TELLURIDE, Colo. - Canadians brought home a ton of medals at the Dew Cup on Friday.
Dominique Maltais won her second straight event by narrowly holding off teammate Maelle Ricker in the women's snowboard-cross final.
Maltais, from Petite-Riviere-St-Francois, Que., led the way as Canada's snowboard-cross contingent won three-of-six medals in the men's and women's events.
"I'm going to have a really good Christmas with these two wins," said Maltais, the 2012 FIS Crystal Globe winner who also won the season-opener last week in Austria. "It's a good way to start the season and now I get to spent some time with friends and family the next couple of weeks."
Ricker, from Squamish, B.C., took silver in the women's event, while Calgary's Chris Robanske was third in the men's behind American Seth Wescott and Alex Pullin of Australia.
Also, Canadian freestyle halfpipe skiers grabbed three podium finishes — including a victory by Justin Dorey of Vernon, B.C. — to kick off the season and their pursuit of 2014 Olympic berths.
Mike Riddle of Sherwood Park, Alta., finished third in the men's event behind Dorey and Byron Wells of New Zealand while Calgary's Rosalind Groenewoud was third in the women's halfpipe behind Americans Brita Sigourney and Maddie Bowman. Keltie Hansen of Edmonton finished sixth.
Dorey, who popped his shoulder out midway through his second run and didn't finish it, said the Olympic qualifying made him ski a little more reserved.
"I usually go for broke every run," he said. "Sometimes it works but it's a gamble. I knew I needed a podium for the Olympic qualifying so I was a little more reserved. That helped me focus."
Maltais said after the race that the back-to-back wins come as a result of a lot of off-season training.
"I put a lot of energy and time into training this summer," said Maltais. "This is the way I wanted to do it, be strong top to bottom and that's what I did."
Maltais and Ricker used their knowledge of each other to hold off all competitors to claim the top two spots on the podium.
"We're pretty much on the same line, I kind of know where she's going to go and she knows where I'm going to go. In the semifinal we had a little tactic," said Maltais. "We were with the French girl who wanted to pass inside left so we made sure we were together, not giving her that space to pass and we finished first and second."
Canadian ski halfpipe team head coach Trennon Paynter was pleased with the results after a change last summer in the team's approach to its training methods.
"The approach we took in training was to really train the way we intend to compete," he said. "Some people …. save their big move for competition. We had them training as if competing and that's what we saw (Friday)."
Actually, he added, Dorey was a little bit of an exception to that approach. His final trick on his first run in the pipe, which helped earn him the winning mark of 93.50, was one he hadn't been training this year.
"But he probably did it 100 times over the summer so it wasn't a big gamble," said Paynter. "The rest of his run was flawless."
The trick was a right side double quark 1260 that Dorey reversed after successfully hitting it from the normal side earlier in his run. He admitted he hadn't worked on the reverse much because he was working on a new trick but didn't feel it would be a gamble on Friday.
"Our whole sport is a gamble. You have to take calculated risks."