|First victory over WFTDA team (Hammer City); hosted inaugural Quad City Chaos (finished second to Montreal).|
The Apprenticeship begins in earnest. ToRD’s 2011 will be defined and shaped by the league’s pursuit of full WFTDA status. And while the ramifications of this will be felt at every level, the focus will be placed squarely on ToRD’s all stars, CN Power. 2010 proved to be a breakout year for flat track roller derby, and not only in terms of participation and popularity, but also in terms of strategic evolution. The sport of roller derby changed in 2010 as pack isolation and trap strategies that had been created in 2009 disseminated throughout the sport. The development of clearly defined situational offenses and defenses necessitated an elevated commitment to training, and if teams wanted to compete, a more sophisticated style of play on the track. Subtly, this has altered the nature of the WFTDA Apprenticeship process. It is no longer simply a red-tape process of achieving administrative and organization goals, it is now—unofficially—also an apprenticeship in the sport. There are so many leagues in WFTDA (more than 100 official members with another 60 at various stages of apprenticeship), that being a member is no longer enough. The disparity between the bottom teams and the top teams in each region is massive, and achieving full member status is no guarantee that a team will be able to compete in its region.
2010 was a year of highs and lows for CN Power, beginning with a trio of wins (by a combined score of 170 points) over challenging opponents. A one-sided victory over the newly formed Rideau Valley Vixens was followed by Quad City Chaos victories against Vancouver’s Terminal City All Stars and the Hammer City Eh! Team (a two-point nail-biter that represented ToRD’s first victory over Hamilton’s top team). A 184 point loss to Montreal’s New Skids on the Block brought things back to earth, and after a lengthy break for ToRD’s home season, CN Power suffered three straight losses. One to Garden State and the others to fellow apprentice leagues Lake Effect Furies (from Buffalo’s Queen City Rollergirls) and Tri-City Thunder (coincidentally, both opponents rode those victories almost directly into full WFTDA status). Facing inconsistent rosters, and suffering lengthy injury absences, CN Power was never able to recapture its early year form and lost those four straight bouts by a combined score of 297 points, which equates to an average margin of loss of 74 points.
Although there are a handful of rookies on CN Power’s 20 player roster, expect the veterans to lead the way in key positions. Not that the rookies won’t get to see a lot of action. The condensed nature of next month’s Quad City Chaos will necessitate rotating through the whole roster, a great opportunity for CN Power’s newcomers.
Pivots: A position where CN Power looks strong in 2011. Brim Stone, Rebel Rock-It, and Nasher the Smasher formed the core of CN Power’s pivots last season and will do the same this year. Tara Part returned late in 2010 and is now ready to pick up where she left on and will be a leader on the track in 2010. Molly Boom has proven to be a reliable on-track leader for the championship Gores and could join triple threat Betty Bomber in filling out the lineup.
Blockers: Mega Bouche and Lady Gagya have taken on versatile blocking roles with their home teams and will be expected to fill out the pack for CN Power (don’t be surprised to see either with the stripe at some point). Lady Scorcher will be relied upon to add a calm, positional complement on the track, while CN Power stalwarts Dolly Destructo, Dyna Hurtcha and Jubilee are hard hitting blockers capable of big jammer take outs and of disrupting opponents’ packs. Big things will be expected from ToRD’s 2010 rookie of the year Hurlin’ Wall, who joins her hometeam teammate Aston Martini as rookie blockers on this year’s all star squad.
Jammers: The attack will undoubtedly be lead by the veteran trio of Dust Bunny and Land Shark, who both looked strong for their respective teams in ToRD’s season opener; and Candy Crossbones who was shifting into top form at the end of 2010 and could benefit from the quick changeover between seasons. Betties’ second-year players Sail Her Poon and titmouse will probably begin their own apprenticeships this year, and the offense will be supported by Brim Stone (who jammed considerably in the recent season opener) and Betty Bomber, who does it all for the Death Track Dolls.
KICKING OFF 2011
CN Power’s 2011 season begins on February 26th when they host the Killamazoo Derby Darlins at The Hangar. The bout will be part of a double header kicked off by ToRD’s future stars, The D-VAS, who will be hosting Sudbury’s Nickel City. This will be the second bout for both teams, although much of the 2010 D-VAS squad has been drafted in ToRD, meaning this will be a now-look team. Nickel City’s travel team, Sister Slag (they have two home teams), debuted last year against Forest City’s Luscious Lunch Ladies.
Killamazoo recently gained WFTDA status and has booked a busy 2011 in hopes of moving up the North Central Standings; it is a busy schedule that includes a home and home with CN Power, who will travel to Michigan for the return portion in August. Killamazoo is a fitting and realistic opponent for CN Power who will be entering the North Central Region as well; they will provide a good measuring stick for how far CN Power has to go to be competitive in the region.
The next big challenge comes at the second annual Quad City Chaos, which ToRD will host on March 26th and 27th. Montreal’s New Skids on the Block will return to defend their title, in what will be an outstanding showcase of the best that eastern Canadian roller derby has to offer. The rising Rideau Valley Vixens and the 2010 breakout Tri-City Thunder give a glimpse of the future of the sport in this country. These four teams, along with Hammer City (who is in the midst of a WFTDA-centered league restructuring), form a solid foundation for Canada’s entrance into WFTDA: a strong regionally based, collective force that can provide the quantity of quality competition needed for each individual team to improve and advance.
2011 CN POWER ROSTER
Aston Martini (Blocker, Gore-Gore Rollergirls)
Betty Bomber (Triple Threat, Death Track Dolls)
Brim Stone (Pivot, Jammer, Gore-Gore Rollergirls)
Candy Crossbones (Jammer, Blocker, Chicks Ahoy!)
Dolly Destructo (Blocker, Chicks Ahoy!)
Defecaitlin (Jammer, Gore-Gore Rollergirls, AKA: Dust Bunny)
Dyna Hurtcha (Jammer, Blocker, Chicks Ahoy!)
Hurlin Wall (Blocker, Gore-Gore Rollergirls)
Jubilee (Blocker, Death Track Dolls)
Lady Gag Ya (Blocker, Gore-Gore Rollergirls)
Lady Scorcher (Blocker, Smoke City Betties)
Land Shark (Jammer, Death Track Dolls)
Mega Mouth (Blocker, Pivot, Chicks Ahoy!, AKA: Mega Bouche)
Molly Boom (Blocker, Pivot, Gore-Gore Rollergirls)
Nasher the Smasher (Pivot, Blocker, Chicks Ahoy!
Rebel Rock-It (Pivot, Chicks Ahoy!)
Sail Her Poon (Blocker, Jammer, Smoke City Betties)
Tara Part (Pivot, Blocker, Chicks Ahoy!)
titmouse (Blocker, Jammer, Smoke City Betties)
* Audrey Hellborn (Triple Threat, Death Track Dolls); on injury reserve.
Tickets are available online, or at numerous vendors downtown. Doors of The Hangar open at 5:00 pm. The first bout kicks off at 6:00pm.