SASKATOON -- He taught them how to twist. And they came here to twist again like they did last summer.
David Pelletier invited world bronze-medal winners Jessica Dube and Bryce Davison to Sherwood Park last summer to go to work on the weakest part of their program their twists.
Yesterday Davison gave the former world and Olympic champion and his partner in life, Jamie Sale, credit for making the difference in one of the closest competitions since the new scoring system came into figure skating - a system that came into the sport as a result of Sale and Pelletier almost being screwed out of a gold medal by a judging scandal at the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games.
"Our twist from last year to this year has an extra foot of height and an extra rotation," said the Cambridge, Ont., skater. "Any time we work with them they inspire us," he said of the two week summer session in the Edmonton bedroom community.
"Both Jamie and David did more than just the twist and giving us inspiration, they showed us how to work with each other," he added of himself and his Drumondville, Que., teammate who are otherwise coached by Annie Barabe.
"David has actually helped me for a long time. He's one of my best friends," said Barabe, who insisted Pelletier join her and the two skaters in the kiss and cry for their marks to be shown in the event in which they edged Megan Duhamel and Craig Buntin 188.43 to 182.50.
"Anytime I have doubts or questions I talk to him on the phone," said the coach who asked Pelletier to spend three more days with the two at the Sherwood Park club before coming here.
"I'm not 100% a coach yet. But I was 100% involved emotionally," said Pelletier of the experience. "It was easy for me to show up and give them confidence."
But he does take pride in the twist.
"It just gets 20% better every time I see it," he said. "I even remember the date. It was July 5 in Sherwood Park, the first time they did it."
Dube and Davison were second to Anabelle Langlois and Cody Hay at last year's Canadians and second to Duhamel and Buntin after Friday's short program.
As a result it was the only event of this year's nationals which remained in doubt after Joannie Rochette won the women's earlier in the day.
CHAN A LOCK
Patrick Chan has such a lead he's expected to easily put away his second men's title today and the dance duo of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir were a lock to do the same here late last night.
Dube and Davison scored a season-best 126.21 on their long program to put the pressure on Lively, Ont., skater Duhamel and her Kelowna, B.C., partner Buntin.
"It was a point of pride for us to get the Canadian championship back," said Davison of the pair which won it two years ago.
"I knew we were going to skate like that when I saw the confidence she had today," said Davison of Dube.
"When I saw the confidence she had today I knew I was going to have the confidence I had today. When Jess is on it gives me huge motivation."
Both teams were named to the Canadian team for Worlds in Los Angeles where Canada has three spots. Skate Canada reserved the third spot for injured Langlois of Gatineau, Que., and partner Cody Hay of Grande Prairie, Alta. If they prove competition ready in a simulation 10 days from now they'll get the third spot, otherwise the Nova Scotia team of Mylene Brodeur and John Mattatall will get the spot.
Defending champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won the ice dance title.
Virtue, from London, Ont., and Moir, from Ilderton, Ont., captured the dance crown scoring 94.68 points. They finished with 197.77 overall.
Vanessa Crone of Aurora, Ont., and Paul Poirier, from Unionville, Ont., scored 84.40 in the free program and 175.58 overall to take the silver. Kaitlyn Weaver and Paul Poje of Waterloo, Ont., took the bronze, scoring 85.42 in the long program for 170.23 overall.