A Cloverdale curling rink is getting set for a return to the international stage, after winning gold last weekend at Canadian Junior Curling Championships in Victoria.
A rink, representing Langley and New Westminster curling clubs and skipped by Cloverdale’s Tyler Tardi – alongside teammates Jordan Tardi, Sterling Middleton and Nick Meister – captured top spot at the national tournament, defeating Ontario’s Matthew Hall rink 9-7 in the final.
The B.C. rink will set its sights on World Junior Championships, which are scheduled for Feb. 16-26 in Gangneung, South Korea.
Two members of the team – Tyler Tardi and Middleton – have international experience already, having worn Canadian colours at Winter Youth Olympics in Norway last year, where they won gold.
“I’m getting chills right now,” Tyler Tardi said in a Curling Canada news release after Sunday’s victory.
“There’s literally no words you can possibly say. It’s a dream I’ve always had, and it’s seemed so distant. Now that it’s here, it’s just an unreal feeling. It’s pretty spectacular.”
In the gold-medal match, the Tardi-skipped rink jumped out to an early lead, and led 4-1 at the fifth-end break, before the Kitchener-based Ontario squad mounted a comeback, scoring two in the sixth and stealing two more in the seventh to take the lead.
In the eighth end, however, the 18-year-old Tardi mounted an attack of his own with a double-takeout with his final rock to score four points and give Team BC a three-point lead.
“I thought it was there for three, for sure,” Tardi said.
“I wasn’t sure if it would tick our own rock out. I was pretty happy with the result. We definitely needed a momentum swing since they’re really good when they get the momentum. So we really needed to take it back from them.”
Ontario scored two more in the ninth end, but Tardi’s rink replied with points of their own to seal the victory in front of a loud home crowd.
“We gave them everything we had,” Hall said.
The gold-medal win was the fifth-ever for B.C. at Canadian junior championships, and the first since 2000.
Paul Tardi – Team B.C.’s coach and father of Tyler and Jordan – said the victory was a special one for him and his family.
With both of my sons, it can’t be any more exciting than that,” he said. “Tyler’s had a lot of opportunities (with Junior Olympics), but to have my older son part of it to go to Junior Worlds, it’s just amazing.”