Without the top Canadian contenders, Jessica Dubé and Bryce Davison, the senior pairs field seemed a little diluted, at first glance. However, the Canadian pairs have had good results this season on the international circuit which was evident in the short programs on Friday in Victoria.
The brightest stars were Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch (WO), whose Zorba the Greek program was full of energy. They also had great elements to back up their performance factor. After a gorgeous triple twist, they sailed into solid side-by-side triple toe loops and hit a huge throw triple loop.
Moore-Towers and Moscovitch’s back inside death spiral was their only weak element, getting called a level one and earning a single -1 (Grade of Execution) GOE mark -the only one in their program. Their final element, the side-by-side spins, were done with blinding speed and excellent unison, and with 64.73 points, the team has almost five points of a cushion heading into Saturday’s free skate.
Equally entertaining, Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers (SK) are a team that does humor well, even in a competitive setting. Their City Slickers program had the crowd laughing as they breezed through the difficult elements. Only the side-by-side triple toe loops gave them trouble when Swiegers lost control on the landing.
Lawrence and Swiegers also received a level one for their death spiral, however, earned just a bit more GOEs from it. Their delightful program ended with their toughest element, a throw triple Lutz, which was done perfectly. With 59.38 points, they are in second place and still within striking distance of the title.
Mylène Brodeur and John Mattatall (NS) are currently in podium position after a solid effort in the short program. Although Brodeur touched down on the throw triple loop, the rest of the program was calm and smooth with great flow. The team was hurt by a couple of level ones on their death spiral and straightline step sequence and, with 58.78 points, they are just behind Lawrence and Swiegers in third place.
In a close fourth are Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford (QC), a new partnership this season with a ton of promise. Duhamel doubled the intended side-by-side triple toe loops, but they did not let their focus slip through the rest of the program. After a high throw triple Lutz, they made up points on a level three straightline step sequence and the only level four death spiral in the competition. With 57.71 points, they kept themselves in medal contention.
Kaleigh Hole and Adam Johnson (WO) are in fifth place with 48.71 points. Their program to music from Cirque du Soleil featured interesting choreography, but they struggled with the landings of their side-by-side triple Salchows, and the catch on their triple twist was not quite clean. They kept their performance level up throughout the program, however, and just barely stayed ahead of Brittany Jones and Kurtis Gaskell (WO), who are less than half a point behind them in sixth place.