Tuesday, 20/3/2018 | : : UTC-7
Skate Today

Stellar in the Short

The Canadian senior men put on quite the display at the Pacific Coliseum, Friday afternoon, during the men’s short program. From bottom to top it was a showcase of the ability and performance quality of each skater. Personal best scores were the norm rather than the exception. It was not about quads, but rather the consistency, expression, and the joy of skating.

Jeffrey Buttle gave a performance that stated, “Hey wait, don’t count me out yet.” Jeff was so on top of his game that teammate Patrick Chan referred to Jeff’s short program, as “Jaw Dropping” and continued on with “I can learn so much from him.” The three- time Canadian Champion gave an awe-inspiring performance and finished in first place with 80.08 points – a new personal best.

“I’m not here just to have a good time. I want to enjoy myself but I’m here to defend my title and I don’t want anyone else to take it from me,” Buttle said emphatically.

Jeff is the first to admit he has not had a good season to date, but told the media, “I felt confident out there, and I have been practicing so hard and they have been going so well. I couldn’t help hearing the scores of the other guys, and each time I said to myself – I can beat that.”

The twenty-five-year-old couldn’t put a foot wrong in his dynamic program to “Adios Nonino” by Astor Piazolla. The 2006 Olympic bronze medalist applauded for himself as the audience showed their appreciation with a standing ovation.

Buttle who started skating at the age of two, opened with a high triple flip/triple toe and went on to nail his nemesis – the triple Axel. His triple Lutz was solid and his spins were superb, but where the 2005 World silver medalist shines is in his ability to encompass the music into the presentation of the program.

When asked to comment on his program Jeff told the media, “I felt great and my levels were very good. I trained really hard coming in. There was no reason for me to go out there and not have a good time so I did.

Patrick Chan edged his way to the second spot with a marvelous performance to “Exile to Snowy West” and “In the Bamboo Forest” by Tan Dun.

The fifth place finisher at the Grand Prix Final stated, “I came to Vancouver with the hopes of making the world team and not to become Canadian Champion – so I am happy. I was fifth last season and if I can be second this season that would be a big jump.”

Chan fell on his opening triple Axel, and turned himself into a near-perfect triple flip/triple toe and a sure-footed triple Lutz. The Trophee Bompard Champion carved his way across the ice on his level three step sequences and spun like a top on his level four spins.

Chan told the media, “I felt really good out there tonight. I enjoyed my time in Vancouver, the crowd here has been great. I felt warm feelings from the crowd and I am hoping tomorrow will go just as well.”

The seventeen-year-old, who has been skating since the age of five, exhibits remarkable quality in his skating – deep edges and outstanding control of the blade. He earned a segment score of 73.42 points.

The impressive teen has had a meteoric rise in the sport winning the pre-novice title in 2003, the novice title in 2004, and the junior title in 2005. He placed seventh at the senior level when he was barely fifteen and placed fifth last season at sixteen.

Christopher Mabee of Tillsonburg has been referred to as the “dark horse in the race,” but Chris proved he was no dark horse, but a solid contender with a great skate to “Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia” by Aram Khachaturian.

Despite a marred landing on the back half of a triple flip/ triple toe combination, the 2007 Canadian silver medalist was solid landing a steady triple Axel – with an impish smile, then followed with a high triple Lutz which was spot on the peak of the music.

Chris chuckled and said, “To be honest, I really felt like garbage out there on the warm-up and my jumps were all over the place. So I was so happy I could regroup and be able to come off the ice tonight knowing I had a good program.”

His well-choreographed program by Lori Nichol, highlighted his expressive movements and solid steps. The twenty-two-year-old gathered a segment score of 70.46 points.

Vaughn Chipeur vaulted to fourth place with an explosive program to “Street Music” by Russo.

The twenty-three-year-old floated across the ice on his huge triple Axel earning a +1.50 GOE. He over-rotated the back half of a triple flip/ triple toe combination, but then followed with a well-done triple Lutz.

The 2006 Nebelhorn bronze medalist received level four on all three spins but managed only a level one on his straight line steps. Vaughn received a segment score of 69.10 and sits within reach of his goal to make the World team.

His emotions were there for all to see when Fedor Andreev returned to the ice after being side-lined as a result of a back injury since 2005. The Russian born skater gave an intense performance to “Diva Mia” by R. Musumara.

Andreev returns with a new found love of the sport and shared his experiences off the ice inspired him to return. Fedor has modelled, toured the world, and driven race cars but none fulfilled his need to skate.

Hoping to return to the Canadian podium (he won bronze in 2004) and make the World team Fedor was explosive and let out a yell midway thru his short program.

Andreev was impressive landing a sensational triple flip/triple toe, triple Axel and a triple Lutz. The 2002 Nebelhorn bronze medalist received low levels on his spins and footwork and was penalized for a problem on his flying sit spin.

“I have been working on my overall conditioning,” said Andreev. “I am trying to keep myself in good shape. I am into the whole maturity thing right now, and I changed my nutritional habits and my training regimen is totally different. Now I am more conscious of what I put in my body, and I try to eat organic foods.”

His portrayal of the character was first-rate earning him the second best component score for performance and interpretation. His segment score was 67.16 points, and he remains in contention for a medal at this event.

“I just love to perform, and I hope the audience likes it too,” Andreev stated.

Shawn Sawyer sits in sixth place with 64.00 points after he two-footed the triple Axel and singled a planned triple Lutz.

Kevin Reynolds landed the only quad of the day (a Salchow) but then only completed a single toe on the back end of the combination. The Vancouver based skater is currently in seventh place with 60.10 points.

Kenny Rose is in eight despite a clean skate earning 58.48 points. He received low levels on his step sequences and executed only a planned double Axel rather than the more difficult triple Axel.

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