Ice dancers Madison Chock and Evan Bates led the U.S. figure skaters with a silver-medal performance at the 2016 Skate Canada International grand prix competition in the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.
The reigning world championship bronze medalists and 2015 world silver medalists, Chock and Bates were second after the short dance, earning a score of 76.21 points, leaving them 1.02 behind leaders Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada, the 2010 Olympic champions and 2014 Olympic silver medalists who returned to competition this season for the first time since the Sochi Games.
That margin would prove critical, as Chock and Bates outskated their counterparts in the free dance, earning a score of 112.03 for a combined total of 188.24. The Canadians took second in the free dance with a 111.83, but their combined score of 189.06 gave them the gold by 0.82 points. The bronze medal was won by Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Canada with a total of 182.57. Americans Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker, the 2014 junior world champions, placed sixth with 162.19.
In pairs, the U.S. tandem of Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier hoped to build on their silver-medal performance at Skate America a week earlier, but just missed a podium finish, scoring 188.23, 1.99 behind the Canadian team of Liubov Ilyushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch. Two-time reigning world champions Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada took the gold with 218.30 points, more than 16 ahead of silver medalists Yu Xiaoyu and Zhang Hao of China.
American fortunes in the ladies and men’s divisions left room for improvement. Mirai Nagasu finished ninth, almost 70 points behind the winner, Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia. Among the men, Ross Miner and Grant Hochstein occupied the bottom two slots in the 12-man field as Olympic silver medalist Patrick Chan won in front of his home nation.