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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: http://www.isuresults.com/results/jgpger2014/index.htm

Two seventh place finishes for Canada at ISU Junior Grand Prix

ZAGREB, Croatia – Anthony Kan of Richmond Hill, Ont., and the pairs team of Mary Orr of Brantford, Ont., and Phelan Simpson of Lunenburg, N.S., were seventh on Friday at the seventh stop on the ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit.

In pairs, Maria Vigalova and Egor Zakroev led Russia to a 1-2 finish with Daria Beklemisheva and Maxim Bobrov second and Renata Oganseian and Mark Babei of Ukraine third.

Orr  and Simpson placed seventh with 125.98 points and Keele Gingrich and Davin Portz of Calgary, the Canadian novice champions, were 11th in their international debut.

At their previous junior Grand Prix stop last month in Estonia, Orr and Simpson were sixth but bettered their score here by nearly six points.

‘’After Estonia we really worked on our components and skating skills,’’ said Orr, 18.  ‘’We could really see the difference here.’’

Since joining forces three years ago, Gingrich and Portz have steadily improved with each outing.

‘’Being at an international competition was a whole new ball game for us,’’ said Portz, 18.  ‘’It was a great learning experience and it is really going to help us move forward.  It was amazing to see the throws and lifts and the variety of elements the top teams possess.’’

In men’s competition, Shoma Uno of Japan took gold with Nathan Chen of the U.S. second and June Hyoung Lee of South Korea third.

Kan totalled a personal best 170.64.

‘’It felt really good,’’ said Kan, 19, about his performance.  ‘’My goal was to deliver a clean program but I was OK with just landing everything.  I’m happy where I’m at for this point in the season.’’

Nicolas Nadeau of Boisbriand, Que., was 10th.

After the short dance, Audrey Croteau-Villeneuve of Montreal and Jeff Hough of Russell, Ont., are sixth and Hannah Whitley of Creemore, Ont., and Elliott Graham of Angus, Ont., are 10th.

On Thursday in the women’s short dance, Grace Lin of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que., and Sarah Tamura of Burnaby, B.C., both 13, are 18th and 22nd.

Competition ends Saturday with the free dance and women’s free skate.

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/jgpcro2014/

Juniors headed to Croatia

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada will send eight entries, for a total of 12 skaters to Zagreb, Croatia, from October 8-12, 2014, for the seventh and final stop on the ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit. Canada will have two entries per category in men’s, ladies, pair, and ice dance.

Anthony Kan, 19, Richmond Hill, Ont., is one of two entries for Canada in the men’s category. Earlier this season, he placed sixth at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Last season, the representative of York Region Skating Academy placed 14th at the 2014 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, competing in the senior men’s category. He is coached by Heather Austman and Keegan Murphy and trains out of the Connaught Figure Skating Club in Richmond, B.C.

Nicolas Nadeau, 17, Boisbriand, Que., will also represent Canada in the men’s division. Earlier this season, the representative of CPA Boisbriand placed fifth at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Aichi, Japan. Last season, Nadeau placed fourth at the 2014 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in the junior category. He is coached by Yvan Desjardins at the École Excellence Rosemère.

Sarah Tamura, 13, Burnaby, B.C., is one of two Canadian entries in ladies. Tamura placed 14th at her first ISU Junior Grand Prix this season in Aichi, Japan. Representing Burnaby FSC, she is the 2014 Canadian novice women’s champion. Tamura is coached by Joanne McLeod, Jill-Marie Harvey, and Neil Wilson at the Champs International Skating Centre.

Grace Lin, 13, Dollard-Des-Ormeaux, Que., will also represent Canada in ladies. Lin finished 12th at her first ISU Junior Grand Prix assignment earlier this season in Aichi, Japan. Last season, representing Dollard FSC, she placed 12th at the 2014 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in the novice category. She is coached by Yvan Desjardins and Violaine Emard in Rosmere, Que.

Mary Orr, 18, Brantford, Ont., and Phelan Simpson, 18, Lunenburg, N.S., are one of two Canadian pair entries. Orr and Simpson placed sixth at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Tallinn, Estonia earlier this season. Last season, they earned a seventh place finish at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Riga, Latvia, and placed sixth at the 2014 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships. The 2014 Canadian junior pair bronze medallists train at the Kitchener-Waterloo Skating Club with coaches Kristy Wirtz and Kris Wirtz.

Keelee Gingrich, 15, Calgary, Alta., and Davin Portz, 18, Calgary, Alta., are the second Canadian pair entry. The 2014 Canadian Novice Pair Champions will be competing at their first international assignment. The representatives of Glencoe Club and Calalta FSC are coached by Anabelle Langlois and Cody Hay at Calalta FSC.

Audrey Croteau-Villeneuve, 17, Montreal, Que., and Jeff Hough, 19, Russell, Ont., are the first of two Canadian teams in ice dance. Representing the Town of Mt. Royal FSC and Minto Skating Club, the duo placed seventh at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Tallinn, Estonia earlier this season. They are coached by Darryl VanLuven at the Minto Skating Club in Ottawa, Ont.

Hannah Whitley, 14, Creemore, Ont., and Elliott Graham, 16, Angus, Ont., will also represent Canada in ice dance. The 2014 Canadian novice ice dance silver medallists will be competing at their first international assignment. Whitley and Graham are coached by David Islam and Kelly Johnson at the Mariposa School of Skating in Barrie, Ont.

Petra Burka of Toronto, Ont., will be the Canadian team leader at the event. Dr. Cole Beavis of Saskatoon, Sask., and physiotherapist Karen Seymour of Toronto, Ont., will be the Canadian medical staff onsite. Andrea Derby of Windsor, Ont., and André-Marc Allain of Gatineau, Que., are the Canadian officials at the event.

The ISU will be live streaming the competition via the ISU Junior Grand Prix YouTube channel. For results and full entries please visit www.isu.org.

CANADIAN ENTRIES AT ISU JGP #7 – Zagreb, Croatia

Discipline Name Age Hometown Club Coach
Men’s Anthony Kan 19 Richmond Hill, Ont. York Region Skating Academy Heather Austman / Keegan Murphy
Men’s Nicolas Nadeau 17 Boisbriand, Que. CPA Boisbriand Yvan Desjardins
Ladies Sarah Tamura 13 Burnaby, B.C. Burnaby FSC Joanne McLeod / Jill-Marie Harvey / Neil Wilson
Ladies Grace Lin 13 Dollard-Des-Ormeaux, Que. Dollard FSC Yvan Desjardins / Violaine Emard
Pairs Mary Orr / Phelan Simpson 18/18 Brantford, Ont. / Lunenburg, N.S. Kitchener-Waterloo SC / Kitchener-Waterloo SC Kristy Wirtz / Kris Wirtz
Pairs Keelee Gingrich / Davin Portz 15/18 Calgary, Alta. / Calgary, Alta. Glencoe Club / Calalta FSC Anabelle Langlois / Cody Hay
Ice dance Audrey Croteau-Villeneuve / Jeff Hough 17/19 Montreal, Que. / Russell, Ont. Town of Mt. Royal FSC / Minto SC Darryl VanLuven
Ice Dance Hannah Whitley / Elliott Graham 14/16 Creemore, Ont. / Angus, Ont. Barrie SC / Barrie SC David Islam / Kelly Johnson

Delmaestro and Lum win bronze medal at ISU Junior Grand Prix

DRESDEN, Germany – Canadian ice dancers continued a magnificent season on the ISU Junior Grand Prix on Friday as Brianna Delmaestro of Port Moody, B.C., and Timothy Lum of Burnaby, B.C., won the bronze at the sixth stop on the circuit.

It was the second medal this season for the second-year couple and the sixth trip to the podium for Canadian ice dancers.

Betina Popova and Yuri Vlasenko of Russia won the gold medal with 147.31 points, Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter of the U.S., were second at 139.35 and Delmaestro and Lum followed at 130.78. The Canadians took silver at the season’s second stop in Slovenia.

‘’There are some things we did better than the last competition,’’ said Delmaestro.  ‘’We made some changes and those worked out really well.  We set goals for this season and we’ve achieved some of them already.’’

Lum hopes the consistency will continue through the winter.

‘’I felt like it was solid all the way through,’’ he said.  ‘’There are parts that could have gone terribly wrong but we fought through it and ended up having a very satisfying finish.’’

Danielle Wu and Spencer Soo of Burnaby were eighth.

In pairs Julianne Seguin of Longueuil, Que., and Charles Bilodeau of Trois-Pistoles, Que., are in a hunt for a second gold medal this season after scoring a personal best 59.18 points in the short program.  Lina Fedorova and Maxim Miroshkin of Russia follow at 57.74 and their compatriots Maria Chushchanova and Denis Mitsev are third at 48.16.

‘’All our elements improved and the triple throw loop was better,’’ said Séguin.  ‘’This is a better start and we are on track to reach all our goals here.’’

Hope McLean of Glencoe, Ont., and Trennt Michaud of Trenton, Ont., are seventh.

In women’s competition, Selena Zhao of Varennes, Que., and Kim DeGuise-Léveillée of Sorel-Tracy, Que., finished ninth and 10th after Friday’s free skate.  Wakaba Higuchi of Japan took the gold.

Mitchell Gordon of Vancouver and Roman Sadovsky of Vaughan, Ont., are seventh and eighth after the men’s short program.

The pairs and men’s free skates are on Saturday.

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/jgpger2014/

Séguin & Bilodeau golden in Dresden

DRESDEN, Germany– Julianne Seguin of Longueuil, Que., and Charlie Bilodeau of Trois-Pistoles, Que., delivered a flawless free skate on Saturday to win the gold medal in pairs at the sixth stop on the ISU Junior Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

SeguinBilodeau Dresden GoldThe second-year Canadian pair collected gold at their two Junior Grand Prix assignments and have qualified for the Junior Grand Prix final set for December 11-14 in Barcelona.

Séguin and Bilodeau scored a personal best and Canadian junior record 174.10 points with Lina Fedorova and Maxim Miroshkin of Russia second at 162.12 and Chelsea Liu and Brian Johnson of the U.S. third at 132.15.

‘’We approached this season ready to work very hard and that’s allowed us to have this success,’’ said Séguin, 17.  ‘’One of our goals this season was to reach the final so this is a big step in our career.’’

The pair showed their expressive and athletic skills to music by Peter Gabriel (In Your Eyes).  In particular their endurance was impressive as they landed back-to-back side-by-side jumps and two throws and lifts in the second half of the program.

‘’We’re known for our chemistry on the ice and we always try to put the emphasis on that in our performances,’’ said Bilodeau, 21.  ‘’Today we were in the zone and the program felt very natural.  It’s a more elaborate program than last year and we’ve shown we’ve done our homework.’’

Not too be discounted was a fine performance for Hope McLean of Glencoe, Ont., and Trennt Michaud of Trenton, Ont. The new pair produced the fourth best free skate of the day to climb from seventh to fifth overall to conclude an impressive international debut.

In men’s competition, Roman Sadovsky of Vaughan, Ont., scored the second best free skate of the day to climb from eighth to fourth overall with 192.44 points to remain in contention for a spot in the Grand Prix Final.   Andrei Lazikin of Russia took the gold at 202.68, He Zhang of China was second at 196.20 and Yaroslav Paniot of Ukraine third at 194.60.

The 15-year-old Sadovsky, a gold medallist last month,  executed a clean program that showcased his incredible flexibility.  He scored a personal best 132.54 for the free skate.

‘’It was a big challenge to come back from the short program,’’ said Sadovsky, who fell on his triple Lutz in the short then landed it twice in the free skate.  ‘’I knew there there was no room for error.  I liked everything about my performance today.  It was the best I’ve ever done it.’’

Mitchell Gordon of Vancouver was 10th.

The last stop on the ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit before the final is October 9-11 in Zagreb, Croatia.

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/jgpger2014/

Canadian Skaters Continue on ISU Junior Grand Prix Circuit in Germany

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada will send eight entries, for a total of 12 skaters to Dresden, Germany, for the sixth stop on the ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit. Canada will have two entries per category in men’s, ladies, pair, and ice dance at the event which takes place from October 1-5, 2014.

Roman Sadovsky, 15, Vaughan, Ont., is the first of two Canadian entries in the men’s division. Sadovsky won the ISU Junior Grand Prix event earlier this season in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Last season, he placed 14th at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Riga, Latvia, eighth in Minsk, Belarus, and 13th at the 2014 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships. He is coached by Tracey Wainman and Gregor Filipowski at the YSRA Winter Club.

Mitchell Gordon, 18, Vancouver, B.C., is the second entry in men’s for Canada. Gordon placed seventh at the second stop on this year’s ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Last season, he placed 11th at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Gordon is coached by Eileen Murphy and Keegan Murphy at the Connaught Figure Skating Club in Richmond, B.C.

Kim DeGuise-Léveillée, 16, Sorel-Tracy, Que., is one of two Canadian entries in ladies. She placed eighth at her first international assignment, the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Ostrava, Czech Republic, earlier this season. Representing CPA Sorel-Tracy, she is the 2014 Canadian junior champion. DeGuise-Léveillée is coached by Josée Picard and Marc-André Craig in Chambly, Que.

Selena Zhao, 16, Varennes, Que. – Colorado Springs, USA, is the second Canadian entry in the ladies division. Representing CPA Varennes, she placed 10th in her international debut for Canada, at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Ljubljana, Slovenia this season. She is coached by Christy Krall and Damon Allen in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Julianne Séguin, 17, Longueuil, Que., and Charlie Bilodeau, 21, Trois-Pistoles, Que., will be the first of two Canadian entries in pair. Séguin and Bilodeau won their first ISU Junior Grand Prix assignment this season in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Last season, they placed fourth at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Ostrava and fifth at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Minsk, Belarus. The representatives of CPA Longueuil and CPA De Drummondville Inc., are the 2014 Canadian junior pair silver medallists. They are coached by Josée Picard and Patrice Archetto in Chambly, Que.

Hope McLean, 15, Glencoe, Ont., and Trennt Michaud, 18, Trenton, Ont., are the second Canadian pair entry. The newly formed team will be competing at their first international assignment since teaming up in February 2014. The representatives of Mount Brydges SC and Prince Edward SC are coached by Alison Purkiss and Scott Rachuk at the London Competitive Skating Centre.

Brianna Delmaestro, 18, Port Moody, B.C., and Timothy Lum, 19, Burnaby, B.C., are one of two entries in ice dance for Canada. Delmaestro and Lum won the silver medal at their first ISU Junior Grand Prix assignment this season in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Representing Coquitlam SC and Burnaby FSC, they placed fifth at both of their ISU Junior Grand Prix Assignments last season in Gandsk, Poland, and Tallinn, Estonia. The 2014 Canadian junior ice dance bronze medallists are coached by Megan Wing and Aaron Lowe at the BC Centre of Excellence.

Danielle Wu, 16, Burnaby, B.C., and Spencer Soo, 17, Burnaby, B.C., will also represent Canada in ice dance. Wu and Soo placed sixth at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Ostrava, Czech Republic, earlier this seaosn. Last season, the representatives of Burnaby FSC placed fifth at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Ostrava. Wu and Soo are coached by Megan Wing and Aaron Lowe at the BC Centre of Excellence.

Bev Viger of Abbotsford, B.C., will be the Canadian team leader at the event. Dr. Erika Persson of Edmonton, Alta., and physiotherapist Josiane Roberge of Sillery, Que., will be the Canadian medical staff onsite. Janice Hunter of West Vancouver, B.C., and Reaghan Fawcett of Aurora, Ont., are the Canadian officials at the event.

The ISU will be live streaming the competition via the ISU Junior Grand Prix YouTube channel. For results and full entries please visit www.isu.org.

CANADIAN ENTRIES AT ISU JGP #6 – Dresden, Germany

Discipline Name Age Hometown Club Coach
Men’s Roman Sadovsky 15 Vaughan, Ont. YRSA Winter Club Tracey Wainman / Gregor Filipowski
Men’s Mitchell Gordon 18 Vancouver, B.C. Connaught Figure Skating Club Eileen Murphy / Keegan Murphy
Ladies Selena Zhao 16 Varennes, Que. – Colorado Springs, USA CPA Varennes Christy Krall / Damon Allen
Ladies Kim DeGuise-Léveillée 16 Sorel-Tracy, Que. CPA Sorel-Tracy Josée Picard / Marc-André Craig
Pairs Julianne Séguin / Charlie Bilodeau 17/21 Longueuil, Que. / Trois-Pistoles, Que. CPA Longueuil / CPA De Drummondville Inc. Josée Picard / Patrice Archetto
Pairs Hope McLean / Trennt Michaud 15/18 Glencoe, Ont. / Trenton, Ont. Mount Brydges SC / Prince Edward SC Alison Purkiss / Scott Rachuk
Ice Dance Brianna Delmaestro / Timothy Lum 18/19 Port Moody, B.C. / Burnaby, B.C. Coquitlam SC / Burnaby FSC Megan Wing / Aaron Lowe
Ice dance Danielle Wu / Spencer Soo 16/17 Burnaby, B.C. / Burnaby, B.C. Burnaby FSC / Burnaby FSC Megan Wing / Aaron Lowe

Bent & MacKeen win silver in Estonia

TALLINN, Estonia – Ice dancers Mackenzie Bent of Uxbridge, Ont., and Garrett MacKeen of Oshawa, Ont., won the silver medal on Saturday at the Tallinn Cup, the fifth stop on the ISU Junior Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

Anna Yanovskaya and Sergey Mozgov of Russia slipped by the Canadians in the free dance tabulating 152.00 points.  Bent and MacKeen, first after the short dance, followed at 144.51 and Alexandra Nazarova and Maxim Nikitin of Ukraine were third at 128.59.

It was the second medal performance this season on the circuit for Bent and MacKeen.  Earlier this month they won gold at the third stop in Ostrava, Czech Republic but improved their overall score by six points on Saturday.

The performances put them in an excellent position to advance to the Junior Grand Prix Final December 11-14 in Barcelona.

‘’We are super excited about our performances this week,’’ said Bent, 17.  ‘’Our skating was much better than a couple of weeks ago.  It is very important for us to get to the Junior Grand Prix final after just falling short last season.’’

The couple now have five career Junior Grand Prix podium finishes.

‘’The key to our success today was duplicating what we’ve been doing in training,’’ said MacKeen.  ‘’For me, I felt our expression was a lot stronger.  To be this consistent early on in the season is a very good sign.’’

Canada stands a great chance to ice two dance teams at the Junior Grand Prix Final for the first time since 2004. Madeline Edwards of Port Moody, B.C., and ZhaoKai Pang of Burnaby, B.C., have also won two medals this season on the circuit.  Back in 2004, the eventual Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir as well as Allie McCurdy and Michael Coreno were the Canadian ice dance entries.

In women’s competition twin sisters Kim Decelles and Emy Decelles were 13th and 19th respectively.

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/jgpest2014/

Great start for Bent & MacKeen in Estonia

TALLINN, Estonia – Mackenzie Bent of Uxbridge, Ont., and Garrett MacKeen of Oshawa, Ont., hold a slight lead after the short dance on Friday at the Tallin Cup, the fifth stop on the ISU Junior Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

The Canadians tabulated 59.83 points with Anna Yanovskaya and Sergey Mozgov of Russia second at 59.56 and Carolina Moscheni and Adam Lukacs of Hungary third at 51.61.

Audrey Croteau-Villeneuve of Montreal and Jeff Hough of Russell,Ont., are seventh.

In pairs, Maria Vigalova and Egor Zakroev led a Russian medal sweep winning gold.  Mary Orr of Brantford, Ont., and Phelan Simpson of Lunenberg, N.S., were sixth and first-year partners Shalena Rau of Waterloo, Ont., and Sebastian Arcieri of Montreal seventh.

In men’s competition, Alexander Petrov of Russia was the winner.  Bennet Toman of St.Lazare, Que., was 10th and Edrian Paul Celestino of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que., 11th.

In women’s competition after the short program, Kim Decelles and her twin sister Emy Decelles of Baie-Comeau, Que., are 11th and 18th. It is the international debut for both skaters.

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

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/jgpest2014/

Tallinn Cup Marks Fifth Event of Season for Canadian Skaters on the ISU Junior Grand Prix Circuit

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada will send eight entries, for a total of 12 skaters to Tallinn, Estonia, for the fifth stop on the ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit. Canada will have two entries per category in men’s, ladies, pair, and ice dance at the event which takes place from September 24-27, 2014.

Canadian junior champions Mackenzie Bent, 17, Uxbridge, Ont., and Garrett MacKeen, 20, Oshawa, Ont., are the first of two entries in ice dance. Bent and MacKeen won gold at their first ISU Junior Grand Prix assignment this season in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Last season, the representatives of Uxbridge SC and Bowmanville FSC won gold at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Riga, Latvia, placed seventh at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Kosice, Slovakia, and placed 12th at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships. They train at Scarboro Ice Dance Elite with coaches Juris Razgulajevs and Carol Lane.

Audrey Croteau-Villeneuve, 17, Montreal, Que., and Jeff Hough, 18, Russell, Ont., will also represent Canada in ice dance. The newly formed team representing the Town of Mt. Royal FSC and Minto Skating Club will be competing at their first international assignment. They are coached by Darryl VanLuven at the Minto Skating Club in Ottawa, Ont.

Bennet Toman, 17, St. Lazare, Que., is one of two Canadian entries in men’s. Earlier this season, he placed 12th at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Courchevel, France. Representing CPA Vaudreuil, Toman is the 2014 Canadian junior silver medallist. He is coached by Robert O’Toole at the Canadian Ice Academy in Mississauga, Ont.

Edrian Paul Celestino, 16, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que., is the second Canadian entry in men’s. This is his first international assignment. Representing Saint Laurent FSC, he is the 2014 Canadian novice silver medallist. He is coached by Daniel Beland at the Dollard Civic Centre.

Emy Decelles, 16, Baie-Comeau, Que., is one of two Canadian entries in the ladies category. This is her first international assignment. Representing CPA Baie-Comeau, she placed 6th in the junior women’s competition at the 2014 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. She is coached by Karen Sauvageau and Fanny Jean at CPA Baie-Comeau.

Emy’s twin sister Kim Decelles, 16, Baie-Comeau, Que., is the second Canadian entry in the ladies category. This is also her first international assignment. Representing CPA Baie-Comeau, she is the 2014 Canadian novice silver medallist. She is coached by Karen Sauvageau and Fanny Jean at CPA Baie-Comeau.

Mary Orr, 18, Brantford, Ont., and Phelan Simpson, 18, Lunenburg, N.S., are one of two Canadian pair entries. Last season, they earned a seventh place finish at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Riga, Latvia, and placed sixth at the 2014 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships. Orr and Simpson also won bronze in junior pair at the 2014 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. They train at the Kitchener-Waterloo Skating Club where they are coached by Kristy Wirtz and Kris Wirtz.

Shalena Rau, 15, Waterloo, Ont., and Sebastien Arcieri, 20, Montreal, Que., will be the second Canadian entry in pair. The newly formed team will be competing at their first international assignment together, but the representatives of the Kitchener-Waterloo Skating Club and CPA St. Leonard each have experience on the ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit with past partners. They are coached by Kristy Wirtz and Kris Wirtz at the Kitchener-Waterloo Skating Club.

Manon Perron of Boucherville, Que., and Terra Findlay of Echo Bay, Ont., will be the Canadian team leaders at the event. Dr. Ghislaine Robert of Montreal, Que., and physiotherapist Paige Larson of North Vancouver, B.C., will be the Canadian medical staff onsite. Jerome Poulin of Montreal, Que., and Sally Rehorick of Vancouver, B.C., are the Canadian officials at the event.

The ISU will be live streaming the competition via the ISU Junior Grand Prix YouTube channel. For results and full entries please visit www.isu.org.

CANADIAN ENTRIES AT ISU JGP #5 – Tallinn, Estonia

Discipline Name Age Hometown Club Coach
Mens Bennet Toman 17 St. Lazare, Que. CPA Vaudreuil Robert O’Toole
Mens Edrian Paul Celestino 16 Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que. Saint Laurent FSC Daniel Beland
Ladies Emy Decelles 16 Baie-Comeau, Que. CPA Baie Comeau Karen Sauvageau / Fanny Jean
Ladies Kim Decelles 16 Baie-Comeau, Que. CPA Baie Comeau Karen Sauvageau / Fanny Jean
Pair Mary Orr / Phelan Simpson 18/18 Brantford, Ont. / Lunenburg, N.S. Kitchener-Waterloo SC / Kitchener-Waterloo SC Kristy Wirtz / Kris Wirtz
Pair Shalena Rau / Sebastian Arcieri 15/20 Waterloo, Ont. / Montreal, Que. Kitchener-Waterloo SC / CPA St. Leonard Kristy Wirtz / Kris Wirtz
Ice Dance Mackenzie Bent / Garrett MacKeen 17/20 Uxbridge, Ont. / Oshawa, Ont. Uxbridge SC / Bowmanville FSC Juris Razgulajevs / Carol Lane
Ice Dance Audrey Croteau-Villeneuve / Jeff Hough 17/18 Montreal, Que. / Russell, Ont. Town of Mt. Royal FSC / Minto SC Darryl VanLuven

Gold for Canada’s Edwards and Pang at ISU Junior Grand Prix

AICHI, Japan – Madeline Edwards of Port Moody, B.C., and ZhaoKai Pang of Burnaby, B.C., won the gold medal in ice dancing on Sunday at the fourth stop on the ISU Junior Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

Edwards and Pang earned their second medal this season on the circuit tabulating 134.42 points. The performance should assure them a spot in the Junior Grand Prix final. Alla Loboda and Pavel Drodz of Russia were second at 133.98 and Rachel Parsons and Michael Parsons of the U.S., the leaders after the short dance, took third at 131.42.

The Canadians were bronze medallists at the world junior championships last season, and have now stepped on the podium at six consecutive Junior Grand Prix but this was their first gold.

‘’It feels amazing to get the gold,’’ said Edwards. ‘’It is one of the big highlights of our career. We just felt really relaxed in our free skate today and really into it.’’

In the free dance, Edwards and Pang were the first to skate in the last group.

‘’I would actually rather have it that way,’’ said Pang. ‘’You can go out there and skate and not worry about the other performances. We are just ecstatic that it held up.’’

Lauren Collins of Minesing, Ont., and Shane Firus of North Vancouver were sixth.

It was also a big day for Nicolas Nadeau of Boisbriand, Que., in the men’s free skate as he roared from 10th after the short program to fifth overall. Boyang Jin of China won the gold.

The fifth stop on the circuit is in two weeks in Tallinn, Estonia.

Videos of routines available on the ISU YouTube channel

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/jgpjpn2014/index.htm

Canadian ice dancers in medal hunt at ISU Junior Grand Prix

AICHI, Japan – Madeline Edwards of Port Moody, B.C., and ZhaoKai Pang of Burnaby, B.C., are once again in the medal hunt at an international figure skating competition after placing second in Saturday’s short dance at the fourth stop on the ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit.

Rachel Parsons and Michael Parson of the U.S., are in first place with 55.71 points slightly ahead of Edwards and Pang at 55.33. Alla Loboda and Pavel Drodz of Russia are third at 52.25.

Edwards and Pang were third at the world junior championships last season and opened the 2014-15 campaign with a silver at the first stop on Junior Grand Prix circuit last month in France.

Lauren Collins of Minesing, Ont., and Shane Firus of North Vancouver are sixth at 42.52 as they made their international debut as a team.

Two 13-year-olds skated for Canada in the women’s competition which concluded Saturday. Grace Lin of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que., was 12th and Sarah Tamura of Burnaby, B.C., 14th. Serafima Sakhanovich of Russia won the gold medal.

‘’I was impressed with how super professional this event was,’’ said Lin. ‘’The atmosphere was great. I was happy with how I skated but I know I can do a lot better.’’

Tamura was also delighted with her experience.

‘’I know what I need to work on for the next time,’’ she said. ‘’I wasn’t pleased with how I skated but I fought through everything. My goal for this year is to successfully land all my jumps in the program.’’

In Friday’s men’s short program, Nicolas Nadeau of Boisbriand, Que., was 10th.

The free dance and men’s free skate are on Sunday.

Videos of routines available on the ISU YouTube channel

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/jgpjpn2014/index.htm

 

Canadian Junior skaters continue to bring home the hardware on the ISU Grand Prix circuit

Canadian skaters have never dominated a Junior Grand Prix event the way they did in Ostrava, Czech Republic last week.

The youth of Canada proved so compelling that the senior skaters attending the national team training camp in Mississauga, Ontario gathered en masse around a couple of laptops, watching magnificence unfold in Europe.

The youngsters won gold in three of the four events, a first for the land of the maple leaf. In most seasons since the Junior Grand Prix circuit started 18 years ago, Canada has done well to win as many as four gold medals during the entire string of seven or eight qualifying events. (This year there are seven.)

In only five of those 18 years, Canada has won four gold medals during the entire season. Last year, Canadian skaters won two gold medals over eight events, and none qualified for the Junior Grand Prix Final.

It’s not something that Canadian officials worry about too much. The Junior Grand Prix circuit is an important step, meant chiefly to develop future champions. “You see such a wide range of abilities on the circuit,” said Michael Slipchuk, director of high performance for Skate Canada. “Especially in singles and pairs, there’s always a clear break between the top skaters and the next group. Our guys are definitely pushing to be up there, but we’re more looking at our skaters to go out, learning to compete in that environment under those conditions, and skate at that level, and just continue in their development. So finally when they come to the Canadian championships, they are strong, and when they get to junior worlds, we can field a strong team.”

Witness Nam Nguyen, who stumbled his way through the Junior Grand Prix season last year as he went through a growth spurt. “I don’t think many people would have given him a shot to win junior worlds last year,” Slipchuk said. “But at Canadians, we knew he was moving in the right direction, and he won junior worlds. I think it’s a testament that if you keep progressing and doing things your way, things will work out. We leave it to our coaches to build a plan for their skaters and they know what’s best, and we’ll give the best support we can to get there.”

So far, Canada has won a total of five medals already: three gold and two silver in the first three Junior Grand Prix events. “We felt coming into this year that we had a strong group of dancers coming out,” Slipchuk said. Pair skating is another strength. Skate Canada is also looking to Julianne Seguin and Charlie Bilodeau to have a strong season, too. Seguin and Bilodeau, making their first Junior Grand Prix start of the season won gold with a dynamic routine to Peter Gabriel by almost 15 points over a Russian team in Ostrava.

Canada had already started off with two silver medals in dance in the first two events: Madeline Edwards and ZhaoKai Pang got off to a fast start in Courcheval, France the first week, and Brianna Delmaestro and Timothy Lum charmed their way to a silver in Ljubljana, Slovenia the next week.

In Ostrava, Canada’s junior champions Mackenzie Bent and Garrett MacKeen won gold in their fourth Junior Grand Prix season, blasting their previous personal best for their free skate by 7 ½ points, finishing up with 82.42 for a routine that looks more mature than last year.

And 15-year-old Roman Sadovsky won gold in the men’s event, also decimating his personal best with a “Les Miserables” program. His free skate score of 124.57 was almost seven points better than his previous best and although he was third in the free skate, his component score was the highest. And he has room to grow. He fell on a triple loop as he dealt with a new experience: being first after the short program in an international competition.

There are four events left: Nagoya, Japan this week, Tallinn, Estonia from September 24 -28; Dresden, Germany from October 1-5 and Zagreb, Croatia from October 8-12. Not all events feature pair events. Seguin and Bilodeau are out again at Dresden. So are Sadovsky and Delmaestro and Lum.

The Junior Grand Prix will feature Canadians that haven’t been out in the world before: a couple of 13-year-olds (Grace Lin from Yvan Desjardins’ stable in Montreal and Sarah Tamura who skates with Joanne MacLeod in British Columbia) will compete in Japan this week, where there will be no pair competition. Edwards and Pang will show their wares again in dance.

As the season wears on, Slipchuk says it will be interesting to see how Sadovsky, still young, fares. “He just keeps improving,” Slipchuk said. “I think he’ll be in the mix in the men.” He also looks to a new Canadian on the scene, Selena Zhao, who has a triple flip – triple toe loop (“It’s what the junior ladies are doing now,” Slipchuk said) in her arsenal, as a skater with the skills to be in the top half.

“We would like to see a fair amount of our skaters get into the top 10 or top eight,” Slipchuk said. “I think a few of them have a chance, given the event and the field. Some could be in the top five.”

Currently the Russians and Japanese are dominating the Junior Grand Prix circuit. Last year the Russians swept all four gold medals at the Junior Grand Prix Final and they also took over the entire pairs podium. The United States has always been a strong contender in the past. Canada has hovered between third and fifth place in the standings over the years. “We always look at longevity,” Slipchuk said. “We’ve never been a country that has been dominant on the circuit, but we transition well to senior and I’ve always felt that it is something that we don’t want to lose sight of. We want our skaters to keep improving.”