Jessica Dubé and Bryce Davison won the Canadian national pairs skating title on Saturday in Saskatoon with a come-from-behind victory over Meagan Duhamel and Craig Buntin.
The 2007 national champs, skating to music from Carmen, recovered from a couple of small errors in the opening minute of their program to post a 188.43 total, almost six points up on the challengers.
Duhamel and Buntin came into the free skate with the lead but struggled to maintain their composure — bobbling on side-by-side triple toes to start and turning side-by-side triple Salchows into doubles shortly after.
Their 116.76 for the free skate was not enough to hold the lead.
Myléne Brodeur and John Mattahall, Quebec natives representing Nova Scotia, were third.
The 2008 Canadian champions, Anabelle Langlois and Cody Hay, had to withdraw from the competition before it began.
Langlois is still recovering from a broken lower right fibula she suffered during a practice session on July 23.
Little things mean a lot
What made the difference for Dubé and Davison (the reigning world bronze medallists) on this day was attention to detail, something Duhamel and Buntin could not match.
"I think it just proves how strong we are," Davison, of Cambridge, Ont., told CBC Sports. "We knew how strong we are together and this reaffirms it."
Dubé, from Drummondville, Que., hailed the pair's focus.
"We knew we had to do it, and it worked," she said.
The couple opened with a nice triple twist — new to their repertoire — off the top and that got them into a positive frame of mind.
Side-by-side double axels were merely OK after Davison over rotated just a tad and that was followed by a teeny touchdown from Dubé off a throw triple Lutz.
But after that, it was all golden as the couple was tight and terrific the rest of the performance.
"We learned to trust our training," Davison said. "When you train hard the results follow.
"Since our poor performance at NHK [in Tokyo, where the couple just missed making the Grand Prix final by taking third] we've buckled down and gotten the results."
Duhamel, from Lively, Ont., and Kelowna, B.C.'s Buntin may have to wait until February's Four Continents competition to see whether they can skate in the world championships at Los Angeles in March.
Skate Canada officials want to see how Langlois and Hay are coming along before making a decision.