The B.C. team of skip Tyler Tardi (left to right), third Sterling Middelton, second Jordan Tardi and lead Zac Curtis, with coach Paul Tardi (behind) are off to the world junior curling championships. Michael Burns Curling Canada photo

Tardi rink golden once again

Langley/New Westminster quartet will represent Canada at Scotland in early March

The Tyler Tardi rink is off to Scotland to take care of some unfinished business.

An 8-4 victory over Northern Ontario’s Tanner Horgan rink on Sunday in the men’s final of the 2018 Canadian junior curling championships in Shawnigan, Que.

The win sends the Langley/New Westminster rink to Aberdeen, Scotland for the 2018 world junior championships.

The competition runs March 3 to 10 and will be a second straight appearance for three of the four Tardi rink members.

Tardi became just the sixth male ever to skip back-to-back Canadian junior gold medallist rinks.

Tardi, along with vice-skip Sterling Middleton, second Jordan Tardi, lead Zac Curtis, and coach Paul Tardi, will look to build on the team’s fifth-place finish at the 2017 championships. Curtis is the only newcomer to the group, replacing Nick Meister, who aged out.

“Definitely some unfinished business,” Tardi said on the Curling Canada website.

A loss in their final round-robin game at the 2017 world junior championships forced the rink to a tiebreaker game, which they lost 8-7 to Norway.

“Losing that game was pretty devastating, to say the least,” Tardi said. “So we’re pretty excited to go back and try to bring it home this time.”

The B.C. team was one loss away from being eliminated last week but stole a victory over Northern Ontario in its final round-robin game. Now into the tiebreaker, Tardi’s team beat Karsten Sturmay (Alberta) and JT Ryan (Manitoba) to book a spot in Sunday’s final.

It carried that momentum into the gold-medal game, stealing single points in the first two ends after Horgan misses, then forcing Northern Ontario to a single in the third and then scoring the game’s first deuce in the fourth on an open takeout.

And from then on, it was air-tight play from B.C. that kept Northern Ontario from generating the offence that was necessary to cut into the lead.

After Northern Ontario was forced to one in the sixth, B.C. blanked the seventh end, and Tardi delivered the decisive blow with his in-turn draw through a narrow port to score three for an insurmountable 7-2 lead.

The rink now prepares for their second crack at world glory.

“It’s definitely going to take some extra fine-tuning in the next few weeks,” said Tardi, whose team added Manitoba third Jacques Gauthier — the Tardi brothers’ cousin — as an alternate for the trip to the world juniors.

“Try to fix as much as we can, and try to peak at the right time and hopefully we can do the country proud.”



sports@langleytimes.com

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