Canada’s Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier upset two-time World Ice Dance medalists Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue of the United States at Skate Canada International on Saturday to capture their first Grand Prix ice dance title. The duo was narrowly trailing the heavily favored Americans heading into the free skate.
Gilles from Toronto, and Poirer from Unionville, Ont., leapt ahead with a fluid routine to Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now to end with a combined total score of 209.01.
“We’ve worked really hard for this moment. I think we really trusted our training and knew exactly what we needed to do when we came here. We just went for it and skated today’s program and that’s all that we can do. We have plenty more to do in the next couple of weeks to keep this streak going, but I think we’re really up for the challenge,” Gilles said.
“It’s definitely an exciting day for us, but I think we’re really motivated and excited to go back home and [continue] training,” added Poirier.
Hubbell and Donohue ended with a combined score of 206.31. Great Britain’s Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson came third after moving up one place with 195.35.
In pairs, Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii of Russia took the gold with 216.71 points, shadowed by Canada’s Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro in second at 208.49. Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov of Russia were third at 202.29.
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“We’ve been training a lot better than that,” said Moore-Towers, from St. Catharines, Ont. “We worked really hard on our jumps so there were some unforeseen mistakes and we’re glad we didn’t let them snowball. But it was probably our worst run of this program in six weeks.”