Adam Swinbourne

Quad City Chaos 2013: Preview

The 2013 Quad City Chaos is the 4th edition of the tournament.

The 2013 Quad City Chaos is the 4th edition of the tournament.

It’s the end of March, which means it’s time for Toronto Roller Derby’s Quad City Chaos. For the first time in the tournament’s brief history, the fourth edition of the annual invitational will be a completely WFTDA sanctioned tournament—the first of its kind in Canada. While WFTDA teams have always been a part of the tournament (Hammer City and Montreal were both full WFTDA members at the first QCC in 2010, and last year three of the four teams were), the fact that this is a fully sanctioned tournament raises the profile of the event and makes it a more appealing destination. With four excellent teams at the top of their games, this year’s tournament should be the most competitive and exciting yet. Add to that the inclusion of ToRD’s second travel team, the Bay Street Bruisers, hosting two games of their own, and the tournament has an even greater depth of competition.

THE TOURNAMENT

The QCC is a two day, round robin tournament that was topped by host CN Power in 2012 (the hosts have a 7-2 lifetime record in the tournament), but was dominated by Montreal in the first two years, when the New Skids on the Block compiled a 6-0 record while outscoring the opposition a staggering 1455-222. Those first two years, coming as they did after flat track roller derby’s “Great Leap Forward” in 2009, proved important sharing grounds for Canada’s top travel teams. In 2010, Vancouver’s Terminal City All Stars finished last in the tournament (0-3), but used the event as a taking off point to become the dominant WFTDA Division One team they are now. Both the Tri-City Thunder (2011, 2012) and Hammer City Eh! Team (2010, 2012) have taken part in two tournaments, with the Thunder holding a 3-3 record and the Eh! Team sitting at 1-5.  Finally, Ottawa’s Rideau Valley Vixens (returning this year), have taken part in the last two tournaments. In 2011, they were in tough going 0-3, before going 1-2 last year including a thrilling, competitive loss against the Tri-City Thunder.

THE TEAMS

CN Power's Betty Bomber. Art work by Quick Draw (Adam Swinbourne)

CN Power’s Betty Bomber. Artwork by Quick Draw (Adam Swinbourne)

CN Power (WFTDA Rank: 49th)

The host CN Power have used this tournament as a spring board for their season since the inaugural event in 2010. Last year, the team went 9-2 in sanctioned play including 7-0 in tournament games (at QCC, ECDX and Brew Haha). With CN Power skaters pulled from home teams in 2013 and focusing exclusively on WFTDA play, expectations are higher than ever.

This season, CN Power is already off to a hot start, going 2-1 with one-sided wins over Fort Wayne and Killamazoo, and a well-fought loss to one of the top teams in the game, Naptown. CN Power has lost only to Montreal in the QCC, and this year, based on recent results, they enter as clear favourites in their games against Queen City (they’ve beaten them two in a row) and Rideau Valley (they have never lost to the Vixens); they are in tough against Ohio, the second highest ranked team to ever play in the tournament and a team that beat them by 100 points in their only meeting last year.

The Vixens' Hanna Murphy (formerly known as Semi Precious). Art work by Quick Draw (Adam Swinbourne)

The Vixens’ Hanna Murphy (formerly known as Semi Precious). Artwork by Quick Draw (Adam Swinbourne)

The Rideau Valley Vixens  (WFTDA Rank: 71st)

After competing in last year’s tournament as a WFTDA apprentice league, they burst onto the WFTDA scene in 2012. Going 7-6 overall and 4-2 in WFTDA sanctioned play, it was easily the busiest season for the Vixens and has undoubtedly brought them to another level in their play. Stacked with a formidable front line led by Team Canada skaters Hanna Murphy (formerly known as Semi Precious) in the pack and Soul Rekker on the jam line, they are backed up in the pack by 2012 breakout blocker Margaret Choke and veterans Sister Disaster and Da Big Block. But there is a rising crop of talent on the team as well. Potential triple threat Pix E. Cutz is a force, while Keuhl (AKA: Mudblood) Brennan (Eh Nihilator) and Rudolph (Frostbite Me) all emerged last year as key components of the team. This year keep an eye on newcomers The Warden (an emerging jammer with house league team, Riot Squad) and Eastern Block’her who skated last season with Capital City, a team that earned a solid reputation despite a last-place finish at last year’s RDAC Eastern Regionals.

The Vixens are 0-1 so far this year, kicking things off with a loss to Queen City. This weekend could be a challenge for the Vixens. They’ve split their only two games with the Furies, have never defeated CN Power, and Ohio will be the highest ranked WFTDA team they have faced since playing Montreal at QCC 2011. Nonetheless, the Vixens may have the least to lose and, therefore, the least amount of pressure.

The Lake Effect Furies (Queen City) (WFTDA Rank: 68th)

LiBRAWLian of the Lake Effect Furies. Artwork by Quick Draw (AKA: Adam Swinbourne)

LiBRAWLian of the Lake Effect Furies. Artwork by Quick Draw (AKA: Adam Swinbourne)

Queen City had an inconsistent 2012, going 8-8 overall and 7-8 in sanctioned play, but lost ground against opponents such as Toronto and Tri-City. Their inconsistency is best seen, perhaps, in their performances against the Vixens which included an 89-point loss at the end of last summer, compared to a 90-point victory to kick off this year: making their meeting this weekend a tie breaker of sorts, but also an interesting measure of which (if either) of those previous results is correct.

The Furies have a depth of talent on the bench. Offensively, Addy Rawl, who was a Team USA alternate at the World Cup and has continued to skate with the American National program, leads the attack. Furies rookie LiBRAWLian is a jammer to watch after an incredible breakout house league season in 2012. CU~T, Ivana LeiHerOut, Head Mistress, and Day TripHer supply veteran leadership in the packs. Melania Kosonovich returnd to Queen City this season after time away that included skating a season in Los Angeles.

The Furies are 2-0 so far in 2013 on strong victories over Rideau Valley and Black-N-Bluegrass, and look to continue that strong start against the stiff competition at QCC. They’ve lost two in a row against CN Power and have never faced Ohio.

Ohio's Phoenix Bunz. Artwork by Quick Draw (AKA: Adam Swinbourne)

Ohio’s Phoenix Bunz. Artwork by Quick Draw (AKA: Adam Swinbourne)

Ohio Roller Girls All Stars (WFTDA Rank: 23rd)

The Ohio Roller Girls may be the hardest working team in the WFTDA. In 2012, they went a remarkable 20-2 before going 1-2 in the North Central playoffs, being eliminated by Naptown: No one in 2012, played more sanctioned games than the skaters from Columbus.

An original WFTDA member, Ohio earned a massive, well-deserved reputation last season gaining big victories over Madison, Brew City and Arch Rival to name a few, and went 2-0 on their first Canadian roadtrip (burning through southern Ontario in May of last year). Led by the incredible, multi-talented triple threat Pheonix Bunz (2012 North Central blocker MVP), the offense will also be paced by a solid jammer rotation of The Smacktivist, Kitty Liquorbottom and Hellionboi, all supremely talented and boasting lots of big-game experience. But there is considerable depth in the pack as well. Led by veteran blocker Amy Spears, the packs also boasts hard-hitting Bratislava Bruiser and positional maven Loraine Acid.

Ohio is already off to a fast start in 2013, boasting a 2-0 record after wins over Bleeding Heartland and Burning River. They enter the QCC as clear favourites. While they’ve only ever faced CN Power, they are (and have consistently been) ranked much higher than their three QCC opponents.

Bellefast of the Bay Street Bruisers. Artwork by Quick Draw (AKA: Adam Swinbourne)

Bellefast of the Bay Street Bruisers. Artwork by Quick Draw (AKA: Adam Swinbourne)

B-TEAM SHOWDOWN

For the first time ever, the Quad City Chaos will also feature B-Team matchups.

First off, ToRD’s Bay Street Bruisers will take on Queen City’s Devil Dollies on Saturday. The Dollies, one of Queen City’s house league teams, has a long history in Canada, being one of only two US teams to play in the Beast of the East; they did so in 2008. The Bruisers then take on Ohio’s Gang Green on Sunday. This second showdown will be a rematch of the first ever Bruisers game last May, when the Ohio B-Team defeated the Toronto B-Team 173-109. It was the Bruisers only loss since being resurrected in 2012, and they will be out for revenge on Sunday.

All Games will be streamed live on Canuck Derby TV.

SCHEDULE:

Saturday, March 23rd

10:00 AM: lake effect furies logoLake Effect Furies (QCRG) vs. Vixens LogoRideau Valley Vixens

12:00 PM: CN Power LogoCN Power (ToRD) vs.Ohio logo Ohio Roller Girls

2:00 PM: Bay Street Bruisers LogoBay Street Bruisers (ToRD) vs. devil-dollies-logoDevil Dollies (QCRG)

5:00 PMOhio logo Ohio Roller Girls vs. Vixens LogoRideau Valley Vixens

7:00 PMCN Power LogoCN Power vs. lake effect furies logoLake Effect Furies

Sunday March 24th

11:00 AMBay Street Bruisers LogoBay Street Bruisers vs. Gang_Green_Logo_GreenGang Green (Ohio B)

1:00 PMOhio logo Ohio Roller Girls vs. lake effect furies logoLake Effect Furies

3:00 PMCN Power LogoCN Power vs. Vixens LogoRideau Valley Vixens

2012 Quad City Chaos Preview: Part Two (The Teams)

Toronto Roller Derby’s third annual Quad City Chaos will play out at the Bunker in Downsview Park this weekend. This four-team invitational will feature the top teams in Ontario with CN Power, Tri-City Thunder, Rideau Valley Vixens and Hammer City Eh! Team facing off in a two-day round-robin tournament.

CN Power's Nasher the Smasher by Adam Swinbourne.

THE HOST

CN Power has fared well in the first two installments of the Quad City Chaos finishing in second place both times. They enter this year’s Quad City Chaos on a roll dating back to the end of last season. Although the team split its final road trip of 2011, the loss came to Indianapolis’s Naptown Roller Girls, one of the top teams in the game, and the value of the experience gained was immediate as they crushed Louisville’s Derby City Rollergirls on the same trip. Things have looked good so far in 2012, as CN Power has recorded big wins over Fort Wayne and Roc City (Rochester, NY). Part of the reason for the sudden surge in power has a lot to do with the increasing depth of the Toronto Roller Derby League and the ever-deepening pool from which to draw. Led by CN Power veterans Brim Stone, Tara Part, Nasher the Smasher and Lady Gagya, skaters like Panty Hoser and Aston Martini have stepped up in a big way recently to provide the depth that the team needs for success. Dyna Hurtcha, Betty Bomber and BruiseBerry Pie provide the team with versatile skaters who are capable of playing any position, and the offense remains firmly anchored by the impressive rotation of Bambi, Candy Crossbones and Defecaitlin (Rebel Rock-It has also been somewhat of a revelation since she joined the rotation as well). This weekend could provide a big coming out party for returning skater Mia Culprit, while one of ToRD’s breakout 2011 skaters Marmighty will be making her debut.

CN Power kicks things off against the Vixens on Saturday morning (12:00 PM), a team that they have controlled well in their previous three meetings over the past two seasons. While they will face a far different (and more experienced) Eh! Team roster to deal with on Sunday (4:00 PM) than they did in the fall, the stiffest test for the hosts will come from their WFTDA North Central rivals the Tri-City Thunder on Saturday night (7:00 PM). These teams have split their previous two meetings, although they have not met since last year’s Quad City Chaos.

CN Power Roster: Aston Martini 510hp, Bambi 33, Betty Bomber 23, Brim Stone (C) 21:8, BruiseBerry Pie 31, Candy Crossbones 2020, Defecaitlin 2, Dyna Hurtcha 21, Lady Gag Ya (C) 212db, Marmighty 41, Mega Mouth 26, Mia Culprit 22, Nasher the Smasher 2×4 Panty Hoser 99, Rebel Rock-it 7, Santa Muerte 111, Tara Part L7.

Thunder's Anita Martini by Adam Swinbourne

THE CHALLENGE

The Tri-City Thunder return to the QCC for the second year in a row. Last year, a 14-point loss in the final game of the tournament to CN Power was all that kept them from a second place finish. Currently ranked 16th in the WFTDA’s North Central Region (one spot above CN Power), the team has lost some key players from last year’s impressive WFTDA season, but have filled those roles with skaters from their increasingly deep system. Former fresh meat team the TKOs has seen Fox Smoulder, Rain Blows Brite and Low Blow Lois all graduate to the travel team, but vets like Sofanda Beatin’ and Konky also have been brought in to fill gaps and provide depth. But this team is still anchored by a solid, impressive core of vets. sin-e-star, Bareleigh Legal and Anita Martini are workhorses in the pack and are smart, solid positional blockers. Relentless jammer Motorhead Molly also remains the core of the team’s offense, while Leigh-zzie Borden had a breakout 2011 that saw her become a key component to this team (actually at last year’s Quad City Chaos, Leigh-zzie emerged as a key piece of the jammer rotation).

The Thunder has never faced the Eh! Team in official bouting action but defeated the Vixens last year at the QCC (109-84), and while they will look to have dominant performances against them both at this tournament, their eyes have to be clearly set on CN Power. At the end of 2010, the Thunder handled CN Power in a shocking, one-sided 72 point victory that inadvertently sent CN Power on the path that they are on today. Last year when they faced off, the teams were literally neck-and-neck. While the Thunder is currently ranked above CN Power in the WFTDA, a look at their last two shared opponents may actually give the host team the edge. CN Power easily handled Roc City in their home debut, while the Thunder struggled at times against the Roc Stars before pulling away in the end. Previously, the Thunder lost to Queen City’s Lake Effect Furies, while CN Power narrowly defeated the Furies. Nonetheless, both teams have gained immeasurable experience over the past year, and this showdown has all the makings of a classic.

Thunder Roster: Evil Liza 0, Low Blow Lois 8, Anita Martini 9, Ova’Kill 11, Rain Blows Brite 13, Cleothrashya 15, Bareleigh Legal 18, Lippy Wrongstockings 19, Freudian Whip 22, Suzy Slam 33, Leigh-zzie Borden 40, Stacie Jones 101, Motorhead Molly 204, sin-e-star 306, Sofanda Beatin’ 420, Wanda Wreckya 502, Fox Smoulder 1013, Konky 2000, Preying Man Tease 6T9.

Eh! Team's Bitchslap Barbie by Adam Swinbourne

THE RETURN

The Hammer City Eh! Team returns to Quad City Chaos, looking to return to the form that saw them pick up third place at that first tournament, defeating Terminal City on the final bout of the weekend. Much has changed in the two years since that first Quad City Chaos, and the Hammer City Eh! Team went through a bit of a rebuild that has seen them through to this season. After losing to Montreal that weekend by 182 points, the Eh! Team has lost13 WFTDA bouts in a row. Only five skaters remain on the roster from that group, and that includes Mean Little Mama and Judge Jodie who actually skated for the Hamilton Harlots last season (the other returning skaters are Bitchslap Barbie, Little Red Rollerhood and Miss Carriage). Lorazeslam, ZoeDisco, and Bam Bam Bigelow all picked up valuable experience playing for the Eh! Team last season, while Whacks Poetic, Dark Passion Play and Scooby Doom were key pieces of the Harlots.

While the Eh! Team will be in tough against the Thunder and CN Power (CN Power beat a short-handed Eh! Team 277-22 in October, a game that saw Zoe Disco, Whacks Poetic and Oh! Henry gain valuable experience), they could challenge the Rideau Valley Vixens (who have had a similar, though not quite as deep, roster turnover as the Eh! Team previously went through). The Eh! Team has that experienced core of the on-track leaders Barbie and Miss Carriage, the fearless, hard hitting Mean Little Mama and the feisty Judge Jodie (not to mention the speedy JJ Bladez who began her career in Toronto in 2007 with the D-VAS) that has seen it all in this sport and should bring a quiet confidence to the track.

Eh! Team Roster: Mean Little Mama 0, JJ Bladez 5, Little Red Rollerhood 7, Dark Passion Play 11, Bam Bam Bigelow 26, Miss Carriage 45, Judge Jodie 67, Whacks Poetic 86, Lorazeslam 88, Bitchslap Barbie 98, Skarla 100, Lucky Lady Pearl 333, Marmageddon 412, Bean Stalker 511, Peppermental 613, Wild Rice 795, ZoeDisco 911, Oh!Henry 5150, Daisy Dynamite AK47, Scooby Doom K9

The Vixen's Dee Dee Tee by Adam Swinbourne

THE APPRENTICE

The Rideau Valley Vixens are on the verge of completely their WFTDA Apprenticeship and commencing play in the competitive WFDTA. Since forming for the 2010 season, the Vixens saw two years of steady growth that saw them travel through the North Eastern United States in search of challenges. At the same time, they continued to develop their two home teams, the Riot Squad and the Slaughter Daughters (who won the 2011 Beast of the East). The depth of their league will certainly be tested this year as big losses of key players on the roster will need to be  filled. From the roster that competed hard at last year’s Quad City Chaos, key pack pieces Slavic Slayer, Surgical Strike and Assassinista have transferred to Montreal, while Ripper A. Part (who had a break out tournament in 2010) and Sister Disaster (a key piece in the pack) will not be with the team either. While they retain a strong core led by Semi Precious and Da Big Block in the pack and Dee Dee Tee and Soul Rekker on the jam line, they’ll need fresh faces like Mudblood, Pretty Pants, Chakra Rocker and Pix E. Cutz to step it up if they hope to remain at the competitive level they’d reached.

Although the Vixens had an excellent showing against the Thunder at last year’s QCC, they may be in tough to replicate that feat. Also, against CN Power, the Vixens actually took a step back in their last bout: after a hard-fought 116 point loss at last year’s QCC, they fell back to lose by 130 points this past fall. They will need big performances from veterans and rookies alike to stop the slide. One game to keep an eye on is the Eh! Team matchup (Saturday, 5:00 PM). Both teams have comparatively inexperienced teams built around solid veteran cores and both will be hungry for a victory, it could be an opportunity for the Vixens to pick up a big victory over a WFTDA team to give them some momentum for 2012.

Vixens Roster: Drunky Brewster 3, Pix E. Cutz 9, Chakra Rocker 11, Blackout Susan 13, Margaret Choke 26, Frostbite Me 40, Eh-Nihilator 49, Soul Rekker 55, Pretty Pants 69, Dee Dee Tee 74, Screaming Meanie Massacre 77, Tarantulove 130, Mudblood 278, Da Big Block 454, Semi Precious 10 KT

*Tickets are available online or at a number of Toronto Retailers.

**Tune in to Canuck Derby TV for live streaming of all the sanctioned action.

***Read Part One for complete schedule and a bit of tournament history.