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Finnish teams sweep golds at Cup of Berlin

California Gold finishes eighth in senior; Hockettes take sixth in junior

The Hockettes finished sixth with a total competition score of 109.19.
The Hockettes finished sixth with a total competition score of 109.19. (Ed Collier Photography)

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By Renee Felton, special to icenetwork.com
(01/20/2013) - The 2013 international synchronized skating season began over the weekend with the Cup of Berlin. Teams from Finland took top honors in both levels, with Team Unique winning the senior gold and Fintastic taking home the junior title.

Team Unique slightly edged their country mates, the Rockettes, for the win, while hometown representatives Team Berlin 1 earned the bronze medal.

Team Unique finished second in the free skate, but their four-point lead after the short program was enough to hold on for the title. Their competition-opening performance, which was the only short program to net more than 70 points, started strong with a Level 4 block and finished with an intricate intersection.

The Rockettes took top honors in the free skate, in which they executed six Level 4 elements and racked up 71.61 points on their program components.

Team USA's California Gold placed eighth with a total of 115.48 points.

Fintastic, the reigning World Junior Challenge Cup champions, totaled 159.63 points to win by nearly 20 points over silver medalists Nexxice of Canada.

Fintastic's free skate earned 103.50 points and featured three elements that received more than six points apiece. They closed the program with a Level 4 wheel worth 7.17 points and saw their four-point lead after the short program balloon to the final margin.

Nexxice, the four-time Canadian junior champions, began its season with a strong showing and finished second in both segments of the competition to earn the silver. Reflections, also of Finland, rounded out the top three with a total score of 129.03 points.

Representing the Ann Arbor Figure Skating Club, the Hockettes returned to the international stage for the first time since winning bronze at 2011 Spring Cup. They went to Berlin after finishing eighth the previous weekend at the 2013 World Junior Team Selection Competition.

In Berlin, the Hockettes finished sixth with a score of 109.19 points. Skating their short program to "Together Again" by Janet Jackson, they received 40.53 points, including 23.26 on their program components.