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Canadian ice dancers win gold at ISU Junior Grand Prix event

Canadian flags are seen on the figure skates in this file photo.

LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS

Canadian ice dancers MacKenzie Bent and Garrett MacKeen opened the ISU Junior Grand Prix season Saturday by earning their first international victory.

Bent, from Uxbridge, Ont., and MacKeen, from Oshawa, Ont., had 127.93 points to edge the American duo of Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter.

"It was really something special to hear our national anthem," said MacKeen. "It certainly will be one of the biggest memories for us from this competition."

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Bent, 16, and MacKeen, 19, were first after Friday's short program. They retained the overall lead by finishing third in the free dance.

"One of our lifts was downgraded and that affected our score," said MacKeen. "It's something we've been working really hard on in training. We came here with a short dance similar to last year because it was very successful for us.

"We changed our free dance and we are delighted to get off to such a great start with it."

The Americans won silver with 127.43 points. Alla Loboda and Pavel Drozd of Russia won bronze with a total of 126.43 points.

It's the second career junior Grand Prix medal for Bent and MacKeen, who were fifth at the world juniors last season.

Also Saturday, Boyang Jin of China won gold in the men's competition. Roman Sadovsky of Vaughan, Ont., finished 14th overall.

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