Tag Archive for: Marjorie Lajoie/ Zachary Lagha

Lajoie and Lagha Produce Season Best Performance in Fifth Place Finish at NHK Trophy

TOKYO –Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha completed a season’s best performance Saturday in their free dance to finish fifth in ice dancing for Canada’s top result at the NHK Trophy, the fourth stop on the ISU Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

World champions Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov of Russia won the gold medal with 215.44 points. Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the U.S. were second at 210.78 and Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson of Great Britain third at 191.91.

Lajoie and Lagha were in a three-way battle for the bronze and produce the fourth best free dance on Saturday but remained fifth overall at 187.38. Their rhythm dance, free dance and total score were all season’s best amongst their four competitions so far.

‘’This is a great way to finish this section of the season,’’ said Lagha, from St-Hubert, Que. ‘’It was like we learned to stay calm while we skated and with the crowd and everything it was a great week overall.’’

The pairs event was won by Russia’s Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov with 227.28. Their compatriots Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov took second with 213.27.

Evelyn Walsh of London, Ont., and Trennt Michaud of Brantford, Ont., remained sixth with 167.98, which was more than 20 points better than their score in an eighth-place result at Skate America last month.

‘’Things that we worked on since Skate America definitely got better,’’ said Michaud. ‘’But there’s still a lot we want to keep working on. There were some different mistakes this time and we are still not where we need to be.’’

Shoma Uno of Japan took the men’s crown for his first top-level international figure skating title in nearly three years, distancing American Vincent Zhou in a battle of Olympic medal contenders.

Two-time Canadian champion Nam Nguyen of Ajax, Ont., remained in 10th spot.

‘’It was a tough week,’’ he admitted. ‘’I’d been working really hard since Skate America leading into this event but unfortunately it didn’t reflect too well this week. When I get back home there’s about 90 percent of the free program I need to deal with.’’

Kaori Sakamato successfully defended her women’s title on Saturday, with a season-best 223.34. Japanese compatriot Mana Kawabe, who started the day 2.68 points back in second, totalled 205.44 to take silver, with South Korea’s You Young rounding out the podium a further 1.84 points behind.

There were no Canadian entries in the women’s event.

The fifth stop on the circuit goes this upcoming Friday and Saturday in Grenoble, France.

http://www.isuresults.com/results/season2122/gpjpn2021/

Lajoie and Lagha Within Striking Distance of Podium ay NHK Trophy

TOKYO – Ice dancers Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha are less than two points from third place after Friday’s rhythm dance to highlight Canadian performances Friday at the NHK Trophy, the fourth stop on the ISU figure skating circuit.

World champions Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov of Russia are first at 86.33, Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the U.S. second at 86.02 and Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson of Great Britain third at 76.43.

Three teams are in a heated battle for that third spot. Sara Hurtado and Kirill Khaliavin of Spain scored 76.40 for fourth and Lajoie and Lagha are fifth at 74.45.

It was a season best score for the Canadians competing for the fourth time this season. They were fourth at the Autumn Classic International, seventh at Finlandia Trophy and sixth at Skate Canada International two weeks ago.

In men’s competition, Japan’s Shoma Uno capitalised on injured Olympic figure skating champion Yuzuru Hanyu’s absence to lead after the short program with 102.58 points. Vincent Zhou of the U.S. who has won his three previous events this season, is second at 99.51 and Junhwa Cha of South Korea third at 95.92.

Two-time Canadian champion Nam Nguyen of Ajax, Ont., stands 10th. His first jump, a quad Salchow – triple toe loop combination did not go as planned as he doubled the Salchow.

In pairs, Russian world champions Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov lead after the short program with 78.40, ahead of compatriots Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov at 75.78.

Evelyn Walsh of London, Ont., and Trennt Michaud of Brantford, Ont., are sixth at 56.97, over two points better than their score at Skate America in October.

In women’s competition, Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto leads after the short program ahead of compatriot Mana Kawabe and South Korea’s You Young. There are no Canadian entries.

Competition ends Saturday with all four free skates.

http://www.isuresults.com/results/season2122/gpjpn2021/

Five Canadians are Heading to Japan for the 2021 NHK Trophy

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada will have three entries for a total of five skaters competing at the 2021 NHK Trophy in Tokyo, Japan. Canada will have one entry in men, one entry in pairs and one entry in ice dance. This is the fourth event in the 2021/2022 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating and the event takes place from November 12 to 14, 2021.  

Nam Nguyen, 23, Ajax, Ont., will be the lone Canadian entry in men. Nguyen finished second at the 2021 Skate Canada Challenge and finished eighth at Skate America 2021. He is coached by Robert Burk, Danielle Rose and Ken Rose in Richmond Hill, Ont. 

Evelyn Walsh, 20, London, Ont., and Trennt Michaud, 25, Trenton, Ont., will be the only Canadian entry in pairs. Walsh and Michaud placed eighth at Skate America 2021.  They are coached by Alison Purkiss, Andrew Evans and Paul Macintosh in Brantford, Ont. 

Marjorie Lajoie, 20, Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha, 22, Saint-Hubert, Que., will be the lone ice dance entry representing Canada. Lajoie and Lagha finished sixth at the 2021 Skate Canada International and placed fourth at the 2021 Autumn Classic International., They are coached by Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon, Romain Haguenauer, Pascal Denis and Josée Piche in Montreal, Que. 

Mike Slipchuk, Skate Canada High Performance Director will be the team leader. Dr Daphne Anderson of Calgary, Alta., and physiotherapist Meghan Buttle of Toronto, Ont., will be the Canadian medical staff onsite. Debbie Islam of Barrie, Ont., and Janice Hunter, Vancouver, B.C., will be the team officials attending the event.  

 

CANADIAN ENTRIES AT THE 2021 NHK TROPHY – TOKYO, JAPAN 

MEN 

Nam Nguyen (23) / Ajax, Ont. / Richmond Hill Training Centre / Coached by Robert Burk, Danielle Rose, and Ken Rose 

PAIRS 

Evelyn Walsh (20) and Trennt Michaud (25) / London, Ont., and Trenton, Ont. / Brantford Skating Club and Trenton Skating Club / Coached by Alison Purkiss, Andrew Evans and Paul Macintosh 

ICE DANCE
Marjorie Lajoie (20) and Zachary Lagha (22) / Boucherville, Que. and Saint-Hubert, Que. / CPA Boucherville and CPA Saint Lambert / Coached by: Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon, Romain Haguenauer, Pascal Denis and Josée Piche 

Gilles and Poirier Take the Road to Gold at Skate Canada International

VANCOUVER – The long and winding road led to gold for Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier as they won the ice dance competition on Saturday at Skate Canada International, the second stop on the ISU Grand Prix circuit.

Skating to the Beatles classic, the Toronto duo enthralled the crowd at UBC totalling 210.97 points less than four points off their personal best set in a bronze medal performance at the world championships in March. Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri of Italy were second at 200.05 and Olivia Smart and Adrian Diaz of Spain third at 192.83.

‘’The free dance was a little more shaky than our short program,’’ said Poirier. ‘’We have some nerves to work through, but this is really a big step forward moving through the rest of the Grand Prix season.’’

Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of St-Hubert, Que., were sixth and Haley Sales and Nikolas Wamsteeker of Langley, B.C. 10th.

‘’We didn’t get the score we wanted but that ovation from the crowd at the end that for me was really awesome,’’ said Lajoie.

In pairs, Canadians Vanessa James and Eric Radford came within less than two points from the podium finishing fourth with 187.92 points.

Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China took the gold with 224.05, Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin of Russia were second at 193.08 and Ashley Cain -Gribble and Timothy Leduc of the U.S. climbed from sixth after the short to third with 189.90.

First year partners James and Radford were less than three points off their best score set earlier this month at the Finlandia Trophy.

‘’Aspects of our program grew and improved, aspects of certain elements that we focused on after Finlandia improved but certain other elements need improvement,’’ said Radford.

‘’This is a step up,’’ added James. ‘’A lot of the transition elements are better, but we are still working on getting that clean program.’’

Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro of Sarnia, Ont., were sixth and Lori-Anne Matte and Thierry Ferland of Levis, Que., were seventh.

In men’s competition, Nathan Chen of the U.S. was the only skater in the top group to deliver a clean program and he won the gold outright landing four quads and totalling 307.18 points. Jason Brown of the U.S. was second at 259.55 and Evgeni Semenenko of Russia moved from fifth to third with 256.01.

Canada’s Keegan Messing struggled in his free skate and dropped from third to fifth overall with 238.34. Conrad Orzel of Woodstock, Ont., couldn’t gain ground with the sixth best free skate and remained ninth and Roman Sadovsky of Vaughan, Ont., was 12th.

‘’I was pretty disappointed I wasn’t able to give the performance I wanted to today,’’ said Messing, sixth at the world championships this past March. ‘’After my fall I felt a bit shaky but I tried to forget about it. I’m just going to put my best foot forward towards the next competition.’’

Orzel was determined to bounce back after a subpar short.

‘’I was disappointed about my short program, so it was great to come back in the long and do two quad toes in the free skate,’’ said Orzel, 21, in his season debut. ‘’Although there were some mistakes, I was happy with the general performance.’’

Russia swept the medals in women’s competition with Kamila Valieva first, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva second and Alena Kostornaia third.

Madeline Schizas of Oakville, Ont., was eighth, Emily Bausback of Vancouver 11th and Alison Schumacher of Tecumseh, Ont., 12th.

‘’I was really happy with my free program today,’’ said Schizas, 18, 13th at the 2021 worlds. ‘’My coaching team and I made a lot of changes since my last competition to make the second half of the program more successful and that reflected in my performance today.’’

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/season2122/gpcan2021/

Lajoie and Lagha Seventh Against Stellar Field at Finlandia Trophy

ESPOO, Finland – Canadian ice dancers Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha maintained their seventh-place position after Sunday’s free dance to conclude the Finlandia Trophy figure skating competition, the fourth stop on the ISU Challenger Series.

Four-time world champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France took the gold with 217.54 points. Defending champions Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the U.S. followed at 208.31 and Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson of Britain were third at 190.39.

Lajoie and Lagha, the 2019 world junior champions, ranked seventh in both programs this week finishing with 181.03. They were fourth in their season debut at the Autumn Classic International last month in Pierrefonds, Que.

‘’We were really nervous,’’ said Lagha, 22, from St-Hubert, Que. ‘’It was a good accomplishment to get through a performance like that.’’

The couple had firm objectives for this event.

‘’Every little element there was a stress for us,’’ added Lajoie, 20, from Boucherville, Que. ‘’We wanted to make sure we successfully check marked each of the sections in our program.  In the end we were quite happy about it.’’

Carolane Soucisse of Chateauguay, Que., and Shane Firus of North Vancouver climbed three spots after the rhythm dance to place 11th.

‘’We are super happy with free dance, it went as planned,’’ said Soucisse. ‘’We were confident going in. There’s some work to do on the rhythm dance but the programs are taking form and trending in the right direction.’’

The couple was delighted to perform before spectators.

‘’It was great to be in front of a crowd again and they really carried us through our free dance,’’ said Firus, fifth with his partner at the Autumn Classic International. 

In women’s competition, Madeline Schizas of Oakville, Ont., brought a huge cheer from the crowd with her eighth-ranked free skate to jump from 12th after the short program to ninth overall. The 18-year-old produced a clean program which opened with a triple Lutz-triple toe and included two other combos as well as the double Axel.

Russia was 1-2-3 with Kamila Valieva, the 2019 Junior Grand Prix Final champion earning the gold.

‘’I was really happy with my performance today,’’ said Schizas, 13th at the world championships this past March. ‘’I came here to put out my tech content some of which is new for this season.’’

Full results: http://www.figureskatingresults.fi/results/2122/CSFIN2021/index.htm

TEN CANADIAN SKATERS HEADED TO FINLAND FOR FINLANDIA TROPHY

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada will have six entries, for a total of ten skaters competing at the 2021 Finlandia Trophy in Espoo, Finland this week. Canada will have one entry in men, one entry in women, two entries in pairs and two entries in ice dance. This event is the fourth stop of the 2021 ISU Challenger Series and takes place from October 7 to 10, 2021.

Keegan Messing, 29, Girdwood, Alaska, USA, will be the lone Canadian entry in men. Last season, Messing finished sixth at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships® 2021 and brought home bronze at Skate America. He is coached by Ralph Burghart in Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

Madeline Schizas, 18, Oakville, Ont., will be the only Canadian entry in women. Last season Schizas finished first at the Skate Canada Challenge and thirteenth at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships® 2021. She is coached by Nancy Lemaire and Derek Schmidt in Milton, Ont.

National pairs team, Kirsten Moore-Towers, 29, St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro, 29, Sarnia, Ont., will be the first of two Canadian entries in pairs. Last season they finished sixth at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships® 2021. They are coached by Bruno Marcotte, Alison Purkiss and Brian Shales in Oakville, Ont.

National pairs team, Vanessa James, 34, Scarborough, Ont., and Eric Radford, 36, Balmertown, Ont., will be the second Canadian entry in pairs. They finished second at the 2021 Autumn Classic International. This is their first season competing together internationally. They are coached by Julie Marcotte in Montreal, Que.

Marjorie Lajoie, 20, Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha, 22, Saint-Hubert, Que., will be the first ice dance entry representing Canada. Lajoie and Lagha are the 2020 Canadian Silver Ice Dance Medalists and most recently placed fourth at the 2021 Autumn Classic International. They are coached by Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon, Romain Haguenauer, Pascal Denis and Josée Piche in Montreal, Que.

Carolane Soucisse, 26, Châteauguay, Que., and Shane Firus, 27, North Vancouver, BC., will be the second Canadian entry in ice dance. In 2020, they finished third in the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships and most recently finished fifth at the 2021 Autumn Classic International They are coached by Carol Lane and Juris Razgulajevs in Toronto, Ont.

Mike Slipchuk, Skate Canada High Performance Director will be the team leader and Dr. Shae Zukiwsky, Senior Director, Performance Excellence will be the team official at the event. Physiotherapist Pat Stanziano, Oakville, Ont., will be the Canadian medical staff onsite. Beth Crane, Burnaby, B.C., and Janice Hunter, Vancouver, B.C., will be the Canadian judges attending the event.

For more information, please visit www.isu.org.

CANADIAN ENTRIES AT ISU CS FINLANDIA TROPHY – ESPOO, FINLAND

MEN
Keegan Messing (29) / Girdwood, Alaska / Ice Palace FSC / Coached by Ralph Burghart

WOMEN
Madeline Schizas (18) / Oakville, Ont. / Milton SC / Coached by Nancy Lemaire and Derek Schmidt

PAIRS
Kirsten Moore-Towers (29) and Michael Marinaro (29) / St. Catharines, Ont., and Sarnia, Ont. / Skate Oakville / Coached by BrunoMarcotte, Alison Purkiss and Brian Shales

Vanessa James (34) and Eric Radford (36) / Scarborough, Ont., and Balmertown, Ont. / EPJM and C.P.A. Saint Leonard / Coached by Julie Marcotte

ICE DANCE
Marjorie Lajoie (20) and Zachary Lagha (22) / Boucherville, Que. and Saint-Hubert, Que. / CPA Boucherville and CPA Saint Lambert / Coached by: Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon, Romain Haguenauer, Pascal Denis and Josée Piche

Carolane Soucisse (26) and Shane Firus (27) / Châteauguay, Que. and North Vancouver, BC. / CPA Repentigny / Coached by Carol Lane and Juris Razgulajevs

Gilles and Poirier Open International Season with Victory at Autumn Classic International

PIERREFONDS, Que. – Ice dancers Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto opened their international season Saturday with a victory to conclude the Autumn Classic International figure skating competition.

The world championship bronze medallists earned 208.97 points for top spot with Olivia Smart and Adrian Diaz of Spain second at 191.31 and Caroline Green and Michael Parsons of the U.S. third at 188.43.

‘’We’re very pleased with the way both programs went,’’ said Poirier. ‘’We didn’t try to force things or have that perfect skate. We just want to get everything sharper and we’re really excited to deliver such a strong showing and show that we keep improving.’’

Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of St-Hubert, Que., the 2019 world junior champions, totalled 181.74 for fourth.

‘’We’re really happy with the free dance and we didn’t hold back,’’ said Lagha. ‘’During the off season we really worked on our skating skills and made some needed changes to our programs.’’

Carolane Soucisse of Chateauguay, Que., and Shane Firus of North Vancouver were fifth and Haley Sales of Kelowna, B.C., and Nikolas Wamsteeker of Langley, B.C. took sixth.

In an all-Canadian men’s event, Conrad Orzel of Woodbridge, Ont., took the gold with 207.31 points, Bennet Toman of Brampton, Ont., was second at 172.33 and Beres Clements of Gibson, B.C., third at 153.48.

After landing two quads in the short on Friday, Orzel couldn’t execute them cleanly in the free skate and he also fell on one of his triple Axels.

‘’There’s some good takeaways from this competition despite a really bad long,’’ said Orzel, 21, sixth at this event in 2019. ‘’There’s no way of sugar coating it, it was not what I had been showing in practice. But it helps me re-evaluate how I should prepare when I compete.’’

Besides Saturday’s four medals, Canada also won a silver in pairs with Vanessa James and Eric Radford on Friday.

Full results: https://results.skatecanada.ca/2021ACI/

Breaking The Ice: Marjorie Lajoie & Zachary Lagha

Lajoie and Lagha win gold at ISU Junior Grand Prix

RICHMOND, B.C. – Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of Greenfield Park, Que., won the gold medal Friday in ice dancing at the fourth top on the ISU Junior Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

The couple posted a personal best 166.52 points for the victory. Russian couples followed with Polina Ivanenko and Daniil Karpov second at 149.39 and Ksenia Konkina and Alexander Vakhnov third at 147.92.

Lajoie and Lagha earned silver two weeks ago at the second stop in Linz, Austria.

‘’We made a few changes since the last junior Grand Prix and it has already paid off,’’ said Lagha. ‘’The beginning could have been a little bit better. But after the spin we just calmed down.’’

Natalie D’Alessandro and Bruce Waddell of Toronto were sixth and Miku Makita of Anmore, B.C., and Tyler Gunara of Burnaby, B.C. were eighth.

‘’We are continuing to build with these junior Grand Prix experiences,’’ said D’Alessandro. ‘’We were quite nervous but we were able to turn those nerves into really good energy.’’

‘’We were very excited with how we skated today although we were nervous,’’ said Makita. ”It was a whole new experience for us.’’

Russia was 1-2 in women’s competition. Anna Shcherbakova took the gold and Anastasia Tarakanova the silver. Rion Sumiyoshi of Japan was third.

Sarah Maude-Blanchard of Sherbrooke, Que., was ninth, Hannah Dawson of Vankleek Hill, Ont., 10th and Alison Schumacher of Tecumseh, Ont., 12th.

‘’It was definitely a learning experience after coming back from a disappointing short program,’’ said Schumacher. ‘’I really had to dig deep today for the free and trust my training. I was really glad I persevered and fought through it.’’

Russian couples are 1-2-3 after the pairs short program. Patricia Andrew of London,Ont. and Paxton Fletcher of Rodney, Ont., are seventh, Chloe Panetta of Laval, Que., and Benjamin Mimar of Terrebonne, Que., eighth and Camille Perreault of Orford, Que., and Bryan Pierro of St-Hubert, Que., are 10th.

In Thursday’s men’s short program, Ilya Kovler of Richmond Hill, Ont., stands third with 72.16. Tomoki Hiwatashi of the U.S. leads at 76.81 and Yuma Kagiyama of Japan second at 75.60.

Thirteen-year-old Stephen Gogolev of Toronto is seventh and Beres Clements of Richmond, B.C. ninth.

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

Full results: ISU JGP Canada 2018

Lajoie and Lagha fourth in close ice dance competition at world juniors

SOFIA, Bulgaria – Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of Greenfield Park, Que., placed fourth Friday in ice dancing at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships.

Lajoie and Lagha were second after Wednesday’s short dance. They delivered the fifth best free dance and missed the podium by a mere 0.66 points.

‘’We did everything we could and we skated well,’’ said Lagha. ‘’The performance caps a strong season for us in which we really improved technically.’’

Anastasia Skoptcova and Kirill Aleshin of Russia won the gold medal with 155.15 points. Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko of the U.S. were second at 147.68 and Arina Ushakova and Maxim Nekrasov of Russia were third at 146.88.

Lajoie and Lagha followed at 146.22. Less than two points separated second from fifth.

‘’The free dance went super well for us,’’ said Lajoie. ‘’We were in the moment and managed the stress. We achieved our goal by being in the mix for a spot on the podium.’’

Olivia McIsaac of Burlington, Ont., and Elliott Graham of Angus, Ont., were 12th.

‘’Regardless of the small mistakes it was a really good experience,’’ said McIsaac.

In women’s competition, Russia is 1-2 after the short program with Alexandra Trusova in first place and Alena Kostornaia second.

Fifteen-year-old Aurora Cotop of Toronto is in 21st place.

‘’This past season has been inconsistent for me,’’ said Cotop. ‘But today I felt I came close to representing the program the way I wanted. For the long I want to get in that zone that I have in training.’’

Competition ends Saturday with the men’s and women’s free skates.

Full results: ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2018

Three medals for Canada at ISU Grand Prix Final

NAGOYA, Japan – Canadians won three medals on Saturday at the ISU Grand Prix Final, the last major international figure skating event before the Olympic Winter Games in February.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir took the silver in ice dancing while Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford added a bronze in pairs and Kaetlyn Osmond was also third in women’s competition.

In ice dancing, Virtue and Moir lost for the first time since their return to competition last season.

Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France won the gold with 202.16 points. Virtue and Moir followed at 199.86 and Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the U.S. were third at 188.00.

‘’We made a couple of uncharacteristic glitches that we don’t even make in training that often,’’ said Moir, from Ilderton, Ont. ‘’We don’t like not winning competitions but in the grand scheme of things it was still a performance we were proud of.’’

The three-time world champions are pleased with their progress towards the Olympics.

‘’We’re on track,’’ said Virtue, from London, Ont. ‘’We’ve had an extremely successful season and we just have to continue taking care of the little details and making the tweaks so our programs are at their best come February.’’

In women’s competition, Osmond made a couple of mistakes in her Black Swan skate including a fall on her triple Salchow to drop from first after the short program to third with 215.16 points.

‘’The mistakes that I made were silly ones and they won’t happen again,’’ said Osmond, from Marystown, N.L. ‘’I made a lot of changes to my program since my last competition and I did those well.’’

It was a 1-2 Russian finish with Alina Zagitova first at 223.30 and Maria Sotskova second at 216.28.

In pairs, it was a comeback medal for Duhamel and Radford who climbed from fifth place after the short program to the medal position earning 210.83. Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany were first at 236.68 and world champions Wenjing Sui and Cong Han second at 230.89.

‘’We took a nice step here and continued to build,’’ said Radford. ‘’We want to take another step up at the national championships (in January) get some more levels and hit that big peak at the Olympic Games.’’

In junior ice dancing, Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of Greenfield Park, Que., were sixth.

‘’It was a nice experience,’’ said Lagha. ‘’It was cool to skate at a big event like that.’’

Full results: Grand Prix Final 2017 Senior and Junior

Lajoie and Lagha triumph at ISU Junior Grand Prix

ZAGREB, Croatia – Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of Greenfield Park, Que., staved off two Russian couples to win the gold medal Saturday in ice dancing at the fifth stop on the ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit.

The Canadians bettered their score from their sixth place finish at the world juniors last year with 150.30 points. Sofia Shevchenko and Igor Eremenko of Russia were second at 145.05 and their compatriots Ksenia Konkina and Grigory Yakushev were third at 143.77.

‘’We just had a super experience overall this week,’’ said Lajoie. ‘’Everything from the practices to the performances went very well.’’

It was a first victory and third medal in five junior Grand Prix career appearances for Lajoie and Lagha. They won silver at the season opening event in Australia and are now qualified for the Grand Prix Final in December.

‘’Our plan here was just to skate for ourselves and not focus on the results,’’ added Lagha. ‘’We went out there to have fun and that’s what worked. For the lead up to the Final our focus will be on the technical aspects and bringing the program to another level.’’

Ellie Fisher of Lower Coverdale, N.B., and Simon-Pierre Mallette-Paque of Laval, Que., moved from sixth after the short dance to fifth.

‘’It’s a satisfying result but not exactly what we wanted,’’ said Mallette-Paque. ‘’We will continue to build on that.’’

It was a first international experience for the couple.

‘Representing Canada was pretty cool,’’ said Fisher.

It was Canada’s second medal of the competition. On Friday Joseph Phan of Laval, Que., took the silver in men’s competition.

Full results: ISU JGP Croatia Cup 2017