Tour Challenge Tier 1 Teams

Get to know the Tier 1 teams competing in the 2019 KIOTI Tractor Tour Challenge running Nov. 5-10 at the Pictou County Wellness Centre in Pictou County, N.S.


Tier 1 Men’s Division

Pool APool BPool C
Team De CruzTeam EdinTeam Bottcher
Team KoeTeam EppingTeam Gunnlaugson
Team McEwenTeam GushueTeam Jacobs
Team MouatTeam HowardTeam Dunstone
Team ShusterTeam McDonaldTeam Schwaller

Tier 1 Women’s Division

Pool APool BPool C
Team CareyTeam FujisawaTeam Hasselborg
Team EinarsonTeam HomanTeam Scheidegger
Team FleuryTeam J. JonesTeam Silvernagle
Team RothTeam RocqueTeam Stern
Team WranaTeam YoshimuraTeam Tirinzoni

Men’s Teams Bios

Team Bottcher

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Brendan
Bottcher
Darren
Moulding
Bradley
Thiessen
Karrick
Martin

Edmonton, AB | Team Bottcher won three consecutive Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling titles to finish last season. They captured the first of their careers at the Meridian Canadian Open in January and followed that up with back-to-back wins at the Players’ Championship and Humpty’s Champions Cup in April. Bottcher also finished runner-up at last year’s Tour Challenge.

Team De Cruz

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Benoit
Schwarz
Sven
Michel
Peter
de Cruz
Valentin
Tanner

Geneva, SUI | De Cruz, who skips while throwing second stones, won the Meridian Canadian Open in 2018. He has earned three bronze medals at the world championship and one at the Winter Olympics.

Team Dunstone

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dunstone moskowy schneider kidby
Matt
Dunstone
Braeden
Moskowy
Catlin
Schneider
Dustin
Kidby

Regina, SK | Winnipeg-born Dunstone won four tour events with his new Saskatchewan-based squad last season. Dunstone captured his first career Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title this season at the Masters.

Team Edin

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Niklas
Edin
Oskar
Eriksson
Rasmus
Wrana
Christoffer
Sundgren

Karlstad, SWE | It was a “tre kronor” for Team Edin during the 2016-17 season capturing three Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling titles including the Tour Challenge. Edin won his record-tying fourth world championship gold medal last season matching Ernie Richardson for the most all-time among skips.

Team Epping

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John
Epping
Ryan
Fry
Mat
Camm
Brent
Laing

Toronto, ON | Epping linked up with longtime friend Fry this season and so far, so good as they started the year winning back-to-back events at the Stu Sells Oakville Tankard and Shorty Jenkins Classic. Epping won his fourth Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title, and third as a skip, at the Masters last season.

Team Gunnlaugson

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Jason
Gunnlaugson
Alex
Forrest
Adam
Casey
Connor
Njegovan

Winnipeg, MB | Team Gunnlaugson captured the Tour Challenge Tier 2 title in 2017 to earn a promotion into the elite ranks. Journeyman Casey, from PEI, joined this season after playing for Ontario’s Team Thomas last year.

Team Gushue

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Brad
Gushue
Mark
Nichols
Brett
Gallant
Geoff
Walker

St. John’s, NL | Gushue has won 11 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling titles including the Tour Challenge Tier 1 in 2017. Team Gushue is the only club in the series to win all event titles.

Team Howard

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Glenn
Howard
Scott
Howard
David
Mathers
Tim
March

Penetanguishene, ON | Glenn Howard won the Stu Sells 1824 Halifax Classic and Nissan Curling Classic last season and was a semifinalist at the Ontario Tankard. Howard is second on the all-time GSOC title wins list among skips with 14.

Team Jacobs

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Brad
Jacobs
Marc
Kennedy
E.J.
Harnden
Ryan
Harnden

Sault Ste. Marie, ON | The 2014 Olympic champions Team Jacobs welcomed a 2010 Winter Games gold medallist with Kennedy joining at third this season. Jacobs captured his fourth Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling men’s title last year at the Tour Challenge on Northern Ontario ice in Thunder Bay.

Team Koe

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Kevin
Koe
John
Morris
Colton
Flasch
Ben
Hebert

Calgary, AB | Team Koe captured the Pinty’s Cup in 2018-19 for the first time in the skip’s career thanks to a consistently strong season with runner-up finishes at the Masters and Players’ Championship. Morris, who has won 11 GSOC titles, is subbing at third with B.J. Neufeld on pat leave.

Team McDonald

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Scott
McDonald
Jonathan
Beuk
Wesley
Forget
Scott
Chadwick

Kingston, ON | Team McDonald won the Ontario Tankard for the first time last season to represent the province at the Brier. McDonald also finished runner-up to Team Muyres in the 2018 Tour Challenge Tier 2 men’s division.

Team McEwen

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mcewen Carruthers Samagalski Hodgson
Mike
McEwen
Reid
Carruthers
Derek
Samagalski
Colin
Hodgson

Winnipeg, MB | The club formerly known as Team Carruthers won three tour events and represented Manitoba at the Brier last season. McEwen skipped his former squad to seven Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling titles while Carruthers, Samagalski and Hodgson were winners of the inaugural Humpty’s Champions Cup in 2016.

Team Mouat

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Bruce
Mouat
Grant
Hardie
Bobby
Lammie
Hammy
McMillan Jr.

Edinburgh, SCO | Mouat earned his first Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title at the 2017 Boost National and at age 23 became the youngest men’s skip to win an event in the series. Team Mouat finished runner-up to compatriots Team Paterson at the Boost National last season.

Team Schwaller

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Yannick
Schwaller
Michael
Brunner
Romano
Meier
Marcel
Kaeufeler

Bern, SUI | Team Schwaller captured back-to-back titles to start this season winning the Baden Masters and Oakville Fall Classic. Schwaller’s title victory at the Stu Sells Oakville Tankard last year was his first as a skip on tour.

Team Shuster

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John
Shuster
Chris
Plys
Matt
Hamilton
John
Landsteiner

Duluth, USA | Shuster is the reigning Olympic gold medallist and captured his seventh U.S. men’s curling championship, fourth as a skip, last season. He also earned a bronze medal in the 2019 world mixed doubles championship with Cory Christensen.


Women’s Teams Bios

Team Carey

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Chelsea
Carey
Sarah
Wilkes
Dana
Ferguson
Rachel
Brown

Calgary, AB | Carey captured her second career Scotties Tournament of Hearts title in February defeating Team Homan in the final. It was her first Canadian women’s curling championship with her new squad of Wilkes, Ferguson, and Brown. Carey claimed the Meridian Canadian Open in 2018.

Team Einarson

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Kerri
Einarson
Val
Sweeting
Shannon
Birchard
Briane
Meilleur

Gimli, MB | Team Einarson won five titles in 2018-19, their first season together, capped with the Players’ Championship in April. They also finished runner-up at the Boost National and Humpty’s Champions Cup in the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling.

Team Fleury

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Tracy
Fleury
Selena
Njegovan
Liz
Fyfe
Kristin
MacCuish

East St. Paul, MB | Sudbury-born Fleury captured her first career Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling women’s title on Northern Ontario ice this season at the Masters in North Bay. They finished runner-up to Team Homan at the Tour Challenge last November.

Team Fujisawa

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Satsuki
Fujisawa
Chinami
Yoshida
Yumi
Suzuki
Yurika
Yoshida

Kitami, JPN | Fujisawa won the Curling World Cup Omaha title last December. They are the 2018 Winter Olympic bronze medallists.

Team Hasselborg

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Anna
Hasselborg
Sara
McManus
Agnes
Knochenhauer
Sofia
Mabergs

Sundbyberg, SWE | Team Hasselborg captured their first couple Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling titles back-to-back last season winning the Princess Auto Elite 10 and the Masters. The reigning Olympic gold medallists have earned silver at the past two world championship tournaments.

Team Homan

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Rachel
Homan
Emma
Miskew
Joanne
Courtney
Lisa
Weagle

Ottawa, ON | Homan became the first to crack double-digit women’s title wins in the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling after winning No. 10 at the Meridian Canadian Open in January. It was also her team’s third consecutive Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title following wins at the Tour Challenge and BOOST National.

Team Jones

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Jennifer
Jones
Kaitlyn
Lawes
Jocelyn
Peterman
Dawn
McEwen

Winnipeg, MB | Jones entered this season with nine Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling women’s title wins including a record six at the Players’ Championship. She is the 2014 Olympic gold medallist, a two-time world champion and six-time Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion.

Team Rocque

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Kelsey
Rocque
Danielle
Schmiemann
Becca
Hebert
Jesse
Marlow

Edmonton, AB | Team Rocque finished runner-up to Team Carey last season at the Alberta provincial women’s curling championship. Rocque captured back-to-back world junior titles in 2014 and 2015 and also earned gold for Canada at the 2017 Winter Universiade.

Team Roth

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Tabitha
Peterson
Becca
Hamilton
Tara
Peterson
Aileen
Geving

Madison, USA | Team Roth, who represented the U.S. at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games, returned to South Korea earlier this season and won the WCT Uiseong International Curling Cup. The lineip has shuffled for the Tour Challenge with Roth absent.

Team Scheidegger

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Amber
Holland
Cary-Anne
McTaggart
Jessie
Haughian
Kristie
Moore

Lethbridge, AB | Team Scheidegger edged out Team Einarson for the Wild Card spot at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts last season. Holland, winner of the 2008 Players’ Championship, is subbing for skip Casey Scheidegger, who is expecting her second child.

Team Silvernagle

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Robyn
Silvernagle
Stefanie
Lawton
Jessie
Hunkin
Kara
Thevenot

North Battleford, SK | Silvernagle made her top-tier Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling debut last season on home ice at the Meridian Canadian Open and reached the quarterfinals. They claimed bronze for Saskatchewan at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Team Stern

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Briar
Hürlimann
Elena
Stern
Lisa
Gisler
Celine
Koller

Oberwallis, SUI | Team Stern defeated Team Yoshimura in last season’s Tour Challenge Tier 2 women’s final and earned a promotion into the elite ranks at the Meridian Canadian Open. Stern throws third stones while calling the game.

Team Tirinzoni

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Alina
Paetz
Silvana
Tirinzoni
Esther
Neuenschwander
Melanie
Barbezat

Aarau, SUI | Tirinzoni, who skips while throwing third stones, is the reigning world champion. Team Tirinzoni capped the season winning the Humpty’s Champions Cup.

Team Wrana

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Isabella
Wrana
Jennie
Wahlin
Almida
De Val
Fanny
Sjoberg

Stockholm, SWE | Wrana captured her first World Curling Tour title last season at the Shorty Jenkins Classic. Wahlin earned Olympic gold as the alternate for Team Hasselborg at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games.

Team Yoshimura

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Sayaka
Yoshimura
Kaho
Onodera
Anna
Ohmiya
Yumie
Funayama

Sapporo, JPN | Team Yoshimura are coming off of a breakout run at the Masters finishing runner-up to Team Fleury. Team Yoshimura also finished runner-up to Team Stern at the Tour Challenge Tier 2 last season.