|2011 Regular Season||2||1||+219||Second place for second straight year|
|2011 Playoffs||2||0||+156||Second championship (first since 2008)|
Things started slowly for the Chicks Ahoy! in 2011. After a big preseason shake-up that saw the retirement of seven of the Chicks’ early stars, the team was slow out of the gate. While they did kick off the season with a 100 point victory over the Smoke City Betties, it was a far cry from the 224 point victory they’d scored over the Betties to close out the 2010 season. Even an impressive fourth place showing—the team’s best yet—at the Beast of the East was marred by the Chick’s first ever loss to leaguemates Death Track Dolls in the third-place bout.
But the Chicks had retained a solid core, and it was only a matter of time before the seven rookies began to integrate, and with a new bench manager, Flyin’ Bryan Killman, adding consistency and stability on the bench, the team began to gel. A mid-season tilt against the Gore-Gore Rollergirls showed this improvement as they went toe-to-toe with the champs for much of the bout before fading late in the game. But the flashes of brilliance were merely the beginning of powerful things to come. After two years of nail-biting showdowns with the Dolls, the Chicks finally overcame their rivals in a dominant, 159 point victory to close out the 2011 regular season. They continued that streak in the playoffs, winning their second straight game against the Dolls in the semifinals before putting together a bout of beauty in their relentless, overwhelming victory over the defending champs in the Battle for the Boot 5.
LOSSES AND GAINS
For the second straight year, retirement has hit the Chicks at the core. Three more key members of the 2008 championship team skated their final bouts in 2011, and the loss of founding-member Cheri Nova, the frightening Dolly Destructo, and the extremely popular G-Force (who remains active in ToRD) will certainly be felt by the team (it should be noted that third-year skater Hum Dinger will be on maternity leave this season as well). But captains Candy Crossbones and Tara Part selected well in the entry draft, plucking Roadside BombShel, Biggley Smallz and Central New York transfer Doris Doomsday from the D-VAS. With less new skaters to integrate into the team in 2012, they transition should be much more painless for the Chicks, and with little expectations, their rookies should have ample time and opportunity to mesh with the team.
Flyin’ Bryan Killman is back for his second season as the Chicks’ bench manager, and will attempt to maintain the same positive bench attitude that carried them through 2011. He’s a got a deep, experienced roster to work with.
Pivot: Nasher the Smasher, Mega Bouche, Rebel Rock-It and Tara Part have been wearing the strip for years for the Chicks, and not much will change in 2012. With so few rookies, don’t expect the Chicks to feel the need to rush anyone else into this all-important role, but look to see some veterans like Robber Blind or Furious Georgia, or second-year skaters like Red Light Roxy and Snapp’n Cooter get a chance with the stripe.
Blocker: The success of the Chicks Ahoy! has always revolved around the strength of their blockers, and this year’s team is no different. Along with the more-than-capable roster of potential pivots, the Chicks are blessed with extraordinary pack depth. In 2011 Marmighty emerged as one of the most effective and devastating blockers in the league and was a key player in the championship game victory. Veteran skater Hoff and sophomore Tess D’Urb-Evil round out the roster along with rookies Doris Doomsday and Biggley Smallz.
Jammer: Last year the Chicks solidified their jammer rotation and it delivered. Candy Crossbones and Dyna Hurtcha both had career seasons with the star in 2011 finishing tied for second with a 40 JQ rating, which allowed rookie of the year Kookie Doe to develop without too much pressure (or as little pressure as a rookie can feel while being a regular jammer on a championship team). This season look for the Chicks to cultivate some depth at this position, and they do have optains. Both Bala Reina and Roadside BombShel have a diverse skill set that could see them playing in the pack, but they’ve also got the ability and tenacity to jam.
Expectations are as high they can get for the Chicks. After a steady and consistent rebuild, the Chicks have created one of the deepest hometeam rosters in Canadian roller derby (they currently sport twelve ToRD travel-team skaters consisting of four Bay Street Bruisers and eight members the WFTDA ranked CN Power). With so little turnover in the roster, the 2011 ToRD champions have got to be considered heavy favourites to repeat in 2012. The season opener against their opponents in the past two ToRD Championships, the Gores, should say a lot about how this season will unfold.
- Despite finishing second in the regular season, they led the league in team scoring with 408 points.
- Dyna Hurtcha led the team in total +/- with a +160; she also led among jammers with a +99.
- The Chicks had four skaters register more than 50 blocks: Mega Bouche (67—led the league), Nasher the Smasher (55), Marmighty (54), and Rebel Rock-It (53). Tara Part led the team with 30 assists.
- Dyna Hurtcha and Candy Crossbones each registered a 40 JQ rating. Candy Crossbones led the team in scoring with 141 points (Dyna Hurtcha with 136 and Kookie Doe with 102 also registered over 100 points), while Dyna led the league with a remarkable 74% lead percentage.
- Rebel Rock-It (57%) followed closely by Marmighty and Nasher the Smasher (54%) were on the track for the majority of their team’s jams. With 5 penalty minutes (on 4 majors), Marmighty led the Chicks in penalty minutes served.
***The Chicks and Gores meet in the 2012 season opener at The Bunker in Downsview Park. Tickets are on sale now! The Bout will also feature a showdown between this year’s D-VAS in a D-VAS Black vs. D-Vas Red bout. Doors for this double header open at 5:00 PM.