Team Tardi is triumphant!
In an extra end during play Saturday, Canadian skip Tyler Tardi snatched the gold medal from Team Scotland on their home ice in Aberdeen to win the World Junior Curling Championships.
British Columbia has a world champion. The final score was 6-5 for Canada, in a close game. And the team, on its Facebook page described it as “surreal.”
“Well we did it. World junior curling champs. It is absolutely surreal,” they said.
Tardi and his Langley team of third Sterling Middleton, second Jordan Tardi, lead Zachary Curtis and alternate Jacques Gauthier delivered Canada the gold medal at the World Junior Curling Championships in Aberdeen, Scotland, this morning.
Tyler’s draw to the four foot resulted in a 6-5 extra-end win over previously undefeated Scotland, skipped by Ross Whyte.
Canada, with coaches Paul Tardi and team leader/coach Melissa Soligo, immediately celebrated, posing with the flag, capping a brilliant day for the nation as Kaitlyn Jones’s Nova Scotia team also claimed the gold in junior women’s play.
Asked how he felt immediately following the win, skip Tardi was having trouble finding the words.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling. I don’t even know how long I’ve been dreaming about this moment and to finally have it come true is unbelievable. It’s unbelievable I;m standing here right now (as world junior champion),” said Tardi, the delighted two-time Canadian junior champ and now World gold-medallist.
“They’ve been working so hard all season. There’s not better four guys to do this with,” he added of his teammates. “I’m just over the moon right now.”
Without hammer to start the game, Canada had Scotland in trouble on several occasions.
After a blank first end, Scotland was forced to one in the second.
A chance for four or five in the third end went awry as skip Tardi’s tap-back wrecked on a guard up front and he had to settle for just one.
Down 2-1 at the break, Tardi came back for a three-ender in the sixth and a steal of one in the seventh to take control, although he didn’t feel that way.
“They’re all great shooters on that team. Hats off to them,” Tardi said of the Scots. “They made a really big comeback, so good on them. They made a lot of shots and made us really work for it.”
Up 5-2, his take-out in the ninth flashed for a Scotland deuce and Tardi’s draw to the four foot for the win in the 10th was heavy as Whyte tied it at 5-5 with a steal of one.
Tardi redeemed himself in the extra end with the draw to the four foot, with some backing, but behind a Scottish guard for the win.
Middleton and Jordan were strong throughout the game, out-scoring their opponents by 12 and 13 percentage points, respectively, as the Scots were out-played badly at those middle positions for most of the day.
In the end, it was the second golden moment of the day for Canada, which struggled at the Olympics in Pyeongchang and went medal-less. Not in Aberdeen, however.
Click this to view the full game.
Victory on the women’s front, too
“This is indescribable and I feel amazing right now,” Jones said of her 7-4 win over Sweden’s Isabella Wranaa, who like Scotland, was also undefeated previous to the final setback. “I know I put everything out there on the line today and came out on top and that’s just an incredible feeling. I’m super proud of my team.
“We’ve worked so hard to get here and for me moving all the way across Canada to play with them, it was one of the best decisions I’ve made,” added Jones, of Saskatchewan, who moved to N.S. to join teammates Kristin Clarke and Karlee and Lindsey Burgess.