There was a certain sense of nostalgia surrounding this year’s Beast of the East: you could feel it in the lead up to the weekend and you could certainly feel it at the event. It was the ninth edition of the tournament—the longest running multi-team event on the Canadian flat track calendar—but coming as it did during the 10th anniversary of the sport in this country and the 10th anniversary of the host league Montreal, there was a celebratory feeling around the proceedings.
On Friday night, La Racaille coach and retired skater Bone Machine, along with a few others, put up a commemorative poster featuring three framed rosters of the original lists of skaters on all three of the league’s home teams. Former Filles du Roi and New Skid skater Smack Daddy blew the opening whistle at the now annual Toronto-Montreal showdown that night, and all weekend former Montreal skaters dotted the audience. On the track, the tournament welcomed back two of its marquee players: Trash N Smash and the formerly retired Iron Wench.
Montreal rose to the occasion: Les Contrabanditas played their hearts out but came up against their leaguemates La Racaille in the quarterfinals before that same Racaille team and Les Filles du Roi found each other the sole teams remaining in a rematch of the 2010 championship game. It was only the second time since that tournament that a Montreal team had made the final, and it seemed fitting when all was said and done that the winningest team in BOE history was the one that came away with it. It took some late-game heroics from Iron Wench to pull off Racaille’s 141-106 win in a thrilling final. Although some had picked La Racaille to do well, it was not an easy road to the title.
Double Elimination Round
Tri-City’s Venus Fly Tramps, Toronto’s Death Track Dolls, and Montreal’s Filles du Roi and La Racaille all won two in a row on Day 1 to advance directly to the quarterfinals, and while the two Montreal teams seemed to distance themselves from the pack early on, it took a little while for the Tramps to get going, pulling off narrow victories against Hamilton’s Molotov Girls and Toronto’s Smoke City Betties. On the flip side, those Molotov Girls joined Royal City’s Violet Uprising (who had a great showing in losses to FDR and a last-gasp two-pointer to defending champs Casse-Gueules), South Simcoe’s Ghoul Guides and, surprisingly, Quebec’s Rouge et Gore (last year’s finalists) as the four two-and-done teams at the Beast.
The two big first round surprises were Roller Derby Quebec’s comparatively poor showing (after dominating for two years) and the break-out performance by Capital City. Casse-Gueules did eventually make it the final four for the third year in a row, but it took two last-gasp jams in two games they probably didn’t deserve to win to do so (against Violet Uprising early and the Death Track Dolls in the quarters). Rouge et Gore bowed out after losses to the Slaughter Daughters and Capital City’s Cupquakes. Bad luck saw those Cupquakes eventually have to face leagumates the Bacon Pirates in an elimination matchup that proved to be one the best of the weekend with the Pirates eking out a 65-62 win. Capital City’s emergence shouldn’t be too surprising for fans of either their WFTDA team, the Dolly Rogers, or for those who have followed the Fresh and the Furious tournament. Capital City’s winning 2014 entry into that event was full of the stars from this weekend’s teams. Cupquakes jammer Labrosse, Bacon Pirates jammer Kaio-Kensi and blockers Edmonton and Apple Sass were vital performers for that Cannon Dolls team, not to mention that the Slaughter Daughters’ Ice Tina and the Smoke City Betties’ Caume A Kazi were also critical components of that historic Fresh and Furious winning squad.
The Venus Fly Tramps got noticeably stronger as the weekend went on, bolstered on day two by the arrival of double threat JANEgerous. They dispatched the Riot Squad with relative ease before giving all they could against a destined La Racaille, falling 105-64 in the semifinal. They eventually nabbed third place with a dominant 172-52 performance against Casse-Gueules; it was only the second time a Tri-City team podiumed (after the Vicious Dishes 2012 win).
FDR eventually ended Capital City’s breakout run with a convincing 95-45 win over the Bacon Pirates in the quarters, while Casse-Gueules pulled off another late comeback to defeat the Death Track Dolls 55-48. But the best of the quarterfinal showdowns was the all-Montreal matchup between La Racaille and Les Contrabanditas that saw some thrilling, historic, one-on-one duels between the aforementioned Trash N Smash and Iron Wench. The 86-76 win was the toughest of the tournament for the eventual champs.
The final lived up to its billing. FDR led La Racaille 80-45 at half and seemed poised to relive the 2010 final that they won, but five minutes into the second half, an Iron Wench 18-pointer got La Racaille back into it and they grasped the momentum and rolled the rest of the game, eventually opening up a bit of a gap on the way to a 141-106 win to become only the second team to repeat as Beast champs.
Numbers of Note
- La Racaille became the first team to reach 30 wins (31), and the championship was the team’s 6th podium finish in nine years (both are records).
- This tournament saw the 4th and 5th 150+ point games in Beast history (La Racaille 156, Riot Sqaud 162)
- La Racaille’s 156-55 win against the Slaughter Daughters was the highest scoring game in BOE history (211 points).
- Tournament high score was the 162 by Rideau Valley’s Riot Squad. It was only the second time a team has managed 160+ points in a Beast game.
*For complete scores, visit the Beast of the East IX results page.