Editor’s note: Elvis Beaudoin and Keith Way are seeded ninth in the Greatest Of All Time competition and will be in their first round match-up this coming Monday against the 2008 Canadian Firefighters Curling Championship winners of Steve Moss, Chris Haichert, Kevin Whitehead and Ingo Bauer.
The NWT’s trophy case on the national scene of darts isn’t exactly filled with plenty of success.
There have been some fine moments, such as Brenda Moreau of Fort Simpson qualifying to play with Team Canada at the 2008 Americas Cup tournament along with bronze medals in the Nodor Cup team competition at the Canadian National Darts Championships.
But there was something missing.
No national championship.
That all changed after one night in Saskatoon in June 2019.
That’s when Elvis Beaudoin and Keith Way made history by becoming the first players from the NWT to win a national title. The duo captured the men’s doubles crown thanks to a 3-0 win over Rob Piercy and Nick Smith of Nova Scotia in the final. Beaudoin put the final nail in Nova Scotia’s coffin by checking out (finishing) on a score of 155 in the third leg of the best-of-five to clinch victory.
Beaudoin and Way spoke with NNSL Media minutes after their win (“Historic win for NWT darts in Saskatoon, Yellowknifer, June 14, 2019) with Beaudoin still on cloud nine.
“This is so surreal to me,” he said. “Keith and I, we just put it together and you couldn’t wish for better.”
The duo started out in the sectionals, where they played 11 games in a round-robin format. They went 9-and-2 in the win/loss column, good enough to see them through from their group to the 32-team single-elimination playoff round. From there, they just kept on winning right on through to the final.
“We knew we had a good shot of getting a good draw when we beat a team from Quebec in our last section game,” said Way. “It was a long day and we just shot so well.”
Way provided the heroics in the semifinal as he checked out 120 on what’s known as the ‘Shanghai finish’ – single-20, triple-20 and double-20 – in the deciding leg of the match to put them through to the final, where they were simply lights out, winning the best-of-five match in three straight legs.
It was Beaudoin’s first time ever playing on the main stage at a national championship and he said there were absolutely no nerves.
“It was like we were playing back home in Yellowknife,” he said. “No pressure at all – to beat Nova Scotia the way we did – blew them away – that just blows my mind. This is the pinnacle of my career.”
Way said he was thrilled to win his first national title but he was happier most for Beaudoin.
“This is a dream come true for him and it was awesome watching him celebrate,” he said.
That celebration, said Beaudoin, included the entire team.
“After we won, I just looked out at the entire team, Keith and I raised our arms and they were jumping,” he said. “Everyone was so happy and we finally did it. We finally did something at nationals. It’s phenomenal and it’s great that everyone was here to share it.”