Canada's Margaret Purdy and Michael Marinaro sit second after Thursday's junior pairs program at the ISU Grand Prix Final in Sochi, Russia.
Purdy, from Strathroy, Ont., and Marinaro, from Sarnia, Ont., scored 51.83 points to trail Russians Lina Fedorova and Maxim Miroshkin (54.37) at the figure skating venue for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
"It felt really good," said Purdy. "We had a few stumbles but performed well. We really enjoyed skating on this ice and we connected well."
Marinaro said a medal is certainly no guarantee due to the depth of the field.
"It's a really close competition between all six entries," he said. "We are really going to have to go out there and skate our best in the long program. It's a big experience for us to be here especially with the big crowds which is something we are not used to."
Vasilisa Davankova and Andrei Deputat of Russia are third with a score of 51.34.
Brittany Jones of Toronto and Ian Beharry of Guelph, Ont., are sixth.
The senior competition gets underway Friday with Olympic champions Tessa Virtue of London, Ont., and Scott Moir of Ilderton, Ont., in ice dancing, world champion Patrick Chan of Toronto in men's singles and pairs teams Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto, and Meagan Duhamel of Lively, Ont., and Eric Radford of Balmertown, Ont.