Michal Brezina didn't deliver all his promised fireworks, but he held on to win the Skate America men's title on Saturday to claim his first career title in an ISU Grand Prix event.
The Czech opened with a superb triple axel, but he didn't go for two quadruple jumps as originally planned.
He also fell on a triple lutz and stumbled on a footwork sequence, but with a comfortable lead after the short programme his total of 216.00 was enough to hold off Belgian Kevin Van Der Perren.
Van Der Perren had top marks in the free skate -- and a clean quadruple jump -- but settled for silver with 212.48 points.
World silver medallist Takahiko Kozuka, who also struggled with several of his jumps, was third with 212.09 points.
There were no surprises in the second event of the day as America's world champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White won the ice dancing title with a sparkling and elegant free dance to music from Die Fledermaus.
The couple had led after the short dance and finished with a total of 178.07 points.
Brezina, who said his coach nixed his quadruples, thumped his hand to his forehead after his free skate to "The Untouchables".
But the crowd at the arena in Ontario, 50 miles (80 km) east of Los Angeles, was pleased and the Czech was happy with the win.
Even so, he promised that as the season goes on he is determined to get the quadruple jumps into his programmes, regardless of what his coaches say.
"They saw everything and I kind of think they want to play the game in the casino. If you can play safe, play safe," Brezina said. "I was kind of mad. I'm pretty sure if I would go for a quad it would be OK.
"I want to prove to my coaches the quad will be in there, even if they say no," he said.
Brezina missed last season's Grand Prix circuit while recovering from surgery to repair a varicose vein his stomach, returning in time to finish fourth at the world championships.
He admitted it was tough to come back mentally as well as physically.
"It messed up your head," he said. "There was something I was always scared about."
Van Der Perren, a two-time European bronze medalist, opened his free skate with a quadruple toeloop.
"The quad was there, which was the most important thing for me," said Van Der Perren, who is gearing his season toward the European Championships in Sheffield, England, in Janaury.
He matched his best Grand Prix finish -- something that might factor in as he mulls when he might retire.
"I still love the sport," said Van Der Perren, who skated to "The Man in the Iron Mask". "As long as I'm in good shape, I'll be competing."
Kozuka was disappointed in his jumps -- including a fall on both his quad attempt and his triple lutz.
But he said he was pleased with other aspects of his performance.
"I really wanted to show I was having fun performing to the music that I loved," he said.
Source: AFP American Edition