On January 6, 2018, Les Suprêmes called checkmate on the junior competition, securing their spot with NEXXICE on Team Canada.
Hovering at a cool -24 degrees on Saturday evening, the frigid temperatures didn’t stop the crowds from rolling into the Hershey Centre to watch Winterfest, Canada’s largest synchronized skating competition held in Mississauga, Ontario.
Dueling as the World Championship qualifier for the junior event, the weekend saw five teams compete, including the Ann Arbor-based Hockettes, with four looking to earn a spot on Team Canada.
On the Friday evening, NEXXICE (Burlington, Ontario) opened the junior event with an emotional short program dedicated to teammate Amanda Kauffman. Skating to a remix of "Rise Up" by Andra Day, NEXXICE earned a total of 54.97. Opening with a strong pivot, Les Suprêmes closed the junior event with their "Bollywood" performance, earning 63.06.
New on the junior scene is NOVA (Brossard, Québec). Winners of the Boston Classic in November 2017, NOVA skated to a selection of tribal music for their short, earning 36.99. Representing Brampton-Chinguacou, Gold Ice is no stranger to the Junior division, where they won silver at the 2008 Junior Worlds. The team folded after 2011 but returned this season skating to “Sweet Dreams” by Eurythmics (41.77).
Hailing from the first synchronized skating club in history, Hockettes Junior made the frosty trek up to Winterfest, skating to selections from Wonder Woman (33.94) for their short program.
Wearing burgundy sweetheart dresses, NEXXICE opened the senior event with their "Spellbound Concerto” by Miklos Rozsa (70.90). For the first time, Adrian College (Adrian, Michigan) joined the Winterfest lineup skating to a cover of “Paint It Black” (40.58). NOVA Senior closed the event with a high energy rendition of “Blue Suede Shoes” from Cirque du Soleil’s Viva Elvis (60.18).
On Saturday evening, Hockettes kicked off the junior event with their Cher-inspired program (74.85) followed by Nova Junior. Skating to selections from Kill Bill (74.19), NOVA finished fourth overall and Hockettes fifth.
This weekend was Winterfest/ ISU World Junior Synchronized Skating Championship qualifiers. Our skates were not perfect but we still had two very good performances and won the competition. We are very excited to travel to Zagreb, Croatia as Team Canada 1 alongside @nexxicejr We are so proud of how much our team has improved in the weeks leading to this competition and can’t wait to see what the rest of the season brings💪🏼 Congratulations also to all the teams who competed this weekend!!💓 @hockettesjunior @nova__junior @goldicesynchro
Les Suprêmes junior took their opening positions with half of the team on one side wearing black mesh, and the others directly opposite in white. A chess set had been created, where one piece (skater) moved at a time. Suffering a few bobbles towards the end, Les Suprêmes earned 96.04 and earned 159.10 overall to take the title.
With a fire lit, NEXXICE Junior came out on Saturday evening with a calm confidence. Their imagination-themed program, featuring music from Willy Wonka and Edward Scissorhands, was enough to earn the free program title (99.21) and finish second overall.
We are so proud of our Junior team for their smashing debut at the ISU Junior World Qualifier this weekend. These 18 athletes have been working incredibly hard over the past 9 months for this moment and their dedication paid off with two personal best skates and a bronze medal. Congrats to @lessupremesjunior and @nexxicejr on qualifying for worlds in Croatia - you will do Canada proud and we can’t wait to cheer you on! 🇨🇦 We would also like to congratulate @nova__junior as well as @hockettesjunior for their great skates (and thank you for coming to Canada!) Finally, thank you to all of the other teams, fans, and officials for your support and encouragement. We are proud to be a part of this exciting category. 🙌🏻💕 #sweetdreams #villains #goldicejunior #goldicerocks
Gold Ice capped the evening with their rendition of “Evil Queens,” portraying a selection of female Disney villains. A strong performance (82.73) moved them up to third position overall.
In the Senior division, Adrian College, skating to Disney's "Soarin'" and "Illuminations," pushed through injuries and setbacks (84.13) to finish third overall with 124.71. NEXXICE took the ice wearing a spectrum of blue; the ombre collage is a fitting choice for their "River and Blues" program. Opening with "River” by Leon Bridges and closing with “S.O.B” by Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, NEXXICE gave the crowd a reason to tap their toes, earning 128.50 in the free and 199.40 overall.
NOVA opened wearing soft pink and grey dresses, skating to Liebestraum by Frank Litz. Two skaters shot off at the end to perform a Virtue and Moir inspired lift and pair spin, granting them a standing ovation (121.25) and enough to secure second overall (181.43).