John Epping throws a stone during the Canadian Beef Masters men's final on Oct. 28, 2018, in Truro, N.S. (Anil Mungal)

2018 Tour Challenge Tier 1: Men’s Teams

October 31, 2018, 7:18 PM

Get to know the teams set to compete in the Tour Challenge Tier 1 men’s division taking place Nov. 6-11 at Tournament Centre in Thunder Bay, Ont.


Tier 1: Men’s Teams | Women’s Teams
Tier 2: Men’s Teams | Women’s Teams


Team Bottcher

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Brendan
Bottcher
Darren
Moulding
Bradley
Thiessen
Karrick
Martin

Edmonton, AB | Team Bottcher earned silver for Alberta at the Tim Hortons Brier last season finishing runner-up to Team Gushue. Bottcher had a bit of a late start to the season but came out of the gate strong reaching the semifinals at the Stu Sells Toronto Tankard and capturing the Canad Inns Men’s Classic.

Team Calvert

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Braden
Calvert
Kyle
Kurz
Ian
McMillan
Rob
Gordon

Winnipeg, MB | Calvert is a two-time Canadian junior champion and winner of the 2015 world junior gold medal. McMillan previously played with Team Gunnlaugson and earned the Tour Challenge Tier 2 title last season. Gordon won the Canadian junior title and world junior bronze medal with Team Dunstone in 2016.

Team Carruthers

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

Winnipeg, MB | Carruthers is still calling the shots for the squad but has slid over to third to accommodate new teammate and longtime pal McEwen at fourth stones. McEwen won seven Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling titles as a skip. The retooled roster captured its first tour title together at the Stu Sells Toronto Tankard.

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, earned his first Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title last season at the Meridian Canadian Open stealing in the eighth to defeat Team Edin during the men’s final. They represented Switzerland at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and captured the bronze medal. De Cruz has also earned bronze twice at the world championship.

Team Dunstone

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

Regina, SK | Dunstone is a two-time Canadian junior champion and two-time world junior bronze medallist. He threw fourth stones for Saskatoon’s Team Laycock last season and is now back to calling the shots with his all-new squad. Moskowy previously played with Team Carruthers and captured the inaugural Humpty’s Champions Cup in 2016.

Team Edin

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Niklas
Edin
Oskar
Eriksson
Rasmus
Wrana
Christoffer
Sundgren

Karlstad, SWE | Team Edin won three events in the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling during the 2016-17 season plus the Pinty’s Cup. Edin’s victory at the 2016 Masters made history as his Swedish squad became the first non-Canadian men’s team to win a championship in the series. Edin is the reigning world champion and earned silver at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Team Epping

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John
Epping
Mathew
Camm
Brent
Laing
Craig
Savill

Toronto, ON | Team Epping enter the Tour Challenge on fire after winning the Canadian Beef Masters. It was the first GSOC title for the revamped roster with Epping and Camm adding veterans Laing and Savill this season. It’s also a reunion for the front-end pair as they captured two world junior gold medals with Team Morris plus two world men’s championships and 12 GSOC titles with Team Howard.

Team Gunnlaugson

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Jason
Gunnlaugson
Alex
Forrest
Denni
Neufeld
Connor
Njegovan

Morris, MB | Team Gunnlaugson won the Tour Challenge Tier 2 title at the start of last season to earn a promotion into the elite ranks where they’ve stayed put since. They qualified for the playoffs at five Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling events last season. New second Neufeld won seven Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling titles with Team McEwen.

Team Gushue

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Brad
Gushue
Mark
Nichols
Brett
Gallant
Geoff
Walker

St. John’s, NL | Team Gushue are the defending Tour Challenge Tier 1 men’s champions. The St. John’s, N.L., crew went through last season’s event undefeated posting a perfect 7-0 record. Gushue started this season winning his 11th title in the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling claiming the Princess Auto Elite 10 in September.

Team Howard

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Glenn
Howard
Scott
Howard
David
Mathers
Tim
March

Penetanguishene, ON | Team Howard has shuffled the lineup this season with Scott Howard moving up to third. March, formerly with Team Epping, is the new addition at lead. Team Howard ended last season on a high note finishing runner-up at the Humpty’s Champions Cup.

Team Jacobs

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Brad
Jacobs
Ryan
Fry
E.J.
Harnden
Ryan
Harnden

Sault Ste. Marie, ON | Team Jacobs are the 2013 Brier champions and world silver medallists plus 2014 Olympic gold medallists. Jacobs claimed his first Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title at the 2015 Players’ Championship. They were semifinalists at the Princess Auto Elite 10 to start the 2018-19 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season.

Team Koe

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Kevin
Koe
B.J.
Neufeld
Colton
Flasch
Ben
Hebert

Calgary, AB | Koe and Hebert are the only holdovers from last year’s Canadian Olympic Team with new third Neufeld and second Flasch. Team Koe captured the inaugural Tour Challenge Tier 1 in 2015. The new-look squad was hot at the Canadian Beef Masters sustaining their lone loss in the final to Team Epping.

Team Paterson

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Ross
Paterson
Kyle
Waddell
Duncan
Menzies
Michael
Goodfellow

Glasgow, SCO | Paterson made his Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling skip debut with his new squad at the Princess Auto Elite 10. Waddell previously played with Team Smith and represented Great Britain at the Pyeongchang Winter Games. Goodfellow also has Olympic experience capturing silver for Great Britain in 2014 at the Sochi Winter Games.

Team Ruohonen

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Greg
Persinger
Rich
Ruohonen
Colin
Hufman
Phil
Tilker

Chaska, USA | Ruohonen, who skips while throwing third, is the reigning U.S. national champion. The team made the playoffs at the world championship on home ice but fell to Canada’s Team Gushue in the qualification round. They finished last season reaching the quarterfinals of the Humpty’s Champions Cup.

Team Shuster

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John
Shuster
Chris
Plys
Matt
Hamilton
John
Landsteiner

Duluth, USA | It was a “Miracurl on Ice” at the Pyeongchang Winter Games as Team Shuster became the first American club to capture Olympic gold. After falling to a 2-4 round-robin record, Shuster didn’t lose another game and won five straight en route to the top of the podium. Plys is a new addition to the crew as third Tyler George stepped back from competitive curling after last season.

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