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Weaver and Poje win gold in season debut

OBERSTDORF, Germany – Canadian ice dancers Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje won the gold medal on Saturday at the Nebelhorn Trophy, the traditional opener to the senior figure skating season.

The world championship silver medallists from Waterloo, Ont., unveiled their new short and free programs to the international judges and it appears they aced the test scoring 165.32 points.  Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the U.S. were second at 163.73 and Nelli Zhiganshina and Alexander Gazsi of Germany were third at 147.10.

‘’We were very happy with how the competition concluded,’’ said Weaver.  ‘’We were very calm in our free dance and although it’s new and fresh and early in the season we were able to put out a solid performance.

‘’Of course we have our work cut out for us for Skate Canada (October 31 to November 2 in Kelowna, B.C.). This is a program that is more difficult than what we’ve done in the past.  It requires harder training and harder concentration and we are glad to see we are going in the right direction.’’

It was the second career international victory for the couple.  They also won the Four Continents event in 2010.

‘’This is a great starting point,’’ said Poje.  ‘’We still have much growth to go through from now until the end of the season.  We’re glad we got to present it here and see what the skating community thought of it.  With that feedback we can now work away at it even more for the Grand Prix season.’’

Elisabeth Paradis of Loretteville, Que., and François-Xavier Ouellette of Laval, Que., were fifth.

Elizaveta Tuktamysheva led Russia to a 1-2 finish in women’s competition while Veronik Mallet of Sept-Iles, Que., was seventh.

Canada also placed third in the team standings behind the U.S., in first and Russia.

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/nt2014/

Best international showing for Balde

OBERSTDORF, Germany – Elladj Balde of Montreal posted his best international result at the senior level on Friday placing fifth in men’s singles at the Nebelhorn Trophy figure skating competition.

Jason Brown of the U.S., took the gold with 237.17 points, Michal Brezina of the Czech Republic was second at 228.48 and Konstantin Menshov of Russia third at 211.03.  Balde, third after the short program, took fifth at 186.78.

Liam Firus of North Vancouver was ninth.

It was a 1-2 Russian finish in pairs as Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov sailed to gold with 195.89 points. Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov were second at 178.98 and Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim of the U.S., were third at 166.10.

Canadian junior champions Vanessa Grenier of Sherbrooke, Que., and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., were fifth in their international debut scoring 157.06.

In Thursday’s short dance, world championship silver medallists, Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ont., unveiled their new short program and grabbed the lead with 65.59 points. Madison Chok and Evan Bates of the U.S., follow at 62.80 and Nelli Zhiganshina and Alexander Gazsi of Germany are third at 58.67.

“It was important for us to get off to a good start with a new program,” said Poje. “Obviously this is an event for which we can get some feedback so we can be ready for the start of the Grand Prix season.”

Weaver and Poje are poised to carry last season’s success into 2014-15.

“Our goal this year is to be the top team in the world,” said Weaver.  “Our new programs are a departure from last season with an increase in difficulty.”

Elisabeth Paradis of Loretteville, Que., and François-Xavier Ouellette of Laval, Que., are fifth.

In women’s competition, Veronik Mallet of Sept-Iles, Que., is seventh after the short program.

The women’s free skate and free dance are on Saturday.

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/nt2014/

Canadian Skaters ready to compete in Salt Lake City for the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic

OTTAWA, ON: Canada will send eight skaters, for a total of five entries to the 2014 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic, a senior international competition which is the first event on the International Skating Union’s (ISU) new Challenger Series. The event runs from September 10-14, 2014, in Salt Lake City, UT. Canada will have one entry per discipline in men’s, ladies, and pair, and two entries in ice dance.

Andrei Rogozine, 21, Newmarket, Ont., will represent Canada in men’s. Last year, he placed seventh at this event, and eighth at Skate Canada International. Representing Richmond Hill Figure Skating Club, Rogozine also placed seventh at the 2014 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. He is coached by Tom Zakrajsek and trains in Colorado Springs, CO, USA.

Alaine Chartrand, 18, Prescott, Ont., will be the Canadian entry in the ladies category. Last season, she placed seventh at the 2014 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, and fifth at the 2014 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships. Chartrand also placed fifth at the 2014 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. She is coached by Michelle Leigh and Leonid Birinberg, and trains at the Nepean Skating Club.

In the pair category, Brittany Jones, 18, Toronto, Ont., and Joshua Reagan, 24, Dallas, TX, USA, – Toronto, Ont., will represent Canada. Both skaters have competed internationally with past partners, but this will be their first international assignment together since teaming up in October 2013. Last season, they placed seventh at the 2014 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. Jones and Reagan are coached by Kristy Wirtz and Kris Wirtz at the Kitchener-Waterloo Skating Club.

Nicole Orford, 21, Burnaby, B.C., and Thomas Williams, 23, Okotoks, Alta., are one of two Canadian entries in ice dance. Representing Inlet SC and Calalta Community FSC, they won the bronze medal at this event last year. Orford and Williams also placed fifth at the 2014 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships and fifth at the 2014 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships last season. They are coached by Megan Wing and Aaron Lowe at the Champs International Skating Centre.

Mariève Cyr, 19, Île Bizard, Que., and Benjamin Brisebois-Gaudreau, 22, Montreal, Que., are the second Canadian entry in ice dance. Last season, they placed ninth at the 2014 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. This will be the second international assignment of their career, having placed seventh at the 2012 ISU Junior Grand Prix in Chemnitz, Germany.  They train in Pierrefonds, Que., with coaches Élise Hamel and Shawn Winter.

Petra Burka of Toronto, Ont., will be travelling with the team as team leader, and Siobhan Karam of Ottawa, Ont., will be the team physiotherapist. Susan Morriss of Victoria, B.C., and Pam Chislett of Grand Prairie, Alta., will be the Canadian officials at the event.

For more information and full entries please visit www.usfigureskatingclassic.com or www.isu.org.

Canada will also host an event on the ISU’s Challenger Series, the inaugural 2014 Skate Canada Autumn Classic International in Barrie, Ontario, from October 14-17, 2014 at the Allandale Recreation Centre.

CANADIAN ENTRIES AT 2014 U.S. INTERNATIONAL FIGURE SKATING CLASSIC

Discipline Name Age Hometown Club Coach
Mens Andrei Rogozine 21 Newmarket, Ont. Richmond Hill FSC Tom Zakrajsek
Ladies Alaine Chartrand 18 Prescott, Ont. Nepean Skating Club Michelle Leigh / Leonid Birinberg
Pair Brittany Jones / Joshua Reagan 18/24 Toronto, Ont. / Dallas, TX, USA – Toronto, Ont Kitchener-Waterloo SC/ Kitchener-Waterloo SC Kristy Wirtz / Kris Wirtz
Ice Dance Nicole Orford / Thomas Williams 21/22 Burnaby, B.C. / Okotoks, Alta. Inlet SC / Calalta Community FSC Megan Wing / Aaron Lowe
Ice dance Mariève Cyr / Benjamin Brisebois-Gaudreau 19/22 Île Bizard, Que. / Montreal, Que. CPA des Deux-Rives / CPA Ahuntsic Élise Hamel/ Shawn Winter