The Grand Prix circuit travels to Mississauga, Ontario; as more than 60 skaters compete for a spot at the Grand Prix final. This weekend also marks the return of one of the top Ice Dance teams in the world.
Analysis: No. 1 ranked skater Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan makes his season debut this weekend. Last year, he came up short in his quest for the World Championship, finishing second to Javier Fernandez. He starts off strong with a win at the Autumn Classic International in Montreal last month. Patrick Chan begins the season with a new coach and a new determination. He started his season with a 2nd place finish at Finlandia Trophy. Michal Brezina of the Czech Republic has a 2nd place showing last month at the Hellmut Seibt Memorial in Vienna. He’ll look to best his 8th place finish at last year’s Skate Canada. China’s Han Yan looks to get back on top after a poor showing at last season’s World Championships (26th). His best GP showing was three years ago when he won Cup of China.
Skaters to Watch: Canadian Kevin Reynolds has and two years of injuries that prevented him from his true potential. He’s 100% healthy and looks to get back on track at his home tournament. Daniel Samohin of Israel competes in his first GP event. He won the World Junior Men’s title last years and has a top 10 finish at Europeans last year. Other competitors are Russia’s Alexander Petrov, Japan’s Takahito Mura and Misha Ge of Uzbekistan.
1. Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN)
2. Patrick Chan (CAN)
3. Han Yan (CHN)
Analysis: This year’s Skate Canada headlines a strong field of skaters. At the top of the list is reigning World champ, Evgenia Medvedeva, who has only lost one event since last season. She’ll take on Japan’s Satoko Miyahara, who is close on her heels. She finished 3rd at the 2014 Skate Canada and has a win at US International Classic to start the season. Russia’s Liza Tuktamysheva has had her share of challenges, with the new crop of Russian skaters coming her way. She’s competed in three non-GP events this early season to perfect her new programs. Japan’s Rika Hongo looks to grab the podium this weekend. She’s had some inconsistency with her programs. Her best finish was a win at the 2014 Rostelencom Cup in 2014.
Skaters to Watch: A sneak peek at this year’s Canadian Nationals could be in order this weekend. Kaetlyn Osmond is finally back at 100% percent after injuries hampered her performance the last two years. She’ll take on the reigning Canadian champ, Alaine Chartrand, who looks to improve her world standing. She has a 2nd place finish at the Autumn Classic International last month. Other skaters looking to make the podium are Sweden’s Joshi Helgesson and American Mirai Nagasu, who continues to impress judges with her resilience, winning the Autumn Classic International last month.
1. Evgenia Medvedeva (RUS)
2. Satoko Miyahara (JPN)
3. Kaetlyn Osmond (CAN)
Analysis: Only seven teams will compete this weekend. The overwhelming favorites are Canadian’s Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, aside from a loss at the Grand Prix Final, they’ve been nothing short of perfection. Their main competition is from Russia’s Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov who finished 3rd at last year’s Grand Prix Final and too 2nd at Ondrej Nepela Memorial last month. Italy’s Nicole Della Monica and Matteo Guarise look to take a spot on the Grand Prix podium for the first time. Their best finish was 5th at last year’s Trophee Eric Bompard, and they won Lombardia Trophy last year. Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier made a surprise 2nd place finish at last week’s Skate America and look to go two in a row this weekend.
Skaters to Watch: Lubov Iliushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch are in the 3rd year of their partnership and this is their best chance to increase their world standing. They finished 2nd at Nebelorn trophy last month. China’s Xiaoyu Yu and Hao Zhang make their world debut as a team. Both have competed successfully with previous partners at the World level. Brittany Jones and Joshua Reagan return to Skate Canada after a three year absence. They finished 7th.
1. Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford (CAN)
2. Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov (RUS)
3. Nicole Della Monica and Matteo Guarise (ITA)
Analysis: After taking a year off, Canada’s Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir got back right where they started, winning the Autumn Classic International last month. They look to regain their standing in the world ice dance division with a strong performance this weekend at home. The landscape has changed somewhat. Standing in their way are Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates, who are coming off 2nd place finishes at last year’s Grand Prix Final and two non-GP events this early season. Italians Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte also look to grab a spot on the podium. They have a 3rd place showing at last year’s Grand Prix Final and a win at the Nebelhorn Trophy this early season. Canadians Piper Gillies and Paul Poirier look to keep pace in the Canadian Ice Dance landscape. They have a 3rd place finish at Nebelhorn Trophy this season.
Skaters to Watch: Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin are currently ranked 9th in the ISU standings and have a win at Finlandia Trophy last month. Other entries looking for a podium spot are Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sorensen of Denmark, Canadians Alexandra Paula and Mitchel Islam and Americans Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker.
1. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (CAN)
2. Madison Chock and Evan Bates (USA)
3. Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte (ITA)