Team Tardi concluded their whirlwind season last week with the Sportsnet Grand Slam of Curling Humpty’s Champions Cup, which they qualified for by winning the World Junior Championship earlier this year.
Entered in a tough pool, the Langley-based team of skip Tyler Tardi, third Sterling Middleton, second Jacques Gauthier (who was their alternate at the World Juniors) and lead Jordan Tardi finished with one win and three losses.
“The biggest highlight was probably the learning we got from it,” Tyler Tardi said of the opportunity his team had to observe and experience how high level senior teams throw rocks and select their shots. “We really look up to these teams … They make you feel like family out there.”
Team Tardi started off the tournament at WinSport Arena in Calgary against Team Gushue, who won silver for Canada at the 2018 World Men’s Curling Championship. While Team Tardi lost to Team Gushue, and later to Team Carruthers, a team featuring Olympic mixed doubles gold medalist John Morris, and Team Jacobs, the defending Humpty’s Champions Cup winners, the success Team Tardi has had this season did not go unnoticed.
“To win the country twice in juniors is not an easy feat no matter when it’s done,” John Morris told reporters after playing Team Tardi. “I know that BC is very proud of them and they’ve got a great future.”
A definite highlight of the tournament was Team Tardi’s game against Team Persinger, an early morning game that was aired on Sportsnet.
While Team Persinger, the US national championship winners skipped by third Rich Ruohonen, went up 2-0 with singles in the second and third ends, Team Tardi matched the score with a deuce in the fourth. After exchanging points, Team Tardi eventually took a 4-3 lead in the seventh end, but Team Persinger tied the game in the eighth to take it to an extra end, in which Team Tardi took one point to win the game 5-4.
“It was really cool,” said Tyler Tardi. “It was a really close game. It was quite a grind because they are a really good team … We were really excited to get our first win.”