For the journalists covering all four disciplines at Skate Canada, today’s string of back-to-back short programs/dances make for a long day. Anyone looking to “pre-write” their short dance article — as wrong as that may be — pretty much just had to plug in the scores.
As expected, reigning Olympic champions Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir of Canada stand in first with a sizeable lead over teammates Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje. Virtue & Moir scored 35.25 in their Technical Elements. They snagged level 4s on their twizzles, lift, and second half of the Rhumba and 3s on the step sequence and the first half of the Rhumba. Program Components in the 8s and 9s gave them 36.36 for a segment total of 71.61.
Weaver & Poje (pictured) scored 63.31 for their short dance, with 32.42 in TES and 30.89 in PCS. Level 3s on both portions of the Rhumba gave them a start value one point below Virtue & Moir. Although neither team had any negative GOE, while Virtue & Moir had three +3s and nothing lower than +1, Weaver & Poje had five base 0s with a mix of +1s and +2s. Program components in the 7.0-8.5 range are higher than what the team received last season.
Italians Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte edged Weaver & Poje on PCS (31.42) but had a base value two points lower due to a level 2 step sequence and a level 3 lift. With GOE factored in — they, too, had nothing negative — Cappellini & Lanotte’s TES of 30.50 gave them 61.92 heading into the free dance.
Each of the teams in fourth through seventh couldn’t match the levels of the top group, although none received a level 1. Tiny errors throughout gave all of them negative GOE here and there, and it may be too large a gap for any of the teams to climb onto the podium.
In fourth are Russians Ekaterina Riazanova & Ilia Tkachenko with 54.94. Their negative GOE were dropped in the high/low average, netting them nothing less than a net 0 GOE. Program Component averages ran between 6.63 and 7.00 for a 27.44 total.
Only 1.59 separates the teams in fifth through seventh. Russians Ekaterina Pushkash & Jonathan Guerreiro have 51.24, Americans Madison Chock & Evan Bates 50.43, and Canadians Tarrah Harvey & Keith Gagnon 49.65. The Russians and the Canadians were making their senior Grand Prix debuts at Skate Canada.
Chock & Bates have competed on the Grand Prix with their previous partners; Chock and former partner Greg Zuerlein were the bronze medalists at this event last year. Nerves seemed to get them tonight, and Bates caught his heel and went down with Chock then losing her footing and falling, too, cutting Bates’ hand with her blade. They scrambled to hit their final pose before the music ended. Definitely not how they wanted their night to end, but assuming Bates’ cut isn’t too bad, they could pull up a couple of spots in the free dance.
With Saturday being only a practice day for the ice dancers, the teams get a bit of a breather before wrapping up the free dance Sunday afternoon.