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Stopera rink earns first playoff spot at 2018 Junior Nationals

By Terry L. Davis | Jan. 31, 2018, 6:38 p.m. (ET)


Jan. 31, 2018


Stopera rink earns playoff spot at 2018 Junior National Championships


(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – Andrew Stopera’s defending champions are the first team to clinch a spot in this weekend’s playoffs of the 2018 USA Curling Junior National Championships at the Detroit Curling Club in Ferndale, Mich.


Stopera, a student at Northwestern University, and his team of Luc Violette (Lake Stevens, Wash.), Ben Richardson (Issaquah, Wash.), Graem Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.), and Caleb Clawson (Clarksville, Md.) got past Trevor Marquardt’s Wisconsin rink, 6-2, this afternoon to improve to 7-0 with two games left in the round robin. The top four teams in the men’s and women’s divisions will advance to Friday night’s Page playoffs.


Nick Connolly’s team improved its odds of earning a spot alongside the Stopera rink by winning their fifth straight game. Connolly (Seattle) and teammates Chase Sinnett (Medfield, Mass.), Andy Dunnam (Dresher, Pa.), and Jonathon Harstad (Duluth, Minn.) defeated Josh Moore’s Minnesota rink, 8-2, to improve to 5-2. Moore’s rink also is 5-2 as they seek another spot in the playoffs. Keeping pace, Tim Hodek’s North Dakota rink held on to defeat Riley Fenson’s Minnesota team, 6-5, to create a three-way tie for second place.


In women’s competition this afternoon, Beth Podoll’s North Dakota rink put another “W” in the win column as they defeated Mackenzie Page’s team, 9-3, in the 4 p.m. draw. Earlier today, Maya Willertz led her team to a fourth victory but it took an extra end to defeat Anya Normandeau’s team, 7-6. Ariel Traxler (Fairbanks, Alaska) skipped her team to a 9-7 victory over Christine McMakin’s rink to even the team’s record to 3-3.


The round robin continues on Thursday with four more rounds of action and will conclude on Friday morning. If needed, tiebreaker games would be played on Friday afternoon followed by the Page playoffs at 8 p.m. ET. A live webstream and scores are posted at www.usacurl.org.


Draw 17 results, 4 p.m. today: Connolly 8, Moore 2; Stopera 6, Marquardt 2; Podoll 9, Page 3; Hodek 6, Fenson 5


Draw 16 results, 12 p.m. today: Willertz 7, Normandeau 6 (extra end); Traxler 9, McMakin 7; McDonald 7, Tuma 5; Wendling 9, Clasen 7


Draw 15 results, 8 a.m. today: Podoll 9, Kitchens 5; Bear 9, Page 5; Farrell 6, Olson 4


Women’s Standings:

Madison Bear (Pardeeville, Wis.)             5-1

Cora Farrell (Fairbanks, Alaska)                5-1

Abbey Kitchens (Devils Lake, N.D.)           5-1

Beth Podoll (Fargo, N.D.)                           5-2

Maya Willertz (Midland, Mich.)                4-2

Ariel Traxler (Fairbanks, Alaska)               3-3

Anya Normandeau (Burnsville, Minn.)    2-4

Christine McMakin (St. Paul, Minn.)        1-5

Sara Olson (Duluth, Minn.)                        1-5

Mackenzie Page (Mankato, Minn.)          0-7


Men’s Standings:

Andrew Stopera (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) 7-0Q

Nick Connolly (Seattle)                               5-2

Tim Hodek (Fairdale, N.D.)                         5-2

Josh Moore (Mapleton, Minn.)                 5-2

Trevor Marquardt (Poynette, Wis.)          4-3

Andrew McDonald (Hudson, Ohio)          4-3

Wesley Wendling (Wausau, Wis.)            3-4

Riley Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.)                   1-6

Jack Clasen (Roseville, Minn.)                   1-6

Kevin Tuma (St. Paul, Minn.)                     0-7

Q=qualified to Page playoffs


About the event:

The Junior Nationals athletes are age 21 and under and qualified to compete from three qualifying events, which took place this fall.


What’s at stake:

The winning teams will represent the U.S. at the 2018 World Junior Championships March 3-11 in Aberdeen, Scotland.  


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, terry.davis@usacurl.org, 608-338-9900 (mobile) or 715-344-1199, Ext. 202 (office).

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