US Figure Skating Championships 2014: Ladies' Free Skate Preview, Predictions

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US Figure Skating Championships 2014: Ladies' Free Skate Preview, Predictions
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

With three berths on the U.S. Olympic ladies figure skating team as the prize, 21 skaters return to the ice Saturday for the critical free skate portion of the 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

Looking to build upon solid short-program efforts or rebound from disappointing ones, a trio of women skaters will all but punch their tickets to the Sochi Games with medal-earning performances as the ladies' side of the national championships come to a close at the TD Garden in Boston.

Gracie Gold is the solid leader after a near-flawless performance in Thursday’s short program, but there are several skaters chasing her for both the prestigious gold medal and the opportunity to represent their country in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Russia.

As we saw on Thursday, there promises to be plenty of surprises, drama, intrigue and, unfortunately, disappointment as the free skate competition plays out.

Here’s a look at who to watch, what to expect and even a prediction on who will ultimately wear the red, white and blue at the Sochi Games.

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