News Tour Challenge

Sluchinski defeats Dropkin to earn second straight win at HearingLife Tour Challenge

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — It was a rematch but not a repeat of last year’s Tier 2 men’s final when Team Aaron Sluchinski and Team Korey Dropkin faced off again in the HearingLife Tour Challenge.

Not only are both teams now in the top flight, but Sluchinski was victorious this time around defeating Dropkin 5-4 during Thursday’s morning round-robin draw at the Gale Centre.

It was the second win in as many days for Sluchinski, who improved to a 2-1 record in the first Grand Slam of Curling event of the season. Dropkin, who won the past two Tour Challenge Tier 2 men’s titles, now sits at 1-2.

Sluchinski, of Airdrie, Alta., trailed 3-1 at the fourth-end break and knotted it up with a deuce in the fifth. Dropkin, from the United States, was forced to a single in the seventh to pull back ahead 4-3, but Sluchinski’s draw shot with the last rock of the game hit the brakes just in time to score the decisive deuce.

Elsewhere, Winnipeg’s Team Matt Dunstone downed Calgary’s Team Brendan Bottcher 7-1.

Bottcher (1-2) opened with the hammer but was forced to a single in the third and it was all Dunstone (2-1) from there. Dunstone, whose team threw 92 per cent as a unit, scored three points in the fourth and then rolled away stealing one in the fifth and three in the sixth to bring out early handshakes.

Switzerland’s Team Yannick Schwaller edged Team Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., 6-5 in an extra end. Benoît Schwarz-van Berkel, who throws the last rocks for Schwaller, had to make a sharp come-around draw for the winning point in OT. Both teams are now at 2-1.

Norway’s Team Magnus Ramsfjell counted a single in the eighth end to beat Team Wouter Gösgens of the Netherlands 7-6. Ramsfjell improved to a 2-1 record while Gösgens has been eliminated from playoff contention at 0-3.

HEARINGLIFE TOUR CHALLENGE: Scores/Standings | Draw Schedule | Broadcast Schedule


• Team Ikue Kitazawa 8, Team Isabelle Ladoucer 4

• Team Madeleine Dupont 5, Team Jolene Campbell 2

• Team Eun-Jung Kim 10, Team Corrie Hürlimann 3

• Team Serena Gray-Withers 6, Team Nancy Martin 2


The HearingLife Tour Challenge continues with Draw 10 at 11:30 a.m. ET / 8:30 a.m. PT on Sportsnet and streaming online at Sportsnet+ (Canada) and Yare (international).


The HearingLife Tour Challenge is the first Grand Slam of Curling event of the season with 32 men’s teams and 32 women’s teams in two tiers of action. Tier 1 features the top teams from around the world. Tier 2 features the next group of teams in the rankings with the winners earning promotions into the Co-op Canadian Open later this season. … Round-robin play runs through to Friday with the top eight teams in each division qualifying for the playoffs. … The quarterfinals and semifinals are scheduled for Saturday with the finals set for Sunday.