Bear and Stopera rinks advance to finals

By Terry L. Davis | Feb. 03, 2018, 4:41 a.m. (ET)


Feb. 2, 2018


Bear, Stopera rinks advance to finals of 2018 Junior National Championships


(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – It’s down to the final few games of the 2018 USA Curling Junior National Championships in Ferndale, Mich., as the Page playoffs took place Friday night at the Detroit Curling Club.


It took a few rounds of tiebreaker games first to narrow the field to the final four men’s and women’s teams on Friday afternoon.


In the women’s Page 1-2 playoff game, Madison Bear’s rink got past Team Beth Podoll, 7-5, to advance to the championship final on Saturday. Podoll will now face the Abbey Kitchens rink in a single semifinal after Kitchens defeated Cora Farrell, 7-6, in the Page 3-4 game.


Andrew Stopera’s team continued its winning ways with a 6-3 victory over Nick Connolly’s team in the men’s Page 1-2 playoff to advance to the final in hopes of defending their title. Connolly will now take on Wisconsin’s Trevor Marquardt rink, which defeated Josh Moore’s Minnesota squad, 6-4, in the Page 3-4 game. Being undefeated, Stopera (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) and teammates Luc Violette (Lake Stevens, Wash.), Ben Richardson (Issaquah, Wash.), Graem Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.), and Caleb Clawson (Clarksville, Md.) have two chances to win the 2017 junior title as a double knockout provision is in place.


Bear (Pardeeville, Wis.) and her team of Annmarie Dubberstein (Portage, Wis.), Jenna Burchesky (Walpole, Mass.), and Allison Howell (Bentleyville, Ohio) fell behind 0-2 after two ends to Podoll (Fargo, N.D.), Emily Quello (Bemidji, Minn.), Susan Dudt (Malvern, Pa.), and Rebecca Rodgers (Leyden, Mass.). But, the foursome bounced back with a big third end that saw them score four points on the scoreboard. They never trailed thereafter in the 7-5 triumph.


Kitchens (Devils Lake, N.D.) and teammates Leah Yavarow (Bemidji, Minn.), Sara Hodek (Fairdale, N.D.), and Sydney Steffen (Devils Lake, N.D.) got off to a fast start over Farrell (Fairbanks, Alaska) and her team of Cait Flannery (Mankato, Minn.), Lexi Lanigan (Duluth, Minn.), and Rebecca Miles (Duluth, Minn.) as they scored three points in the opening end. The Kitchens rink was able to maintain the lead and scored another big end late in the game to earn the 7-6 win and put them in the semifinal against Team Podoll.


The first four ends of the men’s Page 1-2 match were scoreless with the offense starting thereafter for Stopera’s team as they scored a deuce and stole three points over the next two ends for a 5-0 lead that Connolly (Seattle) and his team of Chase Sinnett (Medfield, Mass.), Andy Dunnam (Dresher, Pa.), and Jonathon Harstad (Duluth, Minn.).


Marquardt (Poynette, Wis.) and his team of Ryan Elwing (Brookfield, Wis.), Mitch Wilson (Delafield, Wis.), Connor Hipke (Wauwatosa, Wis.), and Coleman Thurston (Poynette, Wis.) defeated Tim Hodek’s team, 7-4, in a tiebreaker match to become the No. 4 playoff seed. They then took to the ice to face Moore and his team of Derek Moore, Nick Steinhaus, Eric Jaeger, Jared Moore (all of Mapleton, Minn.) shortly after and battled back late in the game to secure a spot in the semifinal on Saturday.


The men’s and women’s semifinals will take place at 9 a.m. ET Saturday followed by the gold-medal games at 1:30 p.m. The winning teams will represent the U.S. at the 2018 World Junior Championships March 3-11 in Aberdeen, Scotland.  A live webstream and scores are posted at


Page playoffs results:

  • Women’s 1-2 playoff: Bear 7, Podoll 5
  • Women’s 3-4 playoff: Kitchens 8, Farrell 7
  • Men’s 1-2 playoff: Stopera 6, Connolly 3
  • Men’s 3-4 playoff: Marquardt 6, Moore 4


Women’s tiebreaker results: Farrell 10, Willertz 5


Men’s tiebreaker results:

  • Tiebreaker 1: Hodek 8, McDonald 7
  • Tiebreaker 2: Marquardt 7, Hodek 4


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 Systems), and Brakebush, and is partnered with Laurie Artiss Ltd. – The Pin People, United Airlines, 12th End Sports Network, and CurlingZone.




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