Canadian ice dancers maintain sixth at ISU Junior Grand Prix

ZAGREB, Croatia – Audrey Croteau-Villeneuve of Montreal and Jeff Hough of Russell, Ont., earned Canada’s best result at the last stop on the ISU Junior Grand Prix figure skating circuit placing sixth in ice dancing on Saturday.

Anna Yanovskaya and Sergey Mozgov of Russia won the gold medal with Rachel Parsons and Michael Parsons of the U.S. second and Carolina Moscheni and Adam Lukacs of Hungary third.

Croteau-Villeneuve and Hough were seventh at their previous Junior Grand Prix assignment last month in Estonia.

‘’We made a few little technical errors that added up,’’ said Hough, 18. ‘’Still we performed well and had a very good connection on the ice.’’

Prior to Friday’s short dance, Croteau-Villeneuve injured her ankle in practice.

‘’It made it difficult especially when we were trying to reach the levels we wanted,’’ she said. ‘’Otherwise it wasn’t issue. All I need to do right now is rest the ankle.’’

Hannah Whitley of Creemore, Ont., and Elliott Graham of Angus, Ont., were 10th in their international debut.

In women’s competition, Maria Sotskova of Russia was the winner with Karen Chen of the U.S. second and Alexandra Proklova of Russia third.

Sarah Tamura of Burnaby, B.C., rocketed from 22nd after the short program to 13th overall with eighth best free skate of the day. Grace Lin of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que., climbed from 18th to 16th. Both Canadians are only 13.

‘’I was proud with how I came back from such a difficult short program,’’ said Tamura. ‘’It was a great experience and I’m really excited about the rest of the season.’’

This weekend’s event capped a superb season by Canadians juniors on the circuit with four entries advancing to the Grand Prix Finals December 11-14 in Barcelona. Last year Canada had two junior entries.

Canadians qualifying for the Junior Grand Prix final are Julianne Seguin of Longueuil, Que., and Charlie Bilodeau of Trois-Pistoles, Que., in pairs, Roman Sadovsky of Vaughan, Ont., in men’s singles, and the ice dance teams of Mackenzie Bent of Uxbridge, Ont., and Garrett MacKeen of Oshawa, Ont., as well as Madeline Edwards of Port Moody, B.C., and ZhaoKai Pang of Burnaby, B.C.

Full results:

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