ranked No. 12 in the world.


The teams will compete in a preliminary round robin at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre. The U.S. women’s teams are in opposite pools with Roth in Pool A along with 2018 women’s world champion Jennifer Jones; the 2018 Olympic silver medalists from Korea skipped by EunJung Kim; Canada’s Olympic team skipped by Rachel Homan, winner of three Grand Slam events this season; Eve Muirhead’s 2018 Olympic team; and Kelsey Rocque of Canada. Roth’s impressive season includes winning the Canad Inns Classic, and three runner-up finishes at World Curling Tour (WCT) events. In addition, the team won the Olympic Team Trials and Continental Cup.


Sinclair’s team, which finished fourth at the recent Women’s World Championship, will face the Olympic champions from Sweden led by Anna Hasselborg; the Swiss and Japanese Olympic teams skipped by Silvana Tirinzoni and Satsuki Fujisawa; and Canada’s Chelsea Carey and Kerri Einarson rinks in pool play. Sinclair’s No. 9 ranking comes from a very successful season that includes defending the U.S. national championship title, two WCT event titles – Shorty Jenkins Classic and the U.S. Open – and five additional WCT playoff appearances. The team also is qualified to compete in the Champions Cup at the end of the month in Calgary.


Shuster will go up against five well-known Canadian rinks in the round robin, including Brad Gushue (2018 world men’s silver medalists), Kevin Koe (2018 Olympic team), John Epping, Brendan Bottcher, and Reid Carruthers. Pool A features Sweden’s Niklas Edin rink, hot off winning the Men’s World Championship title on Sunday in Las Vegas; Scotland’s Bruce Mouat rink, which won bronze in Las Vegas, and the Kyle Smith rink, which represented Great Britain at the Olympic Games; and three Canadian teams – Brad Jacobs, Jason Gunnlaugson and Mike McEwen. Shuster’s team advanced to the playoffs at four WCT events and won the gold medal at the Olympics.


Shuster’s team will take the ice at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday against Carruthers. Roth is the first U.S. team to compete as they take on Homan’s team at 7 tonight. Sinclair’s team hits the ice at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday against Fujisawa.


All events in the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling series are played utilizing the five-rock rule, which will be implemented in world championship play next season. Games are eight ends in length. After the round robin, the top eight teams will advance to the quarterfinals. While the games will be televised in Canada, there is an online subscription option for fans in the U.S. with details here, http://www.thegrandslamofcurling.com/curling/playerschampionship/2018-players-championship-tv-schedule/.


To learn more about this event, go to http://www.thegrandslamofcurling.com/curling/playerschampionship/.


USA Curling is sponsored by AtomOS, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, Cheetos, CryoMAX 8-Hour Cold Pack, Sitrin, The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, Thorne, BalancePlus, ISS Ice, Sports & Solar, IHG, and Brakebush, and is partnered with Laurie Artiss Ltd. – The Pin People, United Airlines, 12th End Sports Network, IHG, and CurlingZone.




For more information: Terry Davis, Director of Communications, terry.davis@usacurl.org, 608-338-9900 (mobile).