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Four U.S. teams reach playoffs at Grand Slam

By Terry L. Davis | Nov. 13, 2018, 11:44 a.m. (ET)


Nov. 13, 2018

Four U.S. rinks make playoff round at Grand Slam in Thunder Bay

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – All three men’s High Performance Program teams and one women’s rink reached the playoffs of the Tour Challenge, a Grand Slam of Curling event, over the weekend in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

The John Shuster, Rich Ruohonen and Nina Roth rinks reached the playoffs in Tier 1 with Roth’s team reaching the semifinals. Mark Fenner’s team also reached the semifinals in Tier 2. Andrew Stopera’s junior team nearly advanced to the playoffs after losing a close tiebreaker match. The Jamie Sinclair, Cory Christensen and Annmarie Dubberstein battled hard but did not secure playoff berths as a record eight U.S. teams competed at the Grand Slam.

Roth (McFarland, Wis.) and teammates Tabitha Peterson (St. Paul, Minn.), Becca Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.) and Tara Peterson (Eagan, Minn.) defeated 2014 Olympic champion Jennifer Jones in the quarterfinals and took Rachel Homan’s team to an extra end before bowing out in the semifinals. The team finished with a 4-2 record in their third Grand Slam appearance of the season. Shuster and Ruohonen both went 3-1 in round robin play to advance to the quarterfinals where their journeys concluded. Shuster lost to eventual champion Brad Jacobs while Ruohonen’s team fell to runner-up Brendan Bottcher. Fenner (Bemidji, Minn.) and his team of Tom Howell (Milwaukee, Wis.), Korey Dropkin (Duluth, Minn.), and Alex Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.) went 3-1 in the Tier 2 round robin and defeated Tanner Horgan’s Canadian rink, 7-5. In the semifinal against Scott McDonald, Fenner’s team saw a 5-2 lead evaporate in the second half as their Grand Slam run came to an end.

The third qualifier for the 2019 USA Curling Junior National Championships took place at the Capital Curling Club in Bismarck, N.D., with the Abbey Kitchens and Andrew McDonald rinks securing berths. The final four spots will be secured at the fourth qualifier next month in Portage, Wis.

Dubberstein’s junior team returns to the ice this weekend at the Red Deer Curling Classic in Red Deer, Alberta. The Chase Sinnett and Cait Flannery rinks will compete in the Sun Life Financial Junior Challenge in Manitoba.

To view the competition schedules and results of the HPP and junior HPP teams, go to https://go.teamusa.org/2vSYqXA.

USA Curling is sponsored by AtomOS, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, Carhartt, CryoMAX 8-Hour Cold Pack, Sitrin, The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, Thorne, ISS (Ice, Sports & Solar), and Twin Cities Orthopedics, and is partnered with Carhartt, Brakebush, 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).

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Nina Roth

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Mark Fenner

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John Shuster

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Rich Ruohonen

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Andrew Stopera

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Jamie Sinclair

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Annmarie Dubberstein

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Cory Christensen