The Canadian pair of Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje walked away with a bronze medal in the ice dance at the Four Continents figure skating championships in Tapei, Taiwan.

The pair finished fourth in the free dance with a score of 101.43. 

It's a disappointing finish for Weaver and Poje, who were in second after the short dance, only behind the eventual gold medal winners Maia and Alex Shitbutani from the United States.

It's only the second time in two seasons the ice dancers from Waterloo, Ont., haven't won gold — they were third at last year's world championships.

"We didn't have our strongest skate," Weaver said. "We fought through, we didn't let it discourage us. Most days things come together for us but some days it doesn't. Today was one of those. We're still happy to go home with a bronze medal and we know we are capable of being the best."

It was Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates who climbed into the silver medal position, scoring 107.59, good for second in the free dance. They were fourth — and over five points behind Weaver and Poje — going in the free program. 

In the end, the Shibutani duo won gold with a combined score of 181.62, the American duo of Chock and Bates scored 174.64 for silver, and Weaver and Poje's score of 173.85 was good enough for bronze. 

Poje says the result fires them up for next month's world championships in Boston.

"We are going to use this as a learning experience," he said. "We are going to make sure we get out the little stumbles and bumps out of the program. We plan to go into Boston full of confidence and full of energy."

Canadians Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier had to settle for fifth with a final score of 162.19, after fifth place finishes in both the short and free programs. 

Elisabeth Paradis and Francois-Xavier Ouellette of Canada ended the ice dance in sixth place at 146.94. They placed seventh in the free program, and sixth in the short program. 

Chan 5th in men's short

Patrick Chan's rocky return to competition continued with a fifth place in the short program at the Four Continents figure skating championships Friday.

The 25-year-old from Toronto, who took almost 18 months off after the Sochi Olympics, scored 86.22 points, touching down a hand on the landing of his quad toe loop, and doubling a planned triple toe loop.

Boyang Jin of China is the leader going into Saturday's long program, with 98.45 points. Shoma Uno of Japan is second with 92.99 points, while Han Yan of China is third with 89.57.

"I haven't felt comfortable in training all week," said Chan. "Considering that, I'm really happy with the skate, staying on feet, playing it smart and not making major mistakes."

The three-time world champion said he taking a patient approach to his comeback.

"This season I want to take my time, be methodical. So far every competition it has been getting better," he said.

With files from The Canadian Press