After five days of play, and with seven games already under their belt, the Langley-based Team Canada stands at 5-2 and is still in the running to defend their world title.
They are in Liverpool, Nova Scotia this week for the 2019 World Junior Curling Championships, hoping to defend the title earned last year in Scotland.
So far, Team Canada fell the first day to the U.S.A. in a 8-7 defeat. Then they faltered to the yet undefeated Scottish team Monday evening, again by one point – by a score of 8-7.
But despite two losses this week, they did win against Norway, 6-4; Switzerland, 8-3; Italy, 10-3; their game against China, 6-2, earlier today (Wednesday); and now this evening’s game against Germany, which they won 8-6, earning four of those points in the final end.
“It was a nail biter of a game this evening vs Germany,” Team Tardi posted on Facebook. “Came down to the last rock.”
That win puts them in second place (tied with Norway and the U.S.), following Scotland, who has already qualified for the semifinals having won all seven of their games.
“It was a beautiful sunny but brisk day here in Liverpool today,” skip Tyler Tardi shared on the team’s blog prior to battling Germany.
“It was an early start for us versus China. We had a close game against them and came out on top,” he added. “It was really good… We capitalized when we could’ve. They played great and kept it really close. We were on our toes the whole time. Yeah, it was good battle.”
The team was bolstered by nearly 400 cheering students from the nearby Dr. John C. Wickwire Elementary School, said team manager Anita Tardi, Tyler’s mother.
“We appreciated all of the enthusiastic fans that cheered for Team Canada,” Tyler added. “There were bus loads of school kids in attendance and we appreciated all of the signs, flags and cheers….it was great! After the game we signed Canada flags and handed out some Team Canada postcards. It was so loud and proud to be Canadian in the arena today! We loved it!”
Tyler skip for the junior men, said the game was a good battle and a real confidence booster for the team.
“Even though we lost the first couple of games, it’s nice to get those out of the way, and move forward. You know, we’re feeling confident right now, and it’s just a matter of time now before we can start looking like we’re in the playoff picture.”
They’re back on the ice again on Thursday afternoon (this game can be watched live) to take on Sweden, and then play New Zealand on Friday morning, to determine if they’re going to make it to the semifinals.
The semis run Friday evening, followed by the gold and bronze medal games on Saturday morning.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have the honour to represent Canada again, this time on home soil at the 2019 VoIP Defender World Junior Curling Championships in Liverpool, Nova Scotia,” Tardi said.
The team is made up of Tardi (a Cloverdale skip who plays out of the Langley Curling Centre), Middleton (the third who hails from Fort. St. John, lives in New Westminster, and curls out of Langley), Matthew Hall (second, who lives in Cloverdale but also plays out of the Langley rink), and Alex Horvath (the lead who plays out of Victoria). Saskatchewan’s Rylan Kleiter has joined the team for the world competition, as a fifth, and rounding out the team is their coach – Tyler’s father – Paul, as well as Melissa Soligo returning as the team leader.
Just prior to the team’s departure for the East Coast, Tardi and Hall were on hand at their home ice for the announcement that Langley Curling Centre will play host to the Canadian junior mens and womens curling championships next January.