Battered, beaten and bruised, Toronto Roller Derby’s CN Power is one of two Canadian teams heading to the East Coast Derby Extravaganza this weekend, joining Montreal’s New Skids on the Block in the popular Philadelphia tournament. What started as a promising season for Toronto has tailed off as of late due to a spate of injuries that has decimated the roster. So while the WFTDA playoffs may be out of reach this season, this tournament will represent a big stepping stone for Toronto’s visibility in WFTDA and a nice launching pad for a regrouped, refocused–not to mention more experienced–CN Power in 2013.
The New Skids, on the other hand, enter the tournament finding themselves in one of their most secure positions ever in terms of WFTDA standings. Locked into a playoff spot, this will be Montreal’s third season competing in the Eastern Championships and the second season they will (presumably) enter as one of the top six seeds (thus earning a direct path to the quarterfinals). What does remain to be seen is where in the top six they fall, this weekend’s games will very much impact that.
While Toronto (15th NC) is coming off of a successful Midwest Brewhaha in which they demolished Fox Cityz (25th NC) by 400 points and held off Burning River (16th NC) 158-125 to pull to 7-1 on the WFTDA season, an injury bug that began to affect them before the tournament has run rampant over the roster. Missing four key jammers and a top pivot (to name a few) CN Power will have a far different look in their ECDX games. They kick things off in a tough contest against Maine Roller Derby’s Port Authorities (11th E) who are in the midst of a dog fight for a playoff spot that has slipped from their grasp this season. Maine has been inconsistent this season never winning more than one in a row (though they haven’t lost two in a row either) and enter the tournament having held off Suburbia (14th E) in a 227-199 victory and then falling to Boston (7th E) by a respectable 63 points.
On Sunday morning, Toronto should have a slightly easier time as they face off against Harrisburg’s Nuclear Knockouts (23rd E). After a 2011 season that saw Harrisburg win three of its final four games, 2012 hasn’t been kind to the team so far. 0-3 so far this season, they are coming off of 365 and 188 point losses to Providence (12th E) and Dominion (16th E) respectively.
Montreal (6th E) has a much stiffer test this weekend. Kicking things off with the marquee Friday night matchup, Montreal will take on the Texas Rollergirls Texacutioners (1st SC). Montreal is 6-4 this season, with losses coming to tough competition in Philly (2nd E), Naptown (3rd NC), Kansas City (2nd SC) and Minnesota (2nd NC). Texas remains a juggernaut in the South Central and have been dominant this season once again compiling a 5-1 record with their single loss being a 149-117 loss to Rose City (3rd W). Montreal has the most to gain out of this matchup; coming off of a minor upset win against Steel City (4th E), a chance to score a victory over a highly ranked opponent could help them squeeze their way up another rung in the Eastern Region ladder. Montreal actually defeated the Texacutioners in 2011, beating them 104-88 during the Austin team’s early season slump.
Things don’t get any easier for the New Skids on the Block on Saturday with a matchup against regional rivals, Charm City (3rd E). Despite losses to a few key players, Charm has been dominant in 2012 brushing aside good teams in Queen City (13th E), Nashville (3rd SC) and the Chicago Outfit (5th NC), before finally being challenged by Windy City (1st NC) and Minnesota (2nd NC). On top of this, they also proved to be bi-trackually solid after winning the second Pro Roller Derby Invitational in Glendale (a banked-track tournament). Charm City and Montreal met at last year’s Anarchy in the UK, where Charm dominated 207-85.
CANADIAN ECDX SCHEDULE
Friday, June 22, 7:30 PM: Montreal vs. Texas
Saturday, June 23rd, 2:30 PM: Toronto vs. Maine
Saturday, June 23rd, 6:30 PM: Montreal vs. Charm City
Sunday, June 24th, 11:00 AM: Toronto vs. Harrisburg
The 2012 ECDX will be boutcast live on WFTDA.TV.