Patrick Chan runs away with Skate Canada title (video)

Patrick Chan
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Patrick Chan‘s Olympic season is off to a dominant start.

The three-time reigning world champion dusted off the field to win his fourth Skate Canada, posting 262.03 total points and receiving a standing ovation from a flag-waving crowd in Saint John, New Brunswick, on Saturday.

Chan won by a comfortable 27.23 over second-place Nobunari Oda of Japan.

Earlier, Canadian Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won the ice dance competition with 181.03 points. Their total was 7.20 points lower than world champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White at Skate America last week.

NBC and NBC Live Extra will have Skate Canada coverage Sunday from 4-6.

Gold gets bronze behind Russian teen

Chan, 22, did not beat Japan’s Tatsuki Machida‘s score at Skate America last week — 265.38.

He landed a quadruple toe loop-triple toe loop combination to start his program and added another quad jump skating to Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.”

“To be honest, I was kind of nervous,” Chan said of his free skate. “The best way to look at it is one element at a time.”

Also, the silver and bronze medalists from March’s World Championships, Kazakhstan’s Denis Ten and Spain’s Javier Fernandez, have yet to skate in the early Grand Prix season.

Americans Jeremy Abbott and Josh Farris fell on their opening jumps. Farris, the reigning world junior champion, recovered and improved from eighth after the short program to fifth with 216.72 points.

Abbott, the three-time U.S. champion, unraveled and dropped from fourth to sixth with 215.95. The other American, Ross Miner, was ninth at 196.89.

All three U.S. men at Skate America last week — Adam Rippon, Max Aaron and Jason Brown — posted higher overall scores.

Two U.S. men will make the Olympic team following the U.S. Championships in Boston in January.

In ice dancing, Virtue and Moir beat fellow Canadians Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje by 5.80 points in their Grand Prix season debut.

Virtue and Moir are next scheduled for Trophee Bombard in Paris in three weeks and could go head-to-head with Davis and White at the Grand Prix Final in Fukuoka, Japan, in the first week of December.

The only U.S. couple at Skate Canada, Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, placed third with 153.20 points. They scored .22 higher than at Skate America last week, where they were the third best U.S. couple.

The U.S. earned three ice dance spots at the Olympics. Hubbell and Donohue will know how they stack up early in the season when U.S. silver medalists Madison Chock and Evan Bates skate at Cup of China next week.

Men
1. Patrick Chan (CAN) 262.03
3. Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) 234.80
2. Nobunari Oda (JPN) 233.00
4. Michal Brezina (CZE) 218.32
5. Josh Farris (USA) 216.72
6. Jeremy Abbott (USA) 215.95
7. Elladj Balde (CAN) 205.19
8. Andrei Rogozine (CAN) 197.35
9. Ross Miner (USA) 196.89
10. Takahito Mura (JPN) 188.53

Ice Dance
1. Virtue/Moir (CAN) 181.03
2. Weaver/Poje (CAN) 175.23
3. Hubbell/Donohue (USA) 153.20
4. Razanova/Tkachenko (RUS) 145.56
5. Paul/Islam (CAN) 143.77
6. Zhiganshina/Gazsi (GER) 138.16
7. Guignard/Fabbri (ITA) 134.28
8. Stepanova/Bukin (RUS) 133.12

Patrick Chan defends Detroit, inspired by Justin Verlander

In a tie, Wendy Holdener puts to rest a remarkable stat in Alpine skiing

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Swiss Wendy Holdener ended one of the most remarkable victory droughts in sports by tying for the win with Swede Anna Swenn Larsson in a World Cup slalom in Killington, Vermont, on Sunday.

Holdener, after 15 second-place finishes and 15 third-place finishes in her career, stood on the top step of a World Cup slalom podium for the first time. She shared it with Swenn Larsson, who had six World Cup slalom podiums before Sunday and also earned her first win.

They beat Austrian Katharina Truppe by .22 of a second combining times from two runs.

ALPINE SKIING: Full Results | Broadcast Schedule

Holdener, 29, previously won three World Cups in other disciplines, plus two world championships in the combined and Olympic and world titles in the team event.

“To be tied first when I came into the finish was such a relief,” Holdener said while shoulder to shoulder with Swenn Larsson. “On the end, it’s perfect, because now we can share our first win together.”

Mikaela Shiffrin had the best first-run time but lost her lead midway through the second run and finished fifth. Shiffrin, who won the first two slaloms this season last weekend, was bidding for a 50th World Cup slalom victory and a sixth win in six slaloms in Killington.

“I fought. I think some spots I got a little bit off my timing, but I was pushing, and that’s slalom,” she said before turning her attention to Holdener and Swenn Larsson. “It’s a pretty special day, actually.”

The women’s Alpine skiing World Cup moves next weekend to Lake Louise, Alberta, with two downhills and a super-G.

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Injured Ilia Malinin wins Grand Prix Finland, qualifies for Grand Prix Final

Ilia Malinin
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Ilia Malinin, competing “a little bit injured” this week, still won Grand Prix Finland and goes into the Grand Prix Final in two weeks as the world’s top-ranked male singles skater.

Malinin, who was second after Friday’s short program, landed four clean quadruple jumps in Saturday’s free skate to overtake Frenchman Kevin Aymoz.

Malinin, who landed a quad flip in competition for the first time, according to SkatingScores.com, also attempted a quad Axel to open his program, but spun out of the landing and put his hand down on the ice.

Malinin also won his previous two starts this season in come-from-behind fashion. The 17-year-old world junior champion became the first skater to land a clean, fully rotated quad Axel in September, then did it again in October at Skate America, where he posted the world’s top overall score this season.

Next, Malinin can become the second-youngest man to win the Grand Prix Final after Russian Yevgeny Plushenko. His biggest competition is likely to be world champion Shoma Uno of Japan, who like Malinin won both of his Grand Prix starts this fall. Malinin and Uno have not gone head-to-head this season.

Grand Prix Finland highlights air on NBC, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET.

FIGURE SKATING: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Earlier, Japan’s Mai Mihara overtook world silver medalist Loena Hendrickx of Belgium to become the only woman to win both of her Grand Prix starts this season. Mihara prevailed by .23 of a point. The top three women this season by best total score are Japanese, led by a junior skater, 14-year-old Mao Shimada, who isn’t Olympic age-eligible until 2030.

Mihara and Hendrickx qualified for the Grand Prix Final, joining world champion Kaori Sakamoto and Rinka Watanabe, both of Japan, South Korean Yelim Kim and American Isabeau Levito, the world junior champion.

Italians Rebecca Ghilardi and Filippo Ambrosini won both pairs’ programs and qualified for their first Grand Prix Final.

Japan’s Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara and Americans Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier headline the Final. Both pairs won each of their Grand Prix starts earlier this fall. The Japanese have the world’s two best scores this season. The Americans are reigning world champions.

At least one Russian or Chinese pair made every Grand Prix Final podium — usually pairs from both countries — but neither nation competed in pairs this Grand Prix season. All Russian skaters are banned due to the war in Ukraine. China’s lone entry on the Grand Prix across all disciplines was an ice dance couple.

Canadians Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier improved on their world-leading score for this season in winning the ice dance by 17.03 points over Americans Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker. Both couples qualified for the Grand Prix Final in the absence of all three Olympic medalists this fall.

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