FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 14, 2019
Men’s playoffs set at 2019 National Championships
(KALAMAZOO, Mich.) – Four teams with plenty of playoff experience will square off tomorrow at the 2019 USA Curling National Championships.
With only one playoff spot available when the final session of the round robin began this afternoon, Mark Fenner’s team secured the last spot in tomorrow’s Page playoffs at Wings Event Center.
Fenner (St. Anthony, Minn.) and teammates Tom Howell (Milwaukee, Wis.), Korey Dropkin (Duluth, Minn.) and Alex Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.) got past Todd Birr’s team, 7-4, to place them into the Page 3-4 game.
“I think it was huge, we were kind of in a rough situation losing three in a row and being 2-3,” said Dropkin, who throws last rocks for Team Fenner. “We kind of just talked and said ‘we’re not playing that bad we’re just missing a shot or two here and there so kind of just grinding out some wins along the way and we’re feeling good. We’re on a streak and hope we keep playing the same way.”
They’ll turn around and play Birr and his team of Greg Johnson (Appleton, Wis.), Hunter Clawson (Minneapolis, Minn.) and Tom O’Connor (Robbinsdale, Minn.) again tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET. John Shuster and Rich Ruohonen will clash in the Page 1-2 game with the winner advancing to Saturday’s championship game.
The winner of the Page 3-4 game between Fenner and Birr will then meet the losing side of the match between Shuster and Ruohonen in a single semifinal match at 7 p.m. ET Friday.
Shuster’s team improved to 8-1 with a lopsided 9-0 victory over Brandon Corbett’s team. Ruohonen’s squad scored five early and then held on for a 9-6 triumph over Chase Sinnett’s rink. Jared Allen, the Pro Bowl NFL player making his national curling debut earlier in the week, played the final six ends of the game.
Scott Dunnam’s team concluded the Nationals on a winning note as they swept past Sam Strouse’s team, 6-5, in an extra end. Jed Brundidge’s team was able to add another win as they also went to an extra end. Brundidge (West St. Paul, Minn.) and his team of Evan Workin (Fargo, N.D.), Jordan Brown (Elk River, Minn.), Cameron Rittenour (Sioux Falls, S.D.), and Parker Shook (Oakdale, Minn.) made a delicate tap to defeat Steven Birklid’s Seattle-based crew, 9-8.
Men’s 4 p.m. results: Shuster 9, Corbett 0; Dunnam 6, Strouse 5 (extra end); Fenner 7, Birr 4; Brundidge 9, Birklid 8 (extra end); Ruohonen 9, Sinnett 6
Women’s 9 a.m. results: Sinclair 7, Dubberstein 5; Christensen 8, Traxler 7; Senneker 6, Rhyme 5 (extra end); Roth 10, Podoll 4
Rich Ruohonen (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) 8-1Q
John Shuster (Superior, Wis.) 8-1Q
Todd Birr (Ham Lake, Minn.) 6-3Q
Mark Fenner (Bemidji, Minn.) 6-3Q
Steven Birklid (Seattle) 4-5
Scott Dunnam (Dresher, Pa.) 4-5
Chase Sinnett (Medfield, Mass.) 3-6
Brandon Corbett (Rochester, N.Y.) 3-6
Jed Brundidge (West St. Paul, Minn.) 2-7
Sam Strouse (Midland, Mich.) 1-8
Q=qualified to playoffs
Nina Roth (McFarland, Wis.) 6-1Q
Jamie Sinclair (Manotick, Ontario) 6-1Q
Cory Christensen (Duluth, Minn.) 5-2TB
Stephanie Senneker (Port Huron, Mich.) 5-2TB
Annmarie Dubberstein (Portage, Wis.) 3-4
Ariel Traxler (Fairbanks, Alaska) 2-5
Ann Podoll (Fargo, N.D.) 1-6
Kim Rhyme (Minneapolis, Minn.) 0-7
Q=qualified to playoffs
TB=to play tiebreaker game
Team Roth: Nina Roth (McFarland, Wis.), Tabitha Peterson (St. Paul, Minn.), Becca Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), Tara Peterson (Eagan, Minn.)
Team Sinclair: Jamie Sinclair (Manotick, Ontario), Sarah Anderson (Minneapolis, Minn.), Taylor Anderson (Minneapolis, Minn.), Monica Walker (St. Paul, Minn.)
Team Ruohonen: Rich Ruohonen (Brooklyn Park, Minn.), Greg Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska), Colin Hufman (Minneapolis, Minn.), Phil Tilker (Seattle), Jared Allen (Nashville, Tenn.)
Team Shuster: John Shuster (Superior, Wis.), Chris Plys (Duluth, Minn.), Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.)
Team Birr: Todd Birr (Ham Lake, Minn.), Greg Johnson (Appleton, Wis.), Hunter Clawson (Blaine, Minn.), Tom O’Connor (Robbinsdale, Minn.), Michael Roos (Nashville, Tenn.)
Team Fenner: Mark Fenner (St. Anthony, Minn.), Tom Howell (Milwaukee, Wis.), Korey Dropkin (Duluth, Minn.), Alex Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.)
Team Christensen: Cory Christensen (Duluth, Minn.), Vicky Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska), Jenna Martin (Wauwatosa, Wis.), Madison Bear (Pardeeville, Wis.), Linda Christensen (Duluth, Minn.)
Team Senneker: Stephanie Senneker (Port Huron, Mich.), Rebecca Andrew (West Henrietta, N.Y.), Emilia Juocys (Lathrup Village, Mich.), Maya Willertz (Midland, Mich.), Elizabeth Demers (Plymouth, Mich.)
How to watch: Live action from each draw is featured at https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Curling/webstream in partnership with the 12th End Sports Network and the United States Olympic Committee.
Live scores & social media: Live scores are posted at www.usacurl.org in partnership with CurlingZone. The official event hashtag is #2019Nats.
USA Curling is sponsored by AtomOS, Toyota, 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 Brakebush, Laurie Artiss Ltd. – The Pin People, United Airlines, 12th End Sports Network, IHG, and CurlingZone.
For more information: Terry Davis, Director of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, 608-338-9900 (mobile).