Area 705 Roller Derby

Fresher and Furiouser: the 2013 Fresh and Furious Tournament

Les Buches became the second consecutive team from Quebec to win the Fresh and Furious tournament. (Photo by Francis St-Onge from Les Buches Facebook page)

Les Buches became the second consecutive team from Quebec to win the Fresh and Furious tournament. (Photo by Francis St-Onge from Les Buches Facebook page)

For the second straight year, a team from Quebec swept in to win the Fresh and the Furious tournament. Last year, Montreal’s Smash Squad were the stars of the show, and this year, Les Bûches—a team made up of skaters primarily from Quebec but also from Montreal, Rimouski and Trois Riviere—were the dominant team in the tournament, leading virtually every game from start to finish and going undefeated. It was actually clear early on that this was going to be a three-team tournament, as ToRD’s D-VAS and Hammer City’s Fresh Meat joined Les Bûches in distancing themselves from the competition.

But this is a “freshies” tournament, which means that there were the requisite surprises as well with Fergus (aided by a few key skaters from Grey Bruce) providing the Cinderella-like moments early on before Orangeville’s surprising final four appearance forced everyone to take notice. All in all, it was the grueling, epic, single-day tournament that everyone has come to expect from this tournament, only the level of play continues to advance at an impressive, almost unbelievable rate, showing that the future of the sport in the region is bright indeed.

DOUBLE ELIMINATION ROUND

The Arena

Les Buches and Hammer City met in a key early matchup. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Les Buches and Hammer City met in a key early matchup. (Photo by Greg Russell)

In the arena, things got off to a tight start when Border City’s Windsor A-Salt took out Woodstock/GTA’s Debutante Warriors (there was a number of mixed-league teams in this tournament, most borne out of the necessity of having enough skaters to fit under the strict eligibility rules). Last year’s finalists, the Top Herloins out of Royal City were smacked around by the Renegade Derby Dames early and eventually eliminated by Windsor. Capital City—a league to watch this season—had a rough go of it as well, falling in two straight. While the top two teams in the pool—Les Bûches and Hammer City—battled early with Les Buches taking the tight 88-61 win, before Hammer City put in two dominant performances, culminating in a mind-boggling 198-13 win over Durham’s DRRDy Farmers, to advance.

Les Bûches, Hammer City, Alliston’s Renegade Derby Dames, and Windsor all advanced to the quarter finals from the main arena.

Despite only having seven skaters, Crow City (Chatham) put in a heroic performance, going 1-2 in the double elimination round (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Despite only having seven skaters, Crow City (Chatham) put in a heroic performance, going 1-2 in the double elimination round. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The Bubble

Aside from perennial contenders the D-VAS, the pool was wide open in the Bubble, allowing a few surprise teams to emerge. Fergus advanced straight through to the quarters with back-to-back victories over Queen’s Court (Buffalo) and the Smooth Operators (Peterborough’s 705 Roller Derby), becoming the only team in the first round to record multi 100+ point games in the process. After giving the D-VAS everything they could handle in the opener, Orangeville began its march to the final four with a tight victory over the Power Dames (made up mostly of Cornwall’s Seaway Roller Derby Girls) before eliminating 705 in a one-sided elimination game. The D-VAS advanced straight through with a 138-11 victory over a short-handed Crow City team (who easily won the spirit award for going 1-2 with only 7 skaters on their bench!). Finally, the NEOFights (a mixed team from Northern Ontario—a “fresh” version of the NORD team that recently finished second at the RDAC eastern championships) overcame an opening-game loss to knock off Queen’s Court and Crow City.

The D-VAS, Fergus Feims, Orangeville’s Pulp Affliction, and the NEOFights advanced to the quarterfinals from the Bubble.

An impressive and surprising run by Fergus was finally stopped by Hammer City in the quarterfinals. (Photo by Greg Russel)

An impressive and surprising run by Fergus was finally stopped by Hammer City in the quarterfinals. (Photo by Greg Russel)

QUARTER FINALS

After the double elimination round, the tournament shifted to a single-elimination knock out playoff. The NEOFights continued to round into form as the day went on (much like their big sisters counterparts did a few weeks before at RDACs) and gave Les Bûches all that they could handle in the quarters, but simply didn’t have the offense to penetrate Les Bûches increasingly stingy defense. Fergus’ shocking run finally came to an end against a very strong Hammer City team that managed a second-straight 100+ point game to advance. The D-VAS and Windsor continued a rivalry that has built in this tournament (they faced off twice last year, splitting the games) with the D-VAS providing too much depth for the Border City freshies, and Pulp Affliction extended its unlikely run by knocking off the favoured Renegade Derby Dames.

Orangeville turned some heads with a run to the final four, but were overwhelmed by Les Buches in the semis. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Orangeville turned some heads with a run to the final four, but were overwhelmed by Les Buches in the semis. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

FINAL FOUR

Orangeville’s exciting run came to an abrupt conclusion against Les Bûches, who dumped them 99-9 in the semi finals: It really was the point at which this mixed Quebec team truly came together. Nonetheless, it was an impressive, take-notice tournament for Orangeville who were lead by strong performances from Hall N Ass (who was actually a Tri-City fresh meat) and Starbust with the star and Kate Knevil and Red Hot Sonia in the pack to name a few. At a tournament of freshies, Pulp Affliction simply didn’t have a sophisticated enough offense to overcome Les Bûches increasingly stifling play.

The other semifinal was a contrast as Hammer City and the D-VAS renewed one of Canada’s oldest roller derby rivalries. Hammer City was every bit the equal to ToRD’s fresh team except for perhaps in depth (and discipline, as D-VAS power jams truly sealed the deal in this one). Led by a few astonishing fresh meat skaters in Jangerous (jammer) and Homewrecken Holly (pivot), Hammer City fell behind early and often on undisciplined play, and despite a valiant comeback in the end, simply ran out of time against Toronto, falling 77-61. It was the third-straight year that the D-VAS qualified for the final four, and their return to the final comes on the heels of last year’s third place performance.

The D-VAS advanced to their third straight final four and second championship in two years. (Photo by Greg Russell)

The D-VAS advanced to their third straight final four and second championship in two years. (Photo by Greg Russell)

By the final game—nearing twelve hours after the tournament commenced—the D-VAS were showing signs of strain, while Les Bûches were just rounding into top form. Les Bûches represent the first real boom in flat track roller derby in Quebec; despite the fact that they have one of the top leagues in the game in Montreal, the sport has been slow to take off in the province (there are about five women’s leagues in Quebec right now compared to around fifty in Ontario). But it has been a very good year for the leagues that do exist.

Roller Derby Quebec leads the second generation of roller derby in Quebec: their Rouge et Gore have had an impressive 2013 making the final eight at the Beast of the East before winning the Moncton Murder tournament. Three of those skaters, Nelson Mandale, Dina Myth and Vinny Neutron were key for Les Bûches this weekend (not to mention their leaguemate Dur a Queer who was dominant at times in the pack). Dey Moniak had a very strong tournament representing Rimouski, while a few Montreal Smash Squad skaters were key as well: Clara O’Key and Sugar Shane in the pack, while Gameboi was simply unstoppable with the star, while also performing exceptionally well in the pack.

Both finalists were loaded with individual talent, including Montreal's Clara O'Key (Buches pivot) and ToRD's Emraged (D-VAS pivot). (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Both finalists were loaded with individual talent, including Montreal’s Clara O’Key (Buches pivot) and ToRD’s Emraged (D-VAS pivot). (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Not that the D-VAS didn’t have their share of stars as well. Babushkill and Moose Knuckles were key in the opening victory against Pulp Affliction, while the trio of Full Deck, Emraged, and Android W.K. were difference makers all day. They all played multiple roles throughout the tournament, and the season of training with ToRD’s houseleague definitely showed as their track awareness and poise was evident.

But in the end, Les Bûches simply had too many weapons to contend with and overwhelmed a tiring D-VAS team late, pulling away for the convincing 122-45 victory and the Fresh and the Furious 2013 championship.

RESULTS

Double Elimination: Arena Windsor A-Salt 56 vs. Debutante Warriors 55Hammer City 61 vs. Les Bûches 88

Renegade Derby Dames 87 vs. Top Herloins 31

Cannon Dolls 40 vs. DRRDy Farmers 58

Windsor 16 vs. Les Bûches 118

Debutant Warriors (eliminated) 39 vs. Hammer City 83

Renegade Derby Dames 69 vs. DRRDy Farmers 30

Top Herloins 76 vs. Cannon Dolls 26 (eliminated)

Windsor 67 vs. Top Herloins 28 (eliminated)

DRRDy Farmers 13 (eliminated) vs. Hammer City 198

Double Elimination: BubbleNEOFights 52 vs. Area 705 66Queen’s Court 36 vs. Fergus Feims 113

Power Dames 38 vs. Crow City 43

Pulp Affliction 22 vs. D-VAS 52

Area 705 51 vs. Fergus 100

NEOFights 114 vs. Queen’s Court 34 (eliminated)

Crow City 11 vs. D-VAS 138

Power Dames 43 (eliminated) vs. Pulp Affliction 52

Area 705 26 (eliminated) vs. Pulp Affliction 96

Crow City 41 (eliminated) vs. NEOFights 85

Quarter Finals

Les Bûches 82 vs. NEOFights 33

Fergus Feims 64 vs. Hammer City 119

Renegade Derby Dames 53 vs. Pulp Affliction 56

D-VAS 58 vs. Windsor A-Salt 34

Semi Finals

Les Bûches 99 vs. Pulp Affliction 9

Hammer City 61 vs. D-VAS 77

Championship

Les Bûches 122 vs. D-VAS 45

Les Buches Logo

** The games were boutcast in HD by Layer9 through Canuck Derby TV. Check here for the complete archives.

The Fresh and the Furious 2013: A Viewer’s Guide

The Fresh and the Furious 2013The Fresh and the Furious 2013 is the fourth version of this event since the rebirth and rebranding of this tournament after the inaugural Virgin Suicides Brawl ushered in the second wave of Ontario roller derby. That tournament was held in 2008 and was won by the now defunct Death Row Dames out of Hammer City but featured teams that would go on to great heights including eventual Beast of the East winners Vicious Dishes and Slaughter Daughters. It is hosted annually by the GTA Rollergirls at Ted Reeve Arena in Toronto’s east end and is the premiere “prospects” event in the region (and the country for that matter). Each year it gives a glimpse of the future of roller derby in the region, while also providing an exciting and unpredictable tournament. This year, for the first time ever, the whole tournament will be boutcast on Canuck Derby TV.

The Fresh and Furious is a one day, sixteen team, double elimination tournament that follows the same tournament structure and format as Montreal’s annual Beast of the East. Having two tracks allows for the whole tournament to be played out over the course of a single, epic day. Although, since this year’s tournament will be boutcast, that means you have viewing choices to make. First, check the complete schedule here to see when and where the teams will be playing their first game in the double elimination round. Teams will start either in the Bubble or the Arena with a just a two-team crossover in the quarterfinals. After that, the final four will shift to the main arena for the semifinals and the finals.

THE ARENA

Absent since winning the Virgin Suicides Brawl, Hammer City returns.

Absent since winning the Virgin Suicides Brawl, Hammer City returns.

Game 1 (11:00 AM): Windsor A-Salt vs. Debutante Warriors

Since making an impressive debut at 2 Fresh 2 Furious in 2011, Windsor’s Border City (a WFTDA Apprentice league) has been on a quick upward swing, including advancing to the semi final last year. The Debutante Warriors are a mixed team featuring skaters from Woodstock Warriors and the host GTA Rollergirls.

Game 2 (11:40 AM): Hammer City Fresh Meat vs. Les Buches

Hammer City sends their first team to the tournament since their Death Row Dames won the Virgin Suicides Brawl in 2008. Back on the rise after a few years of rebuilding and restructuring, Hammer City should be a team to watch in the tournament. But Les Buches have rookie skaters from across Quebec’s slowly growing number of leagues, including Roller Derby Quebec and Roller Derby Rimouski, and Roller Derby 3R. After Montreal’s success last year, they should also be competitive.

Game 3 (12:20 PM): Renegade Derby Dames vs. Top Herloins

An interesting battle between two of the comparatively well established leagues in the tournament. Renegade Derby Dames have just gone through a bit of a league shake up, but have traditionally been strong, while Royal City’s Top Herloins made it all the way to the final in last year’s tournament.

Game 4 (1:00 PM): Cannon Dolls vs. DRRDy Farmers

This will be Durham Region’s third time at the Fresh and the Furious tournaments while Capital City returns after last year’s debut. Capital City has been on quite a roll lately, while Durham Region is also deep into their season, so this should be a great match up to end the first round in the arena.

A regular participant, Buffalo's Queen City remains the sole US participant.

A regular participant, Buffalo’s Queen City remains the sole US participant.

THE BUBBLE

Game 5 (11:00 AM): The NEOFights vs. Smooth Operators

Like the NORD team that recently came second at the RDAC Eastern Championships, the NEOFights contain representatives from multiple leagues in Northern Ontario (Gold City, Nickel City, Greater Sudbury, Cochrane, Temiskaming, Sault Roller Derby and Kirkland Lake). The Smooth Operators represent Area 705 Roller Derby, one of the leagues operating out of Peterborough.

Game 6 (11:40 AM): Queen’s Court vs. Fergus Feims

Queen City’s long relationship with leagues north of the border has continued even at the fresh meat level as they are a frequent participant in the tournament and have always done well (they lost in the quarter finals last year), and this year they will be taking on Fergus Roller Derby’s Fergus Feims. Fergus is part of what has been an unabated third wave of roller derby development in Ontario, and Eastern Canada as a whole, over the past two years and will be making their Fresh and Furious debut.

Game 7 (12:20 PM): The Power Dames vs. Crow City Roller Girls

The Power Dames represent Cornwall’s Seaway Roller Derby Girls, but this weekend, will have a roster filled out by skaters from By the Rapids Roller Derby and Northumberland Roller Girls. From Chatham-Kent, Crow City is another fresh league, but features former Tri-City skater Greta Garbage (who will be bench managing this weekend).

Game 8 (1:00 PM): Pulp Affliction vs. D-VAS

A few interesting connections to be made in this final first round game in the Bubble: Both coincidentally take their names from Quentin Tarantino references, but the roller derby ties run a little deeper. Orangeville’s Pulp Affliction will be bench managed by Bay Street Bruisers Bench Manager (who was also recently named to the bench staff for Team Canada) Flyin’ Bryan Killman and Bay Street Bruisers skater Rhage in a Cage (who also play’s for ToRD champs the Death Track Dolls). Both have regular ties to Orangeville, but also, for obvious reasons, to ToRD’s D-VAS as well (not the least of which is that Flyin’ Bryan has regularly bench managed the D-VAS over the past two seasons).

Read about last year's  Fresh and Furious: GTA Drift

Read about last year’s Fresh and Furious: GTA Drift

ELIMINATION GAMES

After the initial games, the teams will advance based on wins and losses: two straight wins will earn a team a bye directly into the single-elimination quarterfinals. While a team gets up to three chances to get the two necessary wins, back-to-back losses means elimination from the tournament.

For the 7:00 PM semi final, the Bubble boutcast will shut down as the final four will play out the tournament in the main arena.

An essential and important tournament for the development of new skaters in the region, the importance of the event continues to grow as the number of new leagues in Ontario (and now Quebec) continues to grow at an extraordinary rate.

The boutcast for both tracks will begin at 11:00 AM. The final four showdown begins at 7:00 PM.

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