Team USA held on to their overnight lead at the ISU World Team Trophy with 59 points to their credit. Canada overtook Japan and currently sits in second place with 53 points. Japan has 52, France 37, Russia 36 and China 33 points.
U.S. team members Evan Lysacek and ice dancers Tanith Belbin and Benjamin Agosto claimed victories their respective disciplines while newcomers to the international pairs scene, Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett placed third in the short program.
Three weeks after winning the World title in Los Angeles, Lysacek turned in another strong performance that featured seven clean triple jumps including a triple Axel and a triple Lutz-triple toe loop. His second triple Axel, in combination with a double toe, was downgraded, as was a double loop at the back end of a triple flip combination.
Lysacek scored 154.86 points and claimed victory with 238.56 points to edge out overnight leader Brian Joubert by just 1.45 points.
“I’m very proud of my team. It extended from yesterday when our ladies had great performances and for our pairs to do a great short program and for the ice dancers Tanith and Ben to win today, just motivated me,” Lysacek said.
“I sort of used some of their momentum to try keeping our men going. As for me, I just wanted to represent my team well. I have to thank my very strong and consistent teammates for the momentum they created and the motivation they gave me. I just tried to continue that moment.”
Jeremy Abbott remained in fifth place with 205.05 points.
Belbin and Agosto scored 98.71 points for their free dance earned 162.98 points in total to win the event. “I think the performance was better than at Worlds, because we were thinking less about it. I don’t think we got all the levels that we did at Worlds, in the footwork, on the diagonal. A few of the levels are maybe not as strong, but it was better overall,” Belbin said.
Agosto agreed. “It felt a little more fulfilling just because it felt like we were ready to go for it. At Worlds we were holding back a little bit. But here it flowed better,” he said. “We have to take that with us and try to always do that, because that’s the key.”
Denney and Barrett earned 56.58 points for their short program performance, a new season’s best.
“One thing we’ve really shown here so far is not only our depth but our consistency in every discipline, so I think we should be really proud of that,” said Lysacek. “The girls both had clean skates last night and they blew us all away. The pairs and ice dancers were amazing today.”
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir placed second in the ice dance competition with 156.71 points overall.
Patrick Chan rallied from a disappointing short program to finish fourth in the men’s event. The reigning World silver medalist missed a triple Axel but completed six other triples, difficult spins and footwork. He ranked second in the free skate with 151.95 points and earned a total score of 217.98 points. Vaughn Chipeur finished sixth with 198.91 points.
Jessica Dubé and Bryce Davison placed fourth in the pairs event after Dubé fell on both the side by side triple Salchow and at the end of the side by side spin.
“Team Canada is very pleased with how today went, obviously we moved up a spot. That’s extremely exciting,” said Moir, Canada’s team captain. “I think a lot of that is due to the men. They were determined to come out and have a strong skate today and kind of climbed the ladder a little bit up into the top six.”
Nobunari Oda was the top scoring athlete from team Japan. The Japanese team captain fell on his opening quadruple toe loop, but recovered to land a solid triple Axel-triple toe, another triple Axel and four more triples. He placed third with a point score of 229.25. Takahiko Kozuka placed eighth with 190.93 points.
Ice dancers Cathy Reed and Chris Reed came in fifth while pairs skaters Narumi Takahashi and Mervin Tran were sixth.
Joubert, who led after the short program, slipped to second overall. He nailed an excellent quadruple toe loop, doubled a planned quadruple Salchow and landed seven further triples. The European Champion earned his highest score of the season, best of 151.70 points and claimed 237.09 points overall.
Florent Amodio placed 10th with 182.32 points.
Ice dancers Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat edged out Russia’s Jana Khokhlova and Sergei Novitski and clinched the bronze medal with 150.63 points
Vanessa James and Yannick Bonheur ranked fifth in the pairs short program.
Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov picked up 11 points for the Russian team with their second place finish in the pairs short program. The 2009 World bronze medalists overcame a rough start when she missed the side-by-side triple toe jump, and earned 65.08 points.
European Champions Khokhlova and Novitski finished fourth in the ice dance event with 149.45 points.
In the men’s event, Sergei Voronov dropped from fourth to seventh place while Konstantin Menshov remained in 12th place.
Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang won the pairs short program and scored 12 points for China. The three-time and reigning World silver medalists established a new seasons best with 70.42 points.
“I’m very happy that we got a new season best score. It gives us confidence that we can still progress and achieve higher scores in the future. We are tired, but we are in high spirits,” Hao Zhang explained. “All the members of our team tried their best and their scores are very good so far. We have one day more and I believe they will try even harder and achieve better scores.”
Jialiang Wu and Chao Yang finished ninth and 11th. Ice dancers, Xintong Huang and Xun Zheng, ranked sixth.