U.S. silver medalist Gracie Gold dropped from first after the short program to finish third at Skate Canada on Saturday, her first competition under new coach Frank Carroll.
Gold, 18, hit a triple-triple jump combination but also fell during her free skate at Saint John, New Brunswick. She led by 2.56 points after the short program Friday and finished 11.58 points behind Russian winner Julia Lipnitskaia.
Earlier Saturday, Italians Stefania Berton and Ondrej Hotarek jumped from second after the short program to win the pairs competition with 193.92 points, .15 better than Chinese Sui Wenjing and Han Cong.
Skate Canada, the second of six Grand Prix events before the Grand Prix Final, concludes later Saturday with the free dance (4:30 p.m. ET) and men’s free skate (7:10). Universal Sports will have coverage.
Gold failed to put together back-to-back strong programs, just as she did at the U.S. Championships in January and World Championships in March. On Saturday, she opened her program with a triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination but later fell on one jump and stumbled on another.
Gold’s score, 186.65, was 7.16 points lower than U.S. champion Ashley Wagner‘s total at Skate America last week. Three women will make the U.S. Olympic Team after the U.S. Championships in Boston in January. Wagner and Gold are the top two contenders.
Christina Gao, a Harvard student who has been fifth at the last four U.S. Championships, took fourth with 173.69 total points Saturday.
Gao landed all of her jumps but was missing a triple-triple combination skating to the “Angels and Demons” soundtrack.
Gao and Agnes Zawadzki, who is entered at Cup of China next week, are thought to be the top hopefuls behind Wagner and Gold for Olympic spots.
Another American, Courtney Hicks, moved up from ninth place (last) after the short program to finish sixth. Hicks upset Gold to win the U.S. International Classic last month.
Hicks, 17, was fourth at the U.S. Championships in January and an injury replacement for reigning Olympic and world champion Yuna Kim at Skate Canada.
Canadian champion Kaetlyn Osmond, 17, withdrew with a hamstring strain after finishing fifth in the short program Friday.
In pairs, favored Canadians Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford fell to third after leading the short program. Skate Canada was missing the Olympic gold- and silver-medal favorites from Russia and Germany.
Americans Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier and Lindsay Davis and Rockne Brubaker were fifth and sixth, respectively, with scores far lower than the three U.S. pairs at Skate America last week.
Two U.S. pairs will go to the Olympics, where the U.S. hasn’t won a pairs medal since 1988.
1. Julia Lipnitskaia (RUS) 198.23
2. Akiko Suzuki (JPN) 193.75
3. Gracie Gold (USA) 186.65
4. Christina Gao (USA) 173.69
5. Amelie Lacoste (CAN) 163.11
6. Courtney Hicks (USA) 162.00
7. Natalia Popova (UKR) 145.88
8. Veronik Mallet (CAN) 138.13
1. Berton/Hotarek (ITA) 193.92
2. Sui/Han (CHN) 193.77
3. Duhamel/Radford (CAN) 190.62
4. Lawrence/Swiegers (CAN) 159.82
5. Denney/Frazier (USA) 158.83
6. Davis/Brubaker (USA) 153.71
7. Vartmann/Van Cleave (GER) 149.59
8. Purdy/Marinaro (CAN) 131.39