Gores End Losing Streak with Win over Dolls

Dolls (1-0) and Gores (0-1), met in each of their second games in the 2012 ToRD season. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Gore-Gore Rollergirls 131 vs. Death Tracks Dolls 91

In what was their best effort in four years against the Gore-Gore Rollergirls, the Death Track Dolls showed that they are a team on the verge of competing for the Boot, the Toronto Roller Derby championship. But for now, the experience (and the consistency that comes with that) of the three-time ToRD champion Gores is still a little too much for the Dolls to handle. And while the Gores led for virtually the whole game and threatened at times to pull away, the Dolls never looked out of it but couldn’t make up for points accrued on power jams, and the Gore-Gore Rollergirls put a stop to their first ever multi-game losing streak to even up their regular season record at 1-1.

Despite a lack of depth in the jammer position, the Gores still hold down two of the top jammers in the country in Dust Bunny and Bambi (44 and 34 first-half points respectively), a duo that can’t be stopped but has to at least be contained if a team hopes to take down the Gores. The Dolls had mixed success trying to do so in the early going, but couldn’t mount any offense of their own (for the second-straight bout they went with a 6-jammer rotation) and found themselves down 31-9, 12 minutes in.

Dolls rookie Bellefast had another strong game and didn't seem intimated facing off against vets like Dust Bunny. (Photo by Joe Mac)

While the Dolls have a wide array of jammers to choose from, the Gores have been beginning to develop their rotation from within, first adding Santa Muerte and this Saturday putting Draculaura into the mix. Draculaura was a surprise of the game for sure, having only minimal experience jamming previously (she doubled her career jamming stats in this game alone) and improved with each jam she had with the star. Another continuing revelation with the star is Dolls’ rookie Bellefast, who was a relentless force for the second straight bout and who, along with Panty Hoser, put a majority of the Dolls’ points on the board in the first half, a combined 31 points, as they remained within reach, 79-35 at the break.

While the Gores sport some fantastic jammers on the line, the Dolls have come to excel at producing triple threats. Over the course of her career, Jubilee has done it all for the Dolls, and Betty Bomber has provided the model of the triple threat, a  model that team co-captain Panty Hoser has followed this season as well, adding jammer to her pivoting and blocking strengths. Ames to Kill could be another skater to watch on this relatively inexperienced but promising Dolls roster. She wore the stripe at one point late in the game and with the veteran poise of Hoser and Lucid Lou and second-year skater Kat Atomic at her side, helped orchestrate an 18-point jam that almost had the Dolls back into it.

The Gores' Gamma Rei lays a big hit on Jubilee. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

While there is a youthful push in the Dolls (three rookies, including UpHer Cut in her debut, were on the track), the movement is being led by the veterans and the on-track leadership of Sinead O’Clobber, and supported by skaters like Speedin Hawking and Downright Dirty Dawson.  But the experience of the Gores skaters led by Lady Gagya, Molly Boom and Foxy Sinatra was too much to overcome. And with the absence of former key pieces of the Gores, Chronic stepped up in a big way and seems ready and capable of taking on more responsibility on the track; similarly, Gamma Rei laid down some big hits on the track as well, adding a physical meannes to the team that gives them yet another dangerous weapon in the pack. Pushed around but not down, the Dolls were still in it, down 119-67 with just under six minutes remaining.

Although the Dolls played their most consistent derby near the end of the game, they stepped it up in the second half overall, and with that late push actually outscored the Gores 56-52 in the second. But power jams were the difference in this one (accounting for almost all of the point differential), and the benefit of experience helped the Gores hold back the Dolls and take advantage of the tiny errors they made (stolen points here, a loose trap there), to win 131-91.

***Next up for all ToRD hometeams is the fifth annual BEAST OF THE EAST! (April 20-22, Montreal)***

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