Double Header Preview: Gores vs. Dolls / CN Power hosts Queen City

Dolls substitute Land Shark skates against the Gores' Bambi in the Dolls 2008 regular-season win. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

Gore-Gore Rollergirls (0-1) vs. The Death Track Dolls (1-0)

You have to look way back to find the last (and only) time that the Death Track Dolls defeated the Gore-Gore Rollergirls. It was August 19th, 2008, when the Dolls took down the Gores 112-93; it was a game that allowed the Dolls to clinch second place in the regular season standings. The bout was not without controversy. In 2008, ToRD was still running a six-team homeleague and resources were spread thin. For this final regular season game of the season, the Dolls borrowed two substitutes from the D-VAS and one from the Bruisers to fill out the roster. One substitute skater in particular—D-VAS rookie Land Shark—would have a big impact on the game, ending up being named the game’s MVP. Although shrouded in controversy, the three subs (Land Shark and Seka Destroy from the D-VAS, Monichrome from the Bruisers) would all, ironically, end up as part of the Dolls in the dispersal draft following the 2008 season and the contraction of two of the six hometeams.

The Dolls kicked off 2012 with a victory over the Smoke City Betties. (Photo by Joe Mac)

Jumping ahead to April 2012 and much has changed. When these two teams meet on Saturday some of the skaters dressed for the bout were there four years ago, but many new faces have arrived. And after dominating ToRD for five seasons (winning three championships along the way), it is the Gores who now find themselves looking for their first win of the season and the Dolls (the only home team never to appear in a championship game) sitting atop the tight ToRD standings.  If there is a time for the Dolls to change this four-year losing streak, that time could be now.

Over the past two season the Death Track Dolls have done a good job of redefining their team, and have brought in an exciting crop of rookies. They’ll be dressing three rookies on Saturday (Ames to Kill, Bellefast and UpHer Cut), not to mention a handful of second-year skaters. The Gore-Gore Rollergirls, on the other hand, are a team that has not changed much over the past few years (a stretch that included a 12-game winning streak), and still feature a high-powered offense led by two of the league’s top jammers in Bambi and Dust Bunny. The Dolls have been jamming by committee so far this season with upwards of six skaters capable of wearing the star (which is the number they used in their season opener).

Following a twelve game winning streak, the Gores have lost two games in a row for the first time. (Photo by Joe Mac)

The most interesting battle could be in the pack. Skating without Brim Stone (something that the Gores have never had to contend with before) and former rookie of the year Hurlin’ Wall, there is a gap in the pack that the Dolls could take advantage of. Then again, it could just be an opportunity for other skaters to step up. There is no shortage of veteran Gores to step up and either pivot or take on a larger role in the pack. Along with captains Kandy Barr and Lady Gag-Ya, Santa Muerte, Chronic, Foxy Sinatra, Junkie Jenny and Molly Boom are all more than capable on-track leaders. Gamma Rei is always on the verge of a major breakout. But this opportunity could have the greatest effect on a few skaters still looking to make their marks. Miss Kitty La Peur has upped her training this season, and for Emma Dilemma, Mace  O’Kissed and Draculaura, the time has never been better to step up and take on a critical role for the team.

As for the Dolls, Betty Bomber, Sinead O’Clobber, Jubilee and newly emerged triple threat Panty Hoser remain on-track leaders the  for the team, but with Downright Dirty Dawson, Lucid Lou and Speedin Hawking filling out a very experienced pack line up, there aren’t too many holes for the Dolls to fill. Second-year skaters Kat Atomic and Rhage in a Cage have an opportunity to step up here, and rookie Ames to Kill is quickly emerging as a threat in the pack. UpHer Cut will be making her ToRD regular season debut, but with pack experience from her days as a D-VAS, has the potential to make an impact right away.

The Dolls and Gores will be facing off in the second half of the double header.

Lake Effect Furies (2-4,  15th East) vs. CN Power (4-0, 17thNorth Central)

CN Power is undefeated so far in 2012, including four in a row at home starting with the Roc City Roc Stars. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

Queen City’s Lake Effect Furies (Buffalo) and ToRD’s CN Power  have been comparatively busy early in the 2012 WFTDA season, as both teams press for a playoff spot. The host CN Power has burst out of the gates so far in 2012 thoroughly dominating  lower-ranked competition (Hammer City), while looking impressive in wins over similarly ranked teams (Roc City, Tri-City) and teams ranked above them (Fort Wayne).  Counting a non-sanctioned win over the Rideau Valley Vixens, CN Power is on a five-game winning streak to kick off 2012 (and six overall dating back to a 2011 season-ending victory over Derby City). These victories probably will help them jump to 14th in the the North Central.

The Furies may not have had quite the success yet in 2012, but they have been facing some stiff competition so far squaring off solely against teams ranked above them in the WFTDA standings.  Buffalo’s two wins have been minor upsets against Connecticut (14th East) and Suburbia  (12th E), while their losses have been to DC Rollergirls (11th), Maine (10th), and Charm City (3rd). So taking into account their competition, the Furies record is actually quite impressive and realistically places them firmly in 12th in the region.

The Furies defeated CN Power at the Bunker in August 2010. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

This will be the third meeting between these two teams since August 2010. The Furies took that first one in Toronto 110-79, while CN Power took some measure of revenge in Buffalo this past September, taking a close one 139-129. Both teams currently hold a similar position in their respective Regions: up-and-comers on the verge of the playoffs. Yet as recent Furies and CN Power losses to Maine and Grand Raggidy (respectively) show, there is still some work to be done. But not much, and each WFTDA game that these two teams play now is vitally critical to their playoff aspirations.

NOTE: CN Power will be playing its first game without Brim Stone, who is taking an indefinite hiatus from the sport. Brim has been an instrumental part in putting together this CN Power team and

CN Power will be without long-time captain Brim Stone. (Photo by Todd Burgess)

getting it to the level that it is at. While it remains to be seen what the impact of this loss will have on CN Power, the team that Brim so carefully helped construct is one that is built around a deep bench and a strong, ever-evolving core. For ToRD fans, it will undoubtedly be an emotional moment to see a CN Power team line up without its long-time captain, but through the training and leadership she provided, her influence will most definitely be felt.

**Doors at The Bunker open at 5:00 PM; first whistle is at 6:00 PM. Tickets are available online or at various outlets downtown.

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