U.S. Olympic ice dancers Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue finished second at Skate Canada on Saturday in Kelowna, British Columbia, punching their ticket to the 2019 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final before any other team could.
Hubbell and Donohue were assigned the first two grand prix events of the series – last week’s Skate America being the first – and medaled at both. This is the sixth consecutive season in which they’ve medaled at both of their grand prix assignments. The top six ice dance teams across the series will compete at the Grand Prix Final Dec. 5-8 in Torino, Italy.
Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Canada captured first place with a two-day total of 209.01, a new personal best. Hubbell and Donohue scored 206.31 for second, and Great Britain’s Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson rounded out the podium in third with 195.35.
Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker just missed the podium, finishing fourth with 194.77.
Hubbell and Donohue, who finished fourth in their Olympic debut at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, are in the Grand Prix Final for the fifth consecutive time after winning gold there last season.
Hubbell and Donohue won last week in Las Vegas and were on track for another win in Canada until Gilles and Poirier scored 126.43 in the free dance. Hubbell and Donohue took charge with a score of 83.21 in Friday’s rhythm dance and scored 123.10 in Saturday’s free dance just before Gilles and Poirier took the ice. Hawayek and Baker were third after the rhythm dance but placed fourth in the free.
Caroline Green and Michael Parsons of the U.S. finished seventh with a score of 173.82, matching their placement from their grand prix debut last week at Skate America.
Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic and Paralympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.