The Canadian men swept the podium with Emanuel Sandhu winning his first gold. Though he won the 2004 Grand Prix Final, this was his first win in an individual Grand Prix event. Ben Ferreira won the silver, a first for him as well, and Jeffrey Buttle, who was second at this event last season, won the bronze.
In the short, Buttle produced a conservative but clean program to Rachmaninov’s Prelude in C Minor, landing a solid triple flip-double toeloop combination, a triple Axel, and a spread eagle into a triple Lutz. The two-time and reigning Four Continents champion also displayed good footwork, spins, and transitions, earning the highest component score (36.75) in the men’s short and a total segment score of 72.15.
Buttle was pleased overall with his program. “I think this is a good place to start from at the beginning of the season,” he said, adding that he felt there is also feels there is room for improvement.
Ferreira landed a solid triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination, followed by a triple Axel from a spread eagle, and a triple flip in his routine to selections by The Planet. Although appearing a bit stiff, the 2004 Canadian silver medalist produced good footwork and spins to earn the highest element score (36.78) of the night. With a total segment score of 67.38, he placed second overall after the short.
“I stuck to my plan,” said Ferreira, “everything felt pretty smooth.” Overall, the Canadian was happy with the program. “I’m turning around from last week,” he concluded, referring to Skate America.
Although Germany’s Stefan Lindemann stepped out of his quadruple toeloop (which was meant to be in combination), he landed a solid triple Axel and triple Lutz. The 2004 World bronze medalist also produced good spins and footwork in his performance to music from the soundtrack The Importance of Being Earnest, scoring 63.45 points for a third place finish after the short.
“I think I did a good job tonight,” said Lindemann. “It was definitely better than last week at Skate America. I made a mistake on the quad, but I think it [the program] was ok for the second [Grand Prix] competition in the season.”
Skating to Everything by Safri Duo, Belgium’s Kevin van der Perren opened with a triple Axel-triple toeloop combination, but turned out of the landing on the toeloop. The 22-year-old went on to land a triple Lutz, a nice open death drop into his flying sit spin, and a double Axel to finish in fourth place with a score of 62.24.
Japan’s Takeshi Honda, who missed most of last season due to a ligament tear in his ankle, placed fifth after the short with 61.09 points. The two-time World bronze medalist fell on a quadruple toeloop attempt (which was meant to be in combination) and stepped out of a triple flip.
USA’s Ryan Jahnke, who won silver at Skate America last week, two-footed the landing of his triple Axel and struggled with the landing on a triple ‘tano Lutz, placing sixth after the short with a score of 60.75.
Sandhu placed seventh after a less than par performance. The three-time and reigning Canadian champion popped what was supposed to be a quad-triple combination into a double toeloop and had a scratchy landing on a triple Lutz. He also caught an edge and tripped during his straight line footwork sequence.
Skating to Emil von Sauer’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Sandhu opened with a solid quadruple toeloop-triple toeloop combination. The 2004 Four Continents silver medalist made some mistakes, however, when he stepped out of his first triple Axel, fell on a quadruple Salchow, and two-footed the landing of the toeloop in a triple Axel-triple toeloop combination. The 23-year-old’s routine also included four more triple jumps, as well as good spins and footwork. The reigning Grand Prix Final Champion received a score of 144.00 for a first place finish in the long, and with a total score of 204.17, he catapulted to first place overall to win the gold.
“The short program was disappointing for me,” said Sandhu, “but I knew there could be an outside chance if I put it together in the long program and rely on my training.” Sandhu went on to say that he knew he had an outside chance of winning the gold at the end of the week. “And I did, and I’m really proud of that. Moving on to the next competition, I want to ensure that I put down both programs. That’s what it’s going to take to win.”
Ferreira opened his long program with two solid combinations: a triple Axel-double toeloop and a triple toeloop-double toeloop combination. His program also included a triple loop, a triple flip, and a spread eagle into a triple Axel, a triple Lutz-double toeloop combination, and a triple Salchow. The 25-year-old doubled his triple Lutz, but showed good footwork and spins throughout his routine to Sentimental Journey. The crowd showed their appreciation with a standing ovation and he earned 133.08 points to place second in the long. With a total score of 200.46, Ferreira maintained second place overall to win the silver.
He was extremely pleased. “Coming from an eighth place [finish] last week at Skate America, and turn around to do two good performances, makes me very happy,” said Ferreira. “It just felt really good, comfortable out there. I really enjoyed it.”
Jahnke, who was sixth after the short, opened his program with a triple Axel-double toeloop combination, as well as a clean triple toeloop-double toeloop-double loop combination. He then landed a triple Lutz-triple loop combination, but had a shaky landing on the loop. Though he also popped his next Axel, he went on to land a triple Salchow, a triple ‘tano Lutz, a triple flip, and a double Axel (but pitched forward on the landing). The 26-year-old received a score of 129.80 for his routine to Piano Concerto in A Minor by Edvard Grieg, placing third in the long and moving up two spots to fourth overall with a total score of 190.55.
In fourth after the short, was van der Perren, who put his hand down on his opening triple Axel. The Belgian champion then landed a triple Axel-triple toeloop combination, a triple Lutz, and a triple Salchow-triple toeloop-triple loop combination. The 2002 World Junior silver medalist also landed two more double Axels, but doubled a flip. He earned 120.22 points for his routine to music from the Lawrence of Arabia soundtrack, placing fourth in the long and fifth overall with a total score of 182.46.
Buttle, who was in first after the short, fell on his opening quadruple toeloop in his program to Philip Glass’ Nagoygatsi. The two-time and reigning Canadian bronze medalist also pitched forward on the landing of his first triple Axel, as well as a triple flip. He then underrotated a triple Axel (landing with his feet crossed), doubled a loop and a Lutz, and turned out the landing on a triple Salchow. However, the 22-year-old displayed strong spins and good footwork throughout his program, and earned 119.70 points to place fifth in the long. With a total score of 191.85, he had enough points to stay on the podium, but fell two spots to settle for the bronze.
“Not only the jumps weren’t there, but also the performance felt really off and uncomfortable,” an unhappy Buttle explained.
Lindemann, who was third after the short, landed a quadruple toeloop-double toeloop combination, but fell on a triple Lutz and a triple Salchow. The 24-year-old also doubled a loop and a flip to place sixth in the long and overall with a total of 176.59 points.
Honda, who was in fifth after the short, placed eighth in the long, slipping to seventh overall with a score of 166.09.
Skate Canada was a scoring event for all the men. Sandhu picked up 12 and will compete for more at Trophee Eric Bompard Cachemire, where he will meet up again with Skate America’s winner, Brian Joubert of France.
Buttle, who earned 7 points, will compete next at Cup of China.
Ferreira earned 9 points at this event, and with a total of 10 (one from Skate America), must wait to see if it’s enough to qualify for the Grand Prix Final.
Ryan Jahnke has also completed both of his scoring events and now has a total of 14 points.