Skate Canada International began Friday from Harbour Station in Saint John, New Brunswick, and heading into Saturday’s free skates, Team USA is poised to add to its medal total for the season.
Gracie Gold shattered her personal best score by more than seven points as she leads after the short program with 69.45 points. Her “Three Preludes” short program featured seven clean elements including a triple Lutz-triple toe combination, two level four spins and a level four step sequence. Her teammate, Christina Gao, also skated a personal best short program to the tune of 62.82 points and is in fourth. Russia’s Julia Lipnitskaia and Japan’s Akiko Suzuki are in second and third, respectively. In her Grand Prix Series debut, Courtney Hicks encountered some hiccups in her short program and is in ninth place.
In the midst of a busy two weeks that saw them first compete at Skate America and now has them at Skate Canada, Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue are in position to win their first Grand Prix Series medal. They earned a personal best score of 60.92 and are in third behind the Canadian teams of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje.
Team USA’s trio of men endured some struggles Friday night. Jeremy Abbott started strong, landing his program-opening quad toe but then doubled both jumps of a planned triple-triple combo and putting a hand down on his triple Axel. He sits in fourth place with 74.58 points. In his Grand Prix debut, Joshua Farris, the World Junior champ, is in eighth place with 69.14 points. Ross Miner, in his third Skate Canada appearance, fell on both his quad Salchow and triple Axel. His score of 66.71 points put him in 10th place.
Canada’s Patrick Chan leads followed by Japan’s Nobunari Oda and Yuzuru Hanyu.
Both pairs teams made their Grand Prix debuts Friday. The reigning World Junior champions Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier are in fifth place with 55.01 points, while Lindsay Davis and Rockne Brubaker are in seventh with 52.69. The top three teams, led by Canada’s Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, all scored between 69.57 and 69.02 points.
Live coverage of Saturday’s action will be available starting at noon ET to icenetwork Season Pass subscribers and those who have Universal Sports Network as part of their cable package.
For full event coverage, visit www.icenetwork.com.
Saturday’s Schedule (all times ET)
Pairs Free Skate – Noon
Davis/Brubaker – 12:15 p.m.
Denney/Frazier – 12:32 p.m.
Ladies Free Skate – 2:15 p.m.
Hicks – 2:22 p.m.
Gao – 3:09 p.m.
Gold – 3:32 p.m.
Free Dance – 4:30 p.m.
Hubbell/Donohue – 5:22 p.m.
Men’s Free Skate – 7:10 p.m.
Miner – 7:17 p.m.
Farris – 7:34 p.m.
Abbott – 8:15 p.m.