Road To The Olympic Games

Canada's Soucisse, Firus finish career-best 5th at NHK Trophy

Canada's Carolane Soucisse and Shane Firus were unable to improve on their rhythm dance performance as they finished fifth in the ice dance competition at the NHK Trophy on Sunday. The Canadian pairing scored a total of 169.84 points — just under nine points off the podium.

Americans Kaitlin Hawayek, Jean-Luc Baker take ice dance gold

Canada's Carolane Soucisse, right, and Shane Firus finished with a total of 169.84 points. (Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images)

Despite being unable to move up after the free dance, Canada's Carolane Soucisse and Shane Firus had a career-best result at a Grand Prix event. 

Soucisse and Firus improved by three spots over their Skate Canada performance two weeks ago with a fifth-place finish at the NHK Trophy on Sunday. 

Soucisse, from Chateauguay, Que., and Firus, from North Vancouver, totalled 169.84, which was also a 13-point improvement over their Skate Canada showing and less than three points off their personal best internationally.

"It was our best overall performance to date," said Firus. "We are going to keep working to get it better every time."

Watch Soucisse and Firus' performance:

The Canadians posted a combined score of 169.84 to finish 5th overall in the ice dance event of the 2018 NHK Trophy in Hiroshima, Japan. 7:04

Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker of the United States overtook leaders Tiffani Zagorski and Jonathan Guerreiro of Russia to win gold.

The 2018 Four Continents champions won the free dance with 113.92 points for a total of 184.63 to move up to first place and take the first Grand Prix medal of their career after a handful of near misses.

Watch the Americans' gold-medal peformance:

The Americans free skate score of 113.92 vaulted them over Russia's Tiffani Zagorski & Jonathan Guerreiro to capture the NHK Trophy Ice Dance title. 8:57

The bronze went to Rachel Parsons and Michael Parsons of the United States.

"Our main goal was really to try to put out two solid performances, but also to understand our programs," Baker said. "It is our first event. We really just wanted to get our feet wet. We're very happy that we're walking away with the gold medal."

The pair will compete again in two weeks in Grenoble, France at the last event of the Grand Prix series and has a chance at making the Dec. 6-9 Grand Prix Final in Vancouver, Canada.

Canadian star figure skaters discuss upcoming 'Thank You Canada Tour':

CBC Sports' Brenda Irving talks with Canada's star figure skaters about their "Thank You Canada Tour" through 30 Canadian cities. 7:10

With files from CBC Sports

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