Predictions: Skate Canada International 2017

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What am I doing in the name of figure skating love? I’ll be heading to Regina, Saskatchewan this weekend to watch Skate Canada live so there won’t be any tweets. I will admit to being bewildered at the thought of going to the Prairies and Saskatchewan of all places. Of all the Prairie provinces in Canada, I expected that I’d visit Saskatchewan last, if not ever. Oh well, I guess it’ll be an interesting opportunity to discover another Canadian city. Anyways, onwards to predictions! This will likely be short and sweet since I still need to pack and prepare for this weekend!

Men

I wonder if Shoma Uno will be able to bring the Japanese crowd to Regina this weekend. Skate Canada is generally Yuzuru’s competition but it looks like things got changed up this season. Either way, Shoma started his season with a bang, pulling out all his tricks and he will likely do something similar here, while home ice favourite, Patrick Chan, is decreasing the quads he will do, according to this CBC article. Should Chan skate clean, home ice should inflate his scores enough to salvage a silver (though chances are, Chan might not even make it to the GPF this season, let alone get on the Olympic podium – a reality he’s already admitted to).

If Chan doesn’t skate clean, some potential challengers to the podium include the young Jun Hwan Cha, who is quite talented though not consistent and was dealing with injury a while back. Jason Brown may try to give Chan’s skating skills a run for their money (not that the home ice would allow comparable scores on that front) and could also challenge for a medal as the competition is quite thin here.

Predictions

Gold: Shoma Uno
Silver:
Patrick Chan
Bronze:
Jason Brown

Ladies

The ladies competition at Skate Canada is stacked! Home ice advantage should play well for Kaetlyn Osmond, who is coming off a silver medal from Worlds. I’m very glad she’s reusing her Edith Piaf SP since it’s a delight to watch and just the right thing for an Olympic season. Some challengers: Anna Pogorilaya, if she has recovered from her injuries from September and her meltdown at Worlds last season, and Maria Sotskova, who had a promising beginning in the senior circuit last year.

Admittedly, the one skater I’m most excited about is the effervescent, Marin Honda, who has some of the smoothest and cleanest edges. I don’t quite like her music choice for her LP but the way she controls her blade on the ice is a slight to behold. Also a possible challenger, American national champion, Karen Chen, who has gained quite a bit of momentum since last season. Consistency is key here and for now, that is a huge question mark. There’s also Ashley Wagner but the field is so stacked right now with skaters with high TES programs and less under-rotated jumps that I’m not sure if she can make the podium here.

Predictions:

Gold: Kaetlyn Osmond
Silver:
Maria Sotskova
Bronze:
Marin Honda

Pairs

Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford will very likely win here. Now that we got that boring bit out of the way, I’ll guess that they will be followed by Aliona Savchenko & Bruno Massot. The battle for bronze will likely be the most exciting competition as a three way battle between the scrappy and yet persisting team of Vanessa James & Morgan Cipres, who had their breakthrough last season, home ice favourite #2 (and one of my personal favourite teams), Lubov Iliushechkina & Dylan Moscovitch, and the adorable new pair of Cheng Peng & Yang Jin. I think the home ice will try to place the medal in Lubov & Dylan’s hands if they skate clean, though James & Cipres have been skating with more and more confidence since last season. It will be a tough call.

Predictions:

Gold: Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford
Silver:
Aliona Savchenko & Bruno Massot
Bronze:
Vanessa James & Morgan Cipres

Ice Dance

Another easy prediction for gold here with the roster stacking the odds for Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir. Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of either of their programs this season (it’s shocking, I know) but nothing is standing in their way at this point. Their closest rivals should be their training mates, Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue, who were oh so close to bronze last season and also steadily improving. (I am really hoping they’d be a real challenge to Chock & Bates at Nationals this season…) Home ice might put the Americans below Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje, who have had to take a backseat on their aspirations for World and Olympic titles/medals since Virtue & Moir came back. I’m not sure if working with Nikolai Morozov was the right move for them but we’ll see how this plays out here.

Predictions:

Gold: Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir
Silver:
Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje
Bronze:
Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue

Thoughts on the roster for Skate Canada this season? Anyone I missed or have underestimated? Let me know in the comments!

~The Rinkside Cafe

 

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