(November 1, 2008) – Day one of competition at the 2008 HomeSense Skate Canada International began Friday at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Ontario. Four-time Canadian Champion Joannie Rochette, 22, Île Dupas, Que., led the ladies discipline, finishing in first after the short program. Rochette beat her personal best score in the short program with 64.74 points.

Japan's Fumie Suguri finished in second with 57.92 points and American Caroline Zhang, the 2007 world junior champion, third with 53.28 points. Canadian Cynthia Phaneuf, 20, Contrecoeur, Que., ended up in ninth with 45.06 points and Myriane Samson, 20, of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., in twelfth with 40.42 points.

Canada’s Patrick Chan 17, Toronto, Ont., is currently sitting in second place after the men’s short program. He scored 77.47 points and is less than a point away from the leader.

“Today was pretty intense I got to say. Going into the program I was pretty nervous I have to admit. This was the first time I have actually had two new programs after one season,” said Chan. “I was pretty happy with the fact that I was able to overcome the mental difficulty.”

Yannick Ponsero of France is the leader after the short with 78.05 points and American Ryan Bradley sits in third with 72.50 points.

Canadian Shawn Sawyer, 23, Edmundston, N.B., placed seventh with 64.20 points and Jeremy Ten, 19, Vancouver, B.C., landed in ninth with 50.93 points.

The pairs were the first to take the ice. Canadians Jessica Dubé, 21, Drummondville, Que., and Bryce Davison, 22, Cambridge, Ont., debut their new short program, “Fix You” by Coldplay. They placed a close third with 60.14 points.

Yuko Kawaguchi and Alexander Smirnov of Russia lead the way with 65.02 points. The Americans Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker finished in second with 60.66 points. The top three are all within less than five points of each other.

Mylène Brodeur, 21, Stanbridge-Station, Que., and John Mattatall, 25, Wallace, N.S., placed sixth with 50.76 points and teammates Rachel Kirkland, 15, and Eric Radford, 23, both from Toronto, Ont., placed close behind in seventh with 50.08 points.

In ice dance, Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White are sitting in first after the compulsory dance with 34.29 points. France’s Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat are in second with 33.90 and Americans Kimberly Navarro and Brent Bommentre are in third with 31.67 points.

Canadians Vanessa Crone, 18, Aurora, Ont., and Paul Poirier, 16, Unionville, Ont., are currently in fourth place after the compulsory dance with 31.11. Fellow Canadians Andrea Chong, 21, of Toronto, Ont., and Guillaume Gfeller, 23, of Montreal, Que., are in eighth with 26.29 points.

The men’s, ladies and pair will all wrap-up on Saturday and the ice dance will conclude on Sunday.

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