LAS VEGAS — Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue won the final Skate America of their careers on Sunday by a tiny margin while Canada's Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sorenson took the bronze.
The U.S. ice dancers maintained their lead from Saturday’s rhythm dance and won the first Grand Prix of the figure skating season with a total of 209.54 points. They edged teammates and training mates Madison Chock and Evan Bates, who were second both days to take the silver with 208.23.
Fournier Beaudry and Sorensen, from Montreal, finished third at 190.13.
They also won bronze at both their Grand Prix assignments two seasons ago. The Canadians did not have any Grand Prix opportunities last season due to the pandemic.
The Canadians ranked fourth in the free dance but held on to third place Sunday by a mere 0.44 points over Olivia Smart and Adrian Diaz of Spain.
‘’It was so great to be back in international competition with an audience,’’ said Sorensen. ‘’We really felt them with us in both programs and it gave us the energy to produce two clean skates.’’
The top four teams are coached by Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon and Romain Haguenauer at the Ice Academy of Montreal.
Hubbell and Donohue, fourth at their Olympic debut four years ago, have vowed this will be their final season, meaning they will retire from competition after either the Beijing Olympics in February or the world championships in March.
They are the only ice dance team to win medals at each of the last three world championships and are among the favorites to reach the Olympic podium.
Their win at Orleans Arena is their fourth in a row at Skate America, tying them with 2014 Olympic champions and fellow Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White for the longest ice dance win streak in the event’s history.
Carolane Soucisse of Chateauguay, Que., and Shane Firus of North Vancouver were seventh.
The next stop on the circuit is Skate Canada International beginning Friday in Vancouver.
With files from The Canadian Press.
The Associated Press