2009 Skate Canada

Ladies Event


Alexandra Stevenson

Place Skater Country SP FS
1 Joannie Rochette CAN 1 1
2 Alissa Czisny USA 2 4
3 Laura Lepisto FIN 4 2
4 Mirai Nagasu USA 3 3
5 Akiko Suzuki JPN 8 5
6 Amelie Lacoste CAN 6 6
7 Cynthia Phaneuf CAN 5 9
8 Caroline Zhang USA 7 8
9 Sarah Hecken GER 10 7
10 Jenna Mccorkell GBR 9 10
11 Joshi Helgesson SWE 11 11


Short Program

Starting Order - Short Program

Warmup Group 1

1. Amelie Lacoste, CAN
2. Cynthia Phaneuf, CAN
3. Mirai Nagasu, USA
4. Joshi Helgesson, SWE
5. Jenna Mccorkell, GBR

Warmup Group 2

6. Sarah Hecken, GER
7. Alissa Czisny, USA
8. Akiko Suzuki, JPN
9. Caroline Zhang, USA
10. Laura Lepisto, FIN
11. Joannie Rochette, CAN

Start Time: 13:15

Trick List

Short Program Placements
Place Skater Country
1 Joannie Rochette CAN
2 Alissa Czisny USA
3 Mirai Nagasu USA
4 Laura Lepisto FIN
5 Cynthia Phaneuf CAN
6 Amelie Lacoste CAN
7 Caroline Zhang USA
8 Akiko Suzuki JPN
9 Jenna Mccorkell GBR
10 Sarah Hecken GER
11 Joshi Helgesson SWE

Joannie Rochette

Alissa Czisny

1. 70.00 (38.40 + 31.60) Five-time Canadian champion Joannie Rochette showed the superb form that made her the silver medalist at the 2009 world championships, the first Canadian to medal at Worlds in the Ladies event since Olympic silver medalist Liz Manley earned silver in the 1988 Worlds. She earned her best score ever.

"The important thing is to make a plan and stick to it," she said when asked why she had not done less well in the Chinese Grand Prix, where she finished third behind Akiko Suzuki, who lies eighth in this event, and the Finn, Kira Korpi. "Iíve been working with my sports psychologist. We actually analyze what happened at the last competition. Sometimes thinking too much is the key. I worked really hard on the Short Program and I was skating well going into China. Sometimes, you need to be able to shut your brain off and just let your body do it. I learned the importance of a plan. We made one but I didnít follow it. Itís a great program. In China, I didnít follow the plan."

Rochette, 23, whose boyfriend is a Canadian Olympic gold medalist in speed skating, presented a sexy Tango set to the lively La Cumparsita by Gerardo Hernando Matos Rodriguez. Dressed in black with a rose on one shoulder with a green stem spiraling down her bare back, the eight elements were entwined in well-thought-out, excellent choreography set by Shae-Lynn Bourne and Lori Nichol.

"I wanted to do a Tango because itís very strong and sensual. But I wanted to use more subtleties and nuances. Of course, I enjoy skating in Canada. Last year, at the Four Continents Championships in Vancouver, you could really feel the energy. I donít think about the upcoming Olympics because my philosophy is to take one day at a time. Iím not even thinking about the possibility of getting to the GP Final. You get enormous support in Canada, but with that support comes more pressure.

Rochetteís program began with a high triple Lutz to double toe loop, which earned +1.0 over the base value of 7.30. Then came an even better +1.80 triple flip. Her flying sit spin was awarded the maximum Level 4 by the Technical Specialist Olga Baranova and her assistant, Christel Borghi with the nine judges, unanimously punching in +1s, which meant +0.50 was added to the base value of 3.00. That was followed by a very solid +1.80 double Axel. Rochetteís spirals and the layback spin were Level 3 and both gained +0.50 Grade of Execution. The straight line steps and the final change foot combination spin were also Level 3s with +1.0 and +0.20 respectively. "I donít think a triple-triple is necessary for the Short," Rochette said.

2. 63.52 (36.60 + 26.92) The extraordinarily graceful Alissa Czisny, skating to The Mask of Zorro, in black with red, opened with the same two elements as Rochette, the combination of triple Lutz to double toe, which also earned +1.0 over its base value, and a triple flip but Czisnyís received a negative 0.40 taken off its base value of 5.50. Czisnyís spirals, which are famous, included a unique forward Charlotte in which her head dips down by her skating foot, were rewarded with +1.80 over the Level 4 base value of 3.40. The double Axel was a competent +0.20 but her flying sit was only Level 2, although it had +0.50 added to the base value of 2.30.

Her layback spin could never be mistaken for anything but Level 4 and it had a big +1.10 added to the base value of 2.70. (For that move seven judges punched in +2 and the other two, the maximum +3.) The straight line steps received 0.50 over the base value for Level 3 of 3.30 and her final move, a very crowd pleasing change foot combination spin, with the final position, with her free leg held in a high kick for many revolutions, was surprisingly only Level 3 but with +0.90 GoE. (Two judges punched in +3 while five opted for +2 and two gave a miserly +1.) As the marks flashed up, she and coach, Julie Berlin, were obviously ecstatic.

"I always enjoy skating in Canada," the 22 year old US champion said. Earlier this year Czisny won gold in the Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany for the second straight year, but although she maintained her first place in the event, she was only sixth in the Free Skate. In her other Grand Prix, in Moscow, she finished fourth.

3. 56.34 (32.30 + 24.04) Mirai Nagasu, 16, the 2008 US champion who was only fifth nationally last season, skated early - third of the 11 competitors. She performed in deep blue and gold to Fragile Dreams, from Pirates of the Carribean. She still has a tremendous swing up before toe-ing into the ice for the take-off for the triple Lutz to double toe. Presumably that was why she got -0.20 GoE taken off the base value. Her triple flip received an exclamation warning mark for a short wrong edge but not a deduction. Nevertheless, she was given a huge -2.20 GoE taken off the base level of 5.50.

Her spirals were lovely, Level 4 and +1.20, and her double Axel was from an Ina Bauer and received +0.40. Her flying sit was Level 3 and +0.10. The star piece of the routine is her matchless layback, which was unquestionably Level 4 and earned +1.50 over base value. Seven judges punched in the maximum +3 and the other two, +2. But her circular steps were only Level 2 and +0.40. Her final combination spin was Level 3 and +0.80.

There was much hilarity in the press room when Nagasu accused her coach, Frank Carroll, of deserting her last week because his "other pupil was more important". (He was in Lake Placid with world champion Evan Lysacek.) In the Cup of China she won the Short Program, but landed up fifth overall. "I let my nerves get the better of me. I scored higher in China in the short than here. I donít have so much experience as the other girls. Iím skating to Carmen in the Free. Itís a really mature type of music. Iíve been working very hard. Hopefully, Iíll beat Alissa." Her coach said with a laugh, "Of course I didnít desert her. I made the trip to Lake Placid in the shortest time possible. Iíve been working solidly every day."

4. 55.74 (29.14 + 26.60) Laura Lepisto, skating in purple to Imagined Oceans by Karl Jenkins, started badly. She doubled the first jump of a planned combination of two triple toes and then put her hand on the ice and almost sat down on the landing of the second. That element earned only 2.90 points. But the following triple loop earned the base value. She earned Level 4 for her flying sit spin (+0.30) and for the spirals (+1.0). She lucked out in an almost three way tie, finishing just 0.16 ahead of Phaneuf, who beat her by 1.96 on the technical mark, but was 2.28 ahead of the Canadian on the component marks. The rest of her elements were Level 3. The layback had a slight negative -0.06 but the straight line steps gained +0.50 and the change foot combination spin +0.10.

5. 55. 58 (31.50 + 24.48) Performing in light blue silver-y outfit, the 2004 Canadian champion Cynthia Phaneuf began with a great +1.0 double Axel but then messed up the landing of her triple Lutz which was to be her combination. She subsequently did a +1.0 triple toe. She received three Level 4s, - for her flying sit spin (+0.20), the spirals (+1.0) and her change foot combination spin (+0.50). Her straight line steps (+0.50) and layback spin (+0.60) were both Level 3.

6. 55.10 (32.20 + 22.40) Skating in turquoise to Raul di Blasioís Otonol, Amelie Lacoste, who is the third ranked Canadian and turns 21 on December 17, kicked off the Ladies event. She executed a +1.20 double Axel and +0.80 triple loop to double loop but stepped out of her triple flip. She was awarded three Level 4s with base value or better GoEs. Her circular steps (base value) and layback spin (+0.50) were Level 3.

7. 54.58 (31.58 + 23.00) Caroline Zhang, 16, the 2007 world junior champion, who is back training with Li Mingzhu who guided Lu Chen to the 1995 world title and Olympic bronzes in 1994 and 1998, opened with a triple flip to triple toe but the second jump was downgraded. Her outside spread to triple loop was saddled with -0.40 GoE. Her double Axel also was inferior and punished with -0.32. But she received three Level 4s - for her flying sit, which gained +0.20, and for her change foot combination spin which earned an extra +0.60 and for her wonderful layback spin which was rewarded with +1.50. Six of the nine judges punched in +3, two gave +2, and one thought it only deserved a conservative +1. Her circular steps earned + 0.20 and the spirals +0.30. Both were Level 3. She obviously felt she had skated well but was apprehensive about the scores and upset when they were revealed.

8. 53.10 (29.90 + 23.20) Akiko Suzuki of Japan, who won the Cup of China Grand Prix, received an "e" for wrong edge take-off on the combination of triple Lutz to double toe loop and stepped out of her triple flip. All her other GoEs were base value or better. She gained three Level 4s and two Level 3s.

9. 47.48 (26.92 +20.56) Jenna McCorkell, the 6-time British champion, earned her Seasonís best skated to Death Dance, in black netting over blue with chiffon sleeves and gloves. She began with a good +0.80 double Axel. She put her hand down on the landing of the triple Lutz in her combination but got airborne again for the double toe. The Lutz was downgraded, a judgment which she and her coach, Yuri Bureiko, claim was incorrect. Her triple flip got a slight -0.20 and three other moves also got slight negatives: the Level 3 flying sit spin (-0.06); the Level 4 change foot combination spin (-0.06); and the Level 3 Layback (-0.12) The spirals and the straight line steps were base value Level 3.

10. 45.50 (25.70 + 19.80) Sarah Hecken of Germany, who had finished 8th in the Lake Placid Grand Prix week the previous week, skated in brown and cream to Tchaikovskyís Romeo & Juliet Overture. She got -1.20 GoE for her opening combination of two triple toes and -0.20 for the following triple Salchow but her double Axel earned +0.20. She received no points at all for her flying sit but still gained her new seasonís best. She earned two Level 3s, for her spirals (base value) and the straight line steps (+0.10), and two Level 2s (for her layback and for her change foot combination spin, which both earned their base value. The German 16 year old placed 8th & 7th in the last two world junior championships.

11. 40.48 (22.08 +19.40 -1.0) Swedenís Joshi Helgesson, who had competed in the Lake Placid Grand Prix the week before finishing 9th, skated to Magaya by Chris Spheeris in red. After bringing off a base value triple toe, she fell on her triple Lutz so wasnít able to get up into the planned double toe. She landed her double Axel which earned the base value. She also earned two Level 4s, for her base value spirals and her (-0.06) flying sit spin. Her change foot combination spin was Level 2 with -0.06. Her final move was a Level 1 base value layback.

Sarah Meier from Switzerland withdrew, as she had also done before the start of the Nebelhorn Trophy and after the Short Program in her other Grand Prix, the NHK in Japan. The Canadians did not replace her which seems strange since they have an adopted Canadian, Tugba Karademir, of Turkey, who lives nearby.


Free Skating

Starting Order - Free Skating

Warmup Group 1

1. Joshi Helgesson, SWE
2. Sarah Hecken, GER
3. Jenna Mccorkell, GBR
4. Akiko Suzuki, JPN
5. Caroline Zhang, USA

Warmup Group 2

6. Amelie Lacoste, CAN
7. Cynthia Phaneuf, CAN
8. Laura Lepisto, FIN
9. Mirai Nagasu, USA
10. Alissa Czisny, USA
11. Joannie Rochette, CAN

Start Time: 17:00

Trick List

Free Skating Placements
Place Skater Country
1 Joannie Rochette CAN
2 Laura Lepisto FIN
3 Mirai Nagasu USA
4 Alissa Czisny USA
5 Akiko Suzuki JPN
6 Amelie Lacoste CAN
7 Sarah Hecken GER
8 Caroline Zhang USA
9 Cynthia Phaneuf CAN
10 Jenna Mccorkell GBR
11 Joshi Helgesson SWE

Joannie Rochette

Laura Lepisto

Mirai Nagasu

1.182.90 Overall; 1. 112.90 Free Skate; (50.02 + 62.88); Rochetteís sexy routine to Saint-Saensí Samson & Delilah was definitely not perfect. You only had to see the Canadianís face as she came off the ice at The Aud in Kitchener to realize that. But the fans obviously enjoyed her performance and were still standing and widely applauding as she sat waiting for her marks. She blew away the opposition finishing 19.37 points overall ahead of the silver medalist.

"I feel this is the best program Iíve ever had. Iím not totally satisfied with the way I skated it. I know I can do this program much better, but itís really challenging physically to do. There were a few wobbles, and when I saw that triple loop on the replay, I was kind of proud of myself for hanging on to it. It was one of those programs where you need to fight from the beginning to the end. Iím proud I did. I will go home and work to make sure that every element, every transition is right on and that I get all my levels. I think my last minute missed a bit of power, I need to work on that." She was asked if the routine wasnít too ambitious. She answered, "I think this program can be very good. Itís just a matter of training it. Of course, itís more challenging but I think it's very doable. I think I have to approach it one element at a time."

Skating in a brief blue outfit, she opened with a combination of triple Lutz to double toe to double loop which was so good, it earned +0.60 over the base value of 8.80. But then she stepped out of her triple flip and put a hand down on the triple loop. A 2nd triple Lutz was doubled. But the sequence of triple toe to triple Salchow, set for when the 10% bonus for jumps clicks in, earned +1.0 over base value. She brought off a +0.60 double Axel to double toe but her final jump was a double Salchow instead of the planned triple. All three spins were only Level 2. The spirals and circular steps were Level 3.

She now ranks 3rd of the six Ladies who have qualified for the Grand Prix Final in two weeks time in Tokyo. (She is behind Yu-na Kim and Miki Ando. This is the last of the six Grand Prix events. Competitors with ISU world rankings take part in two of the events and the best progress to the Final.) Rochette said, "I'm happy to have qualified for the Final. Itís a prestigious event and I think it's going to be great, especially after this long program tonight. Iím really excited to have one more chance to do my programs internationally before Olympics."

2. 163.53; 4.100.01 (46.57 + 55.44); Skating to her routine from last season, set to Dr. Zhivago, Czisny began well with a +0.60 triple Lutz to double toe, and +0.80 triple flip. Later, she brought off a +0.60 sequence of two double Axels which earned +0.60 over the base value but her two triple loops were downgraded as was her 2nd triple Lutz. Her triple toe has a slight -0.20 taken off the base value. The flying sit and layback spins were Level 4 with +0.70 and +1.0 added to their base values but the change foot combination spin was only Level 3, even though it received three votes of the maximum +3 from the judges. (The layback got two +3s.) Her spirals and circular steps were Level 3 with +0.80 and +0.40.)

Czisny admitted, "I am disappointed. It wasnít my best. There were some strong points.

Iíve been learning from every competition this season. I canít worry about the outcome because I have no control over that."

 3. 158.52; 2. 102.78 (48.62 + 54.16); Lepisto, the current European champion, overtook Nagasu to win the bronze, 5.01 points behind Czisny. "Iím not totally pleased even though it was better than in (my performance in the Japanese Grand Prix in) Nagano. Iím in good condition. I expected a lot more of myself. The jet lag for both Grand Prix events has been bad. This hasnít been an easy start to the season."

The television camera caught, beautifully, her sexy opening stance and look of her Tango routine. But she got off to a bad start doubling both jumps in her planned combination of two triple toes. The following triple Lutz got a slight -0.40 and she jackknifed the landing on her triple loop, which was meant to be combined with a double toe, and got a full point deducted from the base value. But her 2nd triple loop was good and she improvised, adding a double toe to it. She received Level 4 for her flying sit and layback spins which earned +0.40 and +0.70. Her other spin, the spirals and her circular steps earned Level 3, all with +0.50 GoE. Her first double Axel got -0.80 but the 2nd one was good, receiving +0.60. She simplified her last jumping pass from a planned triple to a double Salchow to two double toes which earned the base value plus 10% bonus of 4.29.

4. 156.83; 3. 100.49 (51.69 + 48.80) Skating to Carmen in black and red, Nagasu lost out for a medal even though she came third in both sections. She got the top technical score in the free beating Rochette by 1.67 but her components were under Rochette, Czisny and Lepisto. Lepistoís component score was the 3rd best, a massive 6.36 points ahead of Nagasu.

Nagasu opened with a triple Lutz to double toe to double loop got an "e" for wrong edge take-off and the 3rd jump was downgraded. However, the following double Axel to double toe earned +1 and her triple flip received its base value. Her flying sit and layback spin which executed consecutively earned Level 4 and +0.10 and +1.20, with three of the nine judges giving the layback +3. Her spirals and circular steps were Level 3 with +0.60 and +0.20. Her 2nd triple Lutz was also saddled with an "e". The 2nd jump on her triple loop to double toe was downgraded. However, her 2nd double Axel and her triple toe received 0.20 over the base value +10%. She concluded with a Level 4 change foot combination spin which earned +0.90 over the base.

5. 147.72; 5. 94.62 (47.98 +46.64) Suzuki, who performed to West Side Story with a wrap around sweater over her dress, received "e"s for both her triple Lutzes. The first was combined with a double toe and double loop and appeared fine but the combination had -1.80 taken off its base value of 8.80. Then she singled an Axel which was combined with an under-rotated triple toe. Worse still, she singled her triple loop. Her triple flip had -2.0 taken off its base value but her 2nd attempt at a triple loop in a sequence with a double Axel earned +0.60 over its base value and her final jump, a triple Salchow got its base value. Two of her spins, the change foot combination and the last move, the flying camel combination earned the maximum Level 4 earned +0.20 and +0.30 over their base values. Her third spin and the straight line steps were Level 3 with +0.01 and +0.60 respectively.

6. 141.13; 6. 86.03 (40.23 + 46.80 -1.0) LaCoste, who skated to Pucciniís Oh, My Beloved Father, began with a triple loop planned as a combination with two other jumps but she couldnít get airborne for the 2nd jump and the judges gave her Ėl.20 GoE. She had to execute a double three to hold onto the landing of the following triple flip and, again, the judges were very hard on her, saddling her with a -2.0. Her triple Lutz was good and earned the base value. She fell on a downgraded triple Salchow. A 2nd attempt at a triple loop was doubled, but she earned +0.20 for her final jump, a double Axel which earned a slight positive 0.20. She gained Level 4 for two of her spins (+0.20 and the base value) and the +0.80 spiral sequence. Her straight line steps were Level 3 +0.10, as was her final spin, the flying sit, which earned its base value.

7. 132.48; 9. 76.90 (34.90 + 46.00 -4.0) Phaneuf had a bad day. Skating to Mission Cleopatra, she began with a nice triple toe in a sequence with a double Axel but fell on the Axel. She also fell on both triple Lutzes and her 2nd one was downgraded. She also fell on her 2nd triple loop. The 1st triple loop, which was to a double toe, earned its base value. But a Salchow was doubled and she earned no marks for her final jump, a triple toe, because she had already repeated two other triple jumps (loop and Lutz). But she gained three Level 4s (for two of her spins and the spirals). The other spin and the spirals were Level 3. All five moves received the base value or better.

8. 132.46; 10. 77.88 (39.32 + 40.56 -2.0) Zhang fell on her opening move, a triple flip, which was downgraded. That seemed to panic her and her toe-ing leg for her triple Lutz to double toe was even wilder than normal and she received an "e" for wrong edge. She also fell on her second flip, which was also downgraded. She got credit for a triple loop and a triple Salchow to double toe although both moves got a -0.20 GoE. She then improvised and got no marks for her triple loop to double toe to double loop because it was a classed as a 4th , and thus illegal, combination. However, her last two moves were both Level 4: +1.80 Level 4 spirals and +1.50 layback. The judges were so moved by the layback, all but two punched in +3, the maximum possible, while the other two gave +2. That move alone made the routine, set to Tchaikovskyís Nutcraker, worth watching.

9. 124.40; 7. 78.90 (41.22 + 37.88) Hecken got +0.80 GoE on her opening element, a combination of two triple toe loops. She triple Salchow but her 2nd attempt at that jump was downgraded. She did not get a Level 4 but she did not fall.

10. 123.50; 10. 76.02 (37.98 + 39.04 -1.0) McCorkell left the ice shaking her head. She started with a nice +0.80 double Axel and managed a 2nd double Axel combined with a double toe and a 3rd double Axel with two double toes and got the base value for two Level 4 spins. There were two Level 3 moves, her spirals and the straight line steps, which earned the base value. But she fell on a down-graded triple Lutz and made errors on almost everything else in her routine set to Voice of Violin.

11. 108.41; 11. 67.93 (32.85 + 36.08 -1.0) Helgesson started off the FS and set a pattern that prevailed throughout the event. No one skated their best although most had entertaining sections.


2009 Skate Canada Ladies Medalists
Czisny, Rochette, Lepisto (l to r)


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