CN Power went 1-1 in its first WFTDA sanctioned roadtrip, scoring a victory over Queen City’s Lake Effect Furies while falling short against the Grand Raggidy All Stars. Both teams offered extraordinarily physical challenges to CN Power who were primed for top-flight competition after one-sided victories over the Hammer City Eh! Team and Killamazoo Derby Darlins. While CN Power remains officially unranked, both opponents were ranked well above the ToRD all stars in their respective regions. (*Disclaimer: The Nerd was managing the bench for the Grand Raggidy bout)
Both opponents had size and strength advantages over CN Power that provided a unique set of challenges in the pack for ToRD’s all stars. Grand Raggidy finished the season ranked 11th in the North Central, just one spot out of the playoffs, providing CN Power with an opportunity to see where they stood in their region: their performance should prove to be a confidence builder.
Things started off extremely tight, with the teams trading leads in the very early going and Grand Raggidy having a difficult time containing ToRD’s speedy jammer trio of Bambi, Defecaitlin and Dyna Hurtcha. But where they lacked in speed they made up in power, and quickly began to dominate the packs. Forming tight, almost impenetrable walls, the hometeam was able to keep fairly consistent control over the pace and formation of the packs that kept CN Power from being able to mount any sort of comeback once the hosts pulled into the lead.
Despite strong games from Panty Hoser and Lady Gagya coupled with the on-track leadership of Brim Stone and Tara Part, about halfway through the second Grand Raggidy was threatening to run away with it. Nonetheless, the Toronto skaters pushed through to the end, and in a positive sign of things to come, CN Power refocused late and kept their heads in the game, finishing strong and even carrying a lot of the play in the last five minutes of the game to narrow the spread that at one point was threatening to grow. Grand Raggidy held on for the 148-68 win.
One night and what seemed like half a country later, CN Power found themselves in Buffalo, NY to face off against Queen City’s Lake Effect Furies. The Furies, ranked 14th in the very competitive Eastern Region, brought a similar skill-set as Grand Raggidy to the matchup: strong pack work and great one-on-one ability. Despite the long drive and the unfamiliar surroundings, CN Power roared out of the gates and rode a 24 point Candy Crossbones power jam to a 38-10 lead ten minutes. Bolstered by the arrival of some fresh legs in Candy, Bruiseberry Pie, Betty Bomber and Santa Muerte, CN Power kept pouring it on, extending their lead to 65-31 with eight minutes left in the half. But in a half that was loaded with penalties (on both sides) momentum swings were inevitable, and Queen City (who were coming off of a big victory over the Tri-City Thunder the night before), got their heads back in the game. Led by some phenomenal pack work from Vajeena Warrior, the Furies crawled their way back into it. Strong one-on-one play allowed them to dominate the packs, and they completely neutralized Toronto’s jammers late in the half (often continuously recycling them at the back of the pack). They kept Toronto off the scoreboard for the last 8 minutes and actually pulled ahead 68-65 at the half.
It was much the same to kick off the second half as the game threatened to get away from CN Power. Despite an early Toronto power jam, Queen City continued to ride strong blocking in the first ten minutes (while CU~T also threw down some big hits for the hometeam), increasing their lead to 99-75.
The penalty woes that had plagued both teams in the first disappeared in the second, which made for some exciting derby, and as they had the night before, CN Power began to get stronger as the bout slipped into its later stages. Jubilee and Aston Martini both had stand-out performances in the second half taking over the back of the pack and often peeling the opposing blockers off of CN Power’s jammers. Nasher the Smasher also had a strong bout, often effectively goating the Furies’ jammers to buy time for her own. With just over eleven minutes remaining in the game ToRD slipped back into the lead 104-103 for the first time in the half. The teams would continue to trade leads in an increasingly tense bout, until Dyna Hurtcha took advantage of a power jam to put up 19 points and give CN Power a 126-110 lead with just under five minutes left.
Some Queen City strategic miscues (including a few intentionally delayed penalty box entries by their jammers) allowed CN Power some breathing room. Leading 139-118 heading into the final jam, Queen City picked up lead and five points on a grand slam, but it was all they could manage as CN Power held on for the 139-123 victory.