Rostelecom Cup Recap

Mens: It turns out that Patrick Chan can fall four times and only lose the gold medal because of an extra combination.  His program component scores are sky high (and he earns all of those points, especially in his free skate) that the technical elements are just a bonus.  Verner’s new training routine seems to be paying off and his short is an especially delightful program.  Abbott continues to struggle with confidence issues in international competitions but his free program should be magical when he hits all the elements.  Contesti skated a stellar free skate to pull up from 9th to 4th place and if he can find a way to pull off the magic in his short program he could be a podium threat.

I was 0/3 on exact podium predictions but predicted all 3 of the medal winners.  My fantasy team finished 2nd, 5th and 12th. 

Ladies: Battling a back injury, Miki Ando put out a solid free skate and climbed from 5th place to win the Gold medal.  Suzuki put out two solid programs but errors in her free skate lost her the gold.  Ashley Wagner also had two solid programs and medaled for the first time this season.  Zawadzki again had trouble with her free skate and fell from 2nd to 4th place.  She has all the elements needed to land on the podium but needs more experience to calm her nerves and skate a solid free.  The Russian ladies were mostly a disappointment on home ice but Sofia Biryukova had a solid debut to place 6th in only her 2nd international competition.

I was 2/3 on exact podium predictions and picked 2/3 of the medalists.  My Fantasy team finished 1st, 7th and 8th.

Pairs: Kavaguti and Smirnov put together two solid performances and won gold on home ice and their scores put them in the top 3 for the season, winning by nearly 20 points.  Takahashi and Tran showed that they deserve a place in the senior mix with their second medal this season.  Evora and Ladwig won their first career Grand Prix medal with the highest element scores in the free skate.  Gerboldt/Enbert impressed in their debut season with a 4th place finish only 2 points from the podium.  Lawrence and Swiegers weren’t able to capitalize on their success at Skate Canada and finish on the podium again here. 

I was 1/3 on exact podium predictions and picked 2/3 of the medalists.  My fantasy team finished 1st, 5th, and 4th.

Dance:  This event was a mess from start to finish.  Faiella/Scali were in medal position in the short dance but withdrew before the free dance.  Paul and Islam had problems with their short dance including a fall and withdrew before the free dance.  The Hubbells had bobbles in their short dance and also had to withdraw.    The one bright spot was Bobrova and Soloviev’s solid programs which earned them a gold medal and could have landed them on the podium at any of the Grand Prixs.  Hoffman and Zavozin also put out strong programs that put them in the top 10 scores for the year and won them a silver medal in their second career Grand Prix. 

Only one team that I predicted would make the podium did not withdraw.  My entire fantasy team withdrew.