Smooth’s Podium Picks 2022 – Skate Canada International

2022-skatecan

The Grand Prix Series moves north of the border to Mississauga, Ontario; just west of Toronto.  This will be the 5th Skate Canada International competition, with the last event taking place in 2016.  That year, Patrick Chan won his 6th and final men’s Skate Canada title, while Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford won their 3rd of 4 pairs titles.  Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won their 6th of seven Skate Canada ice dance titles that year.   Canadian women haven’t won at Skate Canada since 2017, when Kaetlyn Osmond won the event in Regina, Saskatchewan.

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Men: Olympic bronze medalist Shoma Uno of Japan hasn’t been on the radar much since winning his first world championship in March. That downtime may be the best thing for him, as he comes into the event as the favorite. The field will be stacked with contenders, beginning with teammate Kao Miura, who nearly pulled off an upset at last weekend’s Skate America, finishing 2nd. Canada has two chances for gold with Keegan Messing, who started his season with a win at Nebelhorn. Stephen Gogolev has dealt with a number of injuries since 2021. He gets a fresh start this weekend. Internationally ranked Jin Boyang of China was a late scratch after recovering from surgery. He was expected to compete for a medal this weekend, and no skater will replace him.

Skaters to Watch: Italy’s Matteo Rizzo won in Budapest, making it his 2nd win in the Challenger Series event. His best finish in Grand Prix action was in 2019, where he finished 3rd at Cup of China. Latvia’s Deniss Vasiljevs had two 4th place finishes in 2021 Grand Prix action and was 3rd at last year’s Europeans. The United States has two entries this weekend in Camden Pulkinen and Jimmy Ma.

Full Entries: CLICK HERE!

Smooth’s Pick –
1. Shoma Uno (JPN)
2. Kao Miura (JPN)
3. Keegan Messing (CAN)

SchizasWomen: New and familiar faces compete this weekend. Olympian Madeline Schizas of Canada started her season with disappointing finishes in the Cranberry Open (4th) and Nebelhorn Trophy (5th). Still, she is the slight favorite going in this weekend. South Korea’s You Young tries to improve on her two-3rd place Grand Prix finishes last season. She finished 2nd at the US International this summer. American Lindsay Thorngren has three competitions under her belt this summer, with two 2nd place finishes in Tiburg and Philadelphia. She finished a disappointing 6th at Finlandia. Japan’s Rika Kihira had been dealing with a serious hip injury that kept her off the ice for a year. She makes her triumphant return to the Grand Prix series this weekend.

Skaters to Watch: Keep your eye in Japan’s Rinka Watanabe. She has a triple axel in her arsenal and has two 1st place finishes in senior events this summer.  American Ava Marie Ziegler finished 2nd in last season’s junior nationals. She won in Budapest this fall. Canada’s Gabby Daleman also makes a return to Grand Prix action after a three-year hiatus. She finished 10th at 2019’s Skate Canada.

Full Entries: CLICK HERE!

Smooth’s Pick –
1. Rinka Watanabe (JPN)
2. You Young (KOR)
3. Madeline Schizas (CAN)

icetime2.1026-e1635246809406Pairs: Only eight teams will be competing this weekend. The favorites are from an unlikely country in pairs, Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara of Japan. Last season, the pairs team finished 2nd at the World Championships and found the Grand Prix podium twice (2nd at Skate America, 3rd at NHK). Their main competition will be from Canada’s Kelly Ann Laurin and Loucas Ethier, who finished 3rd in last weekend’s Skate America. Canada also has a 2nd team, Brooke McIntosh and Benjamin Mimar make their senior Grand Prix debut this weekend. Americans Emily Chan and Spencer Akira Howe have some impressive finished this summer with 2nd place at the John Nicks Pairs Challenge and the US International Classic.

Full Entries: CLICK HERE!

Smooth’s Pick –
1. Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara (JPN)
2. Kelly Ann Laurin and Loucas Ethier (CAN)
3. Emily Chan and Spencer Akira Howe (USA)

gilles-piper-poirier-210918-1180Ice Dance: Canada’s Piper Gillies and Paul Poirier has won Skate Canada twice in their competitive careers, and they look to win their 3rd straight title this weekend. Their biggest challenge will come from Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson of Great Britain, have been on a successful run winning four straight competitions this young season. Their best Grand Prix finish was at Skate Canada in 2019 and at NHK in 2021. Competition from within comes from Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha, who are former world junior champions in 2019. They finished 6th at Skate Canada in 2019. Teammates Marie-Jade Laurault and Romain Le Gac finished 3rd in last week’s Skate America.

Teams to Watch: Japan’s Misato Komatsubara and Tim Koleto compete at their first Skate Canada event. Their best Grand Prix finish was a Covid-affected win at NHK Trophy in 2020. Americans Caroline Green and Michael Parsons sed the podium at last year’s Skate Canada. They did win the Four Continents Championship earlier this year.

Full Entries: CLICK HERE!

Smooth’s Pick –
1. Piper Gillies and Paul Poirier (CAN)
2. Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson (GBR)
3. Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha (CAN)

Last Week’s Results

Men: 1/3 (Ilia Malinin pulls off a historic win.)
Women: 0/3 (Sakamoto held off a Levito challenge to win the event.)
Pairs: 3/3 (CALLED IT, 1-2-3)
Ice Dance: 2/3 (Americans and Canadians go 1-2)

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About smoothjazzandmore

I'm a TV producer and an Internet radio broadcaster. I also write for my blogs (An Op-Ed Blog and a Football Blog) here at WordPress.
This entry was posted in Figure Skating, Figures skating, Ice Skating, International Skating Union, Predictions, Skate Canada, Skating and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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