PHOTOS: Langley curlers cinch third straight provincial junior title

One shot decided it all, said coach Paul Tardi of his team’s BC victory Saturday.

It’s going to be an evening of celebration for Team Tardi’s skip, Tyler Tardi.

He’s not only marking his third anniversary with his girlfriend with a dinner out at the Keg, he’s rejoicing in his team’s victory and their success in earning the third consecutive provincial junior title.

The Langley-based team earned gold in the finals of the 2017-18 Boston Pizza BC Junior Men’s Curling Championships that wrapped up a week of play at the Langley Curling Centre.

• Click here to see more photos from the event

Triumphing 3-1 over Team Ballard in what spectators called a close game, Team Tardi also earned themselves a spot at next month’s nationals in Quebec.

But for now, Tyler said, they’ll be focusing their efforts in the next few days on family and feasting on a lot the Christmas fixing.

After that, it will all be about getting back on ice and “cramming, but not cramming too hard,” Tyler said.

After Saturday’s victory, he was cautiously optimistic – and mostly hopeful – that Team Tardi can go on to defend the national title they earned last year in Moncton.

Reflecting back on the late afternoon play, Team Ballard knocked their own guard out in the ninth end, leaving the house open for Tardi to score two. That one play cinched their triumph, after what coach Paul Tardi called a “conservative” game.

Tyler knew it was going to be a tough game, he said after leaving the ice.

“It was pretty stressful. I have a lot of respect for Team Ballard, they’ve been working hard for as long as I can remember. They’re good throwers, they have a good sense of strategy. Bryan (Miki) has been doing a really good job with the team. I expect them to do really well at U18s,” Tyler predicted.

Team Tardi lost to Team Ballard in their first game of the competition back on Monday.

This week’s championships at the Langley rink saw eight junior men’s and eight junior women’s team (players 20 years and younger) competing for provincial supramacy.

Earlier in the day, in another nail-biter for the women’s competition was decided in curling’s equivalent of overtime. Team Reese-Hansen from Victoria took out Team Daniels from New Westminster and Delta – who had been the favourite to win.

Reese-Hansen made an outturn hit on a partially buried rock to take the game 6-5 in the extra end.

Team Reese-Hansen will join Team Tardi, representing B.C., at the 2018 New Holland Canadian Junior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships from Jan. 13 to 21.

READ: Langley junior curlers fight for provincial supremacy

READ: Keep curling in memory of Mom

READ: Province’s best young curlers compete in Langley

READ: Langley organizers roll out carpet for curling championships

– more to come

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