For the first time in Canadian darts history, the NWT can call itself a national champion.
Elvis Beaudoin and Keith Way of Yellowknife became the first players from the territory to win a title at the Adult National Darts Championships after winning the men’s doubles crown on Tuesday evening in Saskatoon.
They beat Nick Smith and Rob Piercy of Nova Scotia in the final, 3-0, to hoist the champions plaques. Beaudoin sealed the deal by hitting a 155 checkout to put the final nail in Nova Scotia’s coffin.
Beaudoin, who’s represented the NWT at the national level for several years, said it was still sinking in.
“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 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 – to put them through to the final, where they were simply lights out, winning all three legs of the best-of-five match.
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.”
The men’s and women’s singles take place tomorrow with the mixed doubles happening on Thursday.