KAUNAS, Lithuania – Canadian ice dance teams placed sixth and seventh on Saturday to conclude the third stop on the ISU Junior Grand Prix figure skating circuit.
Arina Ushakova and Maxim Nekrasov of Russia won the gold with 168.17 points, Avonley Nguyen and Vadym Kolesnik of the U.S. took the silver with 161.84 and Darya Popova and Volodymyr Byelikov of Ukraine were third at 142.29.
Ashlynne Stairs of Barrie, Ont., and Elliott Graham of Angus, Ont., remained sixth at 136.75 and Irina Galiyanova of Toronto and Grayson Lochhead of Sweaburg, Ont., climbed from eighth after the short dance to seventh at 132.58.
‘’Our free dance was a pretty strong program today,’’ said Graham. ‘’It was probably the best we could have skated it this early in the season. The key was keeping a positive attitude after what we felt was a disappointing short dance.’’
Galiyanova and Lochhead also felt they improved in their free skate.
‘’We were much more into our feet’’ said Galiyanova. ‘’We were working well together. We pushed through and I feel that’s what works well for us.’’
In men’s competition, Andrew Torgashev of the U.S. won the gold, Kirill Iakovlev of Russia was second and Yuto Kishina of Japan third.
Joseph Phan of Toronto, fifth after the short program on Thursday, wound up ninth with the 10th best free skate.
‘’Today was really hard for me,’’ said Phan, 17. ‘’When I fell on my second quad toe I lost my confidence. It was a tough lesson. Now I need to bounce back at the next event.’’
Eric Liu of Edmonton, 17th after the short program, withdrew from the free skate due a sprained ankle suffered in Thursday’s performance.
The fourth stop on the circuit is this Thursday to Saturday in Richmond, B.C. at the Minoru Arenas.