Playoff field starting to take shape at Junior Nationals

By Terry L. Davis | Jan. 17, 2019, 12:13 p.m. (ET)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jan. 17, 2019

Men’s playoff field set at 2019 Junior Nationals

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – Men’s teams skipped by Andrew Stopera (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.), Andrew McDonald (Hudson, Ohio) and Skyler Slusar (Hallock, Minn.) have secured spots in this weekend’s playoffs of the 2019 USA Curling Junior National Championships in Two Harbors, Minn.

With one men’s draw remaining today, playoff seeding is the only thing to determine as Stopera’s team leads the division with a perfect 6-0 record while McDonald and Slusar are 5-1 at the Two Harbors Curling Club.

The women’s division looks to be heading toward a tiebreaker round as five of the eight teams remain in the playoff hunt. Annmarie Dubberstein’s rink suffered its first loss of the tournament after Suzanna Viau’s team scored a point in the 10th end to defeat the defending champions, 7-6. Despite the loss, Team Dubberstein (5-1) has secured a coveted playoff spot with just one round robin session to be played later today. Cait Flannery’s team is sitting at 4-2 in the standings after falling to Ariel Traxler’s team this morning, 6-5. The win put Traxler’s rink in a three-way tie for third place with Elizabeth Cousins and Abbey Kitchens. Team Cousins took down Kitchens, 10-9, this morning to stay alive in the playoff race. How the number of playoff teams is determined is further below in this press release.

The round robin continues today at 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. CT. If needed, tiebreaker games would follow tonight and/or tomorrow morning. Live scores and a live webstream are linked at www.usacurl.org.

Women’s results (8 a.m. today): Page 10, Jones 4; Viau 7, Dubberstein 6; Traxler 6, Flannery 5; Cousins 10, Kitchens 9

Men’s results (8 p.m. Wednesday): Wendling 6, Hipke 4; McDonald 6, Thompson 1; Stopera 7, Tuma 3; Slusar 9, Sinnett 6 (extra end)

Women’s standings:

Annmarie Dubberstein (Portage, Wis.     5-1Q

Cait Flannery (Mankato, Minn.)                4-2

Elizabeth Cousins (Medfield, Mass.)        3-3

Abbey Kitchens (Devils Lake, N.D.)           3-3

Ariel Traxler (Fairbanks, Alaska)               3-3

Samantha Jones (Endeavor, Wis.)            2-4

Mackenzie Page (Burnsville, Minn.)         2-4

Suzanna Viau (Plover, Wis.)                       2-4

Men’s standings:

Andrew Stopera (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) 6-0Q

Andrew McDonald (Hudson, Ohio)          5-1Q

Skyler Slusar (Hallock, Minn.)                   5-1Q

Chase Sinnett (Medfield, Mass.)               3-3

Charlie Thompson (Eau Claire, Wis.)        2-4

Wes Wendling (Wausau, Wis.)                 2-4

Kevin Tuma (St. Paul, Minn.)                     1-5

Tyler Hipke (Wauwatosa, Wis.)                 0-6

Q=Qualified to playoffs

What’s at stake:

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.

Playoffs:

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.

Awards:

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.

Social media:

#2019JrNats

#curling

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.

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For more information: Terry Davis, Director of Communications, terry.davis@usacurl.org, 608-338-9900 (mobile).