KITCHENER, Ont. — Canada’s Joannie Rochette captured gold, but her minor missteps along the way Saturday showed she still has plenty of work to do.
The 23-year-old from Ile-Dupas, Que., won her third ladies singles title at HomeSense Skate Canada International, scoring 112.90 points for her free skate rendition of Samson and Delilah for a total 182.90. But the performance was dotted with flaws here and there, including a planned triple Lutz that she doubled.
“I know I can do this program much better, but it’s really challenging physically to do,” Rochette said. “I was really happy to fight for every single element and I’ll go home and work really hard on that last minute of the program, I think that’s what was lacking, I need more power there.
“Overall I think this will be a good one to have in the bag before the Games.”
American Alissa Czisny won the silver with a total 163.53, while Finland’s Laura Lepisto was third with 158.52. Amelie Lacoste of Delson, Que., was sixth, while Cynthia Phaneuf of Contrecouer, Que., was seventh.
Canada’s Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison captured bronze despite an error-filled long program, but the performance cost them a spot in next month’s Grand Prix Final.
Patrick Chan of Toronto fared no better, falling three times in his free program to wind up sixth in his season debut.
Rochette, who captured silver at the world championships last spring, is debuting a new challenging long program this season that builds in momentum to the final seconds.
“I feel this is the best program I’ve ever had,” Rochette said.
“I think this program can be very good, it’s just a matter of training it. Of course, it’s more challenging but I think it’s very doable. I think I have to approach it one element at a time and I really believe in this program.”
Rochette has earned a spot in next month’s Grand Prix Final in Tokyo, and despite the long trek said she’d appreciate getting one more performance under her belt.
“I’m happy to have qualified, it’s a prestigious event and I think it’s going to be great, especially after this long program tonight,” Rochette said. “I’m really excited to have one more chance to do my programs internationally before Olympics.”
Dube, from St-Cyrille-de-Wendover, Que., and Davison, from Huntsville, Ont., scored 109.03 points for their romantic performance to The Way We Were, but they lost marks on several elements, including a planned double Axel-double Axel sequence that saw Davison single the second jump.
Dube touched her hand down on a couple of jumps, and then botched their final spin program with zero points on their final spin. They managed to hang on for third, but they needed to finish second — or third with a higher score — to earn a trip to Tokyo.
World champions Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy skated away with the gold with 206.71 points, while Maria Mukhortova and Maxim Trankov of Russia took the bronze with 185.71.
Anabelle Langlois of Hull, Que., and Cody Hay of Barrie, Ont., finished fourth in their first Grand Prix appearance in two seasons.