The U.S. Olympic Team Curling Trials continued Sunday at Baxter Arena in Omaha, Nebraska, with both the men and women seeing action throughout the day. There were three featured matchups for Day 3: on the men's side, Team Dunnam vs. Team Brundidge in the morning and Team Persinger vs. Team Shuster in the evening, and on the women's side, an afternoon game between Team Rhyme vs. Team Bear.
Below is a roundup of Sunday's featured matchups along with on-demand replays.
Team Dunnam vs. Team Brundidge
Teams Dunnam and Brundidge entered the matchup a respective 1-1 and 0-2. Dunnam upset Team Dropkin 9-5 in its opener then lost 9-3 to Team Shuster, while Brundidge was shut out by Team Shuster 9-0 and lost 10-4 against Team Persinger.
Scott Dunnam countered a phenomenal first throw from Jed Brundidge in the first end to sit two, then successfully converted with a solid draw to go up 2-0. A picked stone forced Brundidge to settle for one in the next frame, and in the third, a measure stick was brought out to decide a potential double for Dunnam but only one point was ultimately awarded, putting his team ahead 3-1.
A great sweep by Team Dunnam second Cody Clouser on third Hunter Clawson's last throw set up a center guard. That enabled Dunnam to steal two on a Team Brundidge missweep, extending the team's lead to four. Team Brundidge bounced back with two in the fifth end to make it 5-3, then Dunnam threw a nose hit in the sixth for a single, stopping a steal from Team Brundidge.
Team Dunnam misswept in the seventh, keeping an opposing stone in the house, on which Team Brundidge capitalized with a hit-stick deuce to close within one. Down just 6-5 in the eighth end, Team Brundidge second Lance Wheeler burned an absolutely critical last throw from third Evan Workin before Brundidge himself went heavy on his last, opening up a triple for Dunnam and a 9-5 lead.
Brundidge was able to get two back in the ninth, and a Clawson miss in the 10th made things interesting, but Team Dunnam managed to hold Brundidge to a single and took the victory 9-8.
Teams Dunnam and Brundidge moved to a respective 2-1 and 0-3 and were set to face Teams Ruohonen and Dropkin later in the evening.
In other matchups of the men's third draw, Team Dropkin delivered Team Persinger its first loss of the Trials, putting five up between the seventh and eighth to run Persinger out of stones, 9-7; and Team Shuster progressed to 3-0 in a well-fought battle against Team Ruohonen that included trading ones for the first four ends and deuces the next three before Shuster shut door with a triple in the ninth to win 9-5.
Team Rhyme vs. Team Bear
Team Bear took on Team Rhyme, but without Madison Bear herself to start the game. Due to COVID-19 protocols implemented by USA Curling's chief medical officer, Team Bear was forced to play with three curlers instead of four. They didn't have an alternate available in Omaha, so Annmarie Dubberstein filled in as the team's skip until Bear finally was cleared to join the action to start the sixth end.
Team Bear took an early 1-0 lead in the first end, but Kimberly Rhyme's squad quickly bounced back with a three-point second end to take a two-point advantage. Team Bear tied the game with a two-point effort in the fourth end, but Team Rhyme began to run away with the lead from that point on.
Another three-point end in the eighth was the beginning of the end for Team Bear as Team Rhyme went on to win the game 8-4. Bear's squad was held to just one point after the game's midway point despite Bear being cleared to join her team on the sheet in the sixth end.
Elsewhere in the women's third draw, Tabitha Peterson's squad took down Team Christensen to improve its record to 2-1 through three games at the Trials. Team Strouse and Team Sinclair went down to the wire in their tilt, and it was Jamie Sinclair's team who broke the 10th-end tie and came out victorious with an 8-7 win. Sinclair and company badly needed this victory after going 0-2 in Draws 1 and 2 to start the competition.
Team Persinger vs. Team Shuster
John Shuster's squad continues to roll. Team Shuster won both of their games in the first pair of men's draws, and Sunday night they continued their impressive run with an 8-4 over Team Persinger.
Team Shuster took a 2-0 lead in the first end and never looked back. They led throughout the entire tilt and were never in serious danger of relinquishing the lead. Team Persinger conceded after the ninth end when Team Shuster took the late four-point lead.
With this win, Shuster and company advance to 4-0 while Team Persinger sits at .500 going into Draw 5 on Monday.
Also in the men's fourth draw, Team Ruohonen took on Team Dunnam hoping to win their first game of the Trials. Luckily for Rich Ruohonen and company, they pulled out the upset over Team Dunnam to secure the victory that had eluded them in the first three draws. Team Ruohonen still has plenty of work to do to catch up in the standings, but it's a start.
Team Brundidge, also winless through three games, took on Team Dropkin to end the evening. Unfortunately for Team Brundidge, though, they were unable to complete the late comeback and earn their first win of the Trials. The Korey Dropkin-led group held off Jed Brundidge's team in the final end, securing the 7-4 win and advancing to 3-1.
Monday's featured matchups:
- W4: Team Sinclair vs. Team Peterson (9 a.m. ET)
- M5: Team Brundidge vs. Team Ruohonen (1 p.m. ET)
- W5: Team Strouse vs. Team Christensen (5 p.m. ET)
- M6: Team Shuster vs. Team Dunnam (9 p.m. ET)