langlois-hay-190-cp-080119

Cody Hay, left, lifts partner Anabelle Langlois during Saturday's pairs free skate in Vancouver. ((Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press))

Defending champions Jessica Dubé and Bryce Davison nearly came all the way back from a big deficit, but in the end they ceded their Canadian pairs figure-skating title to Anabelle Langlois and Cody Hay in Vancouver on Saturday.

Langlois, of Grand-Mère, Que., and Hay, of Grande Prairie, Alta., finished with a total of 175.01 points after their free skate, just 0.15 ahead of their rivals. The pair earned their first national title, after finishing third last year in the Canadian championships in Halifax.

"It feels really good," Langlois told CBC Sports. "It's been a long wait, but I found the right partner and we have so much fun on the ice, we train very hard.

"It's just awesome to get a result from what we put out everyday."

Dubé, of Drummondville, Que., and Davison, of Ancaster, Ont., had the best free skate of the day, accumulating 120.54 points, but were fifth heading into the program due to a poor short program on Friday.

The pair, who skate out of Barrie, Ont., said it was a valuable learning experience ahead of the world championships.

"For sure yesterday wasn't our best, so I think I'm going to take that and look at what we did today," Dubé said. "We know if the first program's not good, we can come back with something strong."

Craig Buntin and Meagan Duhamel, who skate out of St. Leonard, Que., finished third on Saturday with 170.28 total points, dropping one spot from where they stood after Friday.

Buntin was a three-time Canadian champ between 2004-06 with the now-retired Valerie Marcoux. He and Duhamel, from Barrie, Ont., have been paired for less than a year.

"I can't explain to you how difficult this year has been," Buntin said. "It's been such a rollercoaster ride, and we've worked so hard and the only thing we really had when we got together was the fact we wanted it so badly."

The top three teams advance to the world championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, in March.

"I think we just carry it on from here," Hay said. "Nothing's going to change. The plan's going to stay the same right through the season.

Sister and brother combo Kyra and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto, who finished fourth with 160.76 points, would not have been eligible for the worlds as Kyra Moscovitch just turned 14 in December.

The competition was held at Pacific Coliseum, slated to be the site for figure skating at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.