VANCOUVER -- Normally, if your name is Hay and you're from up Grande Prairie way, you compete for buckles, not medals.
But Cody Hay of Grande Prairie put himself and partner Anabelle Langlois in position 'A' to become Canadian figure skating champions here last night.
The two former Edmonton Royal Glenora skaters who now train at the Mariposa in Barrie, Ont., won the short program as Bryce Davison and Jessica Dube had their worst day since, well, Four Continents last year.
That was when the defending Canadian champions had their turn-your-head-away disaster when Davison's skate slashed Dube's face for 80 stitches.
There was no blood on the ice here last night. But there was pain in their faces after they fell to fifth going into this morning's free skate final.
"It was a rough skate tonight, that's all I can say," said Davison.
"It was a big surprise what happened on the throw. That doesn't happen too often."
Davison launched Dube into a throw triple loop but the Drummonville, Que. skater ended up on her posterior.
"I have no idea what happened," she said.
The two are in deep doo doo when it comes to defending their title.
Langlois and Hay take 62.73 points into the final with Megan Duhamel and Craig Button, who were paired just seven months ago, sitting second at 61.48.
Toronto's Kara Moscovitch and Dylan Moscovitch sit third at 57.01 and Jessica Miller and Ian Moram of Vancouver fourth at 55.51.
Dube and Davison are at 54.32.
"We have to come back in the morning and skate really well," said Davison. "We have to just think of making the Worlds team first and go from there."
Three Canadian teams will proceed to Worlds in Gothenberg, Sweden.
This is only the second year on Canada's national team for Langlois and Hay, who went to Worlds last year and finished 10th.
"It feels great," said Hay of sitting first going into today's final.
"It's awesome, but I know they didn't have a good skate," Langlois said of the defending champions.
"You want to win when everybody skates their best," said Hay, who was born in Dawson Creek, B.C. and moved to Grande Prairie at age 14.