Everyone was expecting the men's title to be a showdown between Canadian champion Patrick Chan and U.S. champion Evan Lysacek.
It still may be, but Yannick Ponsero of France will have something to say about it. Ponsero, bolstered by a high-risk, high-reward quadruple toeloop that led to a personal-best 78.05, is in first following the short program.
Chan, despite a couple minor slips, skated a strong program to sit less than a point behind, followed by Ryan Bradley of the U.S.
The 23-year-old Lysacek, coming off a third-place finish at Skate America last weekend, is fourth.
"I'm very happy considering it's the first competition of the season for me," said Chan, who at 17 is still eligible for junior. "I felt good knowing that I can hold second place even though I made those little mistakes."
PAIRS, WITH TRIPLE TWIST
Canadians Bryce Davison and Jessica Dube performed the triple twist -- where he throws her in the air, she spins three times and lands back in his arms -- for the first time as senior pairs partners.
The result was so-so.
"It crashed a little bit on the landing," Davison said. "The timing was a little off and we didn't get as high to be a nice twist. But we broke the ice with it and got it out there and we're looking forward to doing it again (today) and the rest of the season."
The Canadians, who are in third behind Yuko Kawaguchi and Alexander Smirnov of Russia and Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker of the U.S. heading into today's free skate, will need the triple twist in their program at the 2010 Olympics, so "now was the time to bring it out," Davison said.