Battle for the Boot 2011

Ahoy! Ahoy! Chicks Build Early Lead and Hold On For Win Over Gores

The three-time champion Gores and two-time champion Chicks kicked off ToRD's 2012 season. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

Kicking off its sixth season in front of a sold out crowd at The Bunker (the first Toronto Roller Derby league game held in the venue), ToRD’s 2012 regular season rematch between last year’s championship finalists did not disappoint. The Chicks Ahoy! and Gore-Gore Rollergirls looked in mid-season form in an exceptional display of high level flat track roller derby that saw the champs build an early lead and hold on against a resurgent Gores who, of course, refused to give up. Although penalty troubles would end up being the difference, tight, fast packs, slick jamming and excellent on-track communication would highlight this 13 point victory by the defending champion Chicks Ahoy!.

Exposive jamming by Bambi had the Gores jump out to an early lead. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

Although it’s been nearly six months since last season ended, both of these teams are stacked with travel team skaters (fourteen members of CN Power alone would play in this bout) who have been skating (and bouting) steadily since the end of last season, so some of the rust you might expect to see in regular season opener was not evident. The opening jam featured an all star lineup with Brim Stone (Gores) and Nasher the Smasher pivoting their team’s top lines. CN Power teammates Dyna Hurtcha (Chicks) and Dust Bunny lined up with the stars. Some nice blocking early (including a big Mega Bouche hit on Brim), had the Chicks jump out to a 5-0 lead. The Gores responded quickly; with 2011 JQ ratings leader Bambi facing off against 2011 rookie of the year Kookie Doe. A fast, tight Gores pack recycled Kookie while Lady Gagya provided some excellent offensive help in springing Bambi for a massive pick up and a 16-5 Gores’ lead. The score would hold up five minutes in with Dust Bunny and Dyna Hurtcha battling to a stalemate despite physical jamming from Dyna (who absorbed blows to fight through packs) and quick juking from Dust Bunny.

The Gores' Santa Muerte and Chicks' Bala Reina rounded out their teams' jammer rotations. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Only 24 hours before, Chicks Ahoy! learned that jammer Candy Crossbones was out due to injury, which meant that second-year skater Bala Reina was slotted into the jammer rotation. This worked out well for the Gores who were also looking to develop their own jammer rotation and had third year skater Santa Muerte in place. This provided an intriguing matchup in the early going, and both skaters impressed in the busiest games (jamming) of their careers. In the first part of the half, the Gores had control of the bout, and big hitting from veteran Foxy Sinatra (who tangled with Tara Part early on), great blocking from Chronic (who was calm and controlled on second passes all night), and Aston Martini stepping up to neutralize Mega Bouche had the Gores clearly in the driver’s seat, up 23-7 ten minutes in. But with a lineup peppered with rookies (due to the Candy injury, the Chicks had all three of their rookies dressed—Roadside BombShel, Doris Doomsday and Biggley Smallz), it took some time for the Chicks to settle into this bout. But if any jam could be said to be a turning point, it happened about half way through the first half.

The deep Chicks' packs were the difference early on as the defending champs built a lead. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

Down 16 and unable to muster much offense, Tara Part orchestrated a nice first pass that completely caught the Gores off guard, and with both she and Marmighty hammering away on Dust Bunny, Bala Reina was able to score 4 quick points. Two jams later, relentless pressure from Nasher the Smasher earned the Chicks a power jam, ably skated by Kookie who managed 20 points and gave the Chicks their first lead of the bout, 33-28, a lead they increased steadily in the final ten minutes of the half as the Gores slipped into some penalty troubles. With about two minutes remaining, Dyna Hurtcha blew the bout wide open on another power jam. Chicks led 79-32 at the half.

Chicks' rookies Doris Doomsday and Roadside BombShel showed no fear in taking on one of ToRD's greatest jammers. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The penalty problems continued into the second half, eventually affecting both teams. Santa and Kookie traded jammer penalties early on as both teams struggled to keep control of the bout. While tight walls and well-executed traps had the Chicks seemingly dominating the packs (they looked to be targeting Brim Stone to isolate), they failed to increase their lead, and ten minutes in held the 40 point gap, 95-54. Continuing to trade penalties, the increasingly undisciplined nature of the bout was playing to the Chicks advantage and they did well to limit damage on a Bambi power jam mid way through before she ran into some penalty troubles herself, penalties that allowed the Chicks to continue to maintain the gap. But despite their strong play (including an increasingly improved rookie performance from Roadside BombShel), they couldn’t shake the Gores, and tightened packs (including great pairs work by Molly Boom and Chronic, and then Foxy Sinatra and Brim Stone), and an unrelenting focus kept the Gores within reach. Although down 128-89 with ten minutes left, the crowd in the Bunker buzzed with the awareness of a subtle shift in momentum.

Chicks' jammer Kookie Doe pressured the Gores long enough to secure the victory in the final jam. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

Dust Bunny picked up a quick five points to bring the Gores within reach of the century mark. Then, in a key moment, a controversial call on a direction of game play hit by Mega Bouche led to a gross misconduct and expulsion of the popular blocker and the Gores jumped at the opportunity. Following great blocking from Hurlin Wall (who delivered a key late jammer take out on Dyna Hurtcha), Bambi slipped through to bring the Gores over the century mark. Dust Bunny and Bambi both continued to ring up points, slowly chipping away at the lead until they found themselves within 20 for the first time since the first half with only one jam to go. Dust Bunny and  Kookie Doe lined up for the final jam behind two packs featuring some of the best skaters in ToRD; it started off perfectly for the Gores, with Dust Bunny gaining lead and pulling in a natural grand slam to make it 137-120, but before she could get through on her second pass, Kookie Doe fought through the pack. Continuously recycled, she was unable to score and Dust Bunny managed another 4; but with Kookie set to eventually pick up points of her own, the Gores simply ran out of time, allowing the defending champs to hold on to the lead and win the opening bout of the 2012 season, 137-124.

The 137-124 win was the Chicks' first ever regular season victory over the Gores. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

While it was a great victory for Chicks Ahoy!, the Gore-Gore Rollergirls should come away pleased with their performance (they did not look like the overwhelmed team they appeared to be in the Battle for the Boot). Nonetheless, counting an off-season exhibition loss in Tri-City, The Gores have now lost three games in a row for the first time ever. With an excellent core of skaters, the Gores do have the time and opportunity to build from within, which is what they began to do tonight with the likes of Emma Dilemma and Santa Meurte getting key minutes. The Chicks had to be happy to have had the opportunity to play all of their rookies and feature a new jammer in Bala Reina. Despite trailing off a bit at the end of the game, it was a nearly perfect start to the season for the defending champions.

***Next up for ToRD is another double header on March 3rd when the Death Track Dolls and the Smoke City Betties kick off their 2012 season. Make sure to be their early though, as the opening bout will feature CN Power hosting the Roc City Roc Stars from Rochester, New York, in a WFTDA sanctioned match up. Tickets are on sale now!***

2012 Season Preview: Gore-Gore Rollergirls

Gore-Gore Rollergirls

Wins Losses +/- Notes
2011 Regular Season 3 0 +184 Won 10, 11 and 12th straight ToRD bouts.
2011 Playoffs 0 1 – 65 First loss since 2008 championship


The Gore-Gore Rollergirls were the model franchise of ToRD’s first half decade.  In the first five seasons they appeared in every championship game and compiled an impressive 17-3 overall record (13-1 regular season, 4-2 playoffs) that included a 12 bout ToRD winning streak that stretched from 2009 to last season’s Battle for the Boot. As last season began, there was little indication that this would change. They stormed out of the gates in 2011 defeating the Death Track Dolls to kick off the season (the Dolls, by the way, are the only team to ever defeat the Gores in a regular season game). They would continue their winning streak, posting their third straight undefeated regular season, but they would also have success outside of ToRD as well.

The Gores have been the most succesful team in ToRD's early history. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

Entering the Beast of the East as slight favourites, they lost in the early going in a final-jam nail-biter (to the Vicious Dishes), but persevered to book their ticket to the final where for the second time in the tournament they fell in dramatic fashion to some final-jam heroics (this time to RVRG‘s Slaughter Daughters). Nonetheless, it was their first appearance in the tournament final and topped a successful Beast for ToRD teams (who finished second, third and fourth).

But in the Battle for the Boot they were brushed aside by a Chicks Ahoy! team that had been on the rise all year, and exposed some possible depth issues with the Gores. Never able to fully replace Lunchbox, the Gores relied too much on a two-jammer rotation, and their once dominant pack did not have the bench depth to compete against the Chicks. The margin of defeat, 111-46, was the greatest the team had ever suffered in ToRD play.

hellbat showed no fear of jamming in her time with the D-VAS. (Photo by Sean Murphy)


There isn’t much change to the Gores’ roster in 2012. Motley Cruella and Lulu Cthulu (a promising rookie in 2011) are gone from the lineup, but to this day, it is obvious that the Gores are still feeling the 2010 retirement of jamming great, Lunchbox. Despite attempts last year to incorporate Brim Stone into the jammer rotation, her value in the pack was simply too great to give her a regular spot. But the answer may have finally come in the Gores’ sole draft pick this year, hellbat. A two-season D-VAS veteran, hellbat seems custom made for the Gores. A confident swagger, a fearless attitude, and perhaps more importantly, a hunger for the star make her the ideal Gores draft choice.

But with very little change in the roster, it will be of vital importance to develop from within, and some second and third year skaters will have to be called upon to step up their games if the Gores hope to compete for the Boot once again this season.

The Gores generally rely on veterans like Molly Boom to pivot. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)


His Unholiness the Reverend Ramirez returns for an unprecedented sixth season behind the Gores bench and his calculating calmness has become an essential element of the Gores bench. With so little change in the lineup he’s got a veteran crew to work with.

Pivot:  Last year Molly Boom was the dominant pivot for the Gores, with veterans Brim Stone, Lady Gagya, Kandy Barr and Foxy Sinatra rounding out an experienced core. Another long-time Gore Junkie Jenny has also been known to don the stripe, and don’t be surprised to see some second and third year skaters (like Chronic, for example) get some opportunities to lead the pack.

Blocker: Over the past two seasons the pack has revolved around a core group of Hurlin’ Wall, Aston Martini, Santa Muerta, Chronic and Gamma Rei. With no new additions to the pack, there will be a great opportunity for third year skater Miss Kitty La Peur (who spent most of last year on injury reserve) and second year skaters Emma Dilemma, Mace O’Kissed, Wheely Nasty and Draculaura (formerly known as Pinky Violence) to step into more crucial roles in the pack.

Bambi has recorded the highest JQ rating in 4 of ToRD's first 5 seasons. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

Jammer: In Bambi and Dust Bunny, the Gores have two of the most dominant jammers in ToRD’s early history (Bambi has recorded the highest JQ rating in four of the league’s five seasons, with Dust Bunny in 2007 the only skater to ever rate higher). But after that, it trails off. 2011 Triple Threat Brim Stone is more than capable, but will undoubtedly be needed in the pack; Santa Muerte could be called upon to take up some of the slack while rookie hellbat evolves into a regular role on the rotation as the season progresses.


Dust Bunny and Gamma Rei after a 2011 regular season win over the Chicks Ahoy! (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

The Gores will need to develop from within to compete with the Chicks’ this season. Arguably, they have an advantage in that they retained most of their roster from last season, but as it stands, still look incapable of competing with the Chicks over the long term. While they will be pushed by the Death Track Dolls (and maybe even the Smoke City Betties, who surprised them them in last year’s season finale), they have the offensive depth (fantastic jammer-blocker communication and comfort) to be competitive. Look for the Gores to start slow and build as the season wears on and some gaps are slowly filled by developing skaters. When the playoffs roll around, don’t be surprised to see the Gores in their sixth straight Battle for the Boot.


  • Scoring was down 136 points over previous season.
  • 2010 rookie of the year Hurlin’ Wall led the team in +/- with a +115. Dust Bunny’s +108 was tops among jammers in the entire league.
  • Santa Muerta led the team in blocks (41) and tied Hurlin’ Wall in knockdowns (5). Hurlin registered 39 blocks herself. Molly Boom, Brim Stone, Lady Gag-ya and Aston Martini all registered over 20 blocks.
  • Bambi was the highest rated jammer in the league for the 4th season in a row with a 41 JQ rating; she led the league in scoring (147 points) and points per jam (3.5). Dust Bunny led the team with a 72% lead percentage and scored 128 points.
  • The Gores were built around a core of blockers led by Molly Boom who skated 55% of her team’s jams. Hurlin Wall (46%), Brim Stone and Lady Gag-ya (45% each), and Aston Martini (44%) were close behind. Molly Boom found herself in the penalty box more than any other as well, registering 5 minutes in penalties. Bambi and Santa Muerte sat for 4 minutes each.

***The Chicks and Gores meet in the 2012 season opener at The Bunker in Downsview Park. Tickets are on sale now! The Bout will also feature a showdown between this year’s D-VAS in a D-VAS Black vs. D-Vas Red bout. Doors for this double header open at 5:00 PM.

Chicks Overwhelm Gores to take the 2011 ToRD Championship

The Chicks Ahoy! won their second ToRD championship and first since 2008.(Photo by Greg Russell)

Gore-Gore Rollergirls 46 vs. Chicks Ahoy! 111

After twelve consecutive victories spanning two years and back-to-back championships, the Gore-Gore Rollergirls fell in dramatic fashion at the 2011 Battle for the Boot against a determined Chicks Ahoy! team that put together one of the marquee performances in the team’s history on the way to a convincing 65 point victory and their first ToRD championship since 2008 (and second overall). For the remaining Chicks from that team, this win was an emotional return to the top, for the majority, however, this was their first taste of ultimate victory; but for all, it was a fitting bit of revenge, and a surprising turnaround from last year’s final when the Gores won the boot in a similar fashion.

The Chicks didn't change much from their dominant semifinal win, including the jammer rotation (Dyna Hurtcha with the star). (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

Expectations for a fast-paced, tight bout were met early on as each team jockeyed for position from the opening whistle. Aside from a few small roster changes (veteran Dolly Destructo and rookie Red Light Roxy replaced Snapp’n Cooter and Bala Reina), the Chicks didn’t change anything from the semifinal bout against the Death Track Dolls. They kept together similar lines and blocker pairs in the pack, while sticking with the Candy Crossbones-Dyna Hurtcha-Kookie Doe jammer rotation that had served them so well all season long. The Gores, on the other hand, were coming into this one off of a long competitive layoff (after wrapping up first place and earning a bye directly to the final) and it showed in the first half. Narrowing down their jammer rotation to Bambi and Dust Bunny, the two star jammers were taking a beating from the Chicks blockers (Marmighty and Mega Bouche once again were a force at the back of the pack) and pivot Brim Stone was eventually thrown into the mix to see if she could have any success against the Chicks’ packs.

The Chicks asserted their pack dominance early on. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The relentless pack control of the Chicks very quickly began to take its toll on the Gores whose packs looked stretched and overwhelmed early on, often forced into one-on-one battles that were routinely being won by the Chicks. About midway through the half, with the score tight and remarkably low, the momentum began to noticeably swing toward the Chicks. The frustration was evident on the Gores’ bench, as they found themselves in the unusual position of having a game slipping away from them. For a long stretch near the end of the first half the Gores simply could not get anything going and barely registered a point in the final fifteen minutes of the period as the Chicks threatened to run away with it, taking a 65-14 lead into the dressing room at half.

The Gores have faced some adversity on their recent run of dominance: a blown first half against the Death Track Dolls in 2010, and during the 2011 regular season this same Chicks team had the Gores on the ropes after the first half as well (albeit not in quite the same way). On both of those occasions the Gores were able to adjust quickly, make minor changes to strategy or lineups, and eventually run away with the victories. But as smart and adaptable a team as this Gores group is, the Chicks were simply rolling in this one, and were playing with a focused determination and a unified sense of purpose that was impossible to shake.

After being neutralized in the first half, Bambi faught back in the second. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

But to their credit, the Gores did not lay back and allow the Chicks an easy path to victory. After being smothered defensively in the first half, Bambi, ToRD’s regular season leading scorer, finally got her game going in the second, and rookie Lulu Cthulhu was also brought in to add a more physical component to the jamming corps. But the Chicks held the course, refusing to be thrown off the game that they had refined so well throughout the 2011 season. One major aspect of that refinement was their much-discussed discipline (in a surprising turnaround, the Chicks were the least penalized team in the league in 2011), and that showed in the championship game. A remarkably controlled second half saw the Chicks stay (for the most part) out of the box while it was the Gores’ blockers who were paraded to the box giving pack advantages to a Chicks team that was already having its way five on five (there were no power jams awarded in the bout–a testament to the talented jammers).

Veteran pivot Rebel Rock-It and second-year star Marmighty won their first ever ToRD championship. (Photo by Greg Russell)

While as a whole the pack work was nearly seamless, there were some strong individual performances: Rebel Rock-It and Tara Part continue to impress with their on-track intelligence and leadership, while Nasher the Smasher continued to be a one-woman wall. But from the rookies (Red Light Roxy, Kookie Doe) to the vets (Robber Blind, Hoff, Furious Georgia and Humdinger) the Chicks lineup played remarkably well buying into, and steadfastly remaining in their roles throughout the bout, and although the Gores were able to make a game of it by slightly more than doubling their score in the second half, injuries to key blockers Foxy Sinatra and Aston Martini depleted a pack that was sorely overmatched to begin with and the Chicks were able to run out of the clock in the end, sailing away with the 111-46 victory to be named the Battle of the Boot winners and, deservingly, the 2011 Toronto Roller Derby Champions.

Chicks Ahoy!: 2011 ToRD Champions (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

That draws to a conclusion another successful ToRD season. While there are changes to come in the off season, roller derby will continue to be played (keep an eye out for an increasingly full CN Power schedule as the team begins competition in WFTDA’s North Central Region, and watch out for a new crop of farm-team D-VAS who will begin their process of development as they lead up to the end-of-year draft). The Gores will undoubtedly return next year more focused and reinvigorated (it was a loss to the Chicks that sparked this latest winning streak), but the Chicks built this increasingly successful team around a solid core of well-selected rookies and a cagey group of veterans who certainly look prepared and capable of tracking a team that can defend the championship in 2012. But for now, and the months ahead, there is ample time for quiet reflection on what they have just accomplished.

***NOTE: Immediately after the game, five-year vet. G-Force announced her retirement from competitive level roller derby. G has certainly been a force of good for not only the Chicks, but ToRD as a whole, and so it is with great joy that we learn that she will remain with the league in a mentoring role. Congratulations on a career well played!

***If you missed this extraordinary bout, no need to fear! It will be broadcast on Rogers TV on Saturday, July 2nd, 2010 at 6:00 PM. ToRD will be organizing a viewing party at Ciros at 1316 Bloor St. West (on the corner of Bloor and Lansdowne).

***Already missing flat track roller derby?! ToRD will be teaming with Toronto Pride once again to present the 3rd annual Clam Slam, an all-queer all-star game featuring skaters from some of the top leagues in North America. Last year’s bout was a fast-paced, high scoring bout and this year’s looks like it will be no different. Clam Slam 2011 is coming up on Thursday, June 30th. Doors at 6:30. Tickets available online or at a number of vendors in Toronto.

Battle for the Boot 5: A preview of ToRD’s 2011 Championship

This will be the fourth time in five years these two teams battle for the boot.

#2Chicks Ahoy! vs. #1 Gore-Gore Rollergirls

It is the defining rivalry of ToRD’s early history. They are the only two teams to earn the coveted Boot as league champions, and when the Chicks Ahoy! face off against the defending champion Gore-Gore Rollergirls on Saturday for the second year in a row and the fourth time in five years, the most compelling chapter may be written. The Gores are on a remarkable 12-bout winning streak dating back to the 2008 championship when the Chicks defeated them in what many consider to be the most exciting Battle for the Boot ever (114-97 was the final). Last year these two teams collided again, with the Gores earning some measure of revenge. Year in and year out the Chicks and Gores have shown a remarkable consistency and poise, and this year has been no different. Best ever performances at the Beast of the East (2nd and 4th place) and dominant regular-season victories for both teams over the Death Track Dolls and Smoke City Betties proved that these two squads are undeniably at the top of their games.

Given the exposure of these two teams over the years, some common misconceptions and expectations have arisen. But any attempt to pigeonhole them is a dangerous act as they have both proven adaptable and creative throughout the season.


Chicks Ahoy! led the league in scoring with 408 points in the regular season. (photo by Sean Murphy)

Chicks Ahoy!
1) Only a Defensive Juggernaut.

The big-hitting fast-skating tactics that defined the early years of the Chicks’ existence have certainly evolved over the years, and the 2011 Chicks Ahoy! may be the most well-rounded yet. To overlook the offensive power of this team would be a great folly. Anchored by a stable of smart veteran pivots (Rebel Rock-It, Nasher the Smasher, Mega Bouche and Tara Part), the girls in green have developed the most explosive jammer threesome in the league. Long-time Chick Candy Crossbones leads the way in what has been a career season for her, while rookie Kookie Doe has done the rare feat of being a reliable and successful rookie jammer. And after spending most of  last season nursing injuries and pondering her role in the league, Dyna Hurtcha has emerged in 2011 as one of ToRD’s best and most feared jammers. What it amounts to is an extraordinary offense that was the only team to top 400 points scored in the regular season (408), while their 194 points against the Dolls in the season-closer was the highest score recorded by a team this year.

Despite the retirement of seven players, the Chicks still boast an experienced lineup. (photo by Sean Murphy)

2) Don’t have enough experience to win.

After reaching the final and falling in a one-sided loss, seven key member of last year’s team retired in the offseason meaning that the 2011 Chicks would have the biggest rookie corps ever. But even with those seven losses, the Chicks roster a remarkably experienced crew. Aside from the aforementioned players, the likes of Dolly Destructo, Hoff, Furious Georgia, G-Force, Hum Dinger and Robber Blind round out a pack with an impressive amount of experience, all of whom have at least one appearance in ToRD’s championship game. And despite being only in her second-year, Marmighty works the pack like a wily veteran and has been a dominant force on the track all season.

3) The Chicks can’t defeat the Gores.

The Chicks led for much of the first half of this year’s regular season showdown, and were in it for a lot of the second as well, but just couldn’t hold it together down the stretch and seemed to take their foot off the gas as the Gores roared ahead late to take the bout 132-83. But what that first half proved, was that at their best, this Chicks team can compete with and even get the better of the Gores. On top of that, a lot has happened since that April bout and the Chicks have matured as the season went on and this year’s rookie group (led by Kookie Doe and Bala Reina) has emerged as a reliable support group, but more importantly they provide an excited, wide-eyed energy and appreciation for the moment that the team so desperately lacked last year.

Gore-Gore Rollergirls

The Gores only gave up 185 points during ToRD's regular season. (photo by Kevin Konnyu)

1) Only an offensive machine

While it’s true that the early Gores were clearly (and perhaps even unfairly) defined by their extraordinary 1-2-3 jammer rotation, the retirement of Lunchbox after last year’s championship victory forced the team to do some recalibrating, and much to the chagrin of the league, their  adjustment proved successful. With the lowest points against in the league (185 in the regular season), the team also put together some of the top defensive performances of the season, holding both the Dolls and Betties under 60 points (and the offensively powerful Chicks to a comparatively low 83). Led by a core of smart, positionally sound veteran pivots and blockers (Brim Stone, Molly Boom, Lady GagYa, Junkie Jenny, Kandy Barr and Foxy Sinatra), this defensive excellence actually began at last year’s Battle for the Boot when a rookie blocking crew of Aston Martini, Santa Muerte and Chronic were a key part of one of the most dominant defensive performances in ToRD’s history as they held an overmatched Chicks team to an all-time low of 31 points.

The Gores are looking for the first three-peat in ToRD history. (photo by Kevin Konnyu)

2) Don’t have depth at jammer with loss of Lunchbox

With the Chicks putting together a solid jammer lineup, the Gores have had to contend with the loss of one of their greatest skaters, Lunchbox. But the team has responded well sending the agile Brim Stone to the jam line for the most times in her career (she recorded a JQ of 19 on the strength of a 58% lead percentage that was good enough for fourth in the league) while second-year skater Pinky Violence and 2011 rookie Lulu Cthulhu have both served apprenticeships this year. But when it all comes down to it (as it did in the regular season match up between these two teams) the scrappy Dust Bunny and the speedy Bambi (the only two players to ever lead the league in JQ Ratings) are experienced and reliable enough to take on the bulk of the work themselves. And for a two-jammer rotation, that’s pretty intimidating.

3) Resting on the laurels of their dynasty

Although they have admittedly taken a more relaxed approach to the game this season, the Gores are not a team that is resting on past successes. They train hard, plan extensively and have put together the most varied play-book in the league. And as they showed in last year’s thoroughly dominant performance in the championship, they know how to step it up for the big game. Featuring some of the hardest working skaters in the league and a handful of CN Power all stars, this is not a team that is going to sit back and expect success.

Their lone regular-season match up in April provided some of the most exciting derby played at the Hangar this year, and while the Gores have held the course since then, the Chicks seem to have only gotten stronger. The Chicks may have collapsed in last year’s final, but this year’s edition of the team seems to have a much stronger constitution. Expect them to come out flying, playing simple, pace-control derby. And, of course, one should never expect anything less than the best from the defending champions. Gores and Chicks battling for the boot: it’s almost a tradition now.

**Tickets are available online or at numerous retailers downtown. Doors open at 6:30 PM, with opening whistle at 7:30 PM.

**The bout will be broadcast by Rogers TV. Keep an eye out for dates and times.

Chicks Ahoy! to Battle for the Boot after semifinal win.

The Dolls and Chicks met in the semifinals for the third time in history. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Death Track Dolls 29  vs. Chicks Ahoy! 120

We’re down to two, and for the fourth time in ToRD’s history the Chicks Ahoy! and Gore-Gore Rollergirls will face off for the Toronto Roller Derby championship as the Chicks put together another impressive performance over the Death Track Dolls in the semifinal on the weekend. Despite a much improved effort from the Dolls, they simply didn’t have enough as the Chicks ruled the packs on their way to the  91 point victory and a spot in the June 25thchampionship bout.

This marked the third time that these two teams had played each other in the semifinals with the Chicks also recording victories in 2008 and 2010.

Once again, Dyna Hurtcha was nearly unstoppable for the Chicks. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Thoughts of a Dolls’ upset to end that streak were quickly put to rest in the early going when the Chicks roared out of the gates, grinding ahead 18-1 at one point before the Dolls were able to get their offense going. Once again, Dyna Hurtcha was unstoppable with the star early.  Dyna has always been a strong three-position player (winning the Triple Threat at the ToRD Awards in 2009), but her development as a jammer this season has been astonishing; whether powering through packs or rushing along the outside, the Dolls could not contain her. Candy Crossbones also continues to impress in 2011, and with rookie Kookie Doe passing every test that she’s been given in this impressive rookie season, right now, the Chicks look like they have the most solid 1-2-3 jammer attack in the league.

Land Shark returned to the lineup for the Dolls, but even she struggled against the Chicks' packs. (Photo by Greg Russell)

The Dolls were buoyed by the return of Land Shark to the lineup, but even she struggled with the extraordinary pack work of the Chicks. Jubilee took on a more regular role jamming for the Dolls as well, and could be key to filling out the offensive depth of this Dolls team moving forward. Captain Betty Bomber stepped up as well, but despite recording a solid lead jammer %, was unable to take advantage as the Chicks defence was stellar, dominating the front of the pack and running some very fast pace lines. Roller Derby is increasingly about controlling the pace and at times the Chicks seemed to have complete control over the pace of this game. In the face of this smothering defense, the Dolls were unable to even crack double digits in the first half, down 52-9 at the break.

With an already deep pack, the play of Kookie Doe has given the Chicks a deep roster of jammers as well. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

When these two teams closed out the regular season, the Dolls collapsed under the sustained attack by the Chicks and almost fell apart in the second half as the Chicks ran up the score, so full credit goes to the Dolls in this one for coming out strong in the second half and continuing to battle right through to the end; the score line seemed unfair to the Dolls in terms of the effort they gave. The Dolls’ Santilly In Yo Face continued her jamming apprenticeship and had a much more controlled game this time out, and another rookie, Bala Reina from the Chicks, also continued to get some experience jamming (as she and Dyna passed off positions in the second). The pack was working so well together that it was hard to measure stand-out performances from the Chicks, but Mega Bouche had another monster bout, and Marmighty is becoming frighteningly good in the pack; yet another solid blocker to add to a Chicks’ roster that already has the best pack depth in the league.

Santilly In Yo Face was ready for the Chicks this time, but faced considerable blocking from the likes of Mega Bouche. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Discipline has been a key issue this season for both of these teams, but particularly for the Chicks who have revamped their game in a big way. But there was a slight set back in this one, as both teams registered a lot of minors (33 for the Dolls, 25 for the Chicks) and an unusual amount of majors as well. Over the course of the regular season, the Chicks only recorded 23 majors, but picked up 10 in the semifinal, something that they will have to keep an eye on in the championship game. But there were very few jammer majors (two for the Dolls and just one for the Chicks that the Dolls, unfortunately, couldn’t capitalize on).

Nonetheless, the Chicks seem to be peeking at just the right, and have now put together back-to-back dominant games over an experienced opponent, which could be just the preparation that the Chicks need heading into the Battle for the Boot 5. In a season that at the mid-way point showed so much promise, the result was once again the same for the Death Track Dolls: coming up just short against the Chicks Ahoy!. They’ll need to build off the successes of the season and fix some of the issues that became more obvious as the season wore on, and now they’ll have  along off season to do it.

**Missed the game?? You can catch the complete bout including track side interviews on Rogers TV this Saturday (June 18) at 6:00 p.m.

**Tickets are on sale for the Battle for the Boot 5.

Battle for the Boot 2011: The Semifinal

#3 Death Track Dolls vs. #2 Chicks Ahoy!

TEAM STATS (2011 Regular Season)


Death Track Dolls Chicks Ahoy!



Points For / Against (+/-)

193 / 363 (-170)

408 / 189 (+219)

Lead Jammer Percentage



Points Per Jam



Total Blocks (Knockdowns)

230 (38)

387 (57)

Assists (including offensive blocks)



Minor / Major Penalties (Minutes)

84 / 27 (37)

85 / 23 (30)

The Dolls put together their best bout of the season against MTLRD's Les Contrabanditas at the Beast of the East. (photo by Derek Lang)


Given the history between these two teams (including a split of two games at the 2011 Beast of the East), the way in which the Chicks Ahoy! so easily handled the Death Track Dolls in the final bout of the season came as a great surprise to many. The question hanging over this upcoming semi-final is how will the Dolls respond? Will we see the focused and determined Dolls who outlasted 13 other teams to finish 3rdat the BOE tournament? Or will it be the unfocused, frustrated Dolls that the Chicks walked all over in the final bout of the regular season?

The Chicks beat the Dolls in the opening round of the Beast of the East on their way to a 4th place finish. (photo by Derek Lang)

It’s been that kind of season for the Dolls. Opening with a lacklustre (though not terrible) performance against the defending champion Gore-Gore Rollergirls, the Dolls rallied and put together a textbook win against the Smoke City Betties to even up their record 1-1. One clear problem was arising though, and that was consistency. There’d been moments of brilliance against the Gores (a late first-half pushback saw them dominating the packs) that couldn’t be maintained, and lapses against Betties that allowed their opponents to get back into the game. It has become clear that remaining mentally focused and putting together a consistent sixty minutes will be key if the Dolls want to have a shot (this could also explain why they did so well at the BOE where the short games meant streaky play and quick bursts were rewarded). The setbacks were a disappointment for a team that has shown only steady growth over the previous two seasons. They’ll need a season-best performance if they hope to qualify for their first ever Battle for the Boot.

The Chicks were too much for the Dolls in the season closer, a 194-35 victory. (Photo by Chrissie Wu)

The Chicks Ahoy!, on the other hand, have surpassed all expectations in 2011. With a new-look lineup (including a rookie bench boss in Flyin’ Bryan Killman) making up the team that was humbled in the 2010 Battle for the Boot, the Chicks came out flying in a dominant performance against the Betties to open the season. They would maintain that momentum in their rematch against the Gores, when the two teams put together as exciting a half of roller derby that has been seen in ToRD in at least a year. But the Chicks couldn’t hold the momentum and drifted late in the bout. But they were undeterred by the loss and after putting together their finest performance ever at the BOE (4thplace), came out and wiped the track with the Dolls to close out the regular season. That victory, in which they controlled play from start to finish, has got to provide a boost of confidence for the Chicks who are looking for

Nasher the Smasher could be a game changer for the Chicks. (Photo by Derek Lang)

their fourth spot in the championship in five years.


Chicks Ahoy!: Nasher the Smasher has always been one of ToRD’s most feared blockers, but there was always that one issue that hung over her: lack of discipline. In 2011, Nasher has overhauled her game, still capable of devastating strikes (she was second on the Chicks in blocks and knockdowns), she has become a much more positional force on the track, and—most importantly—has completely done away with the discipline issues that dogged her early in her career recording only 2 majors and 1 (!) minor over the course of the season (despite being on the track for 54% of her team’s jams). Another player who has stepped up in a big way in 2011 is a 2010 rookie standout, Marmighty. The sophomore star matched Nasher’s 54% jam percentage (second to only Rebel Rock-It on the team) and put up an unbelievable plus/minus of 147. Although she ran into some penalty trouble against the Dolls, she was such a dominant force in that bout that this only really stood out on the stat sheet.

Whether jamming or in the pack, Betty Bomber will be a big part of the Dolls' game. (Photo by Chrissie Wu)

Death Track Dolls: Since the retirement of Mach Wheels, Betty Bomber has emerged as the most effective triple threat in ToRD, and her value to the Dolls cannot be overstated. She almost single-handedly kept her team in the final regular season game against the Chicks. If she wasn’t so valuable in the pack, Bomber would undoubtedly be one of the top jammers in the league. Second, the blocking combination of Jubilee and Panty Hoser. The Chicks have an incredibly deep pack, and for the Dolls to have any sort of chance in this one, they are going to need their best pack players to step up and be at their best. When their heads are in the game, Hoser and Jubilee are two of the best in the league, their work one-on-one is outstanding and they were first or second in virtually every major blocking stat for the Dolls this season. The mental focus of the team seems to run through these two players, and they will need to be at their best to counteract the depth of the Chicks.

The rookie duel between the Dolls' Santilly In Yo Face and the Chicks' Kookie Doe could be key. (Photo by Chrissie Wu)

Rookie Showdown: Finally, one of the interesting stories of the bout will be the jammer battles between a few rookies, the Dolls’ Santilly In Yo Face and the Chicks’ Kookie Doe. With Dolls jammer Land Shark returning to the lineup, the first lines of offense are virtually even, which means that it could come down to which of these rookies is capable of providing more depth on offense for her team. While Kookie Doe has clocked a lot more track time this season, Santilly has a slight lead in lead % (47% to 38%) and they are statistically even in points per jam. The one difference could be that Santilly was destroyed by the Chicks’ blockers in the last bout and will have to mentally put that behind her entering the playoffs.



Stat (Minimum 21 jams)

Death Track Dolls Chicks Ahoy!
Blocks Panty Hoser 57 Mega Bouche 67
Knockdowns Jubilee 9 Mega Bouche 10
Assists (including offensive blocks) Jubilee 17 Tara Part 30
Blocker +/- Lucid Lou +2 Marmighty +132
Pivot +/- Dolly Parts’em +11 Mega Bouche +116
Total +/- Demolition Dawn +9 Dyna Hurtcha +160
Minor Penalties Jubilee/Monichrome 14 Mega /Rebel Rock-It 14
Major Penalties Jubilee 6 Marmighty 4
Penalty Minutes Jubilee 8 Marmighty 5


Stat (Minimum 21 jams)

Death Track Dolls Chicks Ahoy!
Points Land Shark 80 Candy Crossbones 141
Points Per Jam Land Shark 1.9 Dyna Hurtcha 3.48
Jammer +/- Land Shark 24 Dyna Hurtcha +99
Lead % Land Shark 53% Dyna Hurtcha 74%
Jam % Betty Bomber 36% Candy Crossbones 35%

**Tickets are available online or at numerous retailers downtown. Doors open at 6:30 PM, with opening whistle at 7:30 PM.

**The bout will be broadcast by Rogers TV. Keep an eye out for dates and times.