The Olympic downhill champion, who tore knee ligaments at the world championships in February and aggravated the problem in training last month, also came 40th and 11th in the two downhills over the weekend.
"I'm so happy," the American told reporters. "Every day it got better. For sure I made some mistakes. But I'm like in top level.
"I'm so very happy about this weekend. I'm sure I can win. I have to take more risks at the top. I need to ski more. In my head I know I can do it, it's just a question of time," she said.
Time is what her rivals had early this season to make their ambitions clear in the absence of the unquestionable queen of speed events, who has made headlines since her injury as the girlfriend of world number one golfer Tiger Woods.
Swiss Lara Gut, 22, has won four of the eight races this season, confirming the potential she showed in claiming two medals at the 2009 world championships in Val d'Isere.
Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather and Austria's Anna Fenninger, both under 24, have also been consistent with a series of podium placings and Vonn's best friend and long-time rival Maria Hoefl-Riesch has returned to form.
The slalom and super-combined Olympic gold medallist in Vancouver in 2010 won both downhills in Lake Louise.
"It's really good for my confidence. Things all of a sudden become lighter when you start winning again. When it clicks, it clicks and everything falls into place," said the 29-year-old German whose previous victory came more than a year ago in a slalom in Finland.
Only a huge mistake at the end of Sunday's Super-G prevented her from completing a treble last achieved by Vonn, who took her friend from Beaver Creek to Lake Louise in Woods's private jet.
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