Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir sit in first place in the ice dance at the Skate Canada International grand prix, following the short dance.
Despite some minor glitches, judges gave the defending Olympic gold medalists a score of 73.15 points, putting them ahead of Canadians Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, who are in second with 70.35 points. Americans Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donahue are third with 60.92 points.
Moir and Virtue stumbled slightly on their twizzles, an uncharacteristic mistake that cost them points, but didn't unseat them as the favourites to win the competition, which is one of the first events on the road to the Sochi Olympics.
"Not glaring errors," said Virtue, "But not how we want to execute the twizzles by any means."
Moir said the wrinkles were frustrating given how cleanly they have been skating in training. The pair, who were limited in training before the Vancouver Olympics due to soreness in Virtue's legs, have been skating pain-free this year and training harder in advance of Sochi.
"It's not surprising at this time of year," to have mistakes, Moir said. "But it's frustrating for the two of us because… we're training clean programs."
Moir and Virtue will likely retire after this season, making this weekend their last international competition outside of the Sochi Games. They will also compete at the Canadian national championships in Ottawa in January. Moir said he and Virtue took a moment at centre ice before their skate to reflect on the moment.
For Weaver and Poje, the score was a personal best.
"We were extremely happy with the way that we were able to skate today," said Weaver. "We achieved a personal best, which is also a really great jumping off point for the season."
The free dance goes Saturday in Saint John.