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. -- Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir struck their final passionate pose Saturday, eyes locked, lips mere millimetres apart. Canadas Olympic ice dance champions, who continue to push the sports boundaries, easily won the short dance at the Canadian figure skating championship with a program the two say mirror their own partnership of almost 16 years. The near-kiss delighted fans at the Hershey Centre and those who fell in love with the Canadians during their gold-medal run at the Vancouver Olympics. "We werent touching. . .are you sure, are you sure?" Moir said, playing with reporters afterward. "It was pretty close. "Weve got to save something for worlds." Virtue, from London, Ont., and Moir, from Ilderton, Ont., scored 79.04 points for their program, which begins with a warm embrace and ends with the almost-kiss, set to "And The Waltz Goes On," composed by actor Sir Anthony Hopkins. "We just sort of wanted it a little bit more playful, more simple, just about the joy of dance and sort of the ups and downs of a relationship," Virtue said. "Started with a hug, ends with a kiss." Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto scored 67.95 to sit second going into Sundays free dance. Alexandra Paul and Mitchell Islam of Barrie, Ont., are third with 66.24. The 23-year-old Virtue and Moir, 25, have long stated they want to leave the sport of ice dancing better for having had them in it. Theyre known for pushing the envelope, but a few skating fans believe theyve pushed it too far this season. Some fans apparently dont approve of their sexy free program to "Carmen." Virtue and Moir admit to having received some hurtful comments about the program theyll skate Sunday that opens with Virtue running her hand provocatively up Moirs thigh. "Its always tough to get criticism or comments on a program," Moir said. "To be honest sometimes its just funny to get the personal comments because people think they know who you are from what you do out on the ice, but they really dont have a clue." The program has drawn mostly rave reviews, as much for its level of difficulty -- and pure entertainment value -- as anything else. "Thats whats challenging and fun and motivating for us," Virtue said. "We dont want to skate to do the same program over and over again, even the same elements. So that was a big challenge for us this year was to have absolutely every element be different from what weve done. I think we can be proud of that." Saturdays short dance was a bit of a departure even from the one they skated en route to winning gold at Skate Canada International back in October. They had to settle for silver behind American rivals Meryl Davis and Charlie White at the Grand Prix Final in December, and are intent on climbing back on top to claim their third world title in March in London, Ont. They simplified the short dance, saying the story they had been attempting to portray wasnt coming across in the just under three minutes they have on the ice. "That skate, with all the changes we made in December and again this year, to get that under our belts is a huge boost for our confidence and for that program specifically," Moir said. This years national championships is missing Canadas No. 2 dance duo -- Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje. Weaver broke her ankle when she fell and slid feet-first into the boards five weeks ago. The fourth-place finishers at last years world championships were at the Hershey Centre to watch Saturdays short dance, Weaver on crutches and wearing a black walking cast adorned with a white flower. They havent given up hope of competing at the world championships in March in London, Ont. "Were trying our very hardest to get back in time," said Weaver, a Waterloo, Ont., native. "We cant argue with the physiology and just make sure were smart about it and of course, preparing for next year (Sochi Olympics) is of utmost importance. "But you can bet your bottom dollar were going to try everything to get back. Were not giving up yet, thats for sure." While Weaver is spending long days doing rehab in Toronto, Poje has kept training at their base in Detroit, with coach Angelika Krylova -- a two-time world champion -- acting as his partner. "Weve got polka patterns next week so well see how that goes," he joked. "Its fun/scary. For me, not for her." Beats By Dre Cheap
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. If you missed the game, you can catch encore presentations on TSN at Noon et/9am pt and again at 7:30pm et/4:30pm pt. A final encore is available on TSN2 at 11pm et/8pm pt.WINNIPEG - Winnipeg Goldeyes manager Rick Forney announced Monday the signing of Canadian right-handed pitcher Chris Kissock to a contract for the 2013 season. Kissock, 27, has played his first six seasons of professional baseball in the Philadelphia Phillies organization and spent parts of the last three seasons at Double-A Reading of the Eastern League. A product of Trail, B.C., Kissock was hampered by a rib injury last year and went 3-1 with an 8.76 ERA in 16 games between Reading and Advanced-A Clearwater of the Florida State League. "Hes going to add a lot of experience," Forney said. "Were going to use him out of the bullpen and maybe even give him the opportunity to be our closer. "Once pitchers get to a certain age and plateau out at the Double-A level, most organizations feel their last ditch effort of trying to get someone over the hump to becoming a Major League pitcher is to change their arm slot and become a situational type guy. That didnt work with Chris. He wasnt able to stay consistent and wound up getting hurt because of it. Hes back to his normal arm slot, his velocity is back and hes feeling good. Hes anxious to get back on the mound and try to recapture what he did back in 2010. monster beats cheap
. quot; Last summer was the first time Kissock posted an ERA higher than five in his career. He had a career year in 2010 when he had a combined 2.68 ERA in 47 appearances with Clearwater and Reading. In 2011 he tossed a career-high 102.2 innings. He was selected by the Phillies in the ninth round of the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft and moved up a level in each of his first four seasons in their organization. Kissock appeared in the prestigious Arizona Fall League with the best prospects in baseball in 2010. He went 1-0 with a 2.38 ERA and a save in 10 games with the Mesa Solar Sox. In addition to his time with the Phillies, Kissock has represented Canada on the world stage numerous times. He won a gold medal for Canada at the 2011 Pan Am Games and a bronze medal at the 2011 Baseball World Cup. He also pitched for Canada in the 2012 World Baseball Classic qualifying tournament last fall in Germany, earning a save after a scoreless outing in his only appearance. The Goldeyes now have 14 players signed for the 2013 season, including nine pitchers and five position players. ' ' '