Toronto Roller Derby’s 2013 travel team season kicks off on February 2nd with a double header at The Bunker as CN Power hosts the Killamazoo Derby Darlins and the Bay Street Bruisers face off against Killamazoo’s B-Team, the Killa Crew. In a growing rivalry, this will be the third time that CN Power and Killamazoo square off in the past two years, with CN Power taking the first two games in a home and away series.
The Derby Darlins vs. CN Power
CN Power is coming off of a strong first season competing in the WFTDA, going 9-2 in sanctioned games and climbing from 17th to 13th overall in the North Central Region. They kicked things off in February with an upset over then 14th ranked Fort Wayne in Indiana before coming home and reeling off four straight sanctioned victories over Roc City (Rochester, New York), cross-province rivals Hammer City and Tri- City, and Buffalo’s Lake Effect Furies.
Having inched their way to 15th in the North Central at that point, the Toronto all stars suffered their first set-back of the season, losing a hard-fought bout against the extremely talented Ohio Roller Girls out of Columbus, Ohio. It was a back and forth game in the first half, with Ohio pulling ahead by 13 at the break on the back of a power jam. In the second half, a string of untimely injuries had Toronto scrambling; despite their best efforts, they were unable to recover getting badly outscored in the second half and falling 197-91.
The loss propelled the team into its first appearance at the Milwaukee’s Mid-West Brewhaha where they would open with an impressive 158-124 victory over Burning River (Cleveland), before dismantling Fox City (Appleton, Wisconsin) 441-43. This would mirror their inaugural experience at Philadelphia’s legendary ECDX just a few weeks later, where a hard-fought bout (a fantastic 148-120 victory over Maine) would be followed by another blowout (a 375-60 win over Harrisburg), victories made all the sweeter due to the absence of key skaters to injuries.
It was at this point in the season where injuries and unexpected retirements began to take their toll. While their impressive run brought them all the way up to 13th in the North Central, it would not be enough to get into the playoffs, which allowed the team to focus on rebuilding a roster. This rebuilt roster would only get one chance to play, a disappointing loss to Grand Raggidy on the road in Grand Rapids in October. Nonetheless, the team was ready for 2013 and a renewed focus on WFTDA play.
2013 marks a major change in ToRD’s focus, with the skaters of CN Power leaving their home teams to focus exclusively on travel team play in the highly competitive league. This new roster will face a stiff first challenge against a revamped Killamazoo Derby Darlins who ended 2013 as one of the hottest teams in the North Central Region. Finishing 10-4 in sanctioned play and leaping from 20th to 14th in the WFTDA North Central Region, the Darlins went 7-2 from July to October, but showed some inconsistency when a big upset over Grand Raggidy was followed by a shocking loss to NEO (out of Akron and ranked only 23rd in the region at the time). But Killamazoo’s strong showing against Grand Raggidy and then also against Ohio and Detroit (albeit in losses) shows that this team can bring it against tough competition. Having lost two in a row to CN Power, they will undoubtedly be on the hunt for revenge.
The Killa Crew vs. The Bay Street Bruisers
ToRD’s newly reborn Bay Street Bruisers (the former home team was resurrected as a B-Team in 2012) had an extremely successful first season, putting together an impressive 6-1 record after beginning their season in May.
The Bruisers first ever bout was a tough one against a very strong Ohio B Team, Gang Green (who went 13-4 in a very busy season), a bout that would turn out to be their only loss in 2012 (163-107). The Bruisers then headed to Guelph to take on Royal City’s Brute-Leggers, in what would turn out to be another tough game, a 23-point victory.
This would set the stage, for ToRD’s first appearance at RDAC’s Eastern Canadian Championship (Roller Derby Association of Canada). The Bruisers would take down Nickel City’s Sister Slag in the first round, before mounting a late-game comeback to take down Renegade Derby Dame’s Misfit Militia by 10 points in the semi final. In the final, the Bruisers defeated the defending champion Forest City All Stars 177-88 to take the Eastern Canadian championship.
In the fall, a new-look Bruisers’ roster would continue to have success, first taking on the Brute-Leggers in a rematch of their tight May bout, this time roughing up their Royal City opponents at home, winning 271-43. The Bruisers finished 2012 on the road, taking a short-handed roster to Grand Rapids to take on the G-Rap Attack, a game they would win 162-80.
The Killa Crew now has two full seasons under their belts, and were busy in 2012, playing twelve games. But wins were hard to come by for the Crew, as their 4-9 record indicates. Two late-season losses to the G-Rap Attack (though both were fairly close) are the only points of comparison with the Bruisers. But a new season brings new expectations. This will be the first game of the season for each team.
** Doors open at The Bunker at 5:00 PM, with the opening game whistle at 6:00 PM. Tickets are available online or at select outlets.