U.S. Olympic Curling Trials: Team Shuster leads men's field, women's teams in three-way tie
After the first two days of competition at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Curling, leaders have emerged on the men’s side while the women’s teams are locked in a three-way tie.
Trials kicked off on Saturday afternoon with two games in the first session. Two experienced skips faced off in the Shuster vs. Clark match: John Shuster is a three-time Olympian who won an Olympic bronze at the 2006 Winter Games, and Brady Clark has competed at every Olympic Trials since 2006. Team Clark headed into the 10th end with a one-point lead, but Shuster was able to pick up two points and edge them out for a 7-6 victory.
The evening session on day one featured another close game between the two top-seeded women’s rinks, Team Roth and Team Sinclair. Skip Jamie Sinclair built up a three-point lead going into the final end, and was able to knock out one of Nina Roth’s stones to stay ahead and win 9-8.
On the other sheets on day one, the team skipped by Heath McCormick won 8-3 over Craig Brown’s rink in the earlier session, then won again in the evening with an 8-5 victory over Clark. Team Brown recovered from their loss in the first session to defeat Team Todd Birr 8-4.
On Sunday, the second day of round-robin play, Shuster and teammates Tyler George, Matt Hamilton and John Landsteiner claimed two more victories to remain undefeated. They outscored Team McCormick 7-5, then beat Team Brown 6-5.
The third rink in the women’s field, skipped by 22-year-old Cory Christensen, took to the ice to face Team Roth for their first match. The young team was able to tie the game in the 10th end, forcing the game into an extra end. Roth’s squad was then able to regain the lead and win 7-6.
Later in the day, Team Christensen notched their first win when they beat Team Sinclair 7-6.
The results of the other matches were: Birr 9, Clark 6; McCormick 6, Birr 2.
The round-robin round continues today and will end on Wednesday evening after every men's team has played each other twice and every women's team has played each other three times. Any necessary tiebreakers will be played on Thursday morning, then the top two men's and women's teams will advance to the playoffs. The best-of-three playoff series will open on Thursday then finish on either Friday or Saturday.
Current standings after day 2:
John Shuster 3-0
Heath McCormick 3-1
Todd Birr 1-2
Craig Brown 1-2
Brady Clark 0-3
Cory Christensen 1-1
Nina Roth 1-1
Jamie Sinclair 1-1