Junior Nationals underway in Two Harbors

By Terry L. Davis | Jan. 14, 2019, 5:12 p.m. (ET)


Jan. 14, 2019

2019 Junior National Championships underway in Two Harbors

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – All 16 teams have hit the ice at the Two Harbors Curling Club with two draws of competition of the 2019 USA Curling Junior National Championships in the books.

The men’s teams took the ice this morning to kick off the four-day round robin in Two Harbors, Minn. The defending champions, led by Andrew Stopera (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.), got into the win column with a 9-3 victory over Charlie Thompson’s Wisconsin-based team. Skyler Slusar led his Minnesota team to a close 7-6 win over Tyler Hipke’s team from Wisconsin when they scored the winning point in the 10th end. Chase Sinnett’s team collected a 6-3 triumph over Wes Wendling’s Wisconsin squad. It took an extra end, but Andrew McDonald’s rink scored a point to sweep past Kevin Tuma’s squad.

The women’s teams began round robin play at noon today with Annmarie Dubberstein leading her team to an 8-7 comeback win over Elizabeth Cousins. The Cousins rink had scored three points three points in the ninth end to tie the game. Cait Flannery’s team also staged a rally and stole the final three ends of regulation and an extra end to defeat Wisconsin’s Samantha Jones rink, 7-5. Last year’s runner-up Abbey Kitchens secured a 6-3 win over Suzanna Viau’s team, which was fueled by a key score of three points in the seventh end. Ariel Traxler (Fairbanks, Alaska) helped her team score four points in the ninth end to hold off Mackenzie Page’s Minnesota squad, 7-5.

The round robin continues today with draws at 4 p.m. (men) and 8 p.m. (women) followed by three rounds on Tuesday. The round robin will continue through Thursday night to determine the playoff teams. Live scores and a live webstream are linked at www.usacurl.org.

The winners of the Junior Nationals will represent the U.S. at the 2019 World Junior Championships Feb. 16-24 in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Draw 1 men’s results: Chase Sinnett 6, Wes Wendling 3; Andrew Stopera 9, Charlie Thompson 3; Skyler Slusar 7, Tyler Hipke 6; Andrew McDonald 10, Kevin Tuma 9 (extra end)

Draw 2 women’s results: Annmarie Dubberstein 8, Cousins 7; Ariel Traxler 7, Mackenzie Page 5; Abbey Kitchens 6, Suzanna Viau 3; Cait Flannery 7, Samantha Jones 5

Women’s standings:

Annmarie Dubberstein (Portage, Wis.)   1-0

Cait Flannery (Mankato, Minn.)                1-0

Abbey Kitchens (Devils Lake, N.D.)           1-0

Ariel Traxler (Fairbanks, Alaska)               1-0

Elizabeth Cousins (Medfield, Mass.)        0-1

Samantha Jones (Endeavor, Wis.)            0-1

Mackenzie Page (Mankato, Minn.)          0-1

Suzanna Viau (Plover, Wis.)                       0-1

Men’s standings:

Andrew McDonald (Hudson, Ohio)          1-0

Chase Sinnett (Medfield, Mass.)               1-0

Skyler Slusar (Hallock, Minn.)                    1-0

Andrew Stopera (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) 1-0

Tyler Hipke (Wauwatosa, Wis.)                 0-1

Charlie Thompson (Eau Claire, Wis.)        0-1

Kevin Tuma (St. Paul, Minn.)                     0-1

Wes Wendling (Wausau, Wis.)                 0-1


After the round robin concludes, a modified Page playoff will take place. If there is a clear winner of the round robin – at least one win ahead of any other team – that team will advance directly to the championship final. If two or three teams are tied for first place after the round robin, then the team the top two seeds squaring off in a game with the winner advancing to the championship final. The losing side will then take on the No. 3 playoff seed in a single semifinal match to determine the other finalist. If four teams end up tied for first place after the round robin concludes, all four will advance to the playoffs and be seeded for traditional semifinal games with the winners of those games moving on to the gold-medal match. In the rare scenario where more than four teams are tied for first place, tiebreaker games would be played to reduce the playoff field to four teams.

There is a double loss provision in place so if an undefeated team advances to the final, the first championship game will be played at 9 a.m. with a second final played at 1 p.m. if the undefeated team loses that first game.


At the conclusion of the event the Curtis Cup for Sportsmanship Awards will be presented to a female and male team. In addition, the Katie Beck Memorial Award will be presented to an outstanding player competing in the second position. New this year is the Bev Schroeder Memorial Junior Curling Awards, which will be presented to two outstanding Junior Nationals rookies (one female, one male). The award honors the late Bev Schroeder, who coached the women’s team to the Junior Nationals gold medal the past two seasons and coached many other junior teams over three decades. A scholarship fund – separate from the Junior Nationals awards – was created in December. More details about how to apply for the college scholarships will be available soon at www.usacurl.org.

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More information about the 2019 Junior Nationals can be found at https://go.teamusa.org/2yeW6t0 and http://twoharborscurling.com/2019-junior-nationals/.

USA Curling is sponsored by AtomOS, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, CryoMAX 8-Hour Cold Pack, Sitrin, The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, 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).