It took Patrick Chan all of four minutes and 40 seconds to remind Canada just what it's been missing in men's figure skating.
The 25-year-old from Toronto, who walked away from competing after the Sochi Olympics, roared to his eighth Canadian figure skating title Saturday night as if he'd never left.
"I feel happy, it's been a great week, such a good learning week, it's what I needed going forward for the rest of the season," Chan said.
The three-time world champion landed two huge quads in his classical program to music by Chopin. He's only the third person in Canadian history to win eight titles. Brian Orser also won eight, while Montgomery Wilson won nine.
Liam Firus of North Vancouver, B.C., won the silver with 237.20, while Kevin Reynolds of Coquitlam, B.C., won the bronze (236.18).
Alaine Chartrand wins first title
Alaine Chartrand captured her first Canadian women's crown.
When the 19-year-old was shown on the big screen Saturday, she impatiently held up a wrist and tapped an imaginary watch.
She'd just laid down the skate of her life and the judges were taking an insufferably long time to announce her scores. (She later learned it was due to a commercial break.)
Skating right after a superb performance from Gabrielle Daleman, Chartrand rose to the occasion, capturing her first Canadian figure skating title.
"I'm not feeling like Canadian champion yet. I'm pretty shocked," Chartrand said. "That was really tough hearing [Daleman's] score, before I skated. But our whole motto is just do your job and the pieces will fall...that feels just amazing."
Later, reigning world champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford won their fifth Canadian pairs title, and Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje won their second consecutive ice dance title.
Chartrand was second behind Kaetlyn Osmond after Friday's short program. But she unleashed a spectacular long program to music from "Gone with the Wind" that included seven triple jumps and had the Scotiabank Centre crowd on its feet well before she'd taken her final pose.
"Oh my God," she said. "I wasn't even into the second spin yet and people were screaming.
"And just dealing with the music, like 'OK, don't fall on your spin. Make it to the end.'"
She scored 201.99 points. Gabrielle Daleman, from Newmarket, Ont., third after the short program, moved up to second with 197.99. Two-time Canadian champion Osmond, who's coming back from a broken leg that knocked her out of last season, finished just 0.12 points back of Daleman in third.
Hectic training schedule pays dividends
Chartrand is from Prescott, Ont., a city of about 4,300 people on the north short of the Saint Lawrence River, and a three-and-a-half-hour drive east of Toronto.
Her weekly training schedule reads like a milk run — she commutes to Nepean to work with coach Robert Kazmir, Toronto for Brian Orser and Oakville or Mississauga for coach Michelle Leigh.
Her dad, Andrew, drives the family RV.
"[My dad] is going to see me and start crying," Chartrand said, herself holding back tears.
Osmond, a two-time Canadian champion, insisted she wasn't disappointed with her long program that included several errors. Coming back from a broken leg that sidelined her for all of last season, Osmond said the week was "only a stepping stone. That's all that nationals was for me, a stepping stone, and I'll go from there."
In pairs, Duhamel, from Lively, Ont., and Radford, from Balmertown, Ont., scored 221.75 points to win the pairs title. Julianne Seguin of Longueuil, Que., and Charlie Bilodeau of Montreal claimed the silver (211.40), while Lubov Ilyushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto finished third (204.22).
Weaver and Poje scored 191.73 points to win ice dance gold, entertaining the crowd with their elegant skate to "This Bitter Earth."
The two competed for years in the shadow of Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir — who are doing television commentary in Halifax — before winning their first Canadian title last season.
"I'm happy to say we're not a blip on the champions' record list," Weaver said. "Two times means you're not just 15 minutes of fame, so I'm happy about that.
"This means so much to us."
The ice dancers from Waterloo, Ont., are undefeated over the past two seasons, except for their bronze medal at the world championships last spring.
Piper Gilles of Toronto and Paul Poirier of Unionville, Ont., were second with 179.82, while Elisabeth Paradis of Verdun, Que., and Francois-Xavier Ouellette of Mascouche, Que., were third (165.83).
The Canadian championships determine the team for the world championships in Boston in March. Canada has two entries in both men's and women's singles, and three in ice dance and pairs.