Chicks Ahoy! to Battle for the Boot after semifinal win.

The Dolls and Chicks met in the semifinals for the third time in history. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Death Track Dolls 29  vs. Chicks Ahoy! 120

We’re down to two, and for the fourth time in ToRD’s history the Chicks Ahoy! and Gore-Gore Rollergirls will face off for the Toronto Roller Derby championship as the Chicks put together another impressive performance over the Death Track Dolls in the semifinal on the weekend. Despite a much improved effort from the Dolls, they simply didn’t have enough as the Chicks ruled the packs on their way to the  91 point victory and a spot in the June 25thchampionship bout.

This marked the third time that these two teams had played each other in the semifinals with the Chicks also recording victories in 2008 and 2010.

Once again, Dyna Hurtcha was nearly unstoppable for the Chicks. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Thoughts of a Dolls’ upset to end that streak were quickly put to rest in the early going when the Chicks roared out of the gates, grinding ahead 18-1 at one point before the Dolls were able to get their offense going. Once again, Dyna Hurtcha was unstoppable with the star early.  Dyna has always been a strong three-position player (winning the Triple Threat at the ToRD Awards in 2009), but her development as a jammer this season has been astonishing; whether powering through packs or rushing along the outside, the Dolls could not contain her. Candy Crossbones also continues to impress in 2011, and with rookie Kookie Doe passing every test that she’s been given in this impressive rookie season, right now, the Chicks look like they have the most solid 1-2-3 jammer attack in the league.

Land Shark returned to the lineup for the Dolls, but even she struggled against the Chicks' packs. (Photo by Greg Russell)

The Dolls were buoyed by the return of Land Shark to the lineup, but even she struggled with the extraordinary pack work of the Chicks. Jubilee took on a more regular role jamming for the Dolls as well, and could be key to filling out the offensive depth of this Dolls team moving forward. Captain Betty Bomber stepped up as well, but despite recording a solid lead jammer %, was unable to take advantage as the Chicks defence was stellar, dominating the front of the pack and running some very fast pace lines. Roller Derby is increasingly about controlling the pace and at times the Chicks seemed to have complete control over the pace of this game. In the face of this smothering defense, the Dolls were unable to even crack double digits in the first half, down 52-9 at the break.

With an already deep pack, the play of Kookie Doe has given the Chicks a deep roster of jammers as well. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

When these two teams closed out the regular season, the Dolls collapsed under the sustained attack by the Chicks and almost fell apart in the second half as the Chicks ran up the score, so full credit goes to the Dolls in this one for coming out strong in the second half and continuing to battle right through to the end; the score line seemed unfair to the Dolls in terms of the effort they gave. The Dolls’ Santilly In Yo Face continued her jamming apprenticeship and had a much more controlled game this time out, and another rookie, Bala Reina from the Chicks, also continued to get some experience jamming (as she and Dyna passed off positions in the second). The pack was working so well together that it was hard to measure stand-out performances from the Chicks, but Mega Bouche had another monster bout, and Marmighty is becoming frighteningly good in the pack; yet another solid blocker to add to a Chicks’ roster that already has the best pack depth in the league.

Santilly In Yo Face was ready for the Chicks this time, but faced considerable blocking from the likes of Mega Bouche. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Discipline has been a key issue this season for both of these teams, but particularly for the Chicks who have revamped their game in a big way. But there was a slight set back in this one, as both teams registered a lot of minors (33 for the Dolls, 25 for the Chicks) and an unusual amount of majors as well. Over the course of the regular season, the Chicks only recorded 23 majors, but picked up 10 in the semifinal, something that they will have to keep an eye on in the championship game. But there were very few jammer majors (two for the Dolls and just one for the Chicks that the Dolls, unfortunately, couldn’t capitalize on).

Nonetheless, the Chicks seem to be peeking at just the right, and have now put together back-to-back dominant games over an experienced opponent, which could be just the preparation that the Chicks need heading into the Battle for the Boot 5. In a season that at the mid-way point showed so much promise, the result was once again the same for the Death Track Dolls: coming up just short against the Chicks Ahoy!. They’ll need to build off the successes of the season and fix some of the issues that became more obvious as the season wore on, and now they’ll have  along off season to do it.

**Missed the game?? You can catch the complete bout including track side interviews on Rogers TV this Saturday (June 18) at 6:00 p.m.

**Tickets are on sale for the Battle for the Boot 5.

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