2019-20 Canadian Men news & updates

Colonel Green

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So Keegan and Conrad are going to the Autumn Classic, while Iliya Kovler is our lead junior guy at JGP Russia, his second assignment.

With Joseph previously announced as competing in JGP Poland, Stephen's final event will either be Croatia or Italy.
 

Sylvia

Wishing I could go back to the Lake Placid JGP
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With Joseph previously announced as competing in JGP Poland, Stephen's final event will either be Croatia or Italy.
Skate Canada's website now lists Corey Circelli as the 2nd man for JGP Poland (he and McIsaac are assigned to the first & last JGPs in dance) and Eric Liu is listed for his 2nd at JGP #7 in Italy.

Canada was the 4th highest placing country at 2019 Junior Worlds and have picked up an extra men's spot for each of the first five JGPS due to Italy not using theirs (still TBD about the final 2 JGPs).

Challenger men's assignments listed on Skate Canada's website:
Nicolas Nadeau (U.S. Classic)
Nam Nguyen (Nebelhorn)
TBD: Finlandia Trophy and Warsaw Cup.

Messing and Nguyen are scheduled to make their season debuts tomorrow evening as both are listed in the SP starting order for the North York Summer Skate tomorrow, along with Roman Sadovsky, Conrad Orzel and Bennet Toman.
 
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Colonel Green

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A Rafael Arutyunyan interview where he talks about Gogolev (starts around the 51 minute mark):

  • very impressed with him overall.
  • notes that the biggest unknown is managing growth/injuries over the next few years.
  • conditioning is the main thing he wants to work on, but notes that Stephen only came in June, so he hasn't had much time to work on that. Would have preferred if he had come in April, but his parents wanted him to finish out the school year.
  • plans to attend at least some of the JGP with him in order to see how he handles it.
 

Colonel Green

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Keegan's "November Rain" program. I imagine he's a bit behind in his training, what with the wedding and all, but this was quite a good effort (and certainly much better than his summer comp free skate from last year). The triple Axels are looking great.


Conrad doesn't quite get the quad Lutz landed cleanly, but he's going for it this year.


Nam's program was very nice, though it looked like he hadn't had much time skating it yet, because he was clearly exhausted by the end.
 

haribobo

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Summer comp scores

SENIOR MEN
Keegan Messing 253
Joseph Phan 217 (jr event)
Nam Nguyen 209
Conrad Orzel 203
Iliya Kovler 196 (jr event)
Roman Sadovsky 196
Eric Liu 195 (jr event)
Bennet Toman 188
Stephen Gogolev 186 (jr event)
Alistair Lam 180
Beresford Clements 179
Jack Dushenski 178
Dawson Nodwell 173
Matthew Markell 169

TBD: Nadeau

JUNIOR MEN
Corey Circelli 183
Alec Guinzbourg 172
Wesley Chiu 169
William St-Louis 169
Gabriel Blumenthal 167
Matthew Newnham 167
Aleksa Rakic 162
 
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Catherine M

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Thanks for uploading all the videos, Colonel Green! Very much appreciated.

Love both of Keegan's programs for this year. And very nice to see his triple axel looking good. Getting almost 170 points in a summer comp LP is a nice way to start the season.

Too bad Nam couldn't follow up his great SP with a better LP but hopefully Neblehorn goes better.

And it is nice to see Nam & Keegan's friendship on Nam's instagram this weekend as even though they are competing for that lone spot to Montreal worlds, they seem very supportive of each other.
 

Rock2

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I'm not sure what to think with Canadian men this year. So far.

Keegs and Nam are both serviceable but both will face separate challenges to try to make top 10 in Montreal. They will both be borderline in their potential to hit that threshold but for now I see them on the outside looking in.

I feel for Orzel. I mean the planned content in his long is truly admirable, and his first shot at it went quite well I think. Kudos to him for trying to push himself to hit the podium this year. Sadly he can't generate GoE and even domestic judges aren't loving his components at all (like, at. all.), so the scoring potential just isn't there yet, try as he might....

Sigh.
 

Colonel Green

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Keegs and Nam are both serviceable but both will face separate challenges to try to make top 10 in Montreal. They will both be borderline in their potential to hit that threshold but for now I see them on the outside looking in.
Both of them were only about 11 points out of the top ten in Saitama, and that was with them making several errors each across both programs. Keegan, especially, if he skates well, will place in the top ten.
 

Frau Muller

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Keegan's "November Rain" program. I imagine he's a bit behind in his training, what with the wedding and all, but this was quite a good effort (and certainly much better than his summer comp free skate from last year). The triple Axels are looking great.


Conrad doesn't quite get the quad Lutz landed cleanly, but he's going for it this year.


Nam's program was very nice, though it looked like he hadn't had much time skating it yet, because he was clearly exhausted by the end.
Keegan: WOW! That’s simply magnificent skating. Points schmoints. Wasn’t this what was intended for “free skating”... musicality, deep knee bends, leans, edging, in time to music? I love it. BONUS: It’s no longer Chaplin!
 

livetoskate

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Yeah! No more Chaplin and an exciting free skate for Keegan. His "costume" looks a lot more comfortable too.
 

Rock2

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I'm not really feeling Keegan's free skate although I'm glad it's not Chaplin. At least it's authentic to him but it feels like a throwback to a Sabovcik pro program. But if he can score well with it, then fine by me.
 

Rock2

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Both of them were only about 11 points out of the top ten in Saitama, and that was with them making several errors each across both programs. Keegan, especially, if he skates well, will place in the top ten.
Well that's where my brain kind of started.
But my perception is that the fields get stronger as the cycle progresses. And in Keegan/Nam, we have 2 skaters who have hit their plateaus. Plus, I think the chances of any Canadian skating lights out under that kind of pressure are significant.

I think Keegan is our best chance for a top 10 and I give him at this stage a 50-50 chance. I'd love to see the 4Z get in the program to up those odds.
 

haribobo

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Junior Men top 3 from BC/YK comp
1 Eric Liu 182.20
2 Aleksa Rakic 180.24 (new summer high score)
3 Matthew Newnham 166.30
 
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Jammers

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I would think after Nam's last 3 appearances at Worlds where twice he failed to even make the FS and his best showing is 16th Canada probably needs to look elsewhere to get that 2nd spot back and become competitive at least.
 

greenapple

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One would have to believe they are looking directly at Stephen Gogolev in that regard. I do not see either Nam or Keegan making top 10 in Montreal at this stage. Maybe that will change as the season progresses.
 

Colonel Green

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But my perception is that the fields get stronger as the cycle progresses. And in Keegan/Nam, we have 2 skaters who have hit their plateaus.
I'd dispute that, especially in Nam's case, since he is objectively (re)introducing new content to his programs. Keegan may or may not bring the 4Lz into play consistently, but if he's plateaued, he's done so at a pretty high level, and one that would be more than sufficient to make the top ten skating well. He had the ninth-best total score last season (eighth-best among men returning this season), eighth-best short program score, and seventh-best free skate score (sixth-best among men returning).

I would think after Nam's last 3 appearances at Worlds where twice he failed to even make the FS and his best showing is 16th Canada probably needs to look elsewhere to get that 2nd spot back and become competitive at least.
How Nam skates this coming season will be the best indicator of how he'd perform at Worlds, if his results indicate that he's the one who would normally be sent.

I do not see either Nam or Keegan making top 10 in Montreal at this stage.
Why? Keegan looked better at this recent summer competition than he did this time last year, and that was (presumably) with less preparation.
 

ChiquitaBanana

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I would think after Nam's last 3 appearances at Worlds where twice he failed to even make the FS and his best showing is 16th Canada probably needs to look elsewhere to get that 2nd spot back and become competitive at least.
Nam is still young though... An old young... He went to his first Worlds before his puberty... So he had physical changes to address during these years. All he needs now is stability in his training situation.
 

Colonel Green

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Day 1 from JGP France:



Nice clean skate from Aleksa; probably be a challenge for him to stay in medal position without a triple Axel, but men's free skates are messy, so who knows?

Iliya had the same problem as at his summer competition. Great triple Axel, problems with the next two jumps. If he could do a program of only triple Axels, he'd be set.
 

Rock2

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Aleksa has had a difficult summer with all his growth. Summer comps weren't spectacular. To skate clean in the first JGP of the year when almost no one was really bringing it is really seizing the opportunity. Congrats to him on that - he should be very pleased.
 

Rock2

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Nam is still young though... An old young... He went to his first Worlds before his puberty... So he had physical changes to address during these years. All he needs now is stability in his training situation.
If only that were the case.

The growth happened 3 years ago and the inconsistency persists. He'll be almost 22 at world's so we need to turn the page on that story line.

I think the #1 thing he needs is the fire and competitive drive to get to the next level. Tbh I don't think he has it, and my understanding is this is part of the reason for all the coaching changes.

His ceiling going forward is flirting with top 10 at world's. I'm looking for some indication that he's ready and willing to go higher. Still watching...and waiting.
 

Colonel Green

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If you had told me to guess beforehand who would win Canada's only medal at Courchevel, Aleksa would have been fourth on my list of the five possibilities (for the record, I'd have had it: B/B, Iliya, M/C, Aleksa, Alison), so congratulations to him on seizing the opportunity.

In particular, by the time he took the ice he had to know that he would win a medal if he skated cleanly, even with his lower tech, but any mistake would put him below Andrei and potentially off the podium (given how Matthew skated afterward, of course, we know that Aleksa could still have medaled even with a mistake, but he obviously couldn't know that at the time). He bore up well under the pressure, even if he was obviously a bit more nervous than during the short program.

EDIT: Also, heh, Aleksa was by far the tallest person on the podium.
 

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