Quad City Chaos 2012 Recap (Part One): The Games

Despite big changes to the lineup, the Vixens continue to progress. (Photo by Greg Russell)

DAY ONE

Vixens (Rideau Valley Roller Girls) 84 vs. CN Power (Toronto Roller Derby) 197

The Rideau Valley Vixens came into this tournament in the midst of a mini-rebuild as the first true generational shift in the travel team occurs. With the loss or absence of key pack players and jammers,  the team could easily have crumbled under the pressure of playing their big sisters to the south: but instead, what has emerged from the Vixens’ minor overhaul is the emergence of a solid team with a ton of potential. As a travel team, the Vixens have always been defined by outstanding individual play, so it was a CN Power squad that was caught off guard. Tight walls controlled CN Power jammers on opening passes and allowed the impressive and growing number of Vixens’ jammers to get a significant amount of leads (Soul Rekker and Dee Dee Tee lead the rotation that also included Mudblood, Tarantulove, and Pix E Cutz). This kept things close, with CN Power holding on 83-48 at the half.

CN Power seemed to reel things in to kick off the second half and went on a 30-9 run in the first ten minutes to pad their lead and pull ahead of the upstart Vixens; a Soul Rekker 15-point pick up briefly brought Rideau Valley back into it, but a Betty Bomber 30-point power jam with only 13 minutes remaining increased the lead to 73 points and provided the padding that CN Power needed. Strong recycling from the Brim Stone/Panty Hoser duo, and continued impressive play from Aston Martini ensured the 113 point victory for CN Power, the narrowest margin in four meetings with the Vixens, a good sign for the Ottawa team.

Eh! Team (Hammer City Roller Girls) 31 vs. Thunder (Tri-City Roller Girls) 392

Freudian Whip has taken on a larger jamming role with the Thunder; Hammer City vet Miss Carriage returned to the track before re-injuring her collarbone. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The second bout of the opening day of the 2012 Quad City Chaos was a display of textbook dominance from the Tri-City Thunder. Controlling every aspect of the bout over a majority of the first half, smothering pack defence, unstoppabably agile jamming (including a monster game from rookie Ova’ Kill—who was playing her first game and recorded 50 points in the first half alone), and overall track awareness saw the Thunder hold the Eh! Team off the board for the first 23 minutes (they lead 145-0 at that time). For the most part, Hammer tried to stem the flow by keeping their core of veterans in the key jammer-pivot roles. It was vet Bitchslap Barbie who finally pulled the first lead jammer and points for her team, and the insatiable Mean Little Mamma kept the momentum going. Down but not demoralized, the Eh! Team was looking at a 180-11 deficit at half.

One thing about this Hammer City team, they never stop fighting even in the face of major odds (they entered the tournament on a 16 game WFTDA losing streak). Lead by the unceasing play of Barbie, Mama and Miss Carriage, the new generation of Hammer City skaters slowly began to mark their presence, and led by a similarly unceasing Lorazeslam and a smart on-track leader in Whacks Poetic, the likes of Zoe Disco, Oh! Henry, Peppermental and Skarla provide a solid group around which to build.  In the end they had no answers for the Thunder who skated away with an impressive 361 point victory.

 *Watch the archived boutcast.

Breakout Vixens jammer Tarantulove mixes it up with Whacks Poetic, one of the key members of the next generation of Hammer City skaters. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Eh! Team (HCRG) 75 vs. Vixens (RVRG) 248

The Rideau Valley Vixens continued their exceptional play. Hammer City, who seemed to be learning and adapting on the fly all weekend, came out with a grinding defensive start that had the Vixens on the defensive as well, and their walls were up for the challenge. While Hammer’s defense was tightening up, they still struggled to generate offense (they were lacking a little toughness in on the track with Judge Jodie and Mama taking this one off). New Vixens’ jammer Tarantulove –who was out there for RVRG’s opening jam—would have a big game for the Vixens who would dominate the first five minutes before Eh! Team vet JJ Bladez finally nabbed a lead and picked up four points to make it 26-4, five minutes in. Once on the scoreboard, the Eh! Team stepped it up, and a Miss Carriage power jam had them clawing back into it. Despite being pulled into Hammer’s hard-hitting, high risk style, fantastic blocking in this one from Screaming Meanie Massacre (who has stepped into a bigger role on the team) and the vastly improved Margaret Choke (who was reliable defensively all weekend), kept the Vixens in control, and they eventually began to slowly pull ahead, leading 147-41 at half.

In the second half, Rideau Valley tightened things up and with less penalties were able to pull away (they took a lot of counter-clockwise blocking penalties in the first). Frostbite Me continued her excellent play in the pack while Tarantulove continued with her best game of the tournament closing out the game with a big jam to end an impressive, one-sided Vixens’ 173 point victory. Nonetheless, the Eh! Team had to be content with their 75 point offensive output in the game.

Brim Stone leads a CN Power wall to hold off Ova' Kill (who had a very impressive rookie debut). (Photo by Greg Russell)

Thunder (TCRG) 107 vs. CN Power (ToRD) 141

The marquee matchup of the 2012 Quad City Chaos was at prime time on Saturday night, and with these two ranked 16th (Thunder) and 17th (CN Power) in the WFTDA’s North Central Region, this one was about much more than a potential QCC tournament victory.  This was the third meeting in the last 15 months, and a tie breaker as they split the previous meetings. While this matchup is no longer as much about differing styles as it once was, Thunder still prefers a much slower, deliberate game than CN Power who still doesn’t seem to mind getting involved in a faster shoot out. Nonetheless it was a complete stalemate in the opening jams as both teams proceeded cautiously, almost respectfully. They traded leads throughout the first five minutes until a CN Power power jam (skated by Bambi, who’d never faced Thunder before) with a 4-3 pack advantage gave them a lead (21-3) that they would never relinquish. They settled in to this one and at one point increased the lead to 60-9 with only 12 minutes left. But the Thunder fought back hard at the end of the first and wrestled momentum away, outscoring CN Power 37-3 in the final 12 minutes to pull close, 63-46 at the half.

Super Thunder blocker Bareleigh Legal attempts to hunt down CN Power's Defecaitlin. (Photo by Greg Russell)

This bout was typified by wide swings in momentum, and CN Power came out calm and collected to start the second and was able to quickly get back into it. Penalties played a big role in this one: while Toronto had a steady stream of blockers heading to the pack giving Thunder dangerous pack advantages, Toronto’s jammers managed to remain clean, and the power jams made a big difference. But CN Power also showed their depth in all positions. Experienced jammer Candy Crossbones seemed to revel in the physical game played by the Thunder, and Betty Bomber and Aston Martini both had strong games in the pack. For the Thunder, sin-e-star and BareLeigh Legal were their usual lethal selves but Sofanda Beatin has really stepped up her game and was a huge presence all weekend for Tri-City. Rookie Ova Kill also continued to impress against experienced opponents. Defecaitlin closed out the bout with an important lead jam on the final jam, as CN Power held on for the very important victory.

*Watch the archived boutcast.

DAY TWO

Despite leading for much of the game, in the end the experience of players like sin-e-star and Sofanda Beatin was too much for the Vixens. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Vixens (RVRG) 168 vs. Thunder (TCRG) 202

In what was the second-place game at the tournament, Thunder came in as huge favourites, but as they did all weekend, the Vixens impressed with their steady team play. From the very opening jam, this one was a thriller. Tri City controlled things early as Sofanda Beatin was a one-women wall constantly recycling the Vixens’ jammers. They quickly built an 18 point lead before the very athletic Mudblood, who has emerged as a key player on the Vixens whether in the pack or jamming, finally got her team on the board, but the Thunder were still in control, 18-4 five minutes in. Potentially still suffering from the previous night’s emotional bout against CN Power, Thunder was not their usual dominant selves and seemed easily distracted as an excited Rideau Valley team kept pushing. Some strong offensive blocking from transfer Eh-Nihlator helped Soul Rekker pick up 18 and begin a thrilling run that saw RVRG inch ever closer, down two, 32-30 halfway through the first.  They took their first lead 46-44 with 10 left in the half. Mudblood and Ova’ Kill had some fantastic battles in the half, but the Vixens completely took over (leading to some desperate, undisciplined play from the Thunder) and only a big final-jam pick up from Konky had Tri-City still in it, down 74-63 at half.

The Vixens managed to hold on to the lead for the first fifteen minutes of the second, but as the tension rose, the experience of the Thunder shone through, and small errors plagued the Vixens. The power jams started going Thunder’s way and when they took a 132-125 lead halfway through the second, it was clear that momentum had firmly shifted. Leigh-zzie Borden (who had a breakout tournament at QCC ’11) closed out the game with a power jam with only 3 minutes left that put it out of reach and guaranteed the Thunder a second place finish at the Quad City Chaos.

CN Power's Aston Martini was dominant at times during the tournament. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Eh! Team (HCRG) 55 vs. CN Power (ToRD) 408

CN Power closed out the tournament with one of their greatest offensive performances ever, breaking the 400-point barrier for the first time and building up their largest margin of victory ever.  But no one would have guessed that score after the first five minutes of the bout when Hammer City put forward their best sustained effort of the tournament. Catching the hosts completely off guard, the Eh! Team took their first lead on a Lorazeslam jam (8-7) four minutes in. (It took them 20 minutes to score against the Thunder the day before.) It was a slightly different look from the CN Power offense (Rebel Rock-It played big minutes with the star and looked great in the scrum starts) and Eh! Team had their top roster who are playing very well together (*tragically, veteran leader Miss Carriage rebroke her collar bone the day before and was unable to play). It was only a Defecaitlain power jam 8 minutes that gave CN Power a definitive lead (44-12). Led by strong pack play from Whacks Poetic and Oh! Henry, consistent jamming from JJ Bladez, Lorazelslam and Mean Little Mama kept Hammer on the board, but CN Power comfortably increased their lead to 208-31 at the half.

The second half brought much the same from both teams; increasingly good play from the young, inexperienced Eh! Team skaters, and a relentless push forward from CN Power who never once took their foot off the gas ( Defecaitlin recorded a rare 39 point jam on a remarkable 8 scoring passes at one point). Mean Little Mama ran into some more undisciplined play as jammer for the Eh! Team, which truly sealed the deal for the hosts who did everything right in the second half on their way to the 353 point victory and top spot at the 2012 Quad City Chaos.

* Watch the archived boutcast.

***All the WFTDA action was streamed live on Canuck Derby TV. Check the archives if you missed it. The non-sanctioned games will be available on Layer 9.

***On Thursday the recap continues with The Commentary.

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