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Samarin extends JGP win streak, qualifies for Final

Zhou falls to third; Loboda, Drozd dominate dance; Lewis, Bye bag bronze
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With his win in Tallinn, Alexander Samarin of Russia secured his first trip to the Junior Grand Prix Final. -Getty Images

Russia's Alexander Samarin won his third straight Junior Grand Prix gold medal Saturday in Tallinn, Estonia, and in doing so earned his first career trip to the JGP Final.

Earning a segment score of 160.93 for his "Maybe I Maybe You" free, Samarin surpassed his previous personal best by seven points. The program started with a 12-point quad toe and a 14-point triple axel-triple toe combination, and it didn't slow down from there. The three-time Russian junior silver medalist added a triple lutz-loop-triple flip and four more jumps in the second half of the program. His final score of 234.29 also represents a career high.

Roman Sadovsky of Canada had a far better experience at his second JGP of the season than he did at his first, winning the silver medal and outpacing his personal bests for free skate score (149.25) and overall score (221.21). A two-time JGP Final qualifier, Sadovsky was fifth at JGP Japan last month.

Bronze medalist Vincent Zhou struggled with a revamped free skate to Casablanca, missing his first attempt at a quad salchow, falling on his triple axel and popping a triple loop near the end of the program. The silver medalist at JGP Japan, Zhou will have to wait out next week's competition in Germany to see if he qualifies for the JGP Final for the second year in a row.

American Camden Pulkinen, making his JGP debut, finished ninth with 171.69 points.

Ice dancers Alla Loboda and Pavel Drozd qualified for their third consecutive JGP Final, as they walked away with their second gold medal of the 2016 series. Their wire-to-wire victory was aided by their solid free dance to "Malagueña," which featured four Level 4 elements, including both lifts, the twizzle sequence and spin. The Russians secured the victory with 157.01 points.

The winners' teammates, Anastasia Skoptcova and Kirill Aleshin, improved on their season-opening bronze medal in Slovenia to take the silver in Tallinn. The duo came within half a point of outpacing their previous personal best, registering a score of 148.45. Skoptcova and Aleshin will have to wait for the results of next week's event to learn their fate as it relates to the JGP Final.

Americans Chloe Rose Lewis and Logan Bye are coming home with their first career JGP medals. In fourth after the short, the Michigan-based team put up an 81.09-point free dance to secure their spot on the podium. The 2016 Youth Olympic Games silver medalists opened their season with a sixth-place finish at JGP Czech Republic.