Road To The Olympic Games

Figure Skating

Piper Gilles, Paul Poirier capture 1st Grand Prix ice dance title at Skate Canada

Canada's Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier upset two-time World Ice Dance medallists Madison Hubblel and Zachary Donohue of the United States at Skate Canada on Saturday to capture their first ever Grand Prix title.

Canadians also claim silver in men's and pairs disciplines

Canada's Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier scored a total 209.01 points to finish first in the ice dance competition at Skate Canada on Saturday. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press )

Canada's Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier upset two-time World Ice Dance medallists Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue of the United States at Skate Canada International on Saturday to capture their first Grand Prix ice dance title. The duo were narrowly trailing the heavily favoured Americans heading into the free skate.

Gilles from Toronto, and Poirer from Unionville, Ont., leapt ahead with a fluid performance to Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now to finish with a combined total score of 209.01.

"We've worked really hard for this moment. I think we really trusted our training and knew exactly what we needed to do when we came here. We just went for it and skated today's program and that's all that we can do. We have plenty more to do in the next couple of weeks to keep this streak going, but I think we're really up for the challenge," Gilles said.

"It's definitely an exciting day for us, but I think we're really motivated and excited to go back home and [continue] training," added Poirier.

WATCH | Canada's Gilles and Poirier win 1st career Grand Prix title:

Canada's Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier finish 1st at Skate Canada for their 1st career Grand Prix title. 0:29

Hubbell and Donohue finished with a combined score of 206.31. Great Britain's Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson came third after moving up one spot with 195.35.

Nam Nguyen claims silver

Two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan was dominant in the men's program.

Hanyu overwhelmed the field with a strong free skate to tally 322.59 points, less than a point from the world record.

WATCH | Hanyu nearly breaks world record:

Yuzuru Hanyu put on a show Saturday night, posting a new personal best score of 322.59 to win the men's Skate Canada gold for the 1st time. 0:29

Nam Nguyen of Ottawa set a personal best 262.77 to claim the silver medal, while Keiji Tanaka of Japan was third at 250.02.

WATCH | Nguyen skates to silver:

Canadian Nam Nguyen had a free skate to remember in Kelowna as he set a new personal best in the free skate on his way to a silver medal finish at Skate Canada. 0:30

Canadians win pairs silver

In pairs, Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii of Russia took the gold with 216.71 points, followed by Canada's Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro in second at 208.49. Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov of Russia were third at 202.29.

WATCH | Boikova and Kozlovskii take pairs gold:

Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii cruised to a 1st place pairs finish at Skate Canada, beating the 2nd place pair by over 8 points. 0:30

"We've been training a lot better than that," said Moore-Towers, from St. Catharines, Ont. "We worked really hard on our jumps so there was some unforeseen mistakes and we're glad we didn't let them snowball. But it was probably our worst run of this program in six weeks."

WATCH | Moore-Towers and Marinaro earn pairs silver:

Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro had the 2nd best free score of 132.99, but it wasn't enough to climb the podium as they settled for a 2nd place finish at Skate Canada. 0:28

Trusova jumps to women's title

An inspired Alexandra Trusova of Russia landed three quadruple jumps as the Russian teenager won the women's title.

The 15-year-old, despite falling on her first of four quadruple attempts, scored a world-leading 241.02 points in her senior International Skating Union Grand Prix debut.

WATCH | Trusova's golden debut:

Russia's Alexandra Trusova claims gold in women's event with a total score of 241.02. 0:29

A massive 166.62 points in Saturday's free skate, another best, vaulted the twice world junior champion to the championship. Trusova had been only third after Friday's short program but dominated Saturday's competition. Japan's Rika Kihira, the short program leader, finished second with 230.33 points and South Korean You Young joined them on the podium with 217.49 points.

Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket Ont., was Canada's top finisher. Her 164.34 points were good enough for tenth place.

With files from Reuters, International Skating Union

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