The Fresh Get Furious at the 2014 Fresh and Furious Tournament

The freshies continue to look less and less fresh every year as the Cannon Dolls and Les Bûches put on an impressive display of flat track roller derby in the championship final.

The medalists from the 2014 Fresh and the Furious. (Photo by Rocio "Robotomy" Gomez)

The medalists from the 2014 Fresh and the Furious. (Photo by Rocio “Robotomy” Gomez)

When you are at a tournament and looking for stories, many may emerge. The 2014 Fresh and the Furious tournament was no exception. At first, it seemed as if the story of the tournament was going to be the inclusion of junior-program graduates (there were four), and then it appeared as if it was going to be a story of an injury-riddled tournament (two broken legs and an asthma attack—all requiring ambulances), but then—reminiscent of the 2011 version of the tournament—one single team ended up writing its own story.

Capital City’s Cannon Dolls came into this year’s freshie showdown as a virtual unknown. This was the fourth consecutive year that Ottawa’s Capital City has sent a team to the tournament, but it was the first time that they had managed to advance beyond the double elimination round. And of course, not only did they advance, they ended up winning it all. Not since the Goldminer’s Daughters stormed the tournament in 2011, has such an underdog performed so well. And while that tournament saw the Daughters struggle early before coming on strong in the elimination rounds, the Cannon Dolls announced their presence early (they were the first team to surpass the century mark with a 118-33 victory over the Belleville Bombshells) and never really looked back on the way to a thrilling, last-jam 80-78 victory over Les Bûches in the tournament final.

Eventual champs the Cannon Dolls (green) defeated eventual quarterfinalists, Fox Force Five, in the double elimination round. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Eventual champs the Cannon Dolls (green) defeated eventual quarterfinalists, Fox Force Five, in the double elimination round. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

One of the continuing stories over the history of this tournament, has been the increased level of play in each subsequent year. This year was no different, and indeed, may have marked yet new heights. By the end of the tournament the Dolls and Les Bûches had pulled well ahead of the competition, and each did so with vastly different styles. The Cannon Dolls played tidy, efficient flat track roller derby, simple, but smart, and subtle in its sophistication. Led by a seemingly wise-beyond-her-years pivot named Edmonton (but aided in the pack by some surprising talent as well including Apple Sass and Icetina), the Dolls’ offense was paced by three speedy jammers (Labrosse, Kaio-Kensi, and Caume-A-Kazi) who displayed excellent footwork and a natural instinct for the game (it turns out they all come to the game with considerable skating experience in either hockey or figure skating). So while the team was able to field an explosive offense, it was their defense that really defined their success. They gave up only 34 points per game (compared to Les Bûches’ 83) and finished with the top overall point differential (+268) after their 5-0 run.

The host, Derby Debutantes, lost a nail-biter of an elimination game to Royal City's Our Ladies of Pain. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The host, Derby Debutantes, lost a nail-biter of an elimination game to Royal City’s Our Ladies of Pain. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Les Bûches were quite a different team. Full of offensively talented skaters (they too had a solid jammer rotation led by Le Grande Noirceur and Rapidass but completed by triple-threat Commionette), at times defense seemed an after thought. Averaging a tournament record of 121 points per game, they also gave up 75+ points in four of their five games. They had a looseness and swagger to their game that nearly backfired in the semifinal, but that they managed to reign in for the final game.

This year’s final four provided an interesting cross-section of the tournament. Two traditional powers (the defending champs Les Bûches and Toronto Roller Derby’s D-VAS) and two teams who were marking their final four debuts (the Dolls and the South Simcoe Rebel Rollers: another returning team that reached new heights this year). South Simcoe played a similar style game as the eventual winners, but didn’t quite have the depth of talent of the winners. Despite notching their fourth consecutive top-three finish, the D-VAS never seemed to find that extra gear in the tournament, and seemed to run out of steam in the semifinals where they were handily dispatched by the Cannon Dolls 119-7, easily the most lopsided result of the tournament.

There were some other strong leagues and stories in the final eight as well. For the second straight year a team from Orangeville (Fox Force Five) made the quarterfinals (they made it to the Top 4 in 2013) showing the continued strength of that team. Royal City, returned to the quarterfinals after a one-year absence, but the big surprise of the final 8 came from Northumberland’s Ganaraska Gravediggers. Facing an elimination game against the Renegade Derby Dames, a last-gasp pass gave the team the upset victory.

And this takes us back to one of the original stories of this year’s Fresh and Furious tournament: The Rise of the Juniors. They are here. And they are very, very good.

Northumberland's Iggy Popper (left) was one of four junior-program graduates in the tournament. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Northumberland’s Iggy Popper (left) was one of four junior-program graduates in the tournament. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

While there will come a day when we look back upon this particular tournament as a seminal moment in the welcoming of graduates from our country’s various junior programs, it is not hard to see that in a few years, this tournament will be dominated by these skaters. The Gravediggers featured a tall, strong jammer named Iggy Popper, a graduate of both Toronto Junior Roller Derby and Peterborough’s junior program. She was just one of four. The Renegade Derby Dames featured two junior graduates in Shatterproof and Lil’ Mae-Hem (who both played key roles). Finally, ToRD’s D-VAS also debuted a recent graduate, with Fight of the Conchords playing a strong game, showing a nice instinct on the track, particularly for offense.

This year’s tournament once again continued the trend of increasingly impressive performances from apparently “fresh” teams, a testament to the strength of leagues’ training programs but also the impact of having junior skaters graduate to the senior levels: they are going to bring a lot of experience with them to the senior levels of the sport, raising the bar considerably.

In the end, Les Bûches and the Cannon Dolls proved to be head and shoulders above the competition: game play and strategy, endurance and discipline—the final was played at a level that belied the “fresh” moniker of the tournament.

THE ALL-NERD TEAM

It was hard to narrow down the immense level of talent displayed by the dozens and dozens of skaters who took part in the tournament, but if I had to throw together a single line of skaters (with two jammers) this would be it:

Pivot: Edmonton (Cannon Dolls)

Blocker: Crazy Squirrel (Renegade Derby Dames)

Blocker: Block Quebecois (D-VAS)

Triple Threat: Cammionette (Les Bûches)

Jammer(s): Labrosse (Cannon Dolls), Le Grande Noirceur (Les Bûches)

***A big congratulations should also be sent out to the D-VAS’ Holly Rocket, who picked up the first ever Louisa Kalimeris Heart Award, given to a player who demonstrates heart, determination and a positive attitude over the course of the tournament.

Toronto jammer Holly Rocket won the first ever Louisa Kalimeris Award for heart, determination and positivity on the track. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Toronto jammer Holly Rocket won the first ever Louisa Kalimeris Award for heart, determination and positivity on the track. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

THE RESULTS

Double Elimination: ArenaD-VAS 67 vs. DRRDy Farmers 23

Fox Force Five 74 vs. Derby Debutantes 63

Belleville Bombshells 33 vs. Cannon Dolls 118

D-VAS 83 vs. Our Ladies of Pain 58

Fox Force Five 38 vs. Cannon Dolls 63

Debutantes 88vs. Belleville 66 (eliminated)

Our Ladies of Pain 90 vs. Debutantes 88 (elim.)

Fox Force Five 75 vs. DRRD 37 (elim.)

 

 

 

Double Elimination: BubbleGanaraska Gravediggers 32 vs. South Simcoe Rebel Rollers 67

Queen’s Court 91 vs. Windsor A-Salt 62

NEOFights 105 vs. Les Bûches 150

Thickets 68 vs. Renegade Derby Dames 87

South Simcoe 72 vs. Queen’s Court 56

Ganaraska 50 vs. Windsor 49 (elim.)

Les Bûches 111 vs. Renegade 78

Thickets 117 vs. NEOFights 114 (elim.)

Queen’s Court 31 (elim.) vs. Thickets 54

Renegade 73 (elim.) vs. Ganaraska 76

 

Quarter Finals

D-VAS 70 vs. Ganaraska 41

South Simcoe 70 vs. Fox Force Five 51

Cannon Dolls 59 vs. Thickets 15

Les Bûches 127 vs. Our Ladies of Pain 61

Semi Finals

D-VAS 7 vs. Cannon Dolls 119

South Simcoe 90 vs. Les Bûches 139

Third Place

D-VAS 68 vs. South Simcoe 56

Championship

Les Bûches 78 vs. Cannon Dolls 80

 

** The games were boutcast in HD by Layer9 . Check here for the complete archives.

Flat Track Overload! Fresh and Furious, ToRD vs. Charm City, Toban Tussle and Gotham vs. London ALL Compete for Attention This Weekend.

From WFTDA Division 1 match ups to a Canadian provincial teams showdown to an annual eastern Canadian fresh meat tournament, this weekend has something for every derby fan.

Fresh and Furious 2014 posterFRESH AND FURIOUS

It’s that time of year again! Once again the GTA Rollergirls have invited fresh meat teams from across Ontario and Quebec to compete in The Fresh and The Furious, a one-day, two-track, double-elimination tournament featuring the up-and-coming stars from some of eastern Canada’s top leagues.

There will be fifteen teams competing in the tournament this year, with teams divided between two tracks until the quarterfinals (which will feature crossover match ups) and then a final four that will take place on the main track in Ted Reeve Arena (the second track is located in Ted Reeve’s “Bubble”).

Last year, ToRD, Hammer City, and the mixed Quebec Team (Les Bûches) dominated the event. Hammer City won’t be returning this season, but ToRD’s D-VAS return and Les Bûches will be back to defend their crown (last year marked the second year in a row that a team from Quebec won the tournament).

Both tracks will be boutcast live all day long beginning at 11:00 AM and concluding with the championship game at 9:00 PM. Catch all the action live here.

PARTICIPANTS (including first-round matchups)

The Bubble

Northumberland Roller Girls’ Ganaraska Gravediggers will kick things off with the South Simcoe Rebel Rollers at 11:00 AM. The only US participants Queen City Roller Girls will face off against Border City Brawlers Windsor A-salt at 11:40 (Queen City is a regular at the event). Two multi-league teams are up next with the NEOFights representing Northeastern Ontario Roller Derby (NORD), which is a conglomeration of leagues from Northern Ontario, facing off against Les Bûches, the defending champs from Quebec, at 12:20. Finally, Forest City Derby Girls Thickets will take on the Renegade Derby Dames to close out the opening matches in the Bubble at 1:00 PM.

Ted Reeve Arena

Due to the odd number of teams in this year’s tournament, Our Ladies of Pain, representing the Royal City Roller Girls will get a bye past the first round, but will be in tough at 1:40 as they face the winners of a GTA showdown between ToRD’s D-VAS (finalists last year) and the DRRD’y Farmers representing Durham Region Roller Derby (11:40). The Orangeville Roller Girls’ Fox Force Five will open up their tournament facing off against the hosts, GTAR’s Derby Debutantes, at 12:20. Finally, Belleville Roller Derby’s Belleville Bombshells will be taking on Ottawa’s Cannon Dolls, representing the Capital City Derby Dolls at 1:00 PM.

Click here for the complete schedule. And don’t forget to tune in live!

WFTDA PRE-PLAYOFF SHOWDOWNSLondon Gotham 2014 Poster

While the 2014 WFTDA regular season is officially complete (teams are eagerly awaiting release of the final standings on July 15th), there are some key match ups this weekend, including a number that will feature Division 1 teams facing off.

Close to home, Toronto, Tri-City and Hammer City will be in action. Although they will not make the Division 2 playoffs this season, Hammer City (currently ranked 86th) has made massive strides in the past two years after suffering through years of futility. This weekend, they will be hosting another non-playoff squad in Ithaca (84th). Given the close ranking of these teams, the result is incredibly important. A big victory for either team would help propel them ever closer to one of those coveted D2 playoff spots. Speaking of playoff spots, Tri-City (42nd) is hoping to shore up a top-40 D1 spot, but either way will be playing playoff derby again this season. Ithaca should provide a good warm up when the two square off in a “hangover” bout on Sunday.

Toronto (20th and currently 5-9 on the season) and Charm City (26th, and 6-1 on the season) both know that they will be in the D1 playoffs, the question is where? These two teams have been on opposite trajectories over the last season and a half, with Toronto marching upward (briefly hitting a franchise high of 13th earlier this season) and Charm slipping downward from a high of 12th in 2013. Toronto has been inconsistent as of late (and will undoubtedly slip a little in the next ranking), and could use a big victory to build confidence heading in to this year’s playoffs. Both CN Power and the Bay Street Bruisers will be heading to Baltimore on the weekend for a Saturday night double header.

On the west coast, D1 playoff bound Terminal City (25th, 4-4) hosts Houston (33rd, 2-3). Terminal City is expected to nab a slightly higher playoff rank than it currently has, while Houston recently slipped six spots and will undoubtedly open the playoffs having to take part in a 7-10 play-in game.

Finally, in Europe, while Copenhagen (183rd) will face off against the historic (but unranked) Stuttgart Valley Rollergirlz in Germany, the spotlight has been stolen by the impending showdown between defending WFTDA champs Gotham and surging London in England. London (5-0 on the season), currently ranked 5th, had peaked at 3rd earlier in the season, while Gotham (also 5-0) has been firmly ensconced at 1st for a few years now. It would be a massive understatement to say that this is a highly anticipated matchup. While Gotham is, well, Gotham, the London Rollergirls have been playing like a team possessed this season. At the 2014 Anarchy in the UK, London crushed competition from Rocky Mountain, Detroit and Toronto, playing at a level even higher than they brought to the WFTDA Championship tournament last year. The game will be boutcast live (here at 7:00 PM BST).

THE TOBAN TUSSLE

Provincial teams have begun to sprout up across our nation, and while Saskatchewan and Alberta faced off last year, this weekend in Portage La Prairie, three provincial teams will face off in a round-robin tournament. Roller Derby Manitoba will be hosting its first ever tournament, the Toban Tussle. At the Tussle, Manitoba, Alberta and Ontario. will face off alongside a tournament featuring B-level travel teams from across the province of Manitoba. Unfortunately for Ontario, a number of Team Ontario’s skaters will be with their WFTDA teams this weeked, but it will still be sending a very strong roster including a core of skaters from the Rideau Valley Vixens.

In terms of provincial team games, Alberta and Ontario kick things off at 11:10 AM on Saturday, with Ontario and Manitoba squaring off at 3:50 PM. Manitoba and Alberta will face off on Sunday at 10:20 AM.

Along with the three provincial teams, squads representing PLAP City Rollers (Portage La Prairie’s Headstone Honeys), Winnipeg Roller Derby (Bombshell Brawlers), and Wheat City Roller Derby (Brandon’s Gang Green) will face off against a mixed-league team, Prairie Fusion.

For details and a complete schedule, visit the Toban Tussle Facebook page.

Toban Tussle Poster

Peaches Does Roller Derby: The Clam Slam, WorldPride, and the Most Important Woman in the World

In which the Nerd reflects on the importance of WorldPride, the Clam Slam’s role within it, and how for a few days in September 2012, he was convinced that Peaches was the most important woman in the world.

The Clam Slam, this year a WorldPride Affiliate event, is in its 6th year.

The Clam Slam, this year a WorldPride Affiliate event, is in its 6th year.

As the giddiness of another Toronto Pride celebration begins to fade, the thrill of the event wears off, and it’s hard not to become reflective: on how inclusive and open a city we live, about how wonderful it is to celebrate diversity and difference and live in a place where those things are met with celebration instead if fear.

This year, the world came to our city to celebrate the first ever WorldPride held on North American soil. It meant an increased focus, increased participation, but it also meant an increased awareness of what life is like for members of the LGBTQITSLFA (LGBT) community outside of Canada. In turning our eyes to the struggles of those in places like Uganda, for example, we are able to see how lucky we are here.

Not, of course, to imply that the situation in Canada is perfect. It most certainly is not. We need only look to the thinly veiled homophobic actions and comments by the mayor of the largest city in our country to know that there are still battles to be fought on our own home soil. What we are lucky about here in Canada is that the battle has (mostly)  moved away from the systemic and legal arenas and onto the front lines: it’s become a battle of hand-to-hand combat against the last stragglers in the army of the close-minded. But because of the numerous victories, the battle has also shifted to become both more expansive and more specific, shifting focus toward trans rights or the rights of those members in the LGBT community who are also visible minorities.

In Canada, while these individual battles still rage, we have the support of the system. Most members of the LGBT community in Canada are afforded equal rights by the law. That is a powerful weapon with which to fight the individual ground battles that are still occurring. It is a weapon that many people in the world do not have at their disposal.

Plaid Mafia's WhackedHer (skating as VAGilante) gets sandwiched during the opening game of the Clam Slam.

Plaid Mafia’s WhackedHer (skating as VAGilante) gets sandwiched during the opening game of the Clam Slam. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Arguably, the most moving event at WorldPride was the mass wedding performed at Casa Loma on Thursday, June 26. Featuring nearly 120 couples from around the world, many were from countries where same-sex marriage is still not allowed. What was most shocking was that many participants were from wealthy, developed countries like Australia and South Korea. A grim reminder of how far we are from living on a globally free planet.

Across the city in Ted Reeve Arena, at the same time that this remarkable wedding was happening, representatives from 16 North American roller derby leagues were taking part in the 6th annual Clam Slam: a Pride-affiliate all-star roller derby bout run through a collaboration between Toronto Roller Derby and the Great Toronto Area Rollergirls. This year, however, there was a very special guest on hand to blow the opening whistle of the second and final game of the evening: Peaches. The singer would return the favour a few days later when a group of ToRD skaters appeared on stage during her concert.

Now an international phenomenon, Peaches has been a growing icon in the LGBT community (and well beyond!) since her first album, The Teaches of Peaches, was released in 2000. It has never seemed strange to me that the rise of Peaches’ career has coincided with the rise of flat track roller derby. Both, to me, are absolutely essential aspects of North American life in the 21st century, and both are intricately intertwined with the LGBT community as well.

2003 was an astonishing year—perhaps the first true year of the 21st century (in the same way that some people refer to 1963 as being the first year of what we think of as “The ’60s”). 2003 would be the year of SARS, the year the first deer was cloned, and the Hubble telescope would see so deep into space, it could see galaxies that existed in the few millennia after the Big Bang.

In 2003, Belgium would follow the Netherlands in legalizing same-sex marriage at a national level, while closer to home, the province of Ontario would become the first jurisdiction in the Americas to allow it.

Fans of flat track roller derby also know that in the Austin, Texas, in April, the Texas Rollergirls would host the first official game of flat track roller derby, playing under a rule set that would eventually lead to the WFTDA rule set played so widely today.

The album cover of Peaches' second album, Fatherfucker (2003).

The cover of Peaches’ second album, Fatherfucker (2003).

Peaches would release her second, break-through album, Fatherfucker in September of that year; its very title an affront to any sort of attempt at wide mainstream acceptance. Through two albums, she’d created a gender-defying persona with a heightened sexuality. And, as evidenced by the album title, she didn’t give a fuck what you thought of her. At all. She was going to be herself and she was going to shove that self in your face: you could either look away or you could do your best to take it all in and be awed by it.

My partner was enthralled by Peaches from the first time she heard Peaches’ voice slip in over top of the raw, low-fi beats that begin “Fuck the Pain Away,” the opening track of Teaches of Peaches. Her growing passion for Peaches just got bigger after she discovered and started playing roller derby, a community that as a whole seemed to share my partner’s love for the singer.

One of the first things I noticed about the roller derby community was how big the LGBT community was within it. The revival of the sport had been very much wrapped up in third-wave feminism and was fueled by a punk rock sensibility; especially in Montreal, where I was first seeing the game, roller derby and the LGBT community were fused to the point where I didn’t much think about one without the other. But I also noticed right away that the sport itself—and how inclusive, empowering and all encompassing it could be—led to a certain transcendence of politics. I once wrote about how struck I was that skaters weren’t traditionally feminist in that they didn’t seem to be caught up in a fight for acceptance or inclusion; they simply expected it.

For me, Peaches has always represented a similar attitude. A similar transcendence. For the most part, the persona of Peaches takes the point of view of a woman in her song writing, but she isn’t interested in adhering to any sort of traditional notions of what being a woman is, and as her career has gone on, her persona has become more ambiguous. She just is. There is an overt sexual “baseness” to her writing that is grounded in an extremely physical experience. She is living through her body, experiencing life through her body, and that body happens to be a female one.

Naptown Jammer Maiden America (playing for the Eager Beavers) attempts to pass Montreal's Nameless Whorror (Clam Diggers). (Photo by Greg Russell)

Naptown Jammer Maiden America (playing for the Eager Beavers) attempts to pass Montreal’s Nameless Whorror (Clam Diggers). (Photo by Greg Russell)

Along with her recording career, Peaches has also made some movies, most notably the “electro rock opera” Peaches Does Herself. A sort of psychedelic memoir, it begins as a kind of portrait of the artist as a young women, in which the audience is introduced to a mythologized version of Peaches’ creation. It is, throughout, a celebration of the female body and a carnivalized romp through a woman’s sexual awakening and then experience. Through this process, the film also lays bare the constructed nature of human gender and sexuality, then defies those constraints as the film becomes more surreal and the desires and gender of the characters become more fluid.

I was at the world premiere of Peaches Does Herself, and I remember leaving the Bloor Hot Docs cinema that night convinced that Peaches was the most important woman in the world. She represented the avant garde of female identity in the 21st century: a super-empowered, hyper-sexual being who celebrated her body—all bodies!—with a wild glee.  She was, to put it simply, free to explore how she wanted to be a woman.

Of course, I know it is naïve to think of any performer as the most important anything in the world, yet I am still convinced that the very existence of someone like Peaches makes our world a better place to live.

And I could—and have—said the same about women’s flat track roller derby. Here’s a competitive game built and shaped by women in the midst of a sporting environment absolutely dominated by men. Here’s a game that has not only welcomed the LGBT community but celebrates it, has put it at the core of its growth and has allowed it to shape the nature and attitude of the game. Here’s a sport that has eschewed all traditional notions of what a sport is and how it should be, taken a punk-rock DIY approach and made it work on a national, then cross-border, and now global scale. Roller derby, like Peaches, has become a force of nature. And I think our world is a better place for it.

 

***For the record, the Clam Slam was once again a great success that produced two really, really entertaining games of roller derby. In the first, the Plaid Mafia used a late-game comeback to defeat Team Uhaul 194-178. In the second, the Eager Beavers held off a late charge by the Clam Diggers to record the 193-154 victory. Both games were boutcast live; watch the archives here.

WP Affiliate banner***Portions of this article were excerpted from a book-length work in progress***

Word on the Track: Skids Retain Top Spot; Clam Slam Rosters Revealed; First Cindy Davidson Cup Held!

AN INTERNATIONAL STORY AT ECDX

Montreal and Terminal City last met in 2010 at Toronto's first ever Quad City Chaos. Montreal won that showdown 160-55. (Photo by Derek Lang)

Montreal and Terminal City last met in 2010 at Toronto’s first ever Quad City Chaos. Montreal won that showdown 160-55. (Photo by Derek Lang)

Whatever way you look at it, Canadian roller derby is in the midst of a big year. With four teams currently sitting in D1 playoffs and another now ensconced in D2, the Canadian squads are set to build off of the surprises of last season when Toronto and Terminal City went on deep D1 playoff runs and Tri-City was a heartbreaking overtime clock mistake away from a potential berth in the D2 finals

On Saturday night at Philly’s ECDX, two of Canada’s big three faced off in a highly anticipated matchup that did not disappoint. Earlier this season, Toronto took its first swipe at Montreal and came within 17 points of upending the Skids (the score would not be as close in a rematch in Montreal a month later). This weekend, Vancouver’s Terminal City All Stars (25th to Montreal’s 16th) took their shot and came up as close, falling 199-177. Terminal stuck with the Skids through the whole game, but as it was with that Quad City Chaos showdown against Toronto, Montreal, while threatened, had that extra gear gained from so many hours competing at the upper echelons of the sport.

The rest of the weekend was a mixed bag for the Canadian entries. While Terminal City looked solid in decimating a slipping Boston (17th) 269-160, Montreal looked out of sorts against a surging Victorian (10th) from Melbourne who overwhelmed them 240-66. At their current rate, Victorian could be another international team to watch as they seem poised to join London at Champs this season.

Similarly, Team Canada took a slight step back against Team USA. At last year’s ECDX, Canada lost 252-72, a scoreline that surprised a lot of people. This year—with the World Cup only six months away—USA stepped up with a superior offensive performance (356 points) that overshadowed an impressive offensive outburst from Team Canada (90). It was, arguably, not Team Canada’s full A-roster, but it was pretty close and was one loaded with talent.

Nonetheless, Canadian teams continue to enjoy a growing spotlight, and while we may not have a team playing quite at the level that London and Victorian currently are, as a country we still have depth surpassed only by USA.

CLAM SLAM 6 SETS ALL-STAR ROSTERS

The 6th annual Clam Slam is just around the corner, but this year the stakes are even higher! Yes, for the second year in a row this will be a unified ToRD-GTAR event, and, yes, for the second year in a row it will be at Ted ReeveClam Slam 2014 Poster Arena in Toronto’s east end, but this year’s Clam Slam  is a World Pride affiliate event! This is the first ever World Pride to be held in North America and festivities are already well underway in Toronto. Since this is the biggest Pride ever, it’s only fitting that this is the biggest Clam Slam ever!

Last year’s Clam Slam was a phenomenal event—featuring the best game of the five year history of the event, and this year promises to build off of that, with many players returning for the rematch.

As with last year, the Clam Slam will be a double header featuring two games, opening with an intermediate level bout featuring skaters from Ontario (and one skater from Montreal). Leagues represented include the hosts ToRD and GTAR, but also Hammer City, Renegade Derby Dames, Rollergettes, Northumberland Roller Girls, Kingston Derby Girls, Nickel City (Sudbury), Durham Region Roller Derby, Tri-City, and Royal City.

The advanced-level game will be hard pressed to live up to the level of last year’s thrilling match, but its got the talent level to do so. Loaded with Canadian and American All Stars, the main event should be incredibly fast paced. The Eager Beavers feature local stalwarts such as Nasher the Smasher, Fox Smoulder, Ruby Puby (AKA: ToRD’s Bellefast) and Bouche, but will also feature the return of three Naptown skaters Maiden America, Trudy Bauchery and Eve Ann Hellical. Fans will also get to see Tri-City’s Sofonda Snatch (AKA: Sofonda Beatin) who recently returned from injury.

The Clam Diggers respond with a pretty impressive rosters of their own, featuring the likes of ToRD’s Dyna Vagina (AKA: Dyna Hurtcha) and Matchu Eatchu (Matchu Beatchu), but also Clam Slam regulars Mirambo (Forest City) and Nameless Whorror (Montreal—who will be joined on the Diggers this year by leaguemate La Planche). Plus, Toronto derby fans will also get a chance to welcome Rainbow Fight back to the track after a long injury lay off.

The Clam Slam will be at Ted Reeve Arena on Thursday with the opening game starting at 6:30 PM and the second at 8:00 PM.

If you aren’t close enough to catch the game, you can still watch the Clam Slam! Both games will be boutcast live by the ToRD.TV crew and hosted here, by Layer9.ca.

**Full rosters are listed at the bottom of the post.

FIRST CINDY DAVIDSON CUP HELD

Cindy Davidson Cup PosterThis weekend, the first ever Cindy Davidson Cup was held in Walkerton, Ontario. Called “Crushing the Big C,” the event featured a junior scrimmage followed by a full flat track game. The rosters featured many familiar faces to those in the derby community including skaters from Durham Region (Lous Ur Pants/Lucid Lou, TRUCK, Yogi Dare Ya), Northumberland Roller Girls (Provokenator, Chronic Carnage), Grey Bruce (Scary Queen, Anita AllyBy), Misfit Militia (Terry Bomb, Bee Bee MaGee), Renegade Derby Dames (Ethyl A Mean, Daemon Star), and Fergus (Steph-a-hani, Eager Beaver), among many others!

For the record, C Crush beat Pink Power 336-113, but the result was secondary to the event itself, a charity event with proceeds going to the Grey-Bruce Health Services Oncology Expansion and Wes for Youth Online.

Cindy Davidson, known as Mama Kal-Hell by the Northumberland Roller Girls, has been bravely chronicling her “cancer thing” (her words) on her blog “Aside from Cancer, I never Get Sick.” It is quite an astonishing blog—raw, moving, detailed. It provides a remarkably clear, yet sometimes wrenching, glimpse into the life of a cancer patient.

All accounts suggest that this weekend’s event was a great success, so keep an eye out for it next year, as it just may become an annual event.

Read Cindy’s blog here. More information about the event can be found here.

2014 Clam Slam Rosters

GAME 1:

Team Uhaul Team Plaid Mafia
League DERBY NAME NUMBER League DERBY NAME NUMBER
ToRD Straight Bait 23 Kingston Flaming Hips 40
HCRG Hardcore Lolo 213 GTAR Cunning Linguist 42
ToRD G-STRINGER 312 Nickel City Nellie McStung 73
HCRG Pretty Fishy 314 MTLRD La Grande Noirceur 78
Nothumberland Betty BOOM 321 GTAR Mashes to Ashes 88
ToRD Vagina Dentata 422 ToRD Sleeper Hold 213
HCRG Smashin’ Good Time 519 Tri-City Tits Tits Tits 480
Renegade Riot Rhythm 524 ToRD Beej 831
Nothumberland Natural Dezzaster 911 PRD Jaxalottapus 3953
GTAR Pepper Pot 917 ToRD SewButt 525S
GTAR Dirty Daddy’s Kitten 6969 ToRD Map of Tasmania 5BY5
Rollergettes KALI 4NK8 Tri-City Badger 6P
HCRG M.I gay 9MM ToRD Miss Andry B0TM
Rollergettes Whoreschach DSM5 DRRD extermi-knitter K2P6
ToRD Heavy Petter K1 Royal City Scream Queen O84
GTAR COMMANDER BOX X3 ToRD VAGilante X0X0

 

GAME 2:

Eager Beavers Clam Diggers
League DERBY NAME NUMBER League DERBY NAME NUMBER
Niagara Lock N Roll 0 ToRD Dyna Vagina 21
Naptown Eve Anne Hellical 316 ToRD Bi-Furious 31
Tri-City Psykosonic 4 HCRG Rock E. Road 52
ToRD Rebel Rock-This 7 Forest City MIRAMBO 69
Tri-City AnneXXX 14 ToRD Hoe Hoe Hoe NO! 111
ToRD Rosemary’s Gayby 15 HCRG Homewrecken Holly 187
ToRD Bouche 26 MTLRD Nameless Whorror 202
GTAR SoFearMe 52 ToRD Just Jes 510
ToRD Hoff 65 GTAR NEWFIE BULLET 709
Naptown Maiden America 76 ToRD Machu Eatchu 747
Tri-City Sofonda Snatch 420 Tri-City Fraxxure 911
ToRD ThünderKünt 867 DRRD/PRD Lous ur pants 1234
Tri-City Fox 1013 ToRD Ames to Please 2or3
Tri-City MW 1321 HCRG Cancer Candy 3BUX
ToRD Ruby Pubie 5678 DRRD Psy-Show-Bob 46N2
Niagara Axel La Rose 15H0 MTLRD La Planche 61X

Canadian Power Rankings: June 1, 2014

Captain Lou El Bammo, Dick Pounder, Dr. Jenny Fever and Derby Nerd rank Canada’s top A-level travel teams every two months. Read the April 1st Power Rankings here.

TEAM (League) CHANGE NOTES (Rollergirl.ca /WFTDA rank)
1. New Skids on the Block (Montreal Roller Derby)

Montreal Roller Derby: New Skids on the Block

- By the narrowest of margins, the Skids retain top spot. They got roughed up against stiff competition on a recent West Coast road trip, but have also picked up victories over Boston and, most importantly, a 63-point win over a Toronto team that had pushed them to the limit earlier in the season. An ECDX matchup with prime contenders Terminal City is looming. (/ 12).
2. Terminal City All Stars (Terminal City Roller Girls)Terminal City All Stars +1 Vancouver has completely swapped places with Toronto, and as CN Power did earlier in the season, Terminal City seems on the verge of knocking the Skids off of top spot. Terminal City had a rough time against top competition at the Tinseltown Showdown, but looked strong in defeat, and used the experience to roll over their competition at the Big O (including a narrow win over the Oly Rollers, a team who also narrowly beat Montreal). (1 / 37)
3.CN Power (Toronto Roller Derby)New CNP Logo -1 After an explosive end to 2013 and a surging start to 2014, Toronto seemed to take its foot of the gas for a bit, suffering some big losses on a nine-game losing streak. However, they seem to have begun to pull themselves back up, rattling off three-straight wins, including one-sided victories over Cincinnati and Jet City at Spring Roll. They’ve slipped just below Vancouver and Montreal, but remain well above the rest of the competition. (3 / 23)
4. Tri-City Thunder (Tri-City Roller Derby)Tri-City Thunder Logo -  The Thunder have had an up-and-down 2014, sporting a 5-7 record based on some inconsistent wins/losses. However, they went 2-2 with a tough schedule at Spring Roll and notched victories over Glasgow and Big Easy. They remain on the cusp of the WFTDA D1 playoffs; it’s going to come down to the wire. (6 / 40)
5. Rideau Valley Vixens (Rideau Valley Roller Girls)

Vixens Logo

- Despite massive league-overhauls and the rebuilding of the house league, the Vixens continue to roll along fairly consistently. They are undefeated so far in 2014 (4-0) and are currently on a three-game WFTDA winning streak with victories over DC, Maine, and Roc City. A D-2 playoff spot is tantalizingly within reach. (5 / 64)
6.The Eh! Team (Hammer City Roller Girls)Hammer City Logo +2 (8)  Hammer City has picked up 2014 right where they left off 2013: surging up the WFTDA rankings. They made another recent 11-spot jump based on solid performances in losses to higher ranked teams in Fort Wayne, Bleeding Heartland and Paper Valley. A D2 playoff spot may be out of reach for this season, but the steady improvements show that it is just a matter of time. (10 / 78)

7.Calgary All Stars (Calgary Roller Derby Association)

Calgary All Stars Logo

-1 (6)  While Calgary has a busy summer ahead, they’ve been relatively quiet since the last rankings, with only one closer-than-expected victory over the Kannibelles to base our opinions on. However, this remains a team to watch. (11 / 91)
8. Misfit Militia (Misfit Militia Roller Derby)
Misfit Militia Logo
-1 (7) Things have gone silent from the Militia recently as well, and the dearth of top-level competition scheduled for them this summer means that they will not have much of a body of work to base a ranking on. They are a team loaded with talent, but without much of a competitive push, they slip a spot in the rankings. (8 / - )
9. Sugar Skulls (Pile O’ Bones Derby Club)Sugar Skulls Derby LOGO (-)  Welcome back to the party Regina! Last seen in these parts in August of last year, the team returns to the Top 10 on the back of a 5-2 record and impressive wins over former Top 10ers in the Mind Fox and most impressively the Kannibelles (194-80) at Spokarnage. (12 / -)
10. Les Duchesses (Roller Derby Quebec)Duchesses Logo  It’s about time to stop underestimating this team, and really, this league as a whole. While they have yet to face off against truly high level competition this season, they have absolutely destroyed everyone they have faced. They’ve also had considerable success at the house league level showing that this is a travel team with a truly solid foundation. An upcoming home-and-home series against bubble team Muddy River could solidify this spot in the Top 10. (14 / – )

Pile O' Bones LogoThis month’s Power Rankings were defined by long discussions and some tough decisions. As with Toronto at the end of last season and beginning of this one, Vancouver’s Terminal City could arguably have stolen the top spot and has now emerged as the greatest threat to Montreal’s long-time dominance of Canadian roller derby. Terminal City was able to narrowly defeat the Oly Rollers, only to have Montreal fall to the former champs from Olympia a week later. However, taking into considering some roster changes and other factors we’ve got Montreal (barely) holding on to Top Spot. Currently, there seems to be zero statistical difference between these two teams. Luckily for Canadian derby fans, the two teams themselves will solve this debate when they meet at ECDX later this month.

Toronto rounds out the top three remaining well ahead of Tri-City and Rideau Valley (who round out the Top 5). One thing the Rankings Crew has noted is that the top three teams in Canada are currently well above the competition, humming along at a completely different level right now than anyone else in the country. All three teams have played, quite literally, the best there is in the world this season, which is keeping them at that heightened competitive level.

Tri-City and Rideau Valley also led to quite a bit of debate in rounding out the Top 5, as the Thunder have waned ever-so slightly while the Vixens just seem to be heating up. However, Tri-City holds its spot based on the calibre of competition they have been facing. Hammer City, Calgary and Misfit Militia juggle spots a bit in the middle but remain solidly in position, but things have changed at the bottom.

Regina’s Sugar Skulls (representing the Pile O’ Bones Derby Club) returns to the Top 10 after nearly a year-long absence, quite literally knocking the Kannibelles out of the Top 10 with their victory over them at Spokarnage.

ON THE BUBBLE

Lumbersmacks (Muddy River Rollers)

Anarchy Angels (Mainland Misfits)

Kootenay Kannibelles (West Kootenay Roller Derby)

Moncton’s Lumbersmacks remain on the bubble, but are now joined by a handful of other teams. The Kannibelles find themselves here after just barely slipping out of the Top 10; the Anarchy Angels have been on our radar for quite some time, and are still under scrutiny but have yet to face (or defeat) a high-enough level of competition to make the leap.

TEAMS TO WATCH

Eville Logo

All Stars (Winnipeg Roller Derby League)

E-Ville Dead (E-Ville Roller Derby)

Belladonnas (Red Deer Roller Derby Association)

Arch Angels (St. Albert Heavenly Rollers)

 

As the season wears on, the Crew has narrowed its Teams to Watch list. Winnipeg has been on this list for quite a while, and we’re just waiting to see how they respond to some stiffer competition than they have currently faced. The Belladonnas have been perennial Top 10ers, but some roster changes and uncertainty have caused them to slip; nonetheless, they remain on the radar. On the other side of the coin is E-Ville Dead: once considered a top team in the nation, the league has gone through a bit of a rebuild but is beginning to climb once again. Also jumping onto the radar after a second-place performance at Flat Track Fever are St. Albert’s Arch Angels.

 

*These rankings were compiled by the Derby Nerd, Captain Lou El Bammo, Dick Pounder, and Dr. Jenny Fever.

*Read the Canadian Power Rankings preview and explanation here.

 

-Respectful disagreement and debate is encouraged!-

Big Wins for Rideau Valley and Toronto in WFTDA Showdowns over the Weekend

Toronto stomps Brandywine, while Rideau Valley held off Roc City in an important D2 battle with playoff implications. Meanwhile, the Dolls in ToRD and Riot Squad in RVRG both take strides toward their respective house league championships.

It was a busy weekend of derby all across the nation with Flat Track Fever dominating stories from the west and Ontario overwhelmed with derby in its WFTDA centres (non-sanctioned or house league matchups were happening in both Tri-City and Forest City on Saturday). But the key games were in Toronto and Ottawa, which featured mirroring house league/WFTDA double headers.

Rideau Valley Hosts Roc City

RVRG's Soul Rekker battles one-on-one with Roc City's Terminal Trend. (Photography by James Rosster; ionaphoto.ca)

RVRG’s Soul Rekker battles one-on-one with Roc City’s Terminal Trend. (Photography by James Rosster; ionaphoto.ca)

With a five-spot jump in the last WFTDA rankings, the Rideau Valley Vixens found themselves ranked 64th (24th in Division 2) and on the cusp of the 20-team D2 playoffs. Coming off of an impressive win over 72nd Maine last weekend, the Vixens knew that they would need a convincing win over their Rochester rivals if they were to make that final leap forward. And an impressive performance they got, riding two hot jammers and the usual relentless pack work you’ve come to expect to pull of the 199-116 victory.

The Vixens jumped out to a 4-0 start on the back of a quick lead pick up from breakout jammer Shania Pain. While the Roc Stars were able to get right back into it on the next jam with a Kell’d on Impact 4-pointer, the hosts took the lead on Jam 3, built that lead to 21-6 by the five minute mark of the first, and never looked back after that.

RVRG's Shania Pain picks up lead jammer status.

RVRG’s Shania Pain picks up lead jammer status.

The Vixens, known traditionally for running a short bench, have now even tightened up the jammer rotation in their quest for a first WFTDA playoff berth, and it’s a roster that would be more than qualified to play in the D-2 event. Using only two jammers (blocker Brennan would skate two jams in relief—and would pick up 18 points in those two jams) the Vixens rode Shania Pain and Soul Rekker for the whole game, an impressive feat of endurance from the two jammers. Rekker’s endurance and skill is no secret to fans of Canadian roller derby: a skater on Team Canada 2011 and currently on the roster of Team Ontario, Rekker will return to the World Cup in 2014, and picked up 35 points in the opening half on Saturday night.

Shania Pain, on the other hand, is probably under a lot of people’s radars. She won’t be for long. A potential game-changer for Rideau Valley, Shania Pain is one of a young generation of uber-athletic jammers who are taking the game by storm out east and giving a glimpse of what the future of the sport will look like in these parts (Montreal’s Miracle Whips and Toronto’s Rainbow Fight are also in that category). She led all scorers with 45 at the half, and just seemed to be getting warmed up.

Roc City's Asa Clubs tries to get around Vixens' Bottema at the froth of the pack.

Roc City’s Asa Clubs tries to get around Vixens’ Bottema at the front of the pack.

Roc City is a team whose fortunes have ebbed and flowed, and this loss will further distance them from a coveted playoff spot. Led by a core of vets, the team lacks the depth of Rideau Valley and the other potential playoff teams. Nonetheless, they are a scrappy, emotional team that seems to play in surges. The offense was paced by veteran Asa Clubs (who had 39 points at the half) and Kell’d on Impact (28 pts at half), while captain Natasha Musquasha led a solid group of pack skaters that featured the feisty Jacky Spades, the hard-hitting Roxy D. Sniper, Jojo Thrasher and eventual MVP Terminal Trend.

With about five minutes left in the opening half, Rideau Valley looked to be on the verge of running away with it, but a 22-9 run over the final minutes had the visitors back in it, down 25 (98-73).

The win helped move the Vixens one step closer to a WFTDA D2 playoff spot.

The win helped move the Vixens one step closer to a WFTDA D2 playoff spot.

The Rideau Valley packs were led by the usual suspects, with Team Canada’s Hannah Murphy continuing to lead the way. But the tenaciousness of Sister Disaster (who had some of the biggest hits on the night) and Bottema (who always seemed to the be the last line of defense) and the positional excellence of Brennan and Margaret Choke contribute so much to the front-line strength of the team. But the base of the team is growing. After missing much of last season, Rudolph has returned with a vengeance and Kiki Von Carnage and Restless Rose provide depth as they emerge as front-line players. Finally, transfer BLackeyE seems to have found the perfect derby fit after stints in Kingston and Toronto and is playing the best derby of her career.

The Vixens essentially put the game away over the opening ten-minute stretch of the second half. They outscored the Roc Stars 30-12 over the initial five, and then 12-0 over the next to secure a formidable 140-80 lead. While back-to-back power jams at the midway point would allow Roc City a bit of a resurgence (almost halving the lead), once the Vixens righted the ship, they were able to rebuild the gap, shutting out the visitors over the last five minutes of the game (and scoring 32 of their own) to secure the 199-116 win.

Nerd Glasses

With the win, the Riot Sqaud moves to 1-0, while the Sinisters drop to 1-1 on the season.

With the win, the Riot Sqaud moves to 1-0, while the Sinisters drop to 1-1 on the season.

The night opened with a very important houseleague showdown between traditional RVRG home team, the Riot Squad, facing off against its first-year counterpart, the Prime Sinisters. 2014 is the first season that Rideau Valley has organized a full regular season and championship, adding a third home team (and completely reshuffling the rosters of all three teams) to accommodate the new structure. The Sinisters opened the season with a 158-130 win over the Slaughter Daughters and were looking to stay undefeated.

The Riot Squad is lead by a strong core of vets including Hannah Murphy and Sister Disaster, but have a bench defined by depth. BLackeyE, Restless Rose, Kiki Von Carnage, and eventual blocker MVP Acute Bruiser led the charge for the team. The offense was paced by vet Amanda Pummeler and supported by Unita Bruisin and Savage Mind (with double threat Restless Rose offering relief). While things started off tight (the score was tied at 29 ten minutes in) Riot Squad took advantage of some late power jams to build their biggest lead (41) at half, up 91-50.

The Prime Sinisters also have a solid core to build around, led by a quadrant of veterans (Margaret Choke, Brennan, Rudolph, and Pix E. Cutz) with solid support offered by Drunky Brewster and Purella DeVille. CarnEDGE led the way on the jam line, with InfoMainiac and Slaughterberry Shortcake rounding out the rotation. The Sinisters found themselves down by as much as 60, but roared back with three straight power jams at the midway point. However, they couldn’t come all the way back and Riot Squad held on for the 191-142 victory.

Toronto Hosts Brandywine

There was an important double header in Toronto on Saturday night as well, with CN Power picking up its third-straight win in a one-sided stomping of Brandywine (296-90). It was an important win for CN Power, as they look to slip back into the WFTDA D1 Top 20 and secure a favourable playoff position.

The night was kicked off with a regular season showdown between the defending champion Death Track Dolls and the second place Chicks Ahoy!. The Dolls still look like the team to beat walking all over the short-handed Chicks. The Dolls held the Chicks to only 15 points in the opening half, and were almost as stingy in the second as they skated to a dominant 272-35 win. The win places the Dolls undefeated and in top spot at 3-0 at the midway point of the regular season and all but assures them of a playoff spot. The loss dropped the Chicks to 1-2 on the season and leaves them battling for a playoff berth.

Check out pictures of the double header courtesy of Neil Gunner and Greg Russell. Neil’s pics can be found here. Greg’s can be found here.

WFTDA and House League Showdowns in Toronto and Ottawa This Weekend

Both Rideau Valley’s Vixens and Toronto’s CN Power will have opportunities to confirm their rankings against less-ranked competition, while in house league competition, ToRD’s defending champs, The Death Track Dolls, have an opportunity to put a strangle hold on the regular season standings, and in Ottawa, the Riot Squad will take on the Prime Sinisters in their first-ever regular season meeting.

Toronto Roller Derby Hosts Brandywine

ToRD_May-24-2014-Poster-Preview_RS_041614A double header in Toronto will kick off with a key showdown between ToRD’s Chicks Ahoy! (currently 1-1 and tied for second in the standings) and the Death Track Dolls (2-0, in top spot).

The Dolls have looked every bit the defending champs so far this season with surprisingly one-sided wins over the Gore-Gore Rollergirls, and more recently, the Smoke City Betties. The key to the season so far has been the ability to maintain form despite a fairly significant roster overhaul. Their offense, for example, has been built around skaters with mixed levels of experience (Sleeper Hold and Devochka are first-year Dolls, while Bellefast and Getcha Kicks have been the steadying forces for the team).

However, some rifts began to show in the Dolls’ seeming invincibility. At last month’s Beast of the East tournament in Montreal, the team looked vulnerable at times in a closer-than-expected win over Royals City’s Killer Queens and then couldn’t summon the focus or intensity in a loss to Montreal’s La Racaille. But despite missing some vets (including injured co-captain Getcha Kicks), the Dolls still have the depth to pull it off.

The Chicks have slowly gotten better as this season has progressed, and have a surprising depth that has taken some time to gel. It all seemed to have come together by late in their last ToRD game, when it took a late game comeback to overcome the Smoke City Betties by 20 points. The team already looked far different from the one that had struggled defensively against the Gores in January to kick off the season. The resurgence has been led by a development of a supporting cast around last year’s team leaders. They made some strong jammer draft picks (Sneaky Dee and Hyena Koffinkat) and found some veteran depth in the pack from a returning Rebel Rock-It and converted blocker Rosemary’s Rabies.

The Chicks didn’t play in this year’s Beast of the East, so they have not played a competitive game since that March victory over the Betties. It remains to be seen what impact this has on the team, but they have had some competitive scrimmages since then. As with the Dolls, they too will be missing some key players. You have to look back almost two years to June 9th 2012 to see the last time the Dolls lost a game in ToRD. It was, notably, against the Chicks.

The night will cap off with CN Power (23rd in the WFTDA) hosting the Brandywine Roller Girls (47th, out of Pennsylvania). Toronto has improved its record to 4-9 on the season after picking up back-to-back victories over Jet City and Cincinnati to snap a nine-game losing streak. It should be a favourable matchup for Toronto against a team that seems to have cooled down a bit after a scorching close to the 2013 season.

Brandywine is 5-1 on the season, but has had only so-so performances in wins against 90th ranked Charlotte (a 26-point win) and 66th ranked Green Mountain (34 points). Their one loss was a 103-point loss to Nashville. Toronto’s losing streak had a lot to do with the quality of their opponents who included 3rd ranked London, 8th ranked Rocky Mountain and 12th ranked Montreal. So the quality of opponent cannot be overlooked. However, they did get upset by Detroit (41st) and seemed to have already lost a step on Montreal, whom they have faced twice, and will need to use these last two wins as momentum builders.

While Toronto and Brandywine don’t have any common opponents this season, the last time Brandywine ventured north of the border, the team upset Tri-City 165-153. Last weekend Tri-City and Toronto both played Jet City, with the Thunder losing by 30 and CN Power winning by 149.

Rideau Valley Roller Girls Host Roc City

April6-Sirens-vs-DRRD_Rockland_Poster-LegalRideau Valley Roller Girls will be hosting a double header in Kanata this weekend as well with the same home-teams / travel-teams structure. The only difference being that many of the Rideau Valley skaters will be pulling double duty as members of the Vixens are sprinkled all through the rosters of the Prime Sinisters and the Riot Squad.

This will be the first ever meeting between these two teams, and the first regular season game for the Riot Squad in 2014 (the Prime Sinisters opened the season with a 158-130 win over the Slaughter Daughters). This season, Rideau Valley reshuffled its two home team rosters into three teams, and the effects are already showing. Both of these teams made it through to the quarterfinals at last month’s Beast of the East with the Riot Squad eventually finishing 4th. Both teams are loaded with talent with the Riot Squad led in the pack by veterans Hannah Murphy, Sister Disaster and Da Big Block, and on the jammer line by Amanda Pummeler and first-year transfer BLackeyE. The Prime Sinisters, meanwhile, are also built around a solid veteran core of Brennan, Margaret Choke, Rudolph, and Drunky Brewster in the pack with double threat Pix E. Cutz and CarnEDGE as their most experienced jammers. Both teams, though, are also deep in less experienced talent. It could be that bench depth that decides this game.

The night will end with the Vixens (64th in the WFTDA) facing off against their old rivals from Rochester, New York, the Roc City Roc Stars (84th). It’s been nearly two years since these two teams met with Roc City taking that one by 45 points (186-141). However, that was the Vixens’ second ever WFTDA game and they have rocketed past Roc City since then. They are currently 2-0 on the season (3-0 counting a regulation win against the Misfit Militia) and are coming off of a road win against Maine. Roc City has been much busier so far this season, going 2-3 so far, with wins over Ithaca and that same Maine team the Vixens defeated. The differential only slightly favours the Vixens (32-point win vs. 23-point win), but with home court advantage, the Vixens should have the edge.

***Skaters and fans in Ottawa, I will also be appearing as D.D. Miller at the Carleton Tavern on Friday night (details here) to promote my first book of fiction.