Liam Firus Skate Canada International Assignments

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada will send seven entries, for a total of 10 skaters to the 2017 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic, the first event on the International Skating Union’s (ISU) 2017 Challenger Series. Canada will have two entries per discipline in men, ladies, and pairs and one entry in ice dance, at the event which runs from September 13-17, 2017, in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Liam Firus, 25, North Vancouver, B.C., is the first of two Canadian entries in men’s. He placed eighth at this event in 2013. Last season, Firus placed fifth at the Nebelhorn Trophy, ninth at Skate Canada International, and seventh at the 2017 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. Firus is coached by Bruno Marcotte in Sainte-Julie, Que.

Bennet Toman, 20, Brampton, Ont., is the second Canadian entry in men’s. This will be his first time competing at this event. Last season, Toman placed fifth at the 2016 Autumn Classic International and eighth at the 2017 Canadian Championships. He is coached by Michelle Leigh in Oakville, Ont.

Alicia Pineault, 17, Varennes, Que., is one of two Canadian entries in the ladies category. This will also be her first time competing at this event. Last season, she placed 10th at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in the Czech Republic, fifth in junior at the 2016 Autumn Classic International, and seventh in senior at the 2017 Canadian Championships. Pineault is coached by Stéphane Yvars in Boucherville, Que.

Michelle Long, 25, Newmarket, Ont., is the second Canadian entry in the ladies discipline, and will also be competing at this event for the first time. Last season, she placed 11th at the 2016 Autumn Classic International, and ninth at the 2017 Canadian Championships. Long is coached by Robert Burk and Danielle Rose in Richmond Hill, Ont.

Canadian bronze medallists Kirsten Moore-Towers, 25, St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro, 25, Sarnia, Ont., are the first Canadian entry in pairs. Moore-Towers and Marinaro are the 2015 bronze medallists at this event. Last season in international competition, they placed seventh at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships. Moore-Towers and Marinaro are coached by Bruno Marcotte, Richard Gauthier and Sylvie Fullum in St. Leonard, Que.

Sydney Kolodziej, 24, Montreal, Que., and Maxime Deschamps, 25, Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., will also represent Canada in pairs. This will be their first international assignment together. Last season, they placed sixth at the 2017 Canadian Championships. Kolodziej and Deschamps are coached by Richard Gauthier and Bruno Marcotte in St. Leonard, Que.

Carolane Soucisse, 22, Châteauguay, Que., and Shane Firus, 23, North Vancouver, B.C., will represent Canada in ice dance. This will be their first time competing at this event. Last season, they placed seventh at both of their international assignments: Autumn Classic International and the Cup of Nice. Soucisse and Firus are coached by Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon in Montreal, Que.

Mike Slipchuk, Skate Canada High Performance Director, and Marie Bowness of Bedford, N.S., will be the Canadian team leaders at the event. Physiotherapist Karen Seymour of Toronto, Ont., will be the Canadian medical staff onsite. Susan Blatz of Burlington, Ont., and Debbie Islam of Barrie, Ont., will be the Canadian officials at the event.

For photos of Canadian entries, please contact For more information and full entries please visit or


MenLiam Firus25North Vancouver, B.C.Vancouver SCBruno Marcotte
MenBennet Toman20Brampton, Ont.Skate OakvilleMichelle Leigh
LadiesAlicia Pineault17Varennes, Que.CPA VarennesStéphane Yvars
LadiesMichelle Long25Newmarket, Ont.Richmond Hill FSCRobert Burk/ Danielle Rose
PairsKirsten Moore-Towers/ Michael Marinaro25/25St. Catharines, Ont./ Sarnia, Ont.Kitchener-Waterloo SC/ Point Edward SC Inc.Bruno Marcotte/ Richard Gauthier/ Sylvie Fullum
PairsSydney Kolodziej/ Maxime Deschamps24/25Montreal, Que./ Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que.CPA St. Léonard/ CPAR VaudreuilRichard Gauthier/ Bruno Marcotte
Ice DanceCarolane Soucisse/ Shane Firus22/23Châteauguay, Que./ Barrie, Ont.CPA Repentigny/ CPA AhuntsicMarie-France Dubreuil/ Patrice Lauzon


The articles below have been published by the Skate Canada Communications team.

SALT LAKE CITY – Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Michael Marinaro of Sarnia, Ont., won the gold medal Friday in pairs at the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic.

Liam Firus of North Vancouver, B.C. added a bronze in men’s competition.

The Canadians won the short program Thursday and held on to first with the second best free skate to finish with 188.76 points. Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim of the U.S. were second at 186.08 and their compatriots Chelsea Liu and Brian Johnson third at 181.40.

‘’We’re feeling pretty good about our free skate today but we definitely have room for improvement,’’ said Moore-Towers. ‘’We’re taking steps forward little by little and trying to get our season off to a good start.’’

The couple missed the first half of last season due to injury.

‘’It’s definitely just start right now,’’ added Marinaro. ‘’We want to keep building towards our first Grand Prix assignment in six weeks.’’

Sydney Kolodziej of Montreal and Maxime Deschamps of Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que., were seventh.

Nathan Chen led the U.S. to a 1-2 finish in men’s competition with 275.04 followed by Max Aaron at 261.56. Firus earned 248.29. Bennet Toman of Brampton, Ont., was 11th.

‘’I wasn’t expecting too much coming into this event,’’ said Firus, who landed a quad jump and a triple Axel. “I just wanted to stay in the present and do the best I could do. There was no worry about a score of placement.’’

In women’s competition after the short program, Alicia Pineault of Varennes, Que., is sixth and Michelle Long of Newmarket, Ont., ninth.

After the short dance, Carolane Soucisse of Chateauguay, Que., and Shane Firus of North Vancouver are seventh.

The free dance and women’s free skate are on Saturday.

Full results:

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