Death Track Dolls (0W 1L -12) vs. Smoke City Betties (0W 1L -190)
In the first bout of the season with direct playoff implications, the winless Smoke City Betties and Death Track Dolls will play to avoid falling to 0-2 and a potential fourth place finish in the regular season. When these two teams met in 2009, the outcome was a confident 117-87 victory by the Betties, who were just beginning their march toward a shot at The Boot. I wouldn’t count on a similarly one-sided bout on Saturday. While the core of that Dolls team will take to the track on Saturday, as seen in their season opener, this Betties team will feature a far different lineup. Both teams are well aware of the importance of the bout and will need little inspiration to get up for this one.
KEYS TO VICTORY
1. Veterans provide leadership: This is a team short on experience, but there is a leadership core, led by original Betty Memphis Kitty who played a little bit of everything last bout, that has been through a lot with this team and will be determined to rebuild the squad. Hot Roller, Pretty Peeved, Lacy Brawler and Lady Scorcher are all experienced pack players who will be called upon to keep things together in the pack while the rookies adapt. It is a capable core, and could potentially form a sold power line.
2. Skaters keep their hands clean: With a team stocked full of rookies, there are bound to be mistakes in the pack, and the key will be to not become frustrated by them. While penalties will stack up eventually, it is the bench’s responsibility to be keenly aware of the numbers and avoid putting experienced players in vulnerable situations. Mia Culprit has the experience and Quickdraw brings the presence to this year’s bench.
3. Sail Her Poon steps up: That’s a whole lot of pressure to heap on one rookie! But Pooner has given no reason to believe that she is not capable of stepping up. A dominant presence for the Betties against the defending champions Gore-Gore Rollergirls (putting up big jammer numbers in the process), she didn’t look out of place as part of the Vagine Regime’s all-star lineup at the recent Clam Slam. Poon will need to lead the way for the number of rookies who will be forced into key roles. Platinum Bomb, Mouth of the South and other jammer Tropic Thunder all played big roles in the season opener will need to do so here too.
1. Jammers dominate the bout: Word on the track is that key jammer Demolition Dawn will be out of the lineup for the Dolls, meaning that a lot of pressure will be on the remaining jammers to pick up the slack. Despite boasting all-star jammer Land Shark, the Dolls don’t actually have a lot of depth in the position. This bout will provide a huge opportunity for the Dolls to give valuable track time to promising rookie SlamWow, and expect Betty Bomber and Audrey Hellborn to put in some time with the star as well. While these two are valuable pack players, they are both more than capable of taking a lap or two with the star.
2. Blockers stay unified: While the Dolls have players capable of making game-changing assists and jammer-jarring hits (Bomber, Audrey, Seka Destory and Jubillee, come to mind), the key will be for the Dolls pivots to make sure the pack doesn’t get too loose and is unified in its strategy. With Dolly Parts’em still on the sidelines, the stripe will rest on the helmets of Panty Hoser and Monichrome to provide the steadiness and leadership on the track.
3. The team will need to be consistent: The Dolls have proven better than most teams at digging themselves out of holes; the problem has been that the holes are sometimes too deep. A calm, focused bench and steady track leadership will be key in keeping the team balanced in its attack and committed to the cause. Big Chees, the veteran Dolls bench boss, has been joined by Sonic Doom this year and it has been a positive pairing this season.
WHAT TO EXPECT
While each team had a disappointing Beast of the East, the Dolls have gone 1-1 since, and their loss to the Chicks Ahoy! was a nail-biter. The Betties have only had one test since, and it was a stiff one, but they performed and battled admirably and will only get better as the season goes on. While the outcome can’t be called for certain, one thing that you can be certain of is that both teams will be putting in more than a full effort come 7:30 on Saturday night.
Doors at The Hangar open at 6:30pm. Buy tickets online or at one of the many ticket outlets in the city.
Watch the boutcast of last year’s bout by layer9.
That’s no excuse not to catch roller derby this weekend, and oh boy you have options! The emerging Tri-City Thunder host the Queen City girls from Buffalo, while the GTAR’s Derby Debutantes host the Rollergettes, and if you’re heading south of the border, why not head to Utica to cheer on the Rideau Valley Vixens.