It used to be that The Boston Derby Dames would send The Boston B Party (the league’s second travel team) north to beat up on a Montreal home team every once in a while. Then, last season, Les Contrabanditas pushed back, and lost by only one point on a controversial final jam (the jammers, coincidentally, were Killary Clinton and Georgia W. Tush). Nonetheless, it was clear that things were changing.
Fast forward a year and Montreal‘s New Skids on the Block are the fastest rising team in WFTDA and it’s the 3rd ranked Boston Massacre heading north for the third annual match-up between these two roller derby powerhouses.
Having combined pack isolation and trap strategies with an attention to fitness that is unparalleled, the Skids have put together a seven bout winning streak against WFTDA opponents (nine overall) in 2010 including two impressive, one-sided victories over teams ranked well above them in WFTDA’s Eastern Region. These two victories over Dutchland All Stars (186-65) and the 6th ranked Carolina Rollergirls (135-29) have positioned the Skids as a team to be taken seriously in the east. A victory Saturday night, and they would have to be considered a contender.
FIVE KEYS TO A SKIDS’ VICTORY
1) Pivots need to control the pack. Montreal’s strength lies in its ability to dominate with pack advantages and especially while on power jams. They have a lot of skaters who can wear the stripe, but watch especially for FDR‘s 1-2 punch of Jess Bandit and Lady J to lead the packs. They have jammers who can skate two full minutes at top speed; if you can keep the pack moving at a leisurely pace, that’s a lot of points. 2) Triple Threats have to be threatening. Geargia W. Tush and Cheese Grater can and will do it all, and they are now complemented by Smack Daddy who has been a force all over the track in 2010. 3) Ewan Wotarmy has to play like an army. And is more than capable of doing so. Big jammer take outs defensively and long, fast jams offensively will be key on Saturday. 4) Iron Wench needs to play like the Iron Wench. She is able to single handedly take over a game with a single, explosive jam. Deadly on power jams, almost impossible to take down, and unfailingly disciplined, the Wench could be the difference. 5) Stay out of the box. The New Skids on the Block have an incredibly deep line up (Lyn-dah Kicks, Romeo, Wrath Poutine, Nameless Whorror, Trash N Smash, Bone Machine… well, here’s the lineup), and if they can keep putting out full, consistent lines, they can very easily wear an opposing team down.
A year ago I wouldn’t have thought I’d say this, but I think it’s too close to call. One thing for certain, it will be one of the best roller derby bouts yet played north of the border.
Many roller derby fans concluded that MTLRD’s recent dominance at the Beast of the East had a lot to do with the rise of the Skids, but I would argue that the development of the Sexpos is what is actually bolstering up the rosters of the Montreal home teams.The emergence of players like Ninja Simone, Beats Per Minute, K-Dawg and Striking Viking (to name just a few!) has come as a direct result of the increased play and experience gained from playing with the Sexpos, and gives the depth to the home team rosters that really sets them apart.
The Sexpos, in only their second year of existence, have quietly developed into a solid team in their own right, and are coming off of a 213-59 dismantling of the Dutchland Blitz. The Vixens are a new travel team formed as part of the Rideau Valley’s expansion this season (following the development of a second home team, The Riot Squad), and are off to an 0-2 start in their inaugural season. They suffered a one sided loss in their first bout (199-149 against ToRD’s CN Power), but had a much closer battle with Steel City’s B-Unit in their last outing. The Vixens will need to keep up with well-controlled packs and contain well-practiced jammers to keep this one from getting out of hand.
You can catch both bouts of this Saturday’s double header on MTLRD’s ustream channel.