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VERY UNOFFICIAL SUBJECTIVE RANKINGS

Men
1. Brad Jacobs (CAN)
2. Niklas Edin (SWE)
3. Kevin Koe (CAN)
4. Brendan Bottcher (CAN)
5. Bruce Mouat (SCO)
6. John Epping (CAN)
7. Ross Paterson (SCO)
8. Brad Gushue (CAN)
9. Peter de Cruz (SUI)
10. Reid Carruthers (CAN)
11. Kirk Muyres (CAN)
12. Scott McDonald (CAN)

Women
1. Rachel Homan (CAN)
2. Anna Hasselborg (SWE)
3. Jennifer Jones (CAN)
4. Chelsea Carey (CAN)
5. Tracy Fleury (CAN)
6. Silvana Tirinzoni (SUI)
7. Satsuki Fujisawa (JPN)
8. Kerri Einarson (CAN)
9. Casey Scheidegger (CAN)
10. Sayaka Yoshimura (JPN)
11. Robyn Silvernagle (CAN)
12. Darcy Robertson (CAN)

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MAJOR UPCOMING EVENTS


U.S. Championships
Feb. 9-16

Legend:
aq-automatic qualifier
cq-qualified from Challenge Round
e-eliminated
dne-did not enter
wc-wild card
wjr-World Juniors

Current very unofficial U.S. rankings, drawn from year-to-date Order of Merit (YTD, OOM) and a subjective look at results. HP – in High Performance program. Date: Jan. 23, 2019.

Andrew Stopera and Cait Flannery won the U.S. junior championships to qualify for the World Junior Championships. Those conflict with the U.S. Championships, so they’re going to Worlds. Stopera had already qualified for the U.S. Championships, so their change of plans opened a place Brandon Corbett, who got in after being so close to qualifying from the Challenge Round with only three players. USA Curling has already planned to name one junior wild-card team in each event, and those spaces went to Ariel Traxler and Sam Strouse.

Men
1. John ShusterHP; 2018 Olympic gold medalist (aq)
2. Rich RuohonenHP; 2018 U.S. champion (aq)
3. Mark FennerHP; Has three recently graduated juniors (aq)
4. wjr-Andrew StoperaHP juniors; U.S. junior champion (aq)
5. Todd BirrThird in 2018 U.S. (cq)
6. Scott Dunnam1-8 in 2018 U.S. (aq)
7. Chase SinnettHP juniors (cq) 
8. Steve BirklidLead Nicholas Connolly skipped to sixth in 2018 U.S. (cq)
9. Jed BrundidgeReached 2018 U.S. tiebreaker (cq)
10. Brandon CorbettPlayed much of CR with 3 and lost heartbreaker (wc)
11. e-Jason SmithMinnesota; beat Steinhaus and Beighton at CR 
12. e-Nick SteinhausSecond in juniors; Slusar sometimes listed as skip
13. e-Sean Beighton2018 U.S. semifinalist with Kroy Nernberger as skip
14. dne-Dominik Maerki2018 Olympic alternate … for Switzerland
15. e-Stephen ImesOhio; beat Steinhaus and Corbett in CR
16. e-Kevin KakelaNorth Dakota; beat Corbett and Sobering in CR
17. e-Craig NickoMinnesota; beat Siggins and Kakela in CR
18. Sam Strouse – 3rd in U.S. juniors with Andrew McDonald listed skip (wc)
19. e-Daniel Brown – Beat Griffin and Sobering in CR; no other OOM results
20. e-Mike SigginsThis year’s Arizona hopeful; shut out in CR
21. e-Darryl SoberingPerennial Colorado entry; shut out in CR
22. e-Jared AllenFormer NFL players; shut out in CR
23. e-Clayton Griffin – Georgia; shut out in CR; no other OOM results

Women
1. Nina RothHP; 2018 Olympian (aq)
2. Jamie SinclairHP; 2018 U.S. champion (aq)
3. Cory ChristensenHP; recently graduated junior (aq)
4. Stephanie SennekerUpstart underdogs (aq)
5. wjr-Cait FlanneryHP juniors; U.S. junior champion
6. Annmarie DubbersteinHP juniors (cq)
7. dneAllison PottingerTwo-time Olympian
8. Kim RhymeFourth in 2018 U.S. (cq)
9. Ann Podoll1-6 in 2018 U.S.; first in CR (cq)
10. Ariel TraxlerJuniors; skip from Alaska (wc)
11. dneAbbey KitchensJuniors
12. dneSuzanna ViauJuniors
13. e-Sarah Walsh – California; no OOM results


Scotties Tournament of Hearts, Feb. 16-24, ESPN3

Canadian women’s championship takes qualifiers from each province as well as defending champion and one wild-card team.

See the Canadian rankings.

Favorites

  • Jennifer Jones (Team Canada) is the defending world and Canadian champion. She also won the Olympics in 2014 and the world title in 2008. Last year’s Scotties win (with Homan absent for the Olympics) was her sixth.
  • Rachel Homan (Ontario), a three-time Scotties champion and the 2017 world champion, had a disappointing run in the 2018 Olympics. Being pregnant hasn’t slowed her down this year — she leads the Order of Merit standings by nearly 100 points over Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg.
  • Tracy Fleury (Manitoba) beat Einarson (below), Darcy Robertson and Allison Flaxey to win in Manitoba.
  • Kerri Einarson (Manitoba) assembled a “team of skips” and will face Casey Scheidegger (Alberta) in the wildcard game.
  • Chelsea Carey, who switched a few years ago from Manitoba to Alberta, advanced ahead of Scheidegger and Laura Walker.
  • Robyn Silvernagle advanced ahead of a couple of experienced Saskatchewan skips to make her Scotties debut, though vice Stefanie Lawton has been several times skipping her own team.

Intriguing

  • Kerry Galusha is a rare player from way North (Northwest Territories) to have an impact. She’s one of the most experienced players in the field and has beaten the favorites from time to time.
  • Krista McCarville had little competition in Northern Ontario and hasn’t played much this year, but she has a silver (2016) and bronze from Scotties past.
  • Suzanne Birt has represented Prince Edward Island nine times and finished third in 2003. She’s back after a two-year break.
  • Sarah Wark is making her debut for British Columbia and has only ventured outside B.C. once this season.
  • Jill Brothers is making her fourth appearance for Nova Scotia. She has been playing exclusively in Nova Scotia this season.

Underdogs

  • Once-perennial New Brunswick skip Andrea Crawford is back after missing a few years.
  • Kelli Turpin is making her debut after winning a Newfoundland/Labrador qualifier lacking experienced skips.
  • Quebec representative Gabrielle Lavoie is still a junior and should get good experience for the future.
  • Nicole Baldwin is representing Yukon for the third time.
  • Jenine Bodner hopes to get the first-ever win for Nunavut.

Tim Hortons Brier,
March 2-10, ESPN3

Canadian men’s championship also takes qualifiers from each province as well as defending champion and one wild-card team.

See the Canadian rankings.

Favorites

  • Brad Gushue is the two-time defending champion, 2017 world champion and 2018 world runner-up. (Before all that, 2006 Olympic gold medalist.)
  • Kevin Koe, the 2010 and 2016 world and Canadian champion, was fourth in the 2018 Olympics after his upset loss to the USA’s John Shuster in the semis. He changed up his team a bit and got through a moderately difficult qualifier in Alberta that included Brendan Bottcher.
  • Brad Jacobs (Northern Ontario) is the 2014 Olympic gold medalist. His vice-skip, Ryan Fry, took time off after an alcohol-related incident while playing for another team.
  • Scott McDonald upset Glenn Howard (gold in 2012, world titles in 1987, 1993, 2007) and John Epping in Ontario.
  • Reid Carruthers joined forces with Manitoba rival Mike McEwen and still had to get past players like Jason Gunnlaugson and Braden Calvert to qualify.

(Will add the rest of the field next week.)


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Women’s World Championship,
March 16-24

In Denmark this year.

Wikipedia has the simplest roundup of which countries have qualified and how. Only one team per country, which makes Canada and Japan interesting.

Qualifiers


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Men’s World Championship,
March 30-April 7

In Canada this year.

Wikipedia has the simplest roundup of which countries have qualified and how. Only one team per country, which makes Canada and Scotland interesting.

Qualifiers

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