The final, pre-regionals WFTDA rankings were released this month, and the match ups for each of the regional playoffs have been made. Montreal’s New Skids on the Block qualified in 6th place in the Eastern Region, getting the final of the six byes into the second round where they will face their cross-border rivals, the Boston Massacre. The skaters on these two teams know each other well and this should be a fantastic bout. Montreal has been reeling in the Eastern Region teams at a remarkable clip all season. After suffering a 100-point blowout to this team in 2009, Montreal managed to cut the deficit in half the last time they met in May (and were actually within 10 points at the half before uncharacteristic penalty troubles allowed Boston to pull away). Despite the amazing development MTLRD has undergone this season, you have to wonder if it will it be enough to get them past Boston and into a potential semifinal showdown with the Philly Rollergirls. To find out, you’ll just have to buy some neon and join the New Skids on the Block’s Neon Army as it heads to White Plains, New York, on September 24th for the Eastern Regionals.
This year’s WFTDA Regionals will play out over four weekends stretching between September and October. The top seeds have remained the same all season, with Gotham (who were upset in last year’s Eastern final by Philly) holding on to top spot in the East. The defending WFTDA champion Oly Rollers, who are in the midst of a record-setting 20 bout winning streak, remain #1 in a very competitive Western Region, while traditional powers Windy City and Texas (last year’s finalists) stay on top in the North Central and South Central.
DERBY NERD ON HIATUS DURING A BUSY MONTH
Sadly, The Derby Nerd will be on hiatus for the next month, a month that happens to be packed with exciting roller derby action. But you can trust that I will be doing my best to spread the word to the far reaches of the globe.
One of the most anticipated roller derby bouts in Montreal’s history will be played on this night. The defending champion Les Filles du Roi will face their original Montreal rivals Les Contrabanditas. When these two teams met during the regular season it was a brutal tug of war that came down to the final jam and a single point. Both of these rosters are loaded with talented skaters at every position. This is going to be one explosive bout.
Across the border into Ontario on the same night, the Rideau Valley Roller Girls will be hosting two of their southern neighbours for a double header. The Riot Squad will face off against the GTAR’s Chrome Mollys (who have won their only two bouts this season), while the Slaugher Daughters will line up against ToRD’s Smoke City Betties. Facing such a strong opponent will be a valuable learning opportunity for the Betties during a critical part of a rebuilding season. With a group of eager rookies short on experience but big on heart, this bout couldn’t have come at a better time. With only one game left of the regular season, this could be an important step toward a strong showing.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 21
August 21st will see The Hangar’s first double header, and it is a big night for a number of reasons. In what seems to be becoming tradition, the CN Power will host a mid-season neighbour from south of the border. QCRG’s Lake Effect Furies will be the visitors in CN Power’s first bout since ToRD’s acceptance into WFTDA’s apprenticeship (joining the Tri-City Roller Girls as they only other Canadian WFTDA apprentice league—TCRG Thunder will be in Syracuse, NY, on this night to take on Assault City).
In another historic moment, two new teams will be making their debut to kick off the double header. Durham Region Roller Derby will be taking part in their first bout as a league. Featuring a small core of former ToRD skaters led by former Doll Bones Brigade, DRRD (playing out of Oshawa) are another exciting addition to an ever-expanding roller derby landscape: They’ve taken their time to get things right and this should be an entertaining debut. Speaking of exciting futures, they will be facing off against the resurrected D-VAS, only this version is a farm team featuring the skaters who will be eligible for ToRD’s 2011 off-season draft. It will be an interesting bout to watch to get a sense of the next generation of skaters.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 28
And finally, the Death Track Dolls will conclude their season a week later (on August 28th) against the undefeated Gore-Gore Rollergirls (they actually haven’t lost to a non-Montreal team since the 2008 championship bout against the Chicks Ahoy!). The Dolls’ patience through restructuring seems to be paying off as they are having a statement-making year. They will look to add emphasis to that statement with a strong showing against the defending champs.
The Derby Nerd will return in September.