Canada's Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro won the gold medal Friday in pairs at the U.S. international figure skating classic.

The Canadians won the short program Thursday and held on to first with the second-best free skate to finish with 188.76 points.

"We're feeling pretty good about our free skate today but we definitely have room for improvement," said Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont.

"We're taking steps forward little by little and trying to get our season off to a good start."

The couple missed the first half of last season due to injury.

Only the beginning

"It's definitely just the start right now," said Marinaro, from Sarnia, Ont. "We want to keep building towards our first Grand Prix assignment in six weeks."

Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim of the United States were second at 186.08 and their compatriots Chelsea Liu and Brian Johnson placed third at 181.40.

Montreal's Sydney Kolodziej and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., were seventh.

Firus adds bronze

Liam Firus of North Vancouver, B.C. added a bronze in the men's competition. With third place finishes in both the short program (83.46) and free skate (164.83) Firus' total score of 248.29 placed him behind Americans Max Aaron (261.56) and Nathan Chen (275.04) who won silver and gold respectively. 

While in the women's competition after the short program, Alicia Pineault of Varennes, Que., is sixth and Michelle Long of Newmarket, Ont., ninth.

After the short dance, Carolane Soucisse of Chateauguay, Que., and Shane Firus of North Vancouver are seventh.

The free dance and women's free skate are on Saturday.