Derby Nerd Signing Out


“The Kiss” by Park Woo-young was taken in The Hangar on October 17th, 2009. The bottom quarter of this shot has been The Derby Nerd banner since day one. It’s a photo (and a kiss!) that means a lot to me. Those who know me, know why.

Eight years. 350 posts, dozens of pages and around 400,000 words.

It’s been a heck of a run, and to confirm what a few of you have speculated in recent months, as of December 31st, 2017, I am officially retiring the Derby Nerd blog. Don’t worry! The site will remain open as an archive (though the derbynerd.com shortcut will soon expire), and I’ll maintain it as much as I can so that it remains accessible and readable.

I’d like to point out that I am not retiring from the game. Although my announcing schedule was significantly condensed this season (and will be next), I’m still announcing locally with Toronto Roller Derby and Durham Region Roller Derby (and can be counted on to be at the Beast of the East), and even joined the (extended) bench staff of ToRD’s Death Track Dolls for the 2018 season, so I’m still very much involved in the game. But full-time teaching and my current immersion in a potentially big writing project (stay tuned!) are both demanding so much of my time. And honestly, writing about something for eight years—even something you love and believe in—can take a lot out of you. It’s time to step back and listen to what everyone else has to say.

nerd-helmet1Since my first post in 2010 to my last after this year’s Toronto Roller Derby house league championship, the sport of flat track roller derby has gone from being a simple game of skating fast and turning left played primarily in North America to a heavily strategic pace-control game played in every corner of the globe. Having the opportunity to write about a sport in its infancy and through the primary moments of its evolution has been an absolute pleasure and privilege. It was also a responsibility that I did not take lightly.

I want to thank everyone in the community for their support and readership over the years: when I first started obsessing over derby stats and putting my own internal narratives to the page, I had no idea whether or not anyone else would care to follow along. I truly am grateful for the support.

I would also—as loudly as I possibly can—like to thank all of the photographers whose work has graced this site over the years. There were numerous photographers, and I am truly appreciative of them all, but I am particularly indebted to Kevin Konnyu (Fifth Business), Derek Lang (Bagel Hot), Joe Mac, Neil Gunner, and Greg Russell, whose work has been featured on this site more than any others.

I also want to give a special shout out to Justice Feelgood Marshall, Hurt Reynolds, and Gnosis. The Derby News Network showed us all how this sport could and should be covered, and its DNA is in every blog, website and streaming service that has existed since. While I’d like to think I still would have done what I did without its influence, I’ll never truly know.

Flat track roller derby is in a fascinating place right now and while the kind of hyper-local coverage that I often provided hasn’t necessarily taken off as much as I’d hoped (shout out to Muckety Muck in St. Louis  and Jammer Line in Ontario!), the broader coverage of the game is in great and capable hands with Derby Central and The Apex. I look forward to much continued reading.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you all once again.

See you trackside,


Photo by Todd Burgess

Chicks Ahoy! Capture Fifth ToRD Title with Win over Dolls at Battle for the Boot 11

DOlls CHicks Neil

This was the first time that the Dolls and Chicks squared off in the Battle for the Boot. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

It was eleven years in the making: on Saturday night at The Bunker, the Death Track Dolls and Chicks Ahoy! squared off in the Battle for the Boot for the first time. The two teams have a shared history, born at the same moment when one of Toronto’s original flat track roller derby clubs (The Terrors) split into four teams to compensate for growing numbers. While it was a historic first showdown between the squads, both teams are familiar with battling for the boot. This was the third trip to the ToRD championship for the Dolls (who won in 2013 and 2014) and the seventh for the Chicks, who are defending champions and hold the record for the most Boot victories with four. The two teams have also faced each other three times this season with the Dolls taking the memorable regular season showdown before falling to the Chicks in the ToRD quarterfinals and in the third-place game at this year’s Beast of the East. At the Battle for the Boot on Saturday, the Chicks kept the winning streak alive capturing their fifth Toronto Roller Derby championship with a 190-123 win.

Rainbow Neil

Rainbow Fight got the Dolls off to a quick lead on the opening jam: it would be the team’s only lead of the game. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

This game played out like a replay of the quarterfinal showdown between the two: a gritty, hard-fought battle in which the Chicks were able to stay a stride or two ahead of the Dolls and exploited the opportunities they did have, scoring in surges to pull away. The Dolls got the first lead of the game, with Rainbow Fight giving them a quick 4-0 advantage before the Chicks picked up three straight lead jammers and put together a 17-0 run to take control early.


Although the Dolls were gifted with a power jam with the score 17-8, a smothering Chicks’ power kill slowed the Dolls’ momentum and shut down Holly Rocket on the jam. The Chicks ended up dominating Rocket, the regular season leading scorer, in the first half, holding her to four points on six jams. It was actually a similar story for the whole team in the opening half, with the Dolls scoring the vast majority of their points on star passes (35-27). Only Rainbow fight had success against the stifling Chicks’ defence, picking up lead jammer five times, but only able to convert that into 21 points.


Sleeper Hold was a force on offence and defence, and ended up as the game’s leading scorer with 76 points (and a 90% lead percentage). (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Meanwhile, for the Chicks, the offence was clicking, with the Chicks scoring in bunches. Boxcar has had little success jamming against the Dolls this season, so the team shifted her back into the pivot role: a move that proved wise as she provided some excellent and timely offence for her jammers (playing on an incredible line anchored by her, Joss Wheelin’ and Vag Lightning). The Chicks put together two dominant four-jam stretches in the first half, culminating in 20-0 and then 21-0 runs led by a nearly untouchable Banshee (who had 53 points in the first half) and an unstoppable Sleeper Hold (who had a 100% lead percentage and 29 points at the break).

And, as it happened in the quarterfinal game, the final jam of the half proved critical: a 9-point jam had brought the Dolls back within range (down 85-60), but then a scrambly, unfocused final jam (with a mismatch on the jammer line) saw the Chicks close out the half with a 14-2 pickup to snatch momentum back and increase their lead significantly, 99-62, at the half.

At that point, the damage was mostly done, and the Dolls would never be able to make up that margin. Though certainly not from a lack of trying.

Wheaty jamming Neil

The Dolls scored more than half of their first half points on star passes, including 17 from Wheatabitch. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The second half proved to be a virtual stalemate. The Dolls made some adjustments, sending Getcha Kicks to the jam line for example, and in a series of matchups with Banshee was able to stop the first half’s leading scorer. After a dominant opening 30, Banshee was stopped at every turn by the Dolls and was held to only 10 points and no lead jammer statuses in the second. Monster Muffin, who was similarly stifled in the first period, picked up some of the slack with a 22-point second half.


The Dolls picked up more leads than the Chicks in the second (doubling them up actually, 15-7), but had a hard time converting them into points. For example, while Rainbow Fight finished the game with an impressive 85% lead percentage (over 13 jams), she was only able to put up 16 points in the second half (and 37 overall) as the Chicks’ packs were able to transition quickly from defence to offence, freeing their jammers and limiting the damage.

Rabies Robber Neil

Robber Blind and Rosemary’s Rabies wrap up Dolls’ pivot/jammer Wheatabitch. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Despite the succession of lead jammers, the Dolls just couldn’t cut into the gap. Things were virtually even in the half right up until the final two jams, when the Chicks blew the game wide open, sealing the deal with a definitive 30-9 run over the final minutes of the game to pull away for the 67-point win.

The win capped an impressive season for the Chicks, one that included a third-place finish at the Beast of the East tournament in April. The champs got a full-pack effort in the Battle for the Boot, perhaps encapsulated by the tenacious play of Rosemary’s Rabies, who has proven to be a thorn in the side of the Dolls this season. And while there are no skaters remaining from the Chicks first Boot victory in 2008, Robber Blind captured her fourth ToRD championship with the team since being part of the team’s second Boot win in 2011.

Nerd Glasses

Vipers Norfolk Greg

Photo by Greg Russell

After a season-opening loss, the Vipers kicked off the evening by picking up their third win in a row to improve to 3-1 on the season. The Vipers continue to show game-by-game and even jam-by-jam improvement this year, and put together their most complete game yet in the 223-105 win over Norfolk County Roller Derby.

Dolls Advance to ToRD Title Game With Decisive win over Bandits

Dolls Bandits Neil

With the victory, the Dolls advance to their first Battle for the Boot since 2014. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

For the first time since 2014 and the third time in the team’s history, the Death Track Dolls are returning to the Battle for the Boot where they will take on Chicks Ahoy! for the Toronto Roller Derby Championship. The Dolls accomplished the feat after a decisive wire-to-wire 230-110 win over the 2015 champs the Smoke City Bandits at the Bunker on Saturday night.

It was a close, even start for the opening few jams as the two teams got a sense of the game. They traded leads in the opening jams before Bat Ma’am (who is coming off of a strong performance at last week’s Beast of the East tournament) blew the game wide open with a 13-0 jam that helped build the Dolls a 14-6 lead after the opening five minutes.

Dolls D Neil

The Dolls’ defence was stifling at times. During one stretch, the Dolls collected 8 of 9 leads. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

While the Bandits were winning some one-on-one battles (highlighted by some excellent solo blocking by LowblowPalooza and timely offence by Jessica Rabid), the Dolls packs were—at times—dominant in the early going, transitioning nicely and working together well to block star passes as well (although given the Dolls’ advantage on leads, the Bandits still pulled off eight passes in the opening frame). By the eight-minute mark of the half, the Dolls had already built a comfortable 77-6 lead.

Both teams were making some slight roster adjustments. The Bandits, for example, were without rookie jammer Killa Hurtz, who torched the Dolls for a 67% lead percentage in the regular season matchup between the two, and the Dolls countered by bolstering their rotation, putting Rainbow Fight back into a regular spot, which paid dividends. The Dolls had a team 68% lead percentage in the opening half lead by perfect halves from Holly Rocket and Rainbow (Bat Ma’am was an also impressive 67%), and were led in scoring by a nearly unstoppable Rainbow Fight who put up 69 points in the first thirty minutes (a monstrous 11.5 points per jam).

tits greg

titmouse (seen here skirting the outside line) had a season high 63 points for the Bandits. (Photo by Greg Russell)

The Bandits were led, once again, by a seemingly tireless titmouse, who has put together an incredible season in her return to the jammer rotation. Taking to the track nine times with the star in the first half, titmouse managed 25 points on a 56% lead percentage to lead the way for the Bandits. Despite the strong individual performances, the Bandits found themselves in quite a hole at the break, down 129-47.

The Dolls picked up right where they left off to kick off the second half, picking up the first three leads and putting together a 24-0 run to extend their lead to 153-47. The game was truly put away during a stretch in the middle of the half where the Dolls picked up eight of nine leads culminating in a 31-0 run that forced a timeout call from the Bandits bench, but that ultimately put the game out of reach.

The scrappy Bandits though finished the game (and their season) strong, going on a 41-11 run over the final six jams to crest the century mark and narrow what appeared to be an ever-widening gap between the two.

Rabid rainbow greg

Jessica Rabid attempts to slow down Rainbow Fight who finished the game with 102 points. (Photo by Greg Russell)

The Dolls increased their team lead percentage to 71% in the second half; Holly Rocket finished with a perfect 100% lead percentage over twelve jams, while Rainbow Fight managed 90% and a game high 102 points. Bat Ma’am finished second on the team in scoring with 48. The Dolls widened their rotation in the second half and in total used six different jammers in the game.

titmouse led the way for the Bandits, notching a season-high 63 points over an incredible eighteen jams (and finishing with a solid 50% lead percentage). Brawnson also put together two consistent halves to finish with 29 points in the losing effort.

The Dolls won back-to-back ToRD titles in 2013 and 2014, but have never faced the defending champion Chicks in the Battle for the Boot. This matchup means that now only the Bandits and the Chicks have not squared off for the Boot in ToRD’s 11-year history. ToRD wraps up its 11th season on June 3.

Nerd Glasses

Vipers Farmers Neil.jpg

The Vipers won their second game in a row to improve to 2-1 on the season. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

*The Vipers opened up the night with their second win in a row, this time against Durham Region’s DRRD’y Farmers, 273-164. The victory over their eastern GTA rivals improves their season record to 2-1.

*Track-side filmed archives of the game are available on layer9.ca.

Beast of the East 2008-2016

To get ready for the 2017 Beast of the East, take a look back at the history of the tournament.

BOE 2017

Beast of the East: By the Numbers





2008 Hamilton Harlots (HCRG) La Racaille (MTLRD) Les Filles du Roi / Les Contrabanditas (MTLRD)
2009 La Racaille Les Contrabanditas Les Filles du Roi / Smoke City Betties (ToRD)
2010 Les Filles du Roi La Racaille Les Contrabanditas
2011 Slaughter Daughters (RVRG) Gore-Gore Rollergirls (ToRD) Death Track Dolls (ToRD)
2012 Vicious Dishes (TCRD) Slaughter Daughters Chicks Ahoy! (ToRD)
2013 Slaughter Daughters La Racaille Death Track Dolls
2014 Gore-Gore Rollergirls Casse-Gueules (RDQ) La Racaille
2015 Casse-Gueules Rouge et Gore (RDQ) Les Filles du Roi
2016 La Racaille Les Filles du Roi Venus Fly Tramps (TCRD)
Photo by Derek Lang (www.bagelhot.com)

Hamilton Harlots won the first ever Beast of the East. (Photo by Derek Lang)

NOTABLE NUMBERS (Records etc.)

Most Wins: 31 (La Racaille 2008-2016); La Racaille has the most podium finishes (2 champs, 3 runners up, 1 third place)

Most Losses: 15 (Thames Fatales 2008-2015)

Points Per Game (tournament): 110.4 (La Racaille 2016); 110 (Death Track Dolls 2013); 109.5 (Slaughter Daughters 2013); 102.5 (La Racaille 2013)

Points Against (tournament): 9 (Les Filles du Roi, 2010)

Most Points (single game–20 mins): 164 (Slaughter Daughters 2015); 162 (Riot Squad 2016); 159 (Rouge et Gore 2013); 156 (La Racaille 2016) 154 (Les Contrabanditas 2015)

Combined Points (single game–20 mins): 211 (La Racaille 156 vs. Slaughter Daughters 55  2016); 184 (Rouge et Gore 159 vs. Debutantes 32  2013); 181 (La Racaille 117 vs. Contrabanditas 64  2013)

Biggest Differential: 162 (Slaughter Daughters 164 vs. Thames Fatales 2, 2015)

Biggest Shutout: 148-0 (Les Contrabanditas 148 vs. Chrome Mollys [GTAR] 0, 2011)

[*The Gore-Gore Rollergirls were the first team to score 100 points in a bout–a 103-11 victory over Capital Carnage in 2009; Les Filles du Roi did it vs. the Vicious Dishes in 2010; four different teams accomplished it in 2011; the Vicious Dishes did it three times themselves in 2012, while three other teams did it that year as well. Since then, it has become common. Rouge et Gore (2013) were the first team to score 150 points in a game; it (150+ points) has happened four times since].

[*2012 was the first time both finalists (Vicious Dishes, Slaughters Daughters) lost a game on the way to the finals]


(BOE 10: 2017 participants first)

Team League BOE Record Notes
la-racaille-logoLa Racaille MTLRD 31 – 12 Semis 2012. Third in 2014. Runners up in 2008, 10, 13. Champs in 09, 16.
Contrabanditas LogoLes Contrabanditas MTLRD 21 – 14 Runners up in 2009. Third in 2010. Quarters 2011, 12, 13.
Les Filles du Roi LogoLes Filles du Roi MTLRD 27 – 10 Semi-final 2008, 09, 13. Champs in 2010. Runners up 2016. Third place 2015.
riot squad logoRiot Squad RVRD 7-10 Sixth appearance (2010-11, 2013-16). Quarterfinals 2014, 16.
deathtrackdolls_logoDeath Track Dolls ToRD 14-14 Third place in 2011, 13. Quarters in 2009, 14, 16.
Smoke City Betties LogoSmoke City Betties ToRD 7-14 Ninth appearance 2008-2014; 15-16. Semi final 2009. Quarter final 2012
Gore-Gore Rollergirls logoGore-Gore Rollergirls ToRD 18-12 Forfeit 2009 at 3-0. Runners-up 2011; Champs 2014
Chicks Ahoy! logoChicks Ahoy! ToRD 11-12 Eighth appearance (2008-2013, 2015). Semis in 2011. Third 2012
casse gueules logoLes Casse-Gueules RDQ 12-6 Fifth appearance (2013-2016). Champs 2015. Runners up 2014; Semis 2016
rouge et gore logoLe Rouge & Gore  RDQ 8-7 Fifth appearance (2013-2016). Quarters 2013, 14. Runners up 2015
cupquakes_0Cupquakes CCDD 1-2 Second appearance (2016)
thames-fatales-logoThames Fatales FCDG 7-15 Eighth appearance (2009-15). Quarterfinals in 2010, 2013.
 Atom Smashers logo 2013Atom Smashers DRRD 1-4  Third appearance (2014-15)
 RD SherbrookeLes Rebelles  RDS First appearance
 Madhitters logoThe Mad Hitters  MRR  – First appearance
 Anchor-City-2014-Inside-red-RGBHarbour Grudges   ACR  – First appearance

Past Participants

Hamilton Harlots HCRG 8 – 6 2008-2010, 2012. Champs in 08. Became Hammer City B-team.
Death Row Dames HCRG 3 – 5 2008-2010. Quarter final in 2010. No longer operating.
Steel Town Tanks Girls HCRG 1 – 1 2008. No longer operating.
Bay Street Bruisers ToRD 1 – 3 2008, 2009. Became ToRD B-travel team. No longer operating.
D-VAS ToRD 0 – 1 2008. Now ToRD houseleague farm team; name shortened to Vipers.
 Venus Fly Tramps  TCRD  8 – 9  Five appearances (2009-11, 15-16). Third place 2016
London Thrashers FCDG 0 – 1 2008. No longer operating.
Bytown Blackhearts ORD 0 – 1 2008. Split from ORD to become Slaughter Daughters, first team in RVRG
Capital Carnage ORD 0 – 2 2009. No longer operating.
Devil Dollies QCRG 1 – 1 1st US team (2008)
Derby Dames Grn Mtn 2 – 1 2nd US team, 1st to reach quarter finals (2010). Now a travel team.
Derby Debutantes GTAR 2-10 2009-2013. Now GTA B/Farm team.
Chrome Mollys GTAR 0 – 2 2011. No longer operating.
Vicious Dishes TCRG 10-9 2009-2013. Quarter finals 2010, 11. Champs 2012
Total Knock-Outs TCRG 3-6 2011, 13, 15. Quarterfinals 2013
Luscious Lunch Ladies FCDG 2-3 Quarterfinals in 2014
 Slaughter Daughters  RVRD 21-12  2009-16. Champs in 2011, 13. Runners up in 12.
Babes of Thunder TBRD  2-2 2012. Quarter finals in 2012
Reines of Terror MRR  0-2 2012. No longer operating.
Les Duchesses RDQ 1-4 2011, 2012. Promoted to RDQ travel team
Prime Sinisters RVRD 4-3 2014, 15
 Motor City Madames  DRRD  0-4  2012, 2014. Now Durham B-travel team
 Violet Uprising  RCRG  0-2  2016
Killer Queens RCRG 0-2 2014
Beauty School Dropouts CCDD 0-2 2015
Bacon Pirates CCDD 2-2 2016. Quarterfinals 2016.
Molotov Girls HARD 0-2 2016
Ghoul Guides SSRR 0-2 2016
Skateful Dead KDG 2-2 2015. Quarterfinals 2015


(Generally, all games 20 minutes until final, which was 30, but by 2012 had become 2 20s)

Beast of the East 2008 PosterBeast of the East 1: 2008

First Round (Single Elimination)


Steel Town Tank Girls 40 vs Smoke City Betties 18

La Racaille 65 vs The Bytown Blackhearts 29

Death Row Dames 17 vs Devil Dollies 54

D-VAS 27 vs Les Contrabanditas 50


Gore-Gore Rollergirls 13 vs. Hamilton Harlots 52

Bay Street Brusies 45 vs Thames Fatales 38

London Thrashers 13 vs Chicks Ahoy 65

Death Track Dolls 23 vs Les Filles du Roi 37

Quarter Finals

Steel Town Tank Girls 30 vs La Racaille 32

Devil Dollies 16 vs. Les Contrabanditas 42

Chicks Ahoy 30 vs Les Filles du Roi 38

Hamilton Harlots 53 vs Bay Street Bruisers 15

Semi Finals

Hamilton Harlots 58 vs Les Filles du Roi 29

Les Contrabanditas 32 vs La Racaille 39


Hamilton Harlots 55 vs. La Racaille 18

* Read the Derby Nerd’s reflections.

Beast of the East 2009Beast of the East 2: 2009

First Round (Double Elimination)

Capital Carnage 11 vs. Gore-Gore Rollergirls 103

Death Row Dames 23 vs. Thames Fatales 19

Les Contrabanditas 59 vs. Venus Fly Tramps 26

Slaughter Daughters 24 vs. Smoke City Betties 32

La Racaille 67 vs. Bay Street Bruisers 10

Chicks Ahoy! 48 vs. Vicisou Dishes 32

Les Filles du Roi 77 vs. Death Track Dolls 6

Derby Debutantes 6 vs. Hamilton Harlots 69

Gore-Gore Rollergirls 32 vs. Death Row Dames 5

Capital Carnage 20 (eliminated) vs. Thames Fatales 67

Les Contrabanditas 34 vs. Smoke City Betties 20

Venus Fly Tramps 14 (eliminated) vs. Slaughter Daughters 48

La Racaille 36 vs. Chicks Ahoy! 35

Bay Street Bruisers 16 (eliminated) vs. Vicious Dishes 21

Les Filles du Roi 34 vs. Hamilton Harlots 25

Death Track Dolls 61 vs. Derby Debutantes 20 (eliminated)

Gore-Gore Rollergirls 35 vs. Les Contrabanditas 26

Death Row Dames 15 (eliminated) vs. Smoke City Betties 24

Thames Fatales 28 (eliminated) vs. Slaughter Daughters 68

La Racaille 35 vs. Les Filles du Roi 43

Chicks Ahoy! 21 (eliminated) vs. Hamilton Harlots 38

Vicious Dishes 27 (eliminated) vs. Death Track Dolls 32

Quarter Finals

Gore-Gore Rollergirls (forfeit) vs. Smoke City Betties

Les Contrabanditas 28 vs. Slaughter Daughters 25

Les Filles du Roi 24 vs. Hamilton Harlots 11

La Racaille 77 vs. Death Track Dolls 17

Semi Finals

Smoke City Betties 23 vs. Les Contrabanditas 33

La Racaille 38 vs Les Filles du Roi 20


Les Contrabanditas 34 vs. La Racaille 49

* Read the Derby Nerd’s commentary.

* Read DNN’s bout-by-bout recap by Justice Feelgood Marshall

Beast of the East 2010 PosterBeast of the East 3: 2010

First Round (Double Elimination)

Thames Fatales 38 vs. Smoke City Betties 11

La Racaille 81 vs. Chicks Ahoy!12

Green Mountain Derby Dames 40 vs. Riot Squad 17

Death Row Dames 63 vs. Venus Fly Tramps 6

Les Contrabanditas 72 vs. Death Track Dolls 9

Gore-Gore Rollergirls 43 vs. GTA Derby Debutantes 20

Vicious Dishes 37 vs. Slaughter Daughters 20

Les Filles du Roi 92 vs. Harlots 6

La Racaille 91 vs. Thames Fatales 0

Chicks Ahoy! 89 vs. Betties 15 (eliminated)

Green Mountain Derby Dames 29 vs. Death Row Dames 15

Venus Fly Tramps 43 vs. Riot Squad 14 (eliminated)

Les Contrabanditas 63 vs. Gore-Gore Rollergirls 17

Derby Debutantes 38 vs. Death Track Dolls 29 (eliminated)

Les Filles du Roi 115 vs. Vicious Dishes 7

Harlots 28 vs. Slaughter Daughters 24 (eliminated)

Thames Fatales 24 vs. Venus Fly Tramps 15 (eliminated)

Death Row Dames 42 vs. Chicks Ahoy! 34 (eliminated)

Gore-Gore Rollergirls 45 vs. Harlots 20 (eliminated)

Vicious Dishes 52 vs. Derby Debutantes 24 (eliminated)

Quarter Finals

La Racaille 57 vs. Vicious Dishes 4

Les Contrabanditas 64 vs. Death Row Dames 11

Gore-Gore Rollergirls 45 vs. Green Mountain Derby Dames 22

Les Filles du Roi 91 vs. Thames Fatales 12

Semi Finals

La Racaille 69 vs. Les Contrabanditas 46

Les Filles du Roi 65 vs. Gore-Gore Roller Girls 1

Third Place

Les Contrabanditas 91 vs. Gores 21


Les Filles du Roi 36 vs. La Racaille 20

*Read the Derby Nerd’s preview and recap.

*Watch the archived bouts.

Beast of the East 2011 posterBeast of the East 4: 2011

First Round (Double Elimination)

Duchesses de Quebec 4 vs. Derby Debutantes 124

La Racaille 55 vs. Riot Squad 7

Chicks Ahoy! 63 vs. Total Knockouts (TKOs) 7

Filles du Roi vs. Death Track Dolls 47

Vicious Dishes 50 vs. Gore-Gore Rollergirls 48

Contrabanditas 148 vs. Chrome Mollys 0

Slaughter Daughters 38 vs. Venus Fly Tramps 28

Thames Fatales 75 vs. Smoke City Betties 12

Derby Debutants 8 vs. La Racaille 100

Duchesses du Quebec 4 vs. Riot Squad 97 (Duchesses eliminated)

Chicks Ahoy! 40 vs. Death Track Dolls 21

TKOs 0 vs. Filles du Roi 81 (TKOs eliminated)

Vicious Dishes 21 vs. Contrabanditas 27

Gore-Gore Rollergirls 131 vs. Chrome Mollys 10 (Mollys eliminated)

Slaughter Daughters 62 vs. Thames Fatales 12

Venus Fly Tramps 66 vs. Smoke City Betties 14 (Betties eliminated)

Derby Debutants 29 vs. Filles du Roi 62 (Debutantes eliminated)

Death Track Dolls 84 vs. Riot Squad 8 (Riot Squad elimanted)

Vicious Dishes 49 vs. Venus Fly Tramps 3 (Tramps eliminated)

Thames Fatales 36 vs. Gore-Gore Rollergirls 49 (Thames eliminated)

Quarter Finals

La Racaille 11 vs. Gore-Gore Rollergirls 88

Contrabanditas 49 vs. Death Track Dolls 58

Chicks Ahoy! 48 vs. Vicious Dishes 8

Slaughter Daughters 81 vs. Filles du Roi 3

Semi Finals

Gore-Gore Rollergirls 51 vs. Death Track Dolls 11

Chicks Ahoy! 19 vs. Slaughter Daughters 33

Third Place

Death Track Dolls 42 vs. Chicks Ahoy! 31


Gore-Gore Rollergirls 85 vs. Slaughter Daughters 87

* Read the Derby Nerd’s preview and recap.

* Watch the archived bouts

Beast of the East 5 (2012)Beast of the East 5: 2012

First Round (Double Elimination)

Chicks Ahoy! 51 vs. Slaughter Daughters 41

La Racaille 46 vs. Gore-Gore Roller Girls 30

Motor City Madames 36 vs. Hammer City Harlots 57

Les Contrabanditas 54 vs. Death Track Dolls 20

Vicious Dishes 139 vs. Reines of Terror 0

Les Filles du Roi 79 vs. Babes of Thunder 8

Derby Debutantes 6 vs. Thames Fatales 112

Smoke City Betties 108 vs. Les Duchesses 13

Chicks Ahoy! 10 vs. La Racaille 39

Slaughter Daughters 72 vs. Gore-Gore Rollergirls 52 (Gores eliminated)

Hamilton Harlots 39 vs. Les Contrabanditas 84

Motor City Madames 28 vs. Death Track Dolls 95 (Motor City eliminated)

Vicious Dishes 30 vs. Les Filles du Roi 47

Reines of Terror 34 vs. Babes of Thunder 71 (Reines eliminated)

Thames Fatales 64 vs. Smoke City Betties 69

Derby Debutantes 30 vs. Les Duchesses 120 (Debutantes eliminated)

La Racaille 59 vs. Death Track Dolls 31 (Dolls eliminated)

Hamilton Harlots 30 vs. Slaughter Daughters 131 (Harlots eliminated)

Vicious Dishes 123 vs. Les Duchesses 0 (Duchesses eliminated)

Thames Fatales 20 vs. Babes of Thunder 77 (Thames eliminated)

Quarter Finals

Chicks Ahoy! 83 vs. Babes of Thunder 22

Les Filles du Roi 67 vs. Slaughter Daughters 71

Les Contrabanditas 54 vs. Vicious Dishes 64

Smoke City Betties 59 vs. La Racaille 78

Semi Finals

Chicks Ahoy! 31 vs. Slaughter Daughters 65

Vicious Dishes 67 vs. La Racaille 48

Third Place

Chicks Ahoy! 87 vs. La Racaille 48


Vicious Dishes 118 vs. Slaughter Daughters 63

* Read the Derby Nerd’s preview and recap

* Watch the archived bouts

BOE 2013 PosterBeast of the East 6: 2013

First Round (Double Elimination)

Chicks Ahoy! 58 vs. Riot Squad 50

Vicious Dishes 25 vs. Les Filles du Roi 50

Death Track Dolls 129 vs. Casses Gueules 7

Thames Fatales 34 vs. Les Contrabanditas 76

TKOs 133 vs. Debutantes 8

Rouge et Gore 12 vs. La Racaille 116

Gore-Gore Rollergirls 29 vs. Slaughter Daughters 105

Luscious Lunch Ladies 37 vs. Smoke City Betties 47

Les Filles du Roi 91 vs. Chicks Ahoy! 13

Vicious Dishes 33 vs. Riot Squad 44 (Dishes eliminated)

Contrabanditas 30 vs. Death Track Dolls 96

Thames Fatales 29 vs. Casses Gueules 18 (Gueules eliminated)

La Racaille 103 vs. TKOs 32

Rouge at Gore 159 vs. Debutantes 32 (Debutantes eliminated)

Smoke City Betties 2 vs. Slaughter Daughters 117

Luscious Lunch Ladies 50 vs. Gore-Gore Rollergirls 94 (Ladies eliminated)

Thames Fatales 53 vs. Chicks Ahoy! 46 (Chicks eliminated)

Riot Squad 57 vs. Contrabanditas 86 (Riot Squad eliminated)

Gore-Gore Rollergirls 42 vs. TKOs 85 (Gores eliminated)

Smoke City Betties 56 vs. Rouge et Gore 58 (Betties eliminated)

Quarter Finals

Les Filles du Roi 76 vs. Rouge et Gore 26

Contrabanditas 64 vs. La Racaille 117

TKOs 35 vs. Death Track Dolls 79

Thames Fatales 31 vs. Slaughter Daughters 113

Semi Finals

Filles du Roi 60 vs. La Racaille 85

Death Track Dolls 40 vs. Slaughter Daughters 68

Third Place

Death Track Dolls 136 vs. Filles du Roi 29


La Racaille 74 vs. Slaughter Daughters 103

Read the Derby Nerd’s preview and recap.

VIDEO: Watch Double Elimination Archives Part 1 here.  Watch Part 2 here. Watch quarter finals here. Watch the third place and championship games here.

BEAST 2014 posterBeast of the East 7: 2014

First Round (Double Elimination)

Smoke City Betties 49 vs. Casse Gueules 54

La Racaille 117 vs. Riot Squad 32

Gore-Gore Rollergirls 125 vs. Motor City Madames 22

Les Filles du Roi 78 vs. Atom Smashers 50

Slaughter Daughters 40 vs. Lunch Ladies 80

Les Contrabanditas 122 vs. Thames Fatales 23

Killer Queens 30 vs. Death Track Dolls 91

Rouge et Gore 61 vs. Prime Sinisters 79

Casses Gueules 106 vs. La Racaille 69

Smoke City Betties 36 vs. Riot Squad 66 (Betties eliminated)

Gore-Gore Rollergirls 53 vs. Les Filles du Roi 47

Motor City Madames 57 vs. Atom Smashers 122 (Madames eliminated)

Luscious Lunch Ladies 60 vs. Les Contrabanditas 39

Slaughter Daughters 60 vs. Thames Fatales 45 (Thames eliminated)

Death Track Dolls 55 vs. Prime Sinisters 26

Killer Queens 29 vs. Rouge et Gore 135 (Queens eliminated)

La Racaille 101 vs. Atom Smashers 33 (Smashers eliminated)

Les Filles du Roi 47 vs. Riot Squad 89 (FDR eliminated)

Les Contrabanditas 35 vs. Rouge et Gore 40 (Ditas eliminated)

Prime Sinisters 57 vs. Slaughter Daughters 21 (Daughters eliminated)

Quarter Finals

Casses-Gueules 50 vs. Prime Sinisters 46

Luscious Lunch Ladies 62 vs. Riot Squad 71 (Overtime)

Gore-Gore Rollergirls 64 vs. Rouge et Gore 61

Death Track Dolls 61 vs. La Racaille 86

Semi Finals

Casses-Gueules 75 vs. Riot Squad 68

Gore-Gore Rollergirls 68 vs. La Racaille 67

Third Place

La Racaille 148 vs. Riot Squad 131


Casses Gueules 114 vs. Gore-Gore Rollergirls 129

*Read the Derby Nerd’s preview and recap.

*Video: Watch Day 1 here (begins without commentary); Watch Day 2 here.

boe-15-poster.jpgBeast of the East 8: 2015

First Round (Double Elimination)

Total Knock-Outs 93 vs. Beauty School Dropouts 45

Les Filles du Roi 90 vs. Casse-Gueules 70

Slaughter Daughters 164 vs. Thames Fatales 2

Les Contrabanditas 61 vs. Gore-Gore Rollergirls 74

Prime Sinisters 89 vs. Atom Smashers 56

La Racaille 117 vs. Chicks Ahoy! 40

Venus Fly Tramps 73 vs. Death Track Dolls 39

Rouge et Gore 130 vs. Skateful Dead 25

Total Knock-Outs 61 vs. Les Filles du Roi 78

Beauty School Dropouts 49 vs. Casse-Gueules 80 (Beauties eliminated)

Slaughter Daughters 71 vs. Gore-Gore Rollergirls 70

Thames Fatales 25 vs. Les Contrabanditas 154 (Fatales eliminated)

Prime Sinisters 81 vs. La Racaille 50

Atoms Smashers 62 vs. Chicks Ahoy! 63 (Smashers eliminated)

Venus Fly Tramps 68 vs. Rouge et Gore 91

Death Track Dolls 48 vs. Skateful Dead 80 (Dolls eliminated)

Total Knock-Outs 40 vs. Les Contrabanditas 92 (TKOs eliminated)

Gore-Gore Rollergirls 25 vs. Casse-Gueules 58 (Gores eliminated)

La Racaille 59 vs. Skateful Dead 77 (Racaille eliminated)

Venus Fly Tramps 128 vs. Chicks Ahoy! 24 (Chicks eliminated)

Quarter Finals

Les Filles du Roi 70 vs. Venus Fly Tramps 49

Prime Sinisters 34 vs. Casse-Gueules 145

Slaughter Daughters 88 vs. Skateful Dead 78

Rouge et Gore 55 vs. Les Contrabanditas 31

Semi Finals

Les Filles du Roi 29 vs. Casse-Gueules 83

Slaughter Daughters 10 vs. Rouge et Gore 84

Third Place

Les Filles du Roi 116 vs. Slaughter Daughters 110


Casse-Gueules 161 vs. Rouge et Gore 142

* Read the Derby Nerd’s preview and recap.

BOE 2016Beast of the East 9: 2016

First Round (Double Elimination)

Venus Fly Tramps 56 vs. Molotov Girls 39

Contrabanditas 58 vs. Smoke City Betties 62

Casse-Gueules 66 vs. Gore-Gore Rollergirls 69

Les Filles du Roi 81 vs. Violet Uprising 31

Cupquakes 84 vs. Rouge et Gore 80

La Racaille 156 vs. Slaughter Daughters 56

Ghoul Guides 15 vs. Riot Squad 162

Bacon Pirates 74 vs. Death Track Dolls 77

Venus Fly Tramps 38 vs. Smoke City Betties 24

Molotov Girls 15 vs. Contrabanditas 104 (M.Girls eliminated)

Gore-Gore Rollergirls 35 vs. Les Filles du Roi 70

Casse-Gueules 74 vs. Violet Uprising 72 (Uprising eliminated)

Cupquakes 43 vs. La Racaille 64

Rouge et Gore 65 vs. Slaughter Daughters 74 (R. et Gore eliminated)

Riot Squad 24 vs. Death Track Dolls 71

Ghoul Guides 23 vs. Bacon Pirates 94 (Guides eliminated)

Smoke City Betties 51 vs. Casse-Gueules 70 (Betties eliminated)

Gore-Gore Rollergirls 22 vs. Contrabanditas 65 (Gores eliminated)

Cupquakes 62 vs. Bacon Pirates 65 (Quakes eliminated)

Riot Squad 91 vs Slaughter Daughters 48 (Daughters eliminated)

Quarter Finals

Venus Fly Tramps 75 vs. Riot Squad 41

La Racaille 86 vs Les Contrabanditas 76

Les Filles du Roi 94 vs. Bacon Pirates 45

Death Track Dolls 48 vs Casse-Gueules 55

Semi Finals

Venus Fly Tramps 64 vs. La Racaille 105

Les Filles du Roi 90 vs. Casse-Gueules 29

Third Place

Venus Fly Tramps 172 vs. Casse-Gueules 52


La Racaille 141 vs. Les Filles du Roi 106

Toronto Improves to 2-0 with Tight Victory over Capital City

All Stars Cap City Neil

The tightly played, highly disciplined game between Toronto and Capital City lived up to expectations (Photo by Neil Gunner).

It was a highly anticipated matchup at the Bunker on Saturday night as two WFTDA Division 2 teams on the rise squared off in a critical matchup. Coming in ranked 81st, the visitors, Ottawa’s Capital City Dolly Rogers, sported a 3-0 record in 2017 that included sanctioned wins over Muddy River (101st) and Quebec (82nd) and that saw them leap an incredible 34 spots in the WFTDA rankings. Toronto was also off to a blazing start with a 380 -138 stomping of Roc City helping to propel them 10 spots up the rankings to 89th. The first-ever meeting between these two teams lived up to the high expectations: it was a tight, disciplined, very well played game of flat track roller derby that saw Toronto clamber back from a slow start (and a slim half-time deficit) to pick up the 144-129 win.


titmouse neil

Toronto jammer titmouse scored her team’s first 17 points. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Capital City came out flying with the first three lead jammer statuses (including the game’s first power jam) and an 8-1 lead, before All Stars vet titmouse nabbed the first lead for the hosts and proceeded to rack up 17 points on three natural grand slams as a Boxcar- and Jessica Rabid-led pack shut down the Capital City jammer. However, a successful Capital City official review saw titmouse boxed for a skating out of bounds penalty and the second early-game power jam saw the Dolly Rogers maintain control, picking up 6. A second consecutive power jam (and third of the game) saw them retake control. With the offense being led by RebelLion and Buffy Slay’her, Dolly Rogers’ eventual leading scorer Tank laid down 15 points to help bring Ottawa’s lead to 40-18 ten minutes into the opening half.

Toronto responded with four of the next five leads to put together a 24-13 run to inch back into it, and they closed out the first half with their most dominant stretch of the game picking up six of the last seven leads that saw them briefly take a 4-point lead before Tank once again picked up crucial points in the final jam to give Capital City a narrow 83-82 lead at the break.

Rebel Watcher Neil

Capital City’s RebelLion (left) and Watcher Ash (616) led a smothering first half defence that helped the Dolly Rogers take the lead at the break. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Tank was actually the team’s leading scoring jammer at the half with 35 points, though Kaio-kensi was not far behind with 21. titmouse led the way for Toronto with 40 first-half points (on the strength of a game-high 17 pointer); Banshee was right behind with 26 points. The first half (and indeed the whole game) was played very cleanly with Capital City picking up fifteen penalties to Toronto’s twelve (Toronto would end up with twenty-three to Capital City’s twenty-seven).

After a surging close-out to the first half, Toronto picked up right where they left off to open the second: a five-point pick up in the opening jam saw Toronto retake the lead, and it would be one that they would not relent the rest of the way. Defense would be the name of the game in the tightly played and low-scoring second half and Toronto’s balanced packs led the way. For example, The All Stars shut out jammer Kaio-kensi in the second half over six jams, with half of the defensive packs led by one line that included Gore-Gore Rollergirls teammates Santa Muerte, Will Wrecker and Viktory Lapp (balanced out by the hard-hitting Morton) and the other led by the Chicks Ahoy! dominated line of Boxcar, Meg Fenway and Annguard, though led on this night by their Smoke City Bandit linemate Jessica Rabid.

Rabid Neil

Jessica Rabid had a breakout game for Toronto–the recipient of key star passes and putting in a few jams with the star in the second half. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Jessica Rabid was actually all over the track for Toronto; originally a skater with Ottawa’s Rideau Valley Roller Derby, Rabid seemed especially fired up for this matchup against her former cross-city rivals and was dominant on defense, took a critical star pass in the first half and even took to the start line with the star on a few occasions in the second half (picking up two leads and 9 points).


Toronto picked up six of the first nine leads of the second half to extend their lead to fifteen (112-97) ten minutes in, but Capital City refused to go down quietly.

Looking to spark their offense, the Dolly Rogers expanded their jammer rotation in the second half, giving the powerful RebelLion the star at times, and at one point Tank acting as pivot led a lock down pack on titmouse that allowed Alhurta Beef to pick up 12 points for Capital City to narrow the gap to 128-115 with ten minutes to go (the damage was limited by a titmouse star pass to Boxcar and a crucial drag back from Meg Fenway that stemmed the points flow and forced the call off).

All Stars celebrate neil

Toronto improves to 2-0 on the season with the win. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

That was, however, as close as Capital City would get.

With the Dolly Rogers held to only 46 points in the second half, it was a strong defensive performance from a Toronto team that looked a little loose defensively in their season-opening win against Roc City and, similarly, it was a very strong performance from an excellent Capital City team in the loss. The core of this team includes members of the 2014 Fresh and Furious winning team (blocker Edmonton and the aforementioned Kaio-kensi were stars of that team and are crucial components of the Dolly Rogers now) and that continuity is evident. Tank led the way in scoring for the visitors with 52 points on a 55% lead percentage, while Watcher Ash had a huge game in the pack.

Toronto was led offensively by titmouse’s 59 points (on a 54% lead percentage), while Banshee used an impressive 64% lead percentage to pick up 49 points; Wolverina rounded out the primary scoring for Toronto with 23.

Nerd Glasses


Skate Greg.jpg

The Vipers’ Skate of Emergency looks to sneak through on the inside past a trio of Cannon Dolls. (Photo by Greg Russell)


*The Toronto Vipers also hosted Capital City on Saturday night and picked up their first win of the season against the Cannon Dolls. The 217-148 victory balances out their record after a season-opening loss to Belleville.


Chicks Advance To Play for Boot; Bandits on to Semis

Chicks Dolls QF Neil

The Dolls finished first in the regular season, but the Chicks took the quarterfinal rematch to become the first team to qualify for the Battle for the Boot. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The 2017 Toronto Roller Derby playoffs kicked off on Saturday night at the Bunker with all four teams competing in the page playoff quarterfinals. In the 1-2 quarterfinal, the current and four-time defending champion Chicks Ahoy! advanced directly to the Battle for the Boot with a 205-128 victory over the regular season leaders Death Track Dolls, while the Smoke City Bandits eliminated the Gore-Gore Rollergirls in the other. The Bandit’s 170-116 win secured them a spot in the semifinals against the Dolls.

Gore-Gore Rollergirls (4th) 116 vs. Smoke City Bandits (3rd) 170

Coming off of their first winless season ever, the Gores were looking for revenge over the Bandits, a team that had beaten them 148-99 in February. Bolstered by the return of jammer Beaver Mansbridge (in her first action since January), she and team leading scorer Mina Von Tease got the Gores off to an explosive start, scoring 10 and 12 points respectively in an opening ten-jam run that saw the Gores jump out to a 26-14 lead ten minutes in.

Beav QF17 Neil

Beaver Mansbridge made her return to the Gores’ lineup and led the team with 38 points and a 73% lead percentage. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The Bandits, however, responded, and over the next ten minutes, the teams went blow for blow. Anchored by a 9-point jam from Genuine Risk and then a 10 pointer from Brawnson, the Bandits stayed within reach, down 50-41 with five minutes to go in the half.

Driven by the return to the track of long-time veteran Mia Culprit and the ferocious jammer killing of LowBlowPalooza, the Bandits seized control of the game late in the first half. While Genuine Risk had one of her most consistent games with the star of the season (finishing with 36 points and a 45% lead percentage over eleven jams), it was a Risk star pass to pivot Jessica Rabid that proved to be a game changer. Rabid’s subsequent 15-point pick up was part of a dominant 34-3 Bandits’ run to close out the half with a 74-53 lead.

JJ LB Neil

The Bandits’ Juggernaut J and LowBlowPalooa work to contain Beaver Mansbridge. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The Bandits have been slow starters all year, and all season they’ve saved their best derby for the second half, so with a 20-point deficit coming out of the break, the Gores were scrambling to catch up. Added to the adversity was the loss of Mina Von Tease (who led the team with 24 first-half points), leaving Beaver Mansbridge to shoulder much of the offensive load, which she did exceptionally well: 24 points and a 75% lead percentage over eight jams in the second half was enough to the keep the Gores close (within 14 with twelve minutes to go), but the Bandits sealed the win with a late 24-5 jam on another well-timed star pass (this time, Brawnson to Jammher’head Shark). The jam gave the Bandits the biggest lead either team had in the game, securing the 170-116 win and ending the Gores’ season.

Beaver Mansbridge was exceptional in her return to the track finishing with a team leading 38 points on a 73% lead percentage. Brawnson led the way for the Bandits finishing with 40 points , while titmouse had another excellent game, consistent over both periods on the way to 37 points and a team leading 62% lead percentage. Genuine Risk’s 36 points rounded out the well-balanced offence and helped to make up for the lack of offence from regular season leading scorer Killa Hurtz who was frustrated by the Gores’ pack work and ended up with only 16 points (on a 17% lead percentage)—this after Hurtz scorched the Gores for 61 points in the regular season showdown.

Chicks Ahoy! (2nd) 205 vs. Death Track Dolls (1st) 128

After a thrilling one-point showdown in the regular season, expectations were high for this quarterfinal between the league’s top two teams, and for most of the first half, the high expectations were met. The game started as a slow grind with the Chicks taking a narrow 13-0 lead five minutes in to the game. It was 16-0 before a Dolls’ steal of 1 on a 3-1 jam saw the first crack in the devastating Chicks’ defence. Finally, some excellent pack work from Kate Silver, Brickhouse Bardot and Getcha Kicks freed up some space on the track, giving the Dolls their first 4-0 jam of the game.

Sleep v Dolls

The Dolls struggled to contain Sleeper Hold, part of a deep Chicks’ jammer rotation. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Sleeper Hold, who was (relatively) kept in check during the regular season meeting between the teams, was dominant early on, powering through the Dolls defence, and a power jam helped propel the Chicks to their biggest lead of the half, 33-5 ten minutes in. With the game still so tight, an 8-0 Dolls run over two jams was enough to force the Chicks to use their first time out of the game to settle the ship.

The Dolls, however, stayed close, giving up only 4 points on a power jam midway through the half allowing them to pull within 15 (40-25) before some excellent offence from Sammy Destruction helped Monster Muffin pick up 8 points to bring the lead back to 21. An 18-4 jam from Boxcar gave the Chicks a 70-36 lead, the biggest of the game, with only seven minutes to go prompting a Dolls time out. The Dolls came out of the timeout inspired, and a 23-1 power jam skated by the league’s leading scorer Holly Rocket, brought the Dolls back within 8 points. Shut-down packwork from the trio of Joss Wheelin’, Vag Lightning and Francesca Fiure slowed down the Dolls’ momentum, leading to a final-jam-of-the-half showdown that proved to be the turning point of the game.

Holly v Dolls neil

Rosemary’s Rabies and Sherblock hold back Dolls jammer Holy Rocket. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

With the Dolls playing their best stretch of derby on the night and threatening to take the lead for the first time, Monster Muffin was gifted a power jam to close out the period. With 14 points already on the jam, Muffin was struggling to get one more pass when some hard defence from Kate Silver led to a clash of heads and a bloodied Muffin. After much discussion the hit was considered egregious and Silver was expelled from the game delivering a huge blow to the Dolls who were already making line adjustments to compensate for missing skaters.

The Chicks took an 89-63 lead into the second half and came out to start the second inspired. With the Dolls scrambling to shore up their pack, the Chicks went on a 25-4 run that all but put the game away. The Dolls’ bench shifted Rainbow Fight into the jammer rotation and at one point even went on-off with her and Holly Rocket (both of whom managed to have the most success against the Chicks in terms of leads). While the tightening of the bench led to a consistent run of leads, the Dolls’ packs could not contain the Chicks’ explosive jammer rotation (which added Sammy Destruction in the second half—joining Banshee, Muffin and Sleeper) leading to a lot of 4-0 Dolls’ jams that would not allow them to put a dent in the Chicks’ lead.

A Chicks’ power jam midway through the half helped propel them to a 162-88 lead. While the Dolls would continue to chip away, they could not seem to make up any ground and a messy 14-12 jam to close out the game gave the Chicks a 205-128 win and secured them a spot in the Battle for the Boot for the second consecutive year.

The Dolls, however, are still alive and will play in a second-chance semifinal against the Bandits on May 13.

Nerd Glasses

** All four ToRD teams will be heading to Montreal to play in the annual Beast of the East tournament on April 29-30. The ToRD All Stars and the Vipers will be in action at The Bunker on the 22nd, as Toronto welcomes Ottawa’s Capital City to Toronto.

Dolls clinch top spot in ToRD Standings; Chicks Down Gores


The Dolls defeated the Bandits to secure top spot in the regular season standings. They also completed the fourth highest scoring season in ToRD history. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

For the first time since their back-to-back undefeated championship seasons in 20132014, and just the third time in the eleven year history of the league, the Death Track Dolls will finish the Toronto Roller Derby regular season at the top of the standings after defeating the Smoke City Bandits on Saturday night. The win, coupled with Chicks Ahoy!’s season-closing victory over the Gore-Gore Rollergirls, ensures a page-playoff quarterfinal rematch between the Chicks and the Dolls after a thrilling one-point game earlier this season.

Smoke City Bandits 95 vs. Death Track Dolls 230

The Dolls got off to quick start when an opening jam power jam spotted them an early lead that they quickly stretched to 23-10 over the first five minutes. But just as the Dolls seemed on the verge of running away with this one early, a 17-0 power jam response from the Bandits pulled Smoke City right back into it, suddenly down only 8 (35-27) ten minutes into the half.


Dolls pivot Rainbow Fight and jammer Ellen Rage both had strong games, eventually winning team MVP honours. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The Dolls have a deep jammer rotation this season, and have been getting excellent depth jamming from Ellen Rage who took a regular spot in the rotation against the Bandits and proved a game-changer in the opening half. Her calm, tireless jamming (aided by some excellent pack work) led to a 20-0 jam midway through the half, part of a 45-0 ten-minute run that all but put the game out of reach. When the Bandits took a time out to settle things down, they found themselves suddenly down 80-27 with ten left in the half.

Some excellent work in the pack from Jessica Rabid and Jammher’head Shark allowed rookie standout jammer Killa Hurtz to get the Bandits back on the board. Both teams ran into some penalty troubles late in the half, with the Dolls able to take better advantage going on another impressive 41-7 run to go into the break up comfortably 121-34.

The Dolls opened the second half the same way they opened the first: on a power jam, unsettling the Bandits from the start (important since they have been such a strong second-half team this season). The game ended up being a series of scoring runs and the Dolls opened the second half on a ten-minute 64-12 run, that they extended to a 190-54 lead at the midway point of the half. This did spark the most sustained push from the Bandits of the game, seeing them go toe-to-toe against the Dolls over the final fifteen minutes, able to outscore them 41-40 during that stretch; impressive, but still not enough to put a dent in the difference, and the Dolls were able to hold on for the definitive 135 point victory.


The Bandits’ Jammer’head Shark opens a lane for jammer Killa Hurtz. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

First-year jammer Brawnson led the Bandits in scoring with 32 points (on the strength of a 14-point power jam in the first half), while rookie Killa Hurtz scored 20 of her 24 points in the second half after being contained by the Dolls’ defence in the first. Morton once again led the way in the pack with excellent moments both on defence and offence, but also had a strong performance from Juggernaut J (particularly with some strong offence on second half power jams) and a breakout performance from Viper graduate Viris.

Offensively, the Dolls were led once again by Holly Rocket who took over the lead in the league scoring with a 79-point performance (to finish the regular season with 189 points). And on her busiest night with the star, Ellen Rage also came through putting up 48 points but also registering a game-high 78% lead percentage (including a perfect second half).

The Dolls pack remains strong across the board, with another outstanding game from Rainbow Fight (who also managed 19 points on her one jamming opportunity in the second half) playing well with team captain Wheatabitch and veteran Dasilva, but also from the trio of Dawson, Getcha Kicks and Kate Silver who continue to dominate defensively.

The Dolls finish the regular season having scored 600+ points for the third time (after 2013 and 2014). The 2013 Gores are the only other team to have done so.

Gore-Gore Rollergirls 128 vs. Chicks Ahoy! 174

Coming into this game, the Chicks knew a win would secure the second seed in the 2017 playoffs, ensuring a spot in the all-important 1-2 page playoff quarterfinal that would guarantee them two chances to make the Battle for the Boot (and they did indeed need both chances on their way to the 2016 championship). They also knew they would have to do so without two of their three leading scorers on the season. So with no Sleeper Hold (skating Saturday night with Orangeville) and leading scorer Banshee on the sidelines with illness, they looked to their depth and brought veteran Boxcar back to the rotation (and after an excellent 72 point, 100% lead percentage performance last time she jammed, a pretty solid decision). They also had a resurgent Noodle Kaboodle to add as well, seemingly back in form in her second game after a long injury layoff; so despite the missing stars, the Chicks seemed unfazed early.


With two of their top three scorers sidelined, double threat Boxcar was drawn back into the Chicks’ rotation. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The Chicks shut out the Gores over the opening two jams on their way to a quick 14-5 lead five minutes in, a lead they stretched to 44-8 over the next five minutes before a 10-0 scoring from Murdercat! cut into the growing deficit. This was part of a 13-4 run that saw the Gores threatening. But also missing an explosive jammer in Beaver Mansbridge, the Gores couldn’t mount a sustained offensive push in the first and were forced into a team timeout with twelve minutes left in the half and suddenly down 64-26.

After the time out, the Gores roared out to 14-0 run forcing a timeout from the Chicks, who then responded with a 13-0 run of their own to rebuild their lead. A frantic 13-11 final jam in favour of the Gores had the skaters in leopard print within reach at the half, down 99-68.

The Chicks, however, came out hard to start the second half. A 20-4 opening jam skated by Monster Muffin was part of a dominant five-minute run after the break that saw the Chicks open up a 124-75 lead, the largest of the game.

Although there were back and forth surges through the rest of the half and the Chicks could never fully put a scrappy Gores away, the difference from this point on was never less than 40 points as the Chicks managed to hold on for the 46-point win. The loss marked the first time in league history that the Gores failed to get at least a win during the regular season.


The Gores’ pack of Santa Muerte. Tara-Bush and Viktory Lapp look to contain Chicks jammer Sammy Destruction. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The Gores got strong performances across the roster. Tara-Bush, Santa Muerte and Viktory Lapp supplied some moments of excellent offence, while Moose Knuckles and Stabbey Road were their usual steady selves; off-season transfer Psycho Magnet also played arguably her best game as a Gore. Offensively, scoring was spread out widely among all jammers and even pivots with Stabbey and Santa receiving a significant number of star passes. Rookie Mina Von Tease, however, led the way with 35 points.

Boxcar stepped in and stepped up for the Chicks with another impressive lead percentage (64%) helping to lead her team in scoring with 68 points. Monster Muffin had another strong game too, contributing 62 points on a game-high 73% lead percentage (her season high as well). The pack continues to employ tight walls, making their defence almost seamless, a difference maker in this game. The pack was bolstered by the return of Vag Lightning and veteran Robber Blind.

The April 8th quarterfinals are now set, with The Chicks and Dolls meeting in the 1-2 page playoff for a chance to advance directly to the Battle for the Boot (the loser of that one will get a second chance in the semifinal) while the Gores and Bandits will play with their seasons on the line and will have a tough road to climb to get to the championship game.

Nerd Glasses

*Next up for ToRD is the 2017 debut of the All Stars with a WFTDA-sanctioned matchup against Rochester’s Roc City Roc Stars on March 25 at the Bunker, where we’ll also get to see the Vipers in action against Belleville.

*Archived footage available on Layer9.ca

*Stats are unofficial

Dolls, Bandits Pull Off Stunning Victories in a Thrilling Night at The Bunker


The Dolls’ 141-140 victory over the Chicks Ahoy! was the narrowest in ToRD history. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The scheduling just happened to align: the matchups featured two undefeated teams looking to take an early lead in the standings and two winless teams searching for that all-important first win. On paper, it looked as if there were going to be two incredible games, and while reality doesn’t always meet expectations, on this Saturday night early in Toronto Roller Derby’s 2017 season, it’s possible that those lofty expectations were actually passed. Perhaps sensing this potential, there was yet another vocal crowd at the Bunker and those in attendance were treated to what may end up going down as one of the most exciting double headers in Toronto Roller Derby history, and certainly in recent memory. When the track was cleared, the Death Track Dolls’ razor-thin win over defending champs Chicks Ahoy! saw the Dolls atop the standings for the first time since 2014, while the Smoke City Bandits’ upset over the Gore-Gore Rollergirls marked their first league victory since winning the 2015 Battle for the Boot.

Death Track Dolls 141 vs. Chicks Ahoy! 140

October 17, 2009. That’s how far back you have to look to find a Toronto Roller Derby house league game that came close to featuring the kind of ending we witnessed at the Bunker this past Saturday night. In October 2009, it was the Death Track Dolls who found themselves mounting a frantic late-game comeback against the Chicks Ahoy!: a 21-1 run over the final two jams saw the Dolls’ comeback end just short, falling 92-90. Seven years later, it was the Chicks whose 29-4 run over the final five jams came up short allowing the Dolls to hold on for the one-point victory.


Dolls’ jammer Ellen Rage prepares for contact from Joss Wheelin’, who was making her season debut after injury. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

With both teams coming off of dominant performances to kick off the season, this game was seen as an early test of league superiority, and it’s safe to say that nothing was settled. It was back and forth from the outset with the Chicks getting out to an early lead 18-8 before a 19-0 score jammed by emerging double threat Ellen Rage blew the game wide open and gave the Dolls their first lead. It was, however, short lived. The Chicks responded with a 13-0 pick up by second-year standout Banshee. It was a lead that held up for precisely two jams. While another eventual 9-point pickup for Ellen Rage gave the Dolls a game-high 20-point lead, the Chicks barely flinched and patiently chipped away until a late 17-point power jam tied up the score at 64. The Dolls managed to pull ahead by three on the final jam of the half to hold a precarious 67-64 lead at the break.

The second half opened with a gruelling stretch of superb defence from both sides with points suddenly extremely hard to come by. The grinding tight-pack work that has propelled these teams to the top of the standings was on full display as each team managed only three scoring jams over the first ten jams of the half, with the Dolls scoring 10 to the Chicks’ 9 to retain a narrow 77-73 lead.


Lock-down defence from both packs made points hard to come by early in the second half. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Up to this point in the game, the large leaps in scoring were generated mostly by the inordinate amount of power jams (another testament to the excellent pack work). In the first half, the disciplined opponents had only eleven total pack penalties, compared with nine jammer penalties. When the jammer penalties stopped, so did the scoring. In the end, it was a very clean game by both teams (and well called by the ref crew) with the Chicks picking up twenty-five penalties to the Dolls’ twenty-two.

Although the Dolls never did give up the lead the rest of the way, they never led by more than 26 points either. They pulled ahead by that amount with about five minutes left in the game and that’s when the Chicks went on their run, culminating in a frantic final jam that saw the Dolls’ jammer Scrappy pick up two penalties allowing Banshee to score 14 points. There was a brief moment of confusion when it appeared as if the Chicks had made up the 11-point gap that remained, until, that is, Scrappy’s 4 box points were added, giving the Dolls the 1 extra they needed to hold on for the win.

In the pack, the Dolls’ duos of Dawson and first-year Madison transfer Kate Silver and Rainbow Fight and Montreal transfer Candy Crunch continue to build into a solid defensive pairings, while Dasilva had another central roll in a hard-hitting game aided by the added muscle of Brickhouse Bardot (playing her first league game with the Dolls after a transfer from the Bandits). Another former Bandit Babushkill had arguably her strongest game with the Dolls yet.


Banshee led the game in scoring including an exhausting 14 points on the final jam to pull the Chicks within 1. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

It was announced this game that the Chicks will have to move forward without blocker Kimmie Somore who will be relocating, but they balanced out that loss by welcoming back Joss Wheelin to the pack—who looked as if she’d barely missed a step. The dynamic Rosemary’s Rabies, team captain Francesca Fiure, and double threat Boxcar continued their strong seasons, and the team also welcomed back recent transfer Noodle Kaboodle, who finally debuted for the Chicks after a long recovery from injury. After a hesitant start, she improved as the game wore on, and provides the team with yet another double threat to further deepen their lineup.

Banshee had an excellent game with the star, particularly in the second half where she scored 41 of her 59 points in the game and led the Chicks with a 64% lead percentage overall. Sleeper Hold scored 26 points in the first half finishing with 39 (on 42% lead percentage). The potentially game changing Monster Muffin was mostly held in check (29, 31%) and it was a similar story for the Dolls’ Rainbow Fight who despite notching a 67% lead percentage managed only 8 points over six second-half jams. Holly Rocket (32, 67%), Bat Ma’am (30, 36%) and Scrappy (33, 33%) chipped in similar amounts, while Ellen Rage continued to put up incredible offensive numbers in a limited roll, scoring 28 points over four first-half jams.

Smoke City Bandits 148 vs. Gore-Gore Rollergirls 99

The Smoke City Bandits entered the game on a five-game losing streak. Since winning the Battle for the Boot in 2015, the Bandits had gone a year and a half without a ToRD victory. It wasn’t a great stretch, but still nothing like the record stretch of futility the team then known as the Betties went through from 2009-2012: after a massive off-season roster change post-2009, the team went on a nearly three-year long winless run that saw them lose ten games in a row, often by then league-record margins. There are only two skaters remaining on the Bandits who experienced the totality of that losing streak and both were on the track on Saturday night as the Bandits once again found themselves attempting to end a streak. Interestingly enough, just as they were in 2012, it was the Gore-Gore Rollergirls who were their opponents when they ended it.


In her second game back in the jammer rotation, titmouse had another strong performance with 51 points and a 60% lead percentage. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Genuine Risk and titmouse are those two remaining skaters and both now find themselves part of a revamped jammer rotation. After two years in the pack, titmouse returned to jamming this year at the urging of her team, she admitted in a post-game interview, and has been excellent scoring 51 points on a 60% lead percentage in this game.

As with the Bandits’ season opener, this game was a tale of two halves, with the team unable to muster much offence over the opening thirty minutes, putting up only 34 points at the break. The Gores, however—certainly feeling the absence of team leading scorer Beaver Mansbridge—couldn’t put the Bandits away. Although they led for virtually the entire half (it was tied after the third jam) and picked up thirteen lead-jammer statuses to the Bandits’ nine (including seven in a row at one point), they gave up four power jams putting in monumental efforts on the power kills that eventually took their toll.


Despite strong individual efforts and dominating lead jammer stats, the Gores couldn’t put away the Bandits in the first half. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The Gores offence in the first half was paced by rookie jammer Mina Von Tease, who put up a game-high 30 points to that point. The Bandits took notice and after the break Von Tease was matched up jam for jam for the entire half against titmouse and was held to only 8 points.

The Bandits essentially dominated the second half, completely turning the game around on the Gores who couldn’t seem to make the necessary adjustments. Over the first eight jams of the half, the Bandits picked up lead for five of them, outscoring the Gores 48-5 to take the lead. Once they began to take advantage of the power jams that the Gores continued to give up (eleven total jammer penalties in the game), they began to pull away.

In the end, the Bandits outscored the Gores 114-41 in the half on the way to the 49-point victory.


Bandits rookie jammer Killa HurtZ led the team in scoring for the second straight game with 61 points, most coming in the second half. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The Gores relied heavily on their core blockers of Santa Meurte, Will Wrecker, Viktory Lapp and Stabbey Road (and welcomed back Moose Knuckles after a long recovery) but penalty trouble and that amount of time on power kills eventually took their toll, with the Bandits able to split the packs and draw the Gores into one-on-one battles. Mina Von Tease led the Gores with 38 points while Thighlight of Your Life made use of an 88% lead percentage to score 21 points. Murdercat! (20 points) and rookie Flapjack Tango (17) rounded out the scoring.

For the second straight game Genuine Risk persevered through a slow start to score 21 points in the second half, while also for the second straight game rookie Killa HurtZ led the team in scoring with 61 points (and a 64% lead percentage); Brawnson rounded out scoring with 17 points.

The one noticeable improvement on the Bandits is how evenly distributed their pack seems to be: the deepest it’s been since the championship run two years ago. Morton and Anne Bulance went toe-to-toe against a Gores team that has the potential to push teams around, while the lively play of players like Lowblow Palooza, Jam’herhead Shark, Juggernaut J and Jessica Rabid can, and did, frustrate.

Nerd Glasses

*The regular season comes to a close on March 4th when, once again, all four teams will be in action. Come watch the Dolls play the Bandits and the Gores take on the Chicks to determine final playoff seeding.

*All stats are unofficial 

Dolls and Chicks Win Big on Opening Night of ToRD’s 2017 Season


There was an energetic crowd at the Bunker for Toronto Roller Derby’s 2017 season opener. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Toronto Roller Derby kicked off its second decade last night in front of a packed track at the Bunker. With revamped rosters and many new faces on the league’s four home teams, there were a lot of questions coming into the season opener and although the games lacked the parity seen in many of last year’s regular season showdowns, all four teams gave something for their fans to cheer about.

Death Track Dolls 247 vs. Gore-Gore Rollergirls 105

It was the 16th of March in 2014 when Rainbow Fight last strapped on the quads in a Toronto Roller Derby game. The sanctioned season opener between the ToRD All Stars and the Killamazoo Derby Darlins was Fight’s WFTDA debut and despite loads of expectations, she did not disappoint. Joining a deep jammer rotation that had made waves in the 2013 Division 1 WFTDA playoffs, Rainbow led the way in scoring with 110 points over the course of six jams, part of an overwhelming ToRD attack, but then what seemed a simple hit in a hard-hitting affair changed everything.


Rainbow Fight had a big impact in her return to ToRD after a two-year absence. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Diagnosis: lacerated kidney. It would be more than a year before Rainbow would return to the track, this time back with her hometown league, St. John’s 709 Derby Girls. And on Saturday night, the long road back continued when she joined a rebuilt Death Track Dolls team that she had last laced up for in a record-setting 2013 season. Although she saw limited action with the star in the season opener, she was a force in the pack and part of a well-rounded Dolls performance that caught many by surprise with what turned out to be a one-sided victory over a Gore-Gore Rollergirls team that they had not beaten in two years.

The Gores actually got out to a quick start, opening up an early lead of 14-5 that they built to 18-9 before a topsy-turvy fifth jam in which the teams traded jammer penalties, and saw Dolls’ rookie jammer (but former Vipers’ standout) Scrappy pick up 10 points to help her team take its first lead. The teams continued to match each other blow-for-blow over the next few jams with the Dolls opening up a slight 14-point gap. The Gores took their first timeout of the game, and it sparked something in the team as veteran-jammer Beaver Mansbridge followed up the break with a 19-point jam that saw the Gores retake the lead 52-48.


Dolls rookie ARRRguile looks to open a lane held by Gores Commander Will Wrecker and Santa Muerte. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The lead, however, would last precisely one jam. And a few minutes later, with the Dolls up 10 and the Gores threatening, Rainbow Fight donned the star for the first time, picking up a casual 24 points (in part due to some excellent blocking—this was not a powerjam) to give the Dolls the biggest lead of the game (90-56) and one that they would not relent the rest of the way.

The Dolls dominated lead-jammer status in the first half 12-5 (extending that to 23-12 overall) which forced the Gores into numerous star-pass scrambles (the Dolls did a better job of separating the pivot and jammer in the second half). However, the game was truly put away over the first seven jams after the break: leading 105-61 at halftime, the Dolls dominated the Gores over that opening stretch, outscoring them 56-11 and effectively putting the game out of reach.

With significant turnover in the off-season, the Gores were experimenting with their jammer rotation using Royal City transfer Thighlight of Your Life (22 points and 40% lead percentage) and Vipers graduate Mina Von Tease (12, 30%) significantly, but got their most steady performances from the returning jammers Beaver Mansbridge (33, 50%) and Murdercat! (30, 33%). The pack was led by veterans Santa Muerte (beginning her eighth season with the Gores), Viktory Lapp, and Stabbey Road, but also featured great play from improving Tara Bush and from Dolls’ off-season transfer Commander Will Wrecker, who delivered a number of heavy shoulder hits to her former Dolls teammates. They also got some solid play from Durham Region transfers Psycho Magnet and Hatin’ McWrath.

The Dolls, meanwhile, were led offensively by Holly Rocket (78 points, 75% lead percentage), with scoring spread out evenly among the other members of the rotation: Scrappy (35, 73%), Bat Ma’am (34, 50%), and in quality (but limited action), Rainbow Fight (49, 100%) and Ellen Rage (45, 60%). The pack has remained mostly unchanged from 2016 anchored by the aforementioned Rainbow Fight but also veterans DaSilva, Wheatabitch, Getcha Kicks, and Dawson (back for her Doll-record ninth season) but bolstered significantly by off-season transfers Kate Silver (from Mad Rollin’ Dolls) and Candy Crunch (Montreal).

Smoke City Bandits 94 vs. Chicks Ahoy! 266

In the biggest off-season change in the league, the Smoke City Betties (formed pre-ToRD in 2006, and one of the first flat track roller derby teams in Canada) changed their name (but not their look), debuting as a rebranded Smoke City Bandits at the season opener. Meanwhile, the team that saw the least off-season turnover, the defending champion Chicks Ahoy!, picked up exactly where they left off after last year’s championship run. And while the Chicks dominated the first three quarters of the matchup, the Bandits showed that they could still be a team to watch in 2017 as they refused to quit and roared back in the end, outscoring the champs over the final fifteen minutes of the game avoiding what was beginning to look like a record-setting win for the Chicks.


Bandits jammer titmouse tries to evade a hit from Francesca Fiure. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Despite the plethora of new faces, it was cagey 8-year veteran titmouse who got things started for the Bandits (returning to the jammer rotation after a year spent in the pack), picking up a quick 3 points to give her team an early lead. However, it was another veteran, twelfth-year skater Boxcar, who got the Chicks on the board with a (fitting) 12-point jam that gave the Chicks the only lead they’d need.

It was steading sailing for the Chicks over the next 45 minutes or so, holding the Bandits scoreless over streaks of seven jams and then four jams twice on their way to a 126-30 halftime lead. One thing to note, however, was how clean the game was in terms of penalties with the Chicks picking up only four and the Bandits picking up seven (with two being to jammers resulting in 12-point and then 18-point jams), resulting in a fast-paced and quickly played opening thirty.

Riding a very experienced jammer rotation (unchanged over last year’s championship run) and some solid pack work, the Chicks looked to be every bit in championship form to kick off the second half, going on a thoroughly dominant thirteen-jam run in which they outscored the Bandits 94-2, building an incredible 220-32 lead.

However, it was then that things changed.

The Bandits picked up the team’s first power jam midway through the half and once again it was veteran titmouse who put down 9 points in her team’s biggest jam of the game. And suddenly, the Bandits were rolling.

Looking more and more together in the pack, Smoke City held the Chicks scoreless for six straight after the power jam, while wracking up 31 of their own and although they couldn’t contain the Chicks the rest of they way, the Bandits continued their best sustained play of the game straight through to the end, outscoring the champs 62-46 over that stretch (accounting for two-thirds of their total points).


Chicks jammer Boxcar, caught up in a swarm of skaters, scored 72 points on a 100% lead percentage. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

For the most part, both teams stuck to a pretty tight four-jammer rotation, and because of the lack of penalties in the first half, the same jammers faced off throughout the first thirty. Rookie Killa HurtZ (28 points, 45% lead percentage) had a strong debut for the Bandits, going toe-to-toe with 2016 league leading scorer Monster Muffin (72, 58%), who was held to a 50% lead percentage in the first half. Boxcar (72, 100%) had the best game among the jammers, getting lead nine-straight times before shifting into the pack and finishing with an impressive 6 points per jam average. Second-year skater Banshee (53, 58%) was third in team scoring with Chicks scoring rounded out by Sleeper Hold (49, 46%). Along with Killa HurtZ  and titmouse (26, 62%) the Bandits offence was anchored by Royal City transfer Brawnson (27, 33%) who had an impressive debut. After a slow start, long-serving veteran (but only second-year jammer) Genuine Risk rounded out the scoring, picking up 11 points in the second half.

While both teams are still dealing with pre-season injuries to key skaters, the deep Chicks pack was led by current longest-serving Chick Robber Blind and anchored by the incredible pack play of Rosemary’s Rabies (who despite an already long career still seems to get better and better every season), Vag Lightning, Annguard, Francesca Fiure and returnee Sammy Destruction (formerly known as Hyena Koffinkat), who also put up 21 points in limited action with the star.

The Bandits were also led by a core of veterans around whom the team is rebuilding its pack: Morton, Jamm’herhead Shark, Lowblow Palooza, Fight and Anne Bulance were all key contributors, while Rideau Valley transfer pivot Jessica Rabid led the way for the newcomers.

Nerd Glasses

*The game was broadcast by RogersTV Check local listings for replays.

*Next up for all four teams is a February 11th double header that will see the Dolls and Chicks square off for first place, and the Bandits and the Gores go for their first win of the season.

* All stats are unofficial.

The Neon Army Advances

How Montreal’s New Skids on the Block Became Canada’s First Team to Play for the WFTDA D1 Championship

Photo by Sean Murphy (girlsofderby.com)

1. The Moment

It was set up to be a frantic finish.

With one jam to go in the third-place game of the opening weekend of the 2016 Women’s Flat Track Derby Association Division 1 playoffs, the home team, Montreal’s New Skids on the Block, held a 10-point lead (167-157) over Bay Area Derby.

The penultimate jam had been a wild one; offsetting jammer penalties had necessitated a two-minute jam. Bay Area’s Brawllen Angel had managed to outscore Montreal’s Falcon Punch 13-8 to narrow the gap to 10.

B.A.D., one of the founding members of the WFTDA, had been there before. After appearing at the inaugural Dust Devil Championship in 2006, they had qualified for six of the next nine championship tournaments including the previous four consecutive seasons from 2012-15, finishing third overall in 2013 and ’14.

In a sense, Montreal had been there before as well: never to Champs, but on the cusp. Close enough to feel it and to be crushed by the disappointment of not making it. In the same game just the year before, they’d led Minnesota by as much as 30 points and were still leading late before a 48-18 run over the last seven jams secured the win for Minnesota.

Montreal’s Miracle Whips came to the line with the star on her helmet for the final jam against B.A.D. with memories of the previous year’s late collapse buried behind a straight-ahead focus. April Bloodgate was her jammer-line opponent. The crowd—substantial for a Division playoff tournament—was tense. Eerily quiet. The whistle blew and with blockers in the box, both jammers were able to shake free of the pack at turn one with Whips one step ahead; then the Montreal jammer, with the inside position staked out, threw a shoulder into the unsuspecting Bloodgate, who went down hard and was swallowed up by the swarming Montreal defense. The crowd roared in relief.

Two quick scoring passes extended the lead substantially, but with the Bay Area bench cradling one more team time out in its back pocket, the Skids needed to kill the final minute of the jam, so Whips pulled up on the back stretch to join her depleted pack to bolster the defense. After a second Bloodgate scoring pass—and with all of the Skids’ blockers now back on the track—Whips suddenly skated back from the pack to meet the fast-advancing Bay Area jammer. Whips took Bloodgate’s momentum and ushered her to the outside, finishing her with a little shove; then the drag back began. Whips went back. And she kept going back. And back. She drew the jammer all the way to Turn 4. Waited a second after the jam clock had ticked away for good measure and slowly, with a stone-faced calm, tapped her hips.

The partisan crowd went wild, danced in the aisles, chanted. Across Canada, from 709 in the east to the Eves of Destruction in the west, the jubilant track-side celebrations were matched in living-room viewing parties.

Montreal’s New Skids on the Block had become the first Canadian team to advance to the WFTDA Championship tournament.

2. So Bad It Hurts

On Friday, March 3, 2006 somebody going by the handle MissTheMeaner posted a message in Rollergirl.ca’s online roller skating forum with the subject line “Rollerderby in Montreal.”

She asked, simply, if anyone was interested in becoming part of a roller derby team in the city. The post got exactly one response, seventeen days later, from someone posting as Georgia W. Tush:

“i am! i am!! so bad it hurts.”

In 2006, Alyssa Kwasny had just moved to the big city of Montreal from Thunder Bay to study at Concordia University.

Cover image from the January/February 2007 issue of the Mirror, featuring a preview of Montreal's first game, a pre-season showdown with Toronto's Gore-Gore Rollergirls,

Cover image from the January/February 2007 issue of the Mirror, featuring a preview of Montreal’s first game, a pre-season showdown with Toronto’s Gore-Gore Rollergirls.

Early in that same year, a friend of hers in Chicago had joined one of that city’s roller derby leagues. While the idea of roller derby intrigued her, Kwasny quickly discovered that there was no roller derby league in Montreal. Indeed, her early Internet snooping led her to the realization that there were no roller derby leagues in Canada. She did find MySpace pages and websites for leagues south of the border and was immediately taken in by the riot grrrl imagery and the punk rock aesthetic.

Eventually her online sleuthing led her to the Rollergirl.ca website and a web forum devoted to starting roller derby in Canada. There she discovered that there were discussions about roller derby ongoing in Toronto, Hamilton, Edmonton and Vancouver, and then she saw that lone post about Montreal.

Kwasny, now officially Georgia W. Tush, ran with that MissTheMeaner post, starting a MySpace page and checking out roller rinks. Eventually, after getting enough traffic on the site, she organized a meeting at Foufounes Electriques, one of the city’s most venerable underground music venues.

Fourteen people came to the initial meeting, and the first person through the door was someone Tush already knew from the music scene, Marie-Chantal Trachy, the woman who would come to be known as Trash ’n’ Smash, another key figure in the development of roller derby in Montreal.

Just as Tush and Trash were really getting things started in Montreal that spring, on Saturday, July 22, 2006, at a sold out Burlington arena, the Hamilton Harlots and the Steel Town Tank Girls welcomed the sport of roller derby back to Canada, playing in the first public house league game in Canadian flat track history.

Inspired by the the success of Hammer City’s opening game, one of Toronto’s first teams, the Smoke City Betties, began to consider hosting a public event as well. In the end, they decided on a semi-closed tournament, or a “day of derby,” featuring a tournament of mini-games with the winner crowned Derby Queens of the Pre-Season. These Derby Queens would then take on the host Betties in a full-length regulation contest.

Poster for Betties' D-Day. Held in August 2006, it was the first tournament in Canadian flat-track roller derby.

Poster for Betties’ D-Day. Held in August 2006; it was the first tournament in Canadian flat-track roller derby.

The Betties D-Day took place at George Bell Arena in downtown Toronto’s west end on August 19, 2006. On that day, the formation of the Canadian roller derby community began. For many of the skaters there, despite having skated for months, it would be the first time they had ever seen a flat track roller derby game actually played.

Montreal had not even named teams yet and for this event divided its skaters into two squads, called the Cougars and the Felines. On the track, Hammer City’s established teams, not surprisingly, led the way. But it was Montreal who proved the biggest surprise, playing each other in the best game of the first round (a one-pointer won by the Cougars) before defeating the newly named Chicks Ahoy! out of Toronto in the semifinals.

While they did lose in the final to the Hamilton Harlots, the league’s performance provided a certain kind of foreshadowing for the dominant league it would quickly become.

*                                  *                                  *

Montreal's New Skids on the Block at the 2010 Quad City Chaos (Photo by Derek Lang)

Montreal’s New Skids on the Block at the 2010 Quad City Chaos (Photo by Derek Lang)

In March 2010 Toronto Roller Derby’s travel team, CN Power, hosted what was essentially an unofficial Canadian championship. The two-day tournament, called the Quad City Chaos, featured the four top teams in Canada at the time. Hammer City’s Eh! Team, Montreal’s New Skids on the Block and Vancouver’s Terminal City All-Stars joined Toronto for a round robin tournament.

One of the most anticipated moments of that first Quad City Chaos was the opening game between Hammer City and Montreal. Within the past year, both had become the first Canadian—and first non-US—members of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, which meant that they were going to be a part of the WFTDA’s ranking system and were eligible to compete for a spot in the association’s annual playoffs. This historic game not only contained the first WFTDA-sanctioned game in Canada, but it was also the first between two non-US teams and the first to ever be played outside of that country.

Montreal had been on somewhat of a tear at the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010, playing anyone and everyone and going wherever they needed to go to do so. In the weeks leading up to the Quad City Chaos they’d gone on a two-game weekend road trip to Arizona, followed by a three-game road trip down the east coast of the US, going 4-1 in the process. Although none of the games were broadcast, through textcasts on the Derby News Network and live twitter updates it was clear that Montreal was soaking up new slow-style strategies that were just being developed south of the border and had yet to reach Canada. By the time the Skids rolled into Toronto in March, they had become a changed team.

The Hamilton-Montreal showdown was a very early Saturday morning game at ToRD’s Hangar; there were only insiders and superfans lining the track for this highly anticipated moment. The first hint that something might be different came while watching Montreal begin their warm-up off skates. While it’s since become the norm, roller derby in early 2010, certainly in Canada, was still deeply cloaked in its punk rock attitude and the notion of working out off skates to improve on-skates performance was new. It seemed to many skaters to be a waste of valuable track time. But there was Montreal, running laps around the space, doing leaps and stretches and planks.

Montreal baffled Hammer City and send a clear message to the Canadian roller derby scene at QCC 2010. (Photo by Derek Lang)

Montreal baffled Hammer City and sent a clear message to the Canadian roller derby scene at QCC 2010. (Photo by Derek Lang)

Within a few minutes of the opening whistle of that first game, it was clear that it was not going to be a pretty sight. Montreal dominated from the start; they baffled Hammer City with what at the time was strange play, alternating blazing speed with grinding slowness, an intentional duality that had never been witnessed in the Canadian game before. During the first New Skids power jam, when the Hammer City jammer was in the penalty box, the relentless Montreal blockers isolated a lone Hammer City blocker and then held her behind her counterparts who struggled to stay in play (i.e., to remain part of the pack). The jammer sped by the stopped skaters and Hammer City could only watch it all unfold, bewildered. Whatever game Montreal was playing was not the same as the one being played by their opponents.

To put things in context: within the previous eighteen months, Montreal’s and Hamilton’s travel teams had met twice in thrilling, incredibly closely matched contests. Montreal had been able to pull off both wins – but just barely – with fairly regular, though low scoring, results for the time: 58–48 and then 84–80. A combined difference of fourteen points over two games.

When the final whistle blew in that WFTDA-sanctioned game at the Quad City Chaos in March 2010 in Toronto, the scoreboard read 208–26.

Montreal would go on to beat Vancouver and Toronto with similar ease that weekend. Never before had one Canadian team so thoroughly dominated another, and especially not teams that shared such a similar history. But the game had changed: it had changed quickly and it had changed remarkably and it was obvious that Montreal was at the forefront of this evolution.

Montreal Roller Derby distanced itself from its Canadian peers in 2010, but then again, the team distanced itself from a lot of teams in 2010. The Skids would go on to skate to an 11–3 record that season, notching big wins against Tampa, DC, and Arizona.

By September of that year, the New Skids on the Block made flat track roller derby history when they laced up against their increasingly intense rivals Boston for a quarterfinal showdown in the WFTDA’s Eastern Region playoffs. It was the fifth year of the WFTDA playoffs, and Montreal, qualifying sixth out of the twelve teams in the Eastern Region tournament, was the first non-US-based team to play in them.

This was the second year that the Derby News Network would broadcast the entire playoffs and there was a slowly growing global interest in the games. For pretty much the first time, the derby community was seeing the game being played in a way that was no longer comparable to their local version. The teams in the playoffs, and particularly those top twelve teams that would qualify for the championship tournament, were playing at a completely different level strategically and athletically from everyone else. And because Montreal was involved, there were plenty of Canadian eyes trained on the playoffs for the first time.

Montreal would lose that quarterfinal game to the higher ranked Boston and be relegated to the Consolation Bracket that they were expected to dominate, and for the most part, they did, crushing the Dutchland Derby Rollers from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, by two hundred sixty-five points before Raleigh’s Carolina Rollergirls scored a controversial last-gasp two-point win over Montreal.

Montreal’s appearance would resonate even beyond the borders of Canada. In 2011, London, England, would qualify for the playoffs and the two teams would meet up in the first all-international WFTDA playoff game in the consolation final of the 2011 Eastern Region tournament.

In only five years, Montreal had emerged as a potential flat track roller derby super power.

3. Fresher and Furiouser

Montreal's Arena St. Louis (Photo by Leslie Schachter for The Link)

Montreal’s Arena St. Louis (Photo by Leslie Schachter for The Link)

Walking into Montreal’s Arena St. Louis is for fans of roller derby what walking in to the old Montreal Forum would have been like for fans of hockey. After the closing of Edmonton’s Grindhouse (AKA: the Metro Sportsplex) in the summer of 2014, Arena St. Louis became the single oldest continuously used arena for roller derby. It isn’t a particularly special arena, and despite its location just off Rue St. Laurent in a trendy part of downtown Montreal, is pretty non-descript: A squat, rectangular brick arena that wouldn’t look out of place in any small Canadian town.

In the summer of 2008, on the heels of hosting two successful house league seasons and one of Canada’s first flat track roller derby tournaments (that April’s inaugural Beast of the East), Arena St. Louis hosted Montreal’s recruitment training sessions, also called “fresh meant.” The goal was to get potential skaters from zero skill to ready for competition by the opening of the next season. The annual group of loosely organized skaters would eventually form their own rookie-team called the Smash Squad. It was a process and model that would become standard throughout the sport in Canada, the first step toward becoming a competitive skater, and in Montreal, the first step toward eventually becoming a member of the New Skids on the Block.

The Smash Squad builds into a houseleague-Bteam-Ateam system. The houseleague consists of three teams: Les Contrabanditas (Montreal’s first official team, who debuted in February 2007 when they faced Toronto’s Gore-Gore Rollergirls); Les Filles du Roi (who won the first house league Championship in 2007); and La Racaille. Their B-team, Les Sexpos, has been competing since 2008, virtually as long as the league has had a travel team, and has had continued success, including winning the 2015 B-Cup Challenge and finishing 9th in the 2015 Full Metal Bracket (which was essentially a WFTDA championship for B-teams).

While this is a model that is pretty standard in the sport, in Canada, no league has been able to use this structure to its advantage or replace talent at the top as consistently as Montreal Roller Derby has. From the very beginning, this consistency has been evident, and while over the past eight years they have tinkered with the model (creating more blend between the A and B-travel teams for example), they have held the course and the commitment to consistency has paid off in consistent results.

While their house league hosts the annual Beast of the Beast tournament and the Sexpos and Skids are two of the busiest travel teams in the country, given Montreal’s lack of proximity to other leagues of a similar calibre, the Smash Squad didn’t debut to the larger Canadian public until the summer of 2012. Montreal, by then, had clearly pulled ahead of the Canadian flat track pack, but there was one tournament where the league had yet to make a splash: the Fresh and the Furious.

Montreal's Fresh and Furious debut was a record-setting victory over Woodstock. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Montreal’s Fresh and Furious debut was a record-setting victory over Woodstock. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Spawned from 2008’s Virgin Suicides Brawl, a five-team tournament featuring new teams in established leagues that had been hosted by the GTA Rollergirls, the league resurrected the rookie-focused tournament in 2011 as a sixteen-team double elimination tournament played out in 20-minute games. Taking place over the course of one (long) day on two tracks, the tournament has become the launching point for virtually every skater in Quebec and Ontario. In 2012, Montreal’s Smash Squad entered their first Fresh tournament as virtual unknowns, and promptly opened with a then record-setting 127-10 victory over Woodstock and proceeded to destroy the competition from there, rolling all the way to the championship game.

In the thirty-minute final against Royal City’s Top Herloins, the Smash Squad were trailing for much of the first half of the game and were down 50-42 with thirteen minutes to go. With a power start and some momentum building, the Smash Squad decided to go with a lean, powerful—though sometimes erratic—jammer who seemed loaded with as-of-yet unrefined talent, but who had been inconsistent and had picked up a few penalties in this game already. She promptly powered through Royal City’s defensive wall and along with the help of some good offense, carved up the Guelph defense for a 19-point, game-changing jam. It would be the first of a game-deciding 44 points scored over the next ten-minutes of the game by a first-year jammer named Miracle Whips.

The Smash Squad would go on to dominate that final third of the game, cruising to a 122-61 win. While the team would feature other future stars of the league like Demanda Lashing and Saucisse, the tournament-clinching win had provided the derby community with the first glimpse of the game-changing potential of Miracle Whips, but mostly reminded the community that from the ground on up, Montreal Roller Derby was a step ahead.

4. Mending a Broken Heart

Montreal's home bench at Centre Pierre Charbonneau, site of a 2016 WFTDA Division 1 playoff tournament. (Photo by Sean Murphy)

Montreal’s home bench at Centre Pierre Charbonneau, site of a 2016 WFTDA Division 1 playoff tournament. (Photo by Sean Murphy)

It is probably safe to say that no one thought 2016 would be the year. At least, not by the time playoffs rolled around.

By September 2016, Montreal Roller Derby and fans of the New Skids on the Block had become accustomed to playoff heartbreak; so much so that you could say it had become like a yearly ritual:

  • 2010: Carolina 127 vs. Montreal 125. Although expectations were muted for 6th seeded Montreal in their debut at Eastern Regionals, they were expected to at least improve their ranking, but after leading Carolina for much of the game, they entered the final jam up by 3 only to receive a controversial jammer penalty and give up 5 points. It was a shocking loss considering Montreal had destroyed Carolina (in Carolina) 135-29 during the regular season.
  • 2011: London 137 vs. Montreal 135. The fifth-place game at the 2011 Eastern Regionals was an instant classic and one of the great games of the era. But yet again, a regular season win over London had expectations high for Montreal. After a close first half, Montreal had to overcome a 70-point deficit in the second, coming up just short after a furious comeback. It also just happened to be the first WFTDA playoff game between two non-US opponents.
  • 2012: London 191 vs. Montreal 122.This highly anticipated quarterfinal rematch between third seed Montreal and sixth seed London was won midway through the second half when Montreal failed to field a jammer resulting in a 35-0 London jam from which the Skids could not recover.
  • 2013: Ohio 212 vs. Montreal 149. The path to champs was laid out perfectly for second-seed Montreal, who were upset by sixth-seed Ohio in the semifinals after an inexplicably lacklustre performance. Despite an extraordinary game from legendary jammer Iron Wench (in her last playoff appearance), who jammed 22 out of 43 jams for a game-high 84 points (four other jammers on Montreal skated the other 21 jams), the team looked unprepared and unfocused. Poor clock management on the bench cut short a potential late comeback.
  • 2014: Charm City 143 vs. Montreal 142. This heartbreak came in the Division quarterfinals and it came after leading the game for all but one jam in the second half (and by as much as 31 points with 8 minutes to go). A penultimate 23-point jam from Charm City to take the lead stunned Montreal, who would go on to destroy the consolation bracket by an average differential of 142 points, leaving everyone to wonder “What if?”
  • 2015: Minnesota 162 vs. Montreal 134. 28 points was the difference between a Championship berth and heartbreak last year. The third place Division playoff game was another classic, featuring six lead changes in total. Montreal led by 1 at halftime and then again, 116-112, with 12 minutes to go but couldn’t hold off Minnesota in the waning moments.

Despite the oh-so-close loss to Minnesota in the 2015 Division playoffs, Montreal had to be feeling good about themselves after coming on strong at the end of what was expected to be a rebuilding year.

The Skids were pushed by Canadian teams like never before in 2015, and seemed to have lost their stranglehold on the Canadian flat track scene. In successive games in late April and early May, Toronto had come within 9 points of knocking off Montreal before Terminal City finally accomplished the feat at the Big O with a thrilling 182-177 win.

Terminal City’s win at the Big O tournament put an end to a streak of national dominance that Canada will probably ever see again. Although Terminal had defeated Montreal once before in a shortened, non-regulation game, beginning in July 2008, the Skids had been on a nearly eight year, seventeen-game winning streak against the top teams that Canada had to offer. During that time, Montreal defeated Hammer City (twice), Toronto (six times), Rideau Valley (twice), Tri-City (twice), Oil City, Calgary and Terminal City (also twice); essentially, the cream of the crop of Canadian flat track.

But despite the early season growing pains, by the end of the year, they had clearly distanced themselves from their national rivals and after the playoff success of 2015, hopes were much higher coming into the 2016 season.

And it started off with a bang.

Rideau Valley and Toronto were the first victims of Montreal this year, and despite 13-point and 9-point nail biters in their two most recent meetings, the Skids stomped a rebuilding Toronto team by 363 points in April. By June’s ECDX tournament, Montreal was sporting a 6-1 record with the sole loss coming to London.

Philly handled Montreal with surprising ease in a June showdown at ECDX (Photo by Joe Mac)

Philly handled Montreal with surprising ease in a June showdown at ECDX (Photo by Joe Mac)

However, word on the track heading into Philadelphia was that all was not right on the bench with the Skids, and although they were able—as expected—to handle Boston in their opening game, Montreal completely came apart against Philly in the ECDX closer. After a tight start to the game, Philly went on an early 56-4 run and barely looked back on their way to a surprisingly easy 256-139 victory. Although expectations had been high for a first-ever Montreal win over their rivals, the Skids lacked cohesion on the track, and at three separate times during the game were held scoreless for stretches of at least five jams. While they were lacking injured veterans Jes Bandit and KonichiWow, the team, to put it mildly, looked out of sorts.

After that weekend, behind-the-scenes tension led to a mid-season roster shakeup that saw core veteran skaters Scores Easy and national team member Demanda Lashing  (and up-and-comer Russian Cruelette) leave the team. By the time Montreal rolled into the Division playoffs, the Skids were a team thin on experience. First-year Skids Lau-Rider, Ptite Pouliche and Sneaky Devil all saw track time in playoff games, and as the team prepared to face off against Bay Area in the third-place game, they had just seven skaters on the roster who’d played in the third-place game only a year previous. Al K Traz, Cracker Jass, Why So Sirius and Ti-Coune, all in their first year as regulars on the all-star lineup, were suddenly thrust into major competitive roles in the pack in the biggest game of their league’s history.

While the jammer rotation had retained Miracle Whips and the French national-team skater Falcon Punch (both of whom played the derby of their lives in the tournament), it was bolstered by transfer TerminateHer (from Green Mountain) and the return of Honey Badger after a year skating with Tri-City in southern Ontario.

Bolstered by a raucous home-town crowd at the Centre Pierre-Charbonneau, The Skids got off to a ferocious start against Dallas in the quarterfinals, going on a 44-6 run over the opening 10 minutes of the game. Dallas would not get within 30 the rest of the way. That game was followed by a tough semi-final loss to London, setting up the must-win game against Bay Area.

Montreal's New Skids on the Block moments after clinching their spot at the 2016 WFTDA Championship tournament. (Photo by Sean Murphy)

Montreal’s New Skids on the Block moments after clinching their spot at the 2016 WFTDA Championship tournament. (Photo by Sean Murphy)

Although the roster lacked playoff experience overall, it was anchored by some core skaters who played their hearts out in the game. From double threat Mange Moi El Cul and long-time skater Chees Grater (literally one of the most experienced skaters in the Canadian game; she’d played in that inaugural Hammer City game in Burlington on 2006), to the late-season return of national-team member KonichiWOW, the veterans came to play when it mattered. Surgical Strike was a stalwart blocker, whose seemingly unflappable (and unmoveable) presence on the track acted as both a literal and figurative anchor. But given the situation and the stakes, perhaps the greatest performance came from the sole-remaining original New Skid, Jess Bandit.

After missing most of the season due to injury, not too much was expected of the decade-long member of Montreal Roller Derby and two-time member of the Team Canada, but when it mattered most, Bandit’s even-headed play and veteran poise kept the team in check. She was stunning in the final against B.A.D., elevating her game when it mattered most, reminding the Canadian crowd that she is one of the great blockers in our country’s history with the sport.

At the draw for the 2016 WFTDA Championships in Madison, Wisconsin, a few weeks after the emotional victory, the Skids ended up with arguably the most unfortunate first-round opponent in the tournament: Los Angeles’s surging Angel City Derby Girls. It will be a tough match up, but regardless of the outcome, after such a long, heartbreaking wait, it is one that will be savoured  by not only Montreal Roller Derby and the New Skids on the Block, but also the legions of fans in the Neon Army marching behind them.

Nerd Glasses

*Most of the historical elements in this profile are adapted from Eight-Wheeled Freedom: The Derby Nerd’s Short History of Flat Track Roller Derby. Now available in bookstores and online.

*Montreal is not the first Canadian team to play at the WFTDA Championship tournament. Read a similar profile of the Rideau Valley Vixens, chronicling their march to the 2014 Division 2 championship game here.