Power kills the ‘Zoo; DVAS slay the Sisters

CN Power hosted Michigan's Killamazoo Derby Darlins at a packed Hangar.

Killamazoo Derby Darlins 35  vs. CN Power 197

It was a pink-clad and energized sell-out crowd at the Hangar that greeted the Killamazoo Derby Darlins as they made their first foray north of the border. And it was a pink clad, hyped up roller derby team that welcomed them to Canadian roller derby. Recently promoted to full WFTDA status, Killamazoo looked shaky early on as they adjusted to the slick Hangar floors, and after being overwhelmed in the first ten minutes, never really seemed to get back into it, as CN Power skated away with a lopsided 162 point victory.

FIRST HALF

The jammer trio of Land Shark (pictured), Candy Crossbones and Defecaitlin was dominant.

Having lost four bouts in a row to end 2010, CN Power rejigged the lineup, found a new focus and purpose, and put a renewed effort into training and preparation: It paid off early. After the opening jam ended in a 0-0 deadlock, Defecaitilin got CN Power on the board for their first lead of the bout and it was a lead they would not relent.  Killamazoo had no answers early on for the sustained ToRD attack led by the strong jamming trio of Land Shark, Defecaitlin, and Candy Crossbones (who led the bout in scoring with 78 points in 10 efficient jams). ToRD’s jammers managed an impressive 83% overall lead percentage (led by Land Shark’s 87%), keeping a lot of the decision-making in their own hands.

While at times ToRD seemed thrown off by the loose, stretched packs (and did suffer some discipline problems that resulted in a fair number of penalties), Dyna Hurtcha, Brim Stone and Dolly Destructo showed a great track awareness, assisting with timely offensive blocks when their jammers were stuck against Killamazoo pivots at the front.  But for the most part, the divided blockers made easy pickings for the ToRD jammers who could not be beaten one-on-one. A much needed timeout 9 minutes in seemed to settle down the Michigan skaters and in the following jam were able to put up their first points of the bout. Nonetheless, mid way through the half, the visitors faced a 56-4 deficit.

Lady Hawk (blocking Defecaitlin) had a strong bout for Killamazoo.

There were moments of great individual effort from the Killamazoo skaters; Darlin triple threat Javelin had a strong bout, leading her team in blocks (10), and despite being trapped behind a back wall at one point on a well-executed Toronto power jam, played some brilliant one-on-one defense on the jammer to limit the damage. Even with some big hitters of their own, the Killamazoo skaters got increasingly frustrated by the heavy hits doled out by the likes of Jubilee, Nasher the Smasher and Tara Part. Despite the ability in flat track roller derby to make up a lot of ground in a short amount of time, CN Power seemed in total control of this one, building a 112-10 lead heading into the half.

SECOND HALF

CN Power played a textbook flat track roller derby bout, strategically sound and physically prepared. Dictating their style of play, ToRD’s pivots—co-captain Brim Stone and the Chicks Ahoy! trio of Rebel Rock-It, Mega Mouth and Tara Part—controlled the pace and, when possible, the formations of the packs; whether walling up along turns to open an outside lane for Land Shark, or splitting an unfocused pack to allow Defecaitlin to deke her way through, Toronto’s packs were working well for their jammers. To their credit, Killamazoo never stopped battling and were able to slow CN Power’s point production late in the game. Lady Hawk had a strong second half for the ‘Zoo delivering solid blocks in the pack and donning the star for her team as well. Rosie Ferocious took advantage of a rare Killamazoo power jam to pick up 9 points in The Darlins’ biggest jam of the night (Sparkills had an 8 pointer to open the second-half scoring for Killamazoo). But with 10 minutes left in the game, and the fans beginning to trickle out of the Hangar on an increasingly snowy evening, CN Power was cruising, up 174-31.

CN Power rookie Hurlin' Wall lines up Killamazoo jammer Javelin.

Killamazoo’s Yoga Nagettit starting taking out her frustrations on the track late in the second half, keeping things physical and scoring a solid jammer take out on Land Shark. But it was Hurlin’ Wall, CN Power’s lone rookie in the lineup, who took over the pack for Toronto in the second half, leaving it all in the track with some ferocious hits and strong positional blocking. After also looking impressive in her hometeam opener, it doesn’t seem like we’ll have to worry about a sophomore slump for Hurlin. Dyna Hurthca joined the jammer rotation in the second half, adding a physical component to CN Power’s offense, propelling them to a 197-35 victory.

After an inconsistent 2010, CN Power looks reenergized and refocused in 2011. The continuity of a set roster has visibly aided the pack awareness, and more than ever, CN Power looks like a unified front. With significantly stiffer competition coming up in next month’s Quad City Chaos, ToRD’s all stars can’t spend too much time celebrating this one. But the confidence gained from this victory, and knowing  that they can pull off a WFTDA calibre bout, will only help CN Power moving forward.

TEAM STATS

Stat CN Power Derby Darlins
Margin of Victory/Loss +162 -162
Lead Jammer Percentage 83% 14%
Points Per Jam 4.93 .88
Total Blocks (Knockdowns) 56 (19) 65 (8)
Hits on Jammer (Jammer knockdowns) 10 (15) 41 (7)
Assists (including offensive blocks) 49 25
Minor Penalties (Major penalties) 43 (15) 48 (16)

BLOCKER STATS LEADERS

Stat (Minimum 7 jams) CN Power Derby Darlins
Blocks (Knockdowns) Nasher  8 (3 with 5) Javelin 10 (Miss B. 2)
Jammer hits (Jammer knockdowns) 4 with 2 (Tara/Dyna 4) Javelin 8 (Miss B. 2)
Assists (including offensive blocks) Dyna/Rebel  8 Sparkills  6
Blocker +/- Jubilee +108 Yoga Negattit -11
Pivot +/- Brim Stone +70 Noam Stompsky -25
Total +/- Jubilee +108 Sparkills -34
Minor Penalties (Major penalties) Rebel 6 (Nasher/Dyna 3) Javelin 8 (Ivanna / Beverly 3)

JAMMER STATS LEADERS

Stat (Minimum 5 jams) CN Power Derby Darlins
Points Candy  78 Rosie Ferocious 9
Points Per Jam Candy  7.8 Rosie Ferocious 1.5
Jammer +/- Candy  +72 Rosie Ferocious -5
Lead % Land Shark 87% Rosie Ferocious 20%
Jam % Land Shark 38% Lady Hawk/Beverly 17%

Zebra Mafia: Penny Whistler (Head Ref), Parking Lot (Assistant Head Ref), D-Minus (HCRG), Hot Carl (HCRG), R’Effin Adorable, Trickless Magician (Killamazoo), Ref-ormed Rebel (FCDG).

D-VAS (ToRD) 71 vs. Sister Slag (NCRD) 38

The opening bout of the double header featured ToRD’s future stars, the D-VAS, hosting Nickel City’s Sister Slag. Lead by bench managers Raunchy Hextall and retired CN Power jammer Lunchbox, the 2011 D-VAS are beginning a journey that could eventually see these fresh meat drafted onto one of ToRD’s four hometeams. Many of these players were skating in their debuts, which allowed ToRD’s fans (and hometeam captains with an eye for the future), the first look at the next crop of Toronto talent. It’s going to become increasingly more difficult to gain a position on one of the Toronto rosters, and this bouting experience is integral in the development of these players.

Smashley of Sister Slag lines up against the D-VAS' Hellbat (photo by Joe Mac)

For Nickel City, this bout represented the second foray south after 2010’s bout against Forest City’s Luscious Lunch Ladies. The skaters of Sister Slag, the league’s travel team, are picking up necessary experience on these trips to bring back to their developing league (which consists of two hometeams: The Sudbetties and Smelter Skelter). This bout was the first of a home and home between these two teams that will be reciprocated with a visit by the D-VAS later in the year.

With Low Ride Her on the bench nursing an injury, Sister Slag was missing an essential component of their team. A competitor in the all star game at Toronto’s Blood & Thunder Training Camp, she could have been a difference maker in this one. What this gap did allow, was for other skaters to step up and lead their team. Smelter Skelter captain Smashley lead the offense for Sister Slag with 16 points, joining Wheels of Misfortune in going toe-to-toe with each of the D-VAS solid crop of developing jammers. The comparative experience of the remaining D-VAS from last year’s squad was evident on the track. Laya Beaton (10 blocks, 5 assists) and Skinned Knee Crosby (9 blocks) were strong up front for the DVAS, with Laya taking her turns with the star as well. Sister Slag captain Dirt Devil was a solid leader for her team on the track, pivoting with confidence.

The bout was tight in the early going, with the D-VAS unable to hold leads. Some untimely Sudbury penalties and another D-VAS vet, Krash, may have been the difference in the end. Krash skated well all bout and gained confidence with her jamming as the game wore on. Keri Daway (who led the DVAS with 32 points and a 100% lead percentage in 6 jams) and Hellbat provided the depth at jammer that allowed the D-VAS to pull away with a 71-38 victory.

* Keep an eye on ToRD.TV for a video recap and layer9’s video archive of the bout. *

And finally, for your viewing pleasure: After the bout, a fan shot this video on the 101 TTC bus that runs from The Hangar to the Downsview subway station. Only roller derby could inspire a bus full of people to have a sing-along (to Queen at that). And to think they almost cut this route.

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