Whitehorse Daily Star

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SMALL TOWNS, BIG DREAMS – Bryce Chudak and Whitehorse figure skater Bryn Hoffman complete a death spiral at the Wild Rose Invitational Competition in Edmonton this summer. Photo by PHIL HOFFMAN

Hoffman, Chudak eyeing national pairs debut

A year after an injury ended their pairs season prematurely, Bryn Hoffman and Bryce Chudak are aiming to skate all the way to nationals.

By Marcel Vander Wier on November 28, 2014

A year after an injury ended their pairs season prematurely, Bryn Hoffman and Bryce Chudak are aiming to skate all the way to nationals.

Hoffman, a 17-year-old figure skater from Whitehorse, is in the midst of her second season with Chudak, 19, from Edmonton. The two train in Calgary under the tutelage of former Canadian figure skating standouts Cody Hay and Annabelle Langlois.

Last season, Chudak suffered a shoulder injury while training for nationals, preventing the duo from making their debut on the country’s biggest stage.

This year, Hoffman is excited to get another shot.

She and Chudak will perform at Skate Canada Challenge Dec. 3 to 7 in Montreal next week, marking their fourth competition of the season.

Based on numbers alone, Hoffman and Chudak will qualify as a pair for the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in Kingston, Ont., Jan. 19 to 25.

“We’re more prepared this year and our expectations are a lot higher,” Hoffman said yesterday.

Hoffman, a straight-A Grade 12 student at the National Sport School in Calgary, also continues to compete in singles.

In fact, she earned a bronze medal at the Alberta-N.W.T./Nunavut Sectional Championships in Calgary, Nov. 6 to 9.

Hoffman, who now represents the Calalta Figure Skating Club, had the top score among junior women in the short program at 44.20. She scored 72.46 points in her long, for a total of 116.66 and third place overall.

A stellar singles skater, Hoffman said she finds skating pairs more fun.

“There’s so many more elements you can work on,” she said. “Getting thrown, you have to learn to have control of your body and awareness of where you are.”

Trust is a major pillar of her partnership with Chudak, made easier by their friendship on and off the ice.

“So far, we get along really well. Our timing is the same, and stuff like that. We’re improving on our performance and connection all the time.”

Coach Hay said his Whitehorse pupil has endured a steep learning curve since her entry into pairs skating full-time.

Last year, the results weren’t there as Hoffman and Chudak fast-tracked their partnership “right up through Challenge,” Hay noted.

While the duo did qualify for nationals last year due to a lack of Canadian pairs teams (there are only two junior pairs teams in Alberta), Chudak’s shoulder injury prevented them from attending the prestigious event.

This year, the two have improved considerably and met the minimum technical standard to qualify for Challenge early in the season.

Meanwhile, Hay believes Hoffman has a shot to qualify on her own, too.

“With the elements that Bryn can do, we’re hoping that with a couple of good skates she can qualify in singles,” he told the Star.

Hoffman said her overall goal is to earn an international assignment in the Junior Grand Prix this season with a top pairs performance at nationals.

“I don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but we do want to place top-five in Kingston,” she said.

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