Kaitlyn Weaver, Andrew Poje 4th after ice dance short at worlds
Defending champions Papadakis, Cizeron grab 1st place
Canadian ice dancers Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje need to make up some ground in their quest for another world figure skating medal.
Weaver, from Toronto, and Poje, from Waterloo, Ont., finished fourth in Wednesday's short dance at the world championships in Boston.
Weaver and Poje, who won silver in 2014 and bronze last season, scored 71.83 points for their waltz to music from Johann Strauss.
"I think that we skated very well today," Weaver said, visibly disappointed. "I think it was one of our strongest short dances to date. Where the disconnect was between that and our score, I'm not sure. But that's not what we can control.
"We were selling everything we've got, and that's what we're going to do [Thursday] as well."
Defending champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France were first with 76.29 points.
Maia and Alex Shibutani were second with 74.70 points, with fellow Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates third at 72.46.
Piper Gilles of Toronto and Paul Poirier of Unionville, Ont., were fifth at 70.70.
Canada's three-time world champion Patrick Chan was scheduled to skate the men's short program later Wednesday at TD Garden.
Chock and Bates led after the short dance last year before Papadakis and Cizeron overtook them for the title. The free dance is Thursday.
Papadakis and Cizeron were fourth after the short dance a year ago in their second season at the senior level. They had finished all the way back in 13th at worlds in 2014. She's still just 20 and he's 21.
The Shibutanis, who hail from nearby Connecticut, had their latest personal-best performance of a breakthrough season. They won a bronze at worlds way back in 2011 in their first season competing at the senior level and hadn't been able to match that level of result until this year.
In January, they overtook Chock and Bates for their first U.S. title, then they won their first major international competition at the Four Continents Championships last month.
Their short dance this season has proven to be the perfect fit for the siblings known for posting humorous videos on YouTube. In the comedic ballet "Coppelia," they get to act out characters, with Maia as a dancing doll.
It's been a trying season for Chock and Bates, who are on their third different short dance as they seek to improve on last year's silver medal performance. They lost points Wednesday when Bates made a mistake on their twizzles — the side-by-side spins.
With files from The Associated Press