Canadian ice dancers in medal hunt at ISU Junior Grand Prix

MINSK, Belarus – Canadians Ashlynne Stairs and Lee Royer are in fourth place after the short dance on Friday at the fourth stop on the ISU Junior Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko of the U.S., lead the field with 63.77 points slightly ahead of Anastasia Skoptcova and Kirill Aleshin of Russia at 61.71. Arina Ushakova and Maxim Nekrasov of Russia are third at 59.62.

Stairs and Royer, from Calgary and St. Albert, Alta., follow at 55.58 as they look to improve upon their fifth place at the second Junior Grand Prix earlier this month.

Nina Mizuki and Veniamins Volskis of Burnaby, B.C., are ninth.

‘’We were disappointed,’’ said Volskis.

In pairs after the short program, Lori-Anne Matte and Thierry Ferland of Levis, Que., are in sixth place.

Ferland had his passport stolen in the stopover in Frankfurt and was forced to spend two days there to sort out the issue. They only had one day of practice together before the competition.

‘’All things considered, I think we got the job done,’’ said Ferland. ‘’We were very happy with how synchronized we were despite not skating together much this week.’’

Chloe Panetta Laval, Que., and Steven Lapointe of Laval, Que., were 10th as they made their junior Grand Prix debut.

‘’We didn’t do as well as we had hoped,’’ said Lapointe. ‘’I don’t think we were extra nervous we just made two errors that we normally don’t make. We plan on coming back stronger in the free skate.’’

Meanwhile at the Ondrej Nepela Trophy in Bratislava, Slovakia Natasha Purich of Sherwood Park, Alta., and Davin Portz of Calgary placed fifth in pairs.

Full results Junior Grand Prix:

Full results Ondrej Nepela Trophy:

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