SPORTS

Canada's Michael Ciccarelli claims slopestyle gold to open season

02/21/2015 05:56 EST | Updated 04/23/2015 05:59 EDT
STONEHAM, Que. - Canada's Michael Ciccarelli couldn't have asked for a better start to the season, winning his first slopestyle title Saturday in the FIS Snowboard World Cup tour opener.

The Ancaster, Ont., native impressed with his well-executed run to post a winning score of 95.50.

Janne Korpi of Finland was second with 91.00, while Keita Inamura from Japan was the surprise of the men's finals, rounding out the podium in third (88.25). The best score of three runs was the final mark.

"It's been a long time coming," said Ciccarelli, 18, who was 60th at this same venue a year ago. "I've been working pretty hard to get tricks down. It felt good to go clean through the whole course today. After the first run I knew there was still room for some improvement."

Ciccarelli scored 91.50 on his first run which already put him in medal contention, but added a backside 12 on his second to raise the bar even higher.

"I was prudent on my first run to make sure I landed my tricks cleanly," he said. "I'm really pleased with how it worked out."

Matts Kulisek of Montreal was seventh.

Cheryl Maas of the Netherlands won the women's event with a score of 95.50. She had also won the early morning qualifiers which had been postponed from Thursday due to bad weather conditions. American Jessika Jenson was second (90.50), edging Anna Gyarmati of Hungary by 0.75 points.

Laurie Blouin of Stoneham, Que., was sixth.

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