(August 28, 2009 - BUDAPEST, Hungary) – Canadian junior champions Karen Routhier of Quebec City and Eric Saucke-Lacelle of Sherbrooke, Que., are in second place after the original dance in the ice dance competition on Friday at the season opening stop on the ISU Junior Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov of Russia remained first with 84.56 points followed by Routhier and Saucke-Lacelle at 78.48 and Piper Gilles and Zachary Donohue of the U.S., in third at 74.91.

The Canadians presented a new fast-paced original dance performed to Acadian folk music. They were second after Thursday’s compulsory dance and also posted the second best original dance score to maintain second overall.

“There are a couple of elements we could have done better but overall we’re satisfied,” said Routhier, 17. “The music is a lot faster than last year’s original dance and it is really different from anything we’ve done before. There’s been a period of adaptation for us but so far we’ve received only positive comments about the routine.”

Routhier and Saucke-Lacelle are in their third year on the junior Grand Prix circuit and won two bronze medals last season. They were also seventh at the world junior championships.

Olivia Martins of Toronto and Alvin Chau of Richmond, Hill, Ont., stayed in sixth place out of 18 entries totalling 70.98 after the compulsory dance and original dance. They performed an Indian folk number in their original dance on Friday and did obtain the third best technical element score.

The couple are entering their second season on the circuit.

“I think we’ve learned that we can’t worry about our competition,” said Chau, 20. “We just have to deliver what we practiced. When you do it well, the judges will reward you. And that’s what happened today. We did a hard routine and we got some strong component marks. We were shaky at moments, especially with our lifts, but everything else was clean and in synch.”

In Thursday’s men’s short program, the U.S., stands 1-2 with Grant Hochstein first and Richard Dornbush, a double junior Grand Prix winner last season, in second. Tayuka Kondoh of Japan is third.

Samuel Morais of Laval, Que., is ninth. He posted two top-10 finishes on the circuit last year.

The finals in men’s singles and ice dancing are on Saturday.

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