Dyna Hurtcha

Montreal and Toronto Kick Off Beast with Highly Anticipated WFTDA D1 Showdown

On April 24th, 2015, two of Canada’s top roller derby teams—Toronto’s CN Power and Montreal’s New Skids on the Block—will meet for the sixth time.

The Skids and CN Power first met at the 2010 Quad City Chaos. (Photo by Derek Lang)

Two distinct cities and two distinct leagues. A history apart, yet deeply interwoven.

The history of roller derby in this country runs through a few leagues in a few major cities: Vancouver, Edmonton, Hamilton, and, of course, Toronto and Montreal. And yet while roller derby has existed for virtually the same amount of time in both Toronto and Montreal, the paths they have taken through the game’s first decade in Canada couldn’t have been more different.

This will be the third consecutive year that CN Power and the Skids will kick off the Beast of the East.

This will be the third consecutive year that CN Power and the Skids will kick off the Beast of the East.

ToRD sits smack dab in the centre of the most active community of roller derby in the country, if not the world. You can’t go more than 50 kms in any direction and not run into a roller derby league of some size. And though leagues and numbers have fluctuated, there have been up to four leagues operating in the city of Toronto alone (and that’s not counting Durham in the GTA’s eastern end). And ToRD’s own remarkable history reflects this diversity and division.

Beginning, essentially, as a merger of a handful of teams that had sprouted up in the city in 2006, ToRD kicked off its first public season in 2007 as an unwieldy six-team house league: the biggest in the sport at the time. The focus was local, and in the midst of splits and new leagues, the focus was insular and then siloed within that closed community: so that the allegiances formed were to team, not necessarily league.

Montreal, on the other hand, has had a much more linear history, aided, in part, by the scarcity of surrounding leagues and influences. Even now 10 years later with provinces like Alberta, BC and Ontario bursting at the seams with leagues, Quebec remains slow in its embrace of the sport outside of Montreal.

In this isolation, the league began as a group of unified skaters, and Montreal Roller Derby grew as those skaters were parceled off into teams, eventually bringing together enough skaters for three teams to kick off their inaugural season in 2007.

Within a year of going public, both leagues had also formed travel teams, and that’s where the story goes in two different directions.

On Friday, April 24, CN Power and the New Skids on the Block will meet for the sixth time, with Montreal holding the dominant 5-0 edge coming into it. But where once a Montreal win would be guaranteed against any Canadian opponent, this time, Toronto comes in on relatively equal footing.

The Skids won narrowly, 233-216, at the 2014 Quad City Chaos. (Photography by Neil Gunner)

The Skids won narrowly, 233-216, at the 2014 Quad City Chaos. (Photography by Neil Gunner)

When the two teams first met in March 2010, Montreal was on the verge of distancing itself from the rest of the country. Early adopters of the pace strategies that would come to define the flat track game, the Skids also understood at a very early stage the importance of off-skates training and fitness as being key to the team’s success. Beginning in that 2010 season, Montreal went on a four-year run of dominance in this country, a run so dominant, that for many years, the Skids barely even bothered with Canadian competition. It wasn’t until 2013 when that began to change.

In the first two meetings between the rivals, the Skids won with an average differential of 224 points. Then, at the Beast of the East 2013, Toronto pulled noticeably closer, losing by 89 points. This kicked off a year in which the Toronto team would play its most competitive season, qualifying for the D1 playoffs for the first time. It was an organizational leap forward years in the making, as Toronto finally turned away from its internal focus to set its sights on the lofty heights of the WFTDA competitive game.

Then in March 2014, CN Power lost to the Skids narrowly on its home track by only 17 points. This remains the closest score that any Canadian team has come to the Skids in a regulation or sanctioned game. Thirteen months later, and the teams are arguably dead even.

Both rosters have gone through their share of changes since those early days of the rivalry, and this year there are new looks as well. Toronto has gone through a noticeable generational change, shifting out virtually its whole core jammer rotation while tweaking the pack. Montreal similarly has seen great change, with this season boasting seven new Skids on the roster. However, the strong organizational underpinnings in each of these leagues has allowed for a relatively seamless transition to these new generations of all stars.

Toronto has kicked off 2015 with a 3-0 record so far, while Montreal has been slightly quieter, winning its lone bout of the season. Interestingly, both teams have faced off against the Rideau Valley Vixens only weeks apart with remarkably similar results: Toronto won by 32, Montreal by 26, a difference that is statistically insignificant.

For perhaps the first time ever, on Friday, April 24, when Montreal and Toronto face off, it really is anybody’s game.

***CN Power and the New Skids on the Block face off at Arena St. Louis in Montreal on the 24th. Doors open at 6:00 PM with first whistle at 7:00 PM. Tickets are available online.

Advertisements

Montreal and Toronto Kick off Beast with WFTDA Showdown.

For the second year in a row, the New Skids on the Block host CN Power on the eve of the Beast of the East.

These two teams are building the best rivalry in Canadian roller derby. This will be the fifth meeting between them.

These two teams are building the best rivalry in Canadian roller derby. This will be the fifth meeting between them.

184, 263, 89, 17.

These are the point differentials from the four times that Montreal’s New Skids on the Block and Toronto’s CN Power have met since 2010. After the peak 284-21 win for the Skids at the 2011 Quad City Chaos, the gap has been narrowing; with that narrowing becoming all the more dramatic over the past year since the two faced off on the eve of last year’s Beast of the East.

By all metrics, this gap should narrow even more on the track at Arena St. Louis on Friday night, in what promises to be an electric atmosphere.

One thing you can be sure of is that Montreal will show up ready. Aside from a surprising blip at last year’s playoffs where a lacklustre performance blew a clear road to Champs, the Skids have been Canada’s most consistent and durable performers. And when it comes to those rare face offs against Canadian competition, they seem to always enter hungry for a victory. Never was this more evident than while repelling a ferocious Toronto attack at last month’s Quad City Chaos.

And at this stage in their development, this seems to be the last barrier of separation between Toronto and the other elite teams of the WFTDA’s Division 1: consistency, and the focus that this consistency requires.

After a reputation-building performance at last year’s playoffs, Toronto seemed to grow from the experience, kicking off 2014 with lopsided victories over formerly close opponents in Killamazoo and Bleeding Heartland before pushing Montreal to the very limits of their considerable abilities and experience in the thrilling 17-point loss on their home track in Toronto. But then everything seemed to change at halftime of another anticipated QCC matchup against a rebuilding Ohio team.

Montreal's Smack Daddy and Georgia W. Tush try to free jammer Mel E Juana from Toronto pivot Candy Crossbones at last month's Quad City Chaos. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Montreal’s Smack Daddy and Georgia W. Tush try to free jammer Mel E Juana from Toronto pivot Candy Crossbones at last month’s Quad City Chaos. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Taking an impressive 30-point lead into the break, it was a tale of two teams in the second half as Toronto came out loose, unfocused and unprepared for the brutal onslaught that a stone-faced and determined Ohio team unleashed. The considerably more experienced skaters from Columbus gave Toronto a swift lesson in the level of discipline and focus needed to compete at the WFTDA’s highest level on a consistent basis; by the time Toronto came around in the period (after a 97-14 Ohio run to start the second half), the game was already out of reach.

Nonetheless, it was a strong showing against a higher ranked opponent and Toronto had to have high expectations heading into London’s Anarchy in the UK, sporting a franchise-high rank of 13th. CN Power instead looked woefully out of place, suffering the most lopsided loss in their history (477-41 to London) before falling to Detroit, a team ranked 21-spots below them who had come into the tournament desperate to improve their lot and secure their perilous spot in the top Division; the win over Toronto guaranteed that.

It was a Toronto team that looked far removed from the one that had taken Atlanta to the limits on the biggest stage only six months prior.

Montreal and Toronto play in the 2010 QCC. (photo by Derek Lang)

Montreal and Toronto play in the 2010 QCC. (photo by Derek Lang)

The Skids don’t have as big a sample size on which be judged so far in 2014, but from what little we have seen, they seem to have learned from their so-so performance at Divisionals. Indeed, the Montreal team that showed up at QCC ’14 was the hungriest, most focused Skids team that I’ve seen in quite some time. Their thoroughly (almost shockingly) dominant win over Ohio (the very team that ended their shot at Champs in last year’s playoffs) was impressive to say the least. And the poise that they showed in repelling Toronto was evidence of their considerable experience playing at this elite level. Those hours on the track against the best this game has to offer were the difference. And as far as Toronto has come, they simply have yet to clock that all-important track time.

However, Toronto has bounced back from inconsistency before. It’s easy to forget that at the QCC ’13 Toronto lost to a Rideau Valley team that was (at the time) 30+ spots below them in the rankings. They built off of that learning experience, and used it to propel them to the D-1 playoffs. They will need to do so again this season with the Anarchy performance. They’ve got a tough schedule ahead of them, and while they need to learn from their losses, they simply don’t have time to dwell on them.

There won’t be much change in rosters from QCC to this game (Toronto jammer Rainbow Fight remains on injury reserve after suffering a serious internal injury against Killamazoo); however, Nasher the Smasher draws back into the pack and this could make a considerable difference for Toronto (she was named team MVP at Anarchy); a truly elite player, her on-track leadership will be a boon for Toronto.

Montreal's Honey Badger tries to get around Toronto's Dyna Hurtcha. The QCC '14 showdown was the closest game between the two rivals. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Montreal’s Honey Badger tries to get around Toronto’s Dyna Hurtcha. The QCC ’14 showdown was the closest game between the two rivals. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Montreal seemed to answer the Iron Wench question (that question being “How do you replace the greatest jammer our country has ever seen?”) by showing considerable depth at the position, relying on a mix of vets and “rookies.” The supremely talented Miracle Whips has all the potential to be a top-level jammer, but is still prone to the kinds of mistakes that experience has a way of correcting.

A year ago nearly to the day, these two teams played an unbelievably exciting half of roller derby in front of one of the most appreciative and electric crowds I’ve seen for this sport in this country. Toronto seemed overwhelmed by the moment and faded in the second half. This year, however, Toronto has shown that at their best, they are ready for the spotlight. The question remains: Is Montreal willing to share it?

**The game will be streamed live by CUTV. Tune in to mtlrollerderby.com beginning at 6:50 PM on Friday, April 25th.

Toronto Hosts Ontario in Inaugural bout; Bruisers go 2-1 at B-Cup

ToRD's CN Power hosted Team Ontario in the provincial team's first game. (Photography by Neil Gunner)

ToRD’s CN Power hosted Team Ontario in the provincial team’s first game. (Photography by Neil Gunner)

It was a historic night at the Bunker in Downsview Park on Saturday as Toronto Roller Derby’s CN Power played host to the inaugural game for the recently formed Team Ontario. It was a preseason tune up for ToRD’s 29th ranked WFTDA Division 1 team, and the first time derby fans got to take a look at the non-Toronto based members of our provincial team. Adding to that collection of talent were the seven Team Ontario skaters on CN Power’s roster. It was a thrilling game played at an incredibly high level. In the end, Toronto had a little too much fire power for their provincial counterparts as the hosts won 211-152.

A bulk of Team Ontario’s members came from the province’s other top WFTDA leagues in Rideau Valley (Ottawa) and Tri-City (Kitchener-Waterloo), but the squad also featured skaters from Timmins (Nasty Nads), Alliston (Mad Megz), Detroit (USS DentHerPrize) and Philadelphia (Whacks Poetic, formerly of Hammer City) among others. Despite missing the key members from Toronto, it was a formidable lineup.

Tri-City's Freudian Whip and Philly's Whacks Poetic hold back Motorhead Molly.

Tri-City’s Freudian Whip and Philly’s Whacks Poetic hold back Toronto’s Motorhead Molly.

The game actually started off in Team Ontario’s favour. With Thunder jammer Ova Kill on the line and a nasty duo of Leigh Wylde (AKA: Leighzzie Borden; Wild Leigh Coyote) and Hannah Murphy laying heavy D on CN Power’s Dusty, they caught a rusty CN Power off guard to spring out to an 8-0 lead. But Toronto, coming off of its best season after making a run in the WFTDA playoffs last year, just took a while to get warmed up. Toronto took their first lead of the game on a power jam 5 minutes in, part of a string of five straight lead jammers that would give the home team an 18-8 lead. As befitting a team that practices together on a regular basis, Toronto’s transitions were quicker, keeping them a step ahead, and the cohesiveness of some of the lines could not be matched (Nasher the Smasher and Dyna Hurtcha were every bit the equal of Murphy and Wylde—and when forming a line with Renny Rumble and offensive maven Jubilee, were nearly impenetrable). But Team Ontario was coming together as the game wore on as well, and some phenomenal individual work from the likes of RVRG’s Margaret Choke and Tri-City’s Fox Smoulder in the pack and Rideau Valley’s Soul Rekker with the star, kept them in it. Ontario drew back-to-back power jams late in the first half to keep it tight at the break, with the hosts clinging to an 84-66 lead.

Toronto's Dyna Hurtcha and Nasher the Smasher hold back Soul Rekker. All three are also members of Team Canada.

Toronto’s Dyna Hurtcha and Nasher the Smasher hold back Rideau Valley’s Soul Rekker. All three are also members of Team Canada.

Despite it being an exhibition, CN Power came out to play in the second half. They tightened their jammer rotation, and actually opened the half with Dyna Hurtcha on the jam line for a 4-0 start. Two of the 8 Team Canada members in the game, Rainbow Fight—making her debut with Toronto’s top team—and Bala Reina, went back-to-back-to-back to help pad CN Power’s lead, which they extended to 99-68 after only five minutes of the second. While Rainbow especially, was a standout with some phenomenal jamming, it was relentless pack work from Toronto’s deep blocker group that proved to be the difference. A well-executed 20 point power jam 10 minutes in seemed to give Toronto an insurmountable lead (129-73). However, Team Ontario wasn’t quite done. Continuing a story that had been playing out all night, Hannah Murphy and Leigh Wylde continued their excellent work together and managed to take a few rounds of a game-long battle with Toronto jammer Rainbow Fight. With five minutes to go, Soul Rekker picked up 20 points on a power jam to pull Ontario back within reach, 184-149, but a few strong late-game jams by Dusty (who seemed to get stronger as the game went on) helped seal the deal for the home team who held on for the thrilling 59 point win.

In the end, the extraordinary level of play provided a fantastic showcase of the level of roller derby in this province. Not only did the game feature Ontario’s best, Canada’s national team was well represented as well. Three members of Team Ontario (Hannah Murphy, USS DentHerPrize and Soul Rekker) and five members of CN Power (Bala Reina, Dusty, Dyna Hurtcha, Nasher the Smasher and Rainbow Right) are all on the team that will represent Canada at the 2014 World Cup in Dallas. Based on this small display, things are looking good for our national team.

Team Ontario's roster vs. ToRD's CN Power

Team Ontario’s roster vs. ToRD’s CN Power

BRUISERS WIN CONSOLATION BRACKET AT B-CUP

B-Cup 2014 PosterFar south of the border, ToRD’s B travel team, the Bay Street Bruisers, headed to Bloomington, Indiana, to take part in the 8-team invitational, the B-Cup, featuring B-travel teams from Naptown, Minnesota, Madison, Cincinnati, Nashville, Tri-City and the hosts Bleeding Heartland. The Bruisers are coming off of a very active off-season that saw a massive reordering of the roster as a new generation of ToRD skaters join the B-team. With that in mind, it was a very fresh, very new and inexperienced group that took to the track at Cardiac Arena for their opening game of the tournament. Facing an experienced Nashville team, the new-look Bruisers were simply overwhelmed in the early going. While there were flashes of excellence (particularly late in the game), the Bruisers couldn’t get much going in the 241-89 loss against a tight Nashville team that would end up going all the way to the final, where they would lose to Mad Rollin 203-147.

That sent the Bruisers to Sunday’s consolation bracket with a chance to play for 5th place, an opportunity that would not be wasted. It seemed to just be a matter of gaining track experience for the team, as they looked completely different in their second game of the tournament. With the time to bond, the Bruisers responded and gave a hint of what is to come for 2014. They crushed the hosts Bleeding Heartland 378-49 (the largest differential on the weekend, and the second highest point total) a score that could have been even higher had the Bruisers not expanded their jammer rotation to include virtually everyone on the bench late in the game as they tried to preserve energy for the following contest. They continued to roll in the consolation final, facing off against Cincinnati. It would be a significantly tougher test, but their pack defense (which improved most notably over the course of the three games) was up for the challenge. Up 117-68 at half, it was a sequence at the 25-minute mark of the second that truly put the game away.

With the score 118-81 and Cincinnati charging, the Bruisers gave up a power jam. But some smothering power kill defense limited the damage to five points, and on the following jam, the Bruisers nabbed a power jam of their own and made it count, with Sneaky Dee picking up 20 points to increase the lead to 148-86. It would prove to be the defining sequence of the game as Cinci was never able to recover, and the Bruisers held on for the 243-115 win to earn 5th place and cap a successful weekend.

***Also a big shout out to Tri-City’s Plan B who took part in the tournament as well (they lost their games against Naptown and Cincinnati). And finally, congratulations to Forest City’s Timber Rollers who hosted Ann Arbour in their first ever WFTDA home game (and second WFTDA sanctioned bout). Ann Arbour took it 228-159.

ToRD: Stats and Standings Update (May 2013)

Regular Season Standings

Teams Wins Losses Pts. For Pts. Agst.
Death Track Dolls 2 0 424
265 (+159)
Smoke City Betties 1 1 339 262 (+77)
Gore-Gore Rollergirls 1 1 320 343 (-23)
Chicks Ahoy! 0 2 207 420 (-213)

The Death Track Dolls continue their reign on top of the ToRD standings, and just seem to really be coming together as a team as evidenced by their excellent third place finish at the Montreal’s Beast of the East. While the Smoke City Betties and Gore-Gore Rollergirls have identical records, the Betties have the slight edge in team plus minus (an important stat that ended up being the tie-breaker last year) based on their strong performance against the Chicks Ahoy! (they held them under 100 points). The defending champs Chicks continue to try to find their footing in this rebuild and develop their younger/newer roster.

Full results are available here.

Jammer Quotient Top 10

Rookie Gore Lexi Con had a strong game in the loss to the Dolls and pulled ahead into top spot in the JQ ratings. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Rookie Gore Lexi Con had a strong game in the loss to the Dolls and pulled ahead into top spot in the JQ ratings. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Skater JQ
1. Lexi Con (GGR) 43
2. Santilly In Yo Face (DTD) 41
3. Hailey Copter (SCB) 33
3. Slaptrick Swayze (SCB) 33
5. Bellefast (DTD) 32
5. Udre (SCB) 32
7. Chevy Chase Her (CA!) 24
8. Getcha Kicks (DTD) 18
9. Kookie Doe (CA!) 10
10. Taranosaurus Rex (GGR) 9

Gore-Gore Rollergirls rookie jammer Lexi Con leaps into the top spot in the JQ standings on the strength of her strong performance in the loss against the Death Track Dolls. While second ranked Santilly In Yo Face remains the league’s dominant scoring jammer right now (she leads the league in points with 158, points per jam with 6.1, and plus/minus at +64), Lexi, who leads the league with a 73% lead percentage, is in the top four in every major category (including second in points and plus/minus).

After their dominant performance against Chicks Ahoy!, three Smoke City Betties jammers break into the top five with Hailey Copter leading the league in jam percentage (she’s jammed in 33.7% of her team’s jams), Udre posting a remarkable 5.7 points per jam, and Slaptrick Swayze sitting in the top three in three different stats (points, plus/minus and jam percentage).

Complete jammer stats and complete JQ breakdown here.

TEAM LEADERS

death track dolls logoDeath Track Dolls

Blockers

Track % Plus/Minus Assists* Blocks* Knockdowns*
Rainbow Fight 47% Rainbow Fight 158 Scarcasm 8 Ames to Kill 8 Audrey Hellborn 3

*incomplete stats

Jammers

Points Points Per Jam Plus/Minus Jam % Lead %
Santilly 158 Santilly In Yo Face 6.1 Santilly 64 Bellefast 30% Santilly 54%

GoreLogo-FinalGore-Gore Rollergirls

Blockers

Track % (50%+)
Plus/Minus Assists Blocks Knockdowns
Kandy Barr 53% /
Santa Muerte 54%/ Junkie Jenny 51%
Foxy Sinatra 98 Santa 29 Foxy 19 /Santa 19 Foxy 6

Jammers

Points Points Per Jam Plus/Minus Jam % Lead %
Lexi Con 129 Lexi Con 4.3 Lexi Con 59 Lexi Con 31% Lexi Con 73%

Smoke City Betties LogoSmoke City Betties

Blockers

Track % (50%+)
Plus/Minus Assists* Blocks Knockdowns
Renny Rumble 58% Mouth of the South 81 Renny Rumble 9 Renny 34 Renny 7

*incomplete stats

Jammers

Points Points Per Jam Plus/Minus Jam % Lead %
Hailey Copter 107 / Slaptrick Swayze 107 Udre 3.38 Udre 5.7 H. Copter 34% Udre 67%

chicksahoy_logoChicks Ahoy!

Blockers

Track % Plus/Minus Assists Blocks Knockdowns
Biggley Smallz 62% / Robber Blind 59% Joss Wheelin -14 Biggley Smallz 36 Biggley Smallz 51 Biggley Smallz 9

Jammers

Points Points Per Jam Plus/Minus Jam % Lead %
Chevy 87 Chevy Chase-Her 3 Kookie Doe -23 Chevy 34% Chevy 55%

LEAGUE PENALTY LEADERS

Player (Team) Minutes
1. Biggley Smallz (CA!) 12
2. Santa Muerte (GGR) 11
3. Furious Georgia (CA!) 10
3. Renny Rumble (SCB) 10
5. Tushy Galore (SCB) 9
5. Robber Blind (CA!) 9

*All four of ToRD’s houseleague teams will be in action this Saturday (May 11) in another double header. Check back for a preview on Thursday.

ToRD: Stats and Standings Update (April 2013)

Regular Season Standings

Teams Wins Losses Pts. For Pts. Agst.
Death Track Dolls 1 0 191
112 (+79)
Gore-Gore Rollergirls 1 0 167 110 (+57)
Smoke City Betties 0 1 110 167 (-57)
Chicks Ahoy! 0 1 112 191 (-79)

After one round of regular season ToRD play, the Death Track Dolls find themselves in the rare position of being on top of the standings. Their impressive victory over the rebuilding Chicks Ahoy! (the first time they’ve done so in a regulation game), has them just ahead of three-time league champs, the Gore-Gore Rollergirls, who have retooled their roster and seem to be weathering a significant off-season roster shakeup. The Smoke City Betties looked a little out of sorts in their opening loss to a surprisingly strong Gores team, but with lots of new pieces in important positions, may have needed time to adjust.

Full results are available here.

Third-year jammer Santilly In Yo Face is atop the rankings for the first time. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Third-year jammer Santilly In Yo Face is atop the rankings for the first time. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Jammer Quotient Top 10

Skater JQ
1. Bellefast (DTD) 38
1. Santilly In Yo Face (DTD) 38
3. Lexi Con (GGR) 34
4. Chevy Chase Her (CA!) 33
5. Foxy Sinatra (GGR) 25
6. Rainbow Fight (DTD) 23
7. Hailey Copter (SCB) 17
7. Udre (SCB) 17
9. Getcha Kicks (DTD) 14
10. Taranosaurus Rex (GGR) 10
Smoke City Betties vs Gore Gore Roller Girls

Foxy Sinatra averaged 4.4 points per-jam in a strong performance from the usual blocker. (Photo by Greg Russell)

No surprise that the league-leading Dolls have two skaters at the top of the standings. Bellefast and Santilly are 1-2 in league scoring (69 and 66 points respectively) and jammer plus/minus (+63, +25). They switch roles on points per jam leaders with Santilly recording a remarkable 6.0 PPJ, while Bellefast is just behind at 5.3.

Right behind them in the standings is rookie Lexi Con, and rookie-transfer Chevy Chase-Her. Chevy led the league in jam percentage (33%), appearing in more jams than anyone else (she did double duty vs. the Dolls after Roadside BombShel left the game due to her injury). Rainbow Fight, currently 6th despite not being a primary jammer, recorded a remarkable 86% lead percentage against the Chicks. Rounding out the Top 5 is converted blocker Foxy Sinatra, who had a fantastic game with the star despite very limited experience as jammer in her long career.

Complete jammer stats and complete JQ breakdown here.

TEAM LEADERS

death track dolls logoDeath Track Dolls

Blockers

Track % Plus/Minus Assists Blocks Knockdowns
Ames To Kill 50% Rainbow Fight 82 Scarcasm 8 Ames to Kill 8 Audrey Hellborn 3

Jammers

Points Points Per Jam Plus/Minus Jam % Lead %
Bellefast 69 Santilly In Yo Face 6 Bellefast 63 Bellefast 31% Rainbow Fight 86%

GoreLogo-FinalGore-Gore Rollergirls

Blockers

Track % (50%+)
Plus/Minus Assists Blocks Knockdowns
Kandy Barr 56% /
Junkie Jenny 54% /Foxy Sinatra 52% /Santa Muerte 50% /
Foxy Sinatra 63 Santa 22 Foxy 11 Santa 2 /Emma Dilemma 2

Jammers

Points Points Per Jam Plus/Minus Jam % Lead %
Lexi Con 47 Foxy Sinatra 4.43 Lexi Con 20 Lexi Con 29% Lexi Con 79%

Smoke City Betties LogoSmoke City Betties

Blockers

Track % (50%+)
Plus/Minus Assists Blocks Knockdowns
Renny Rumble 58% / Platinum Bomb 52% / Tomy Knockers 50% Tomy Knockers 10 Renny Rumble 9 Tomy 13 Tomy 4

Jammers

Points Points Per Jam Plus/Minus Jam % Lead %
Hailey Copter 46 Udre 3.38 Udre 3 H. Copter 33% / Slaptrick Swayze 33% Udre 50% / Wolverina 50%

chicksahoy_logoChicks Ahoy!

Blockers

Track % Plus/Minus Assists Blocks Knockdowns
Biggley Smallz 64% / Dyna Hurtcha 60% / Robber Blind 52% / Furious Georgia 52% R2-Smack-U 16 Dyna Hurtcha 34 Biggley Smallz 8 Biggley Smallz 4

Jammers

Points Points Per Jam Plus/Minus Jam % Lead %
Chevy 64 Chevy Chase-Her 4.27 Kookie Doe 3 Chevy 35% Chevy 67%

LEAGUE PENALTY LEADERS

Dyna Hurtcha (left) and Biggley Smallz led the league in track percentage even factoring their penalties. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Dyna Hurtcha (left) and Biggley Smallz led the league in track percentage even factoring their penalties. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Player (Team) Minutes
1. Renny Rumble (SCB) 7
1. Furious Georgia (CA!) 7
2. Mouth of the South (SCB) 6
4. Santa Muerte (GGR) 5
4. Tushy Galore (SCB) 5
4. Tomy Knockers (SCB) 5
4. Biggley Smallz (CA!) 5
4. Dyna Hurtcha (CA!) 5

*All four of ToRD’s houseleague teams will be in action this Saturday (April 13) in another double header. Check back for a preview on Thursday.

Dolls and Gores Draw First Blood in ToRD 2013 House League Opener

The Dolls ended a six-year losing streak against the Chicks in the home opener. (Photo by Greg Russell)

The Dolls ended a six-year losing streak against the Chicks in the home opener. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Six years, six regular season losses, three playoff defeats—that is the dominance that Chicks Ahoy! has had over the Death Track Dolls in Toronto Roller Derby’s first six seasons. And it all ended on Saturday night.

In front of a packed house, ToRD kicked off its sixth season with a doubleheader featuring all four Toronto house league teams. In the opener, years of frustration finally turned into a night of celebration as a deep, balanced Dolls team took a 79-point victory over the defending champions, signaling a shift in power in the league. While the Smoke City Betties ended their long losing streak over the Gore-Gore Rollergirls last season, they were not able to summon the same kind of performance in the opener, as the Gores played simple, well-controlled derby on their way to a 57 point win that declared that this Gores team may not be due for as major a rebuild as some thought.

Jammer Bellefast and Dolls blockers approach a Chicks wall of Biggley Smallz and Dyna Hurtcha. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Jammer Bellefast and Dolls blockers approach a Chicks wall of Biggley Smallz, Dyna Hurtcha and Robber Blind. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Death Track Dolls 191 vs. Chicks Ahoy! 112

The Dolls burst out of the gate, taking the first two lead jammer statuses (going to Bellefast and Getcha Kicks) before Chicks’ rookie Chevy Chase Her broke the streak, only to find herself sent to the penalty box for a low block. Scrappy jammer Santilly In Yo Face did her best despite a tough penalty kill led by Dyna Hurtcha, pulling the Dolls ahead by 10 points. Two jams later the Dolls found themselves on a second power jam, this time skated by Bellefast. Early on, the Dolls were pounding on the Chicks, pulling ahead substantially, 41-8, only 8 minutes into the half.

Roadside BombShel was in the midst of a strong game jamming before being seriously injured in the second half. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Roadside BombShel was in the midst of a strong game jamming before being seriously injured in the second half. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The Chicks came alive at this point as the Dolls began to run into penalty troubles. The pushback was led by a Roadside BombShel skated power jam with only two Dolls blockers (Ames to Kill and Scacasm)on the track. With Getcha Kicks running into serious penalty issues midway through the half—and her blocker teammates following suit—the Chicks roared back and even took over the lead, 49-47, with 12 minutes to play in the period. Roadside—who converted back to jamming after a solid season of blocking in 2012—and Chevy Chase Her paced the offense, with Chevy scoring 24 points on a power jam to pad the lead. But as this Chicks team rebuilds, there will be ups and downs, and they weren’t able to maintain their lead.

Once the Dolls overcame their penalty issues and settled into the game, they were eventually able to chip away at that lead and virtually neutralized the Chicks offense for the final 10 minutes of the half, taking a 111-71 lead at the break.

Chicks veteran Kookie Doe and Dolls rooke transfer Rainbow Fight battle in the second. Both had strong games. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Chicks veteran Kookie Doe and Dolls rooke transfer Rainbow Fight battle in the second half. Both had strong games. (Photo by Greg Russell)

The Dolls depth at jammer, with Bellefast, Getcha Kicks, Santilly and rookie transfer Rainbow Fight providing a variety of styles and approaches, kept the Chicks defense from any sort of consistency, and the Dolls packs had the same sort of dominant depth with a few solid lines led by Ames and Scarcasm on one side and Speedin Hawking and Sinead O’Clobber on the other. While co captains Dyna Hurtcha and Kookie Doe along with a strong veteran leadership from Biggley Smallz, Robber Blind and Furious Georgia (who continued her strong offensive play) held a young team together, it was that punishing Dolls pack work that led to a tragedy on the track.

Enjoying one of the games of her career (she was second in scoring on the Chicks with 19 points at half), Roadside suffered a tragic major leg break near the midway point of the second half. When the teams returned to action after a lengthy break, the Chicks couldn’t find the momentum to claw back, and even with Dyna Hurtcha taking a jam and Kookie Doe wearing the star more, managed only 18 points in the second half of the period, suffering their first loss to the Dolls ever and their first ToRD loss of any kind in two years.

Gores rookie Taranasaurus Rex fights a Betties three-wall. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Gores rookie Taranosaurus Rex fights a Betties three-wall. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Smoke City Betties 110 vs. Gore-Gore Rollergirls 167

After an inconsistent, but promising 2012, the Smoke City Betties entered the season with high expectations. The Gores, after slowly losing a massive chunk of a roster that had taken part in every single Battle For the Boot, came into this season with much more muted expectations. From the opening whistle to the last, this Gores team showed that it doesn’t plan to rebuild this year. They made it quite clear that they plan on competing in 2013.

Two rookies, Gore jammer Lexi Con and Betties transfer Tomy Knockers duel at the front of the pack. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Two rookies, Gore jammer Lexi Con and Betties transfer Tomy Knockers duel at the front of the pack. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Co-captain Santa Muerte kicked things off jamming, taking 3 points before passing the star to one of many impressive rookies on the night, Lexi Con, who immediately made her presence known.  The Betties packs looked loose early on, and they seemed a little caught off guard by the explosive Goes start and found themselves deep in a hole, down 20-6, 8 minutes in to he game. For a team that had relied so much on a few key jammers throughout the years, the Gores showed a variety of skaters in that position last night, led by Lexi Con but also veteran blocker Foxy Sinatra, whose explosive style was also hard to contain and co captain Kandy Barr.  R.I.Pink continued her progress with the star and a few promising rookies, Taranosaurus Rex and Viktory Lapp, rounded out a surprisingly deep rotation.

Betties co captain Hailey Copter had a typically strong performance against. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Betties co captain Hailey Copter had a typically strong performance. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Despite the early push from the Gores, they were unable to leave behind the Betties, and after a bench time out calmed down the skaters in blue, the Betties outscored the Gores 20-9 over the remaining few jams of the half, but remained down, 86-35 at the break.

The Betties looked solid from the jam line as well, led by co captain Hailey Copter (formerly titmouse) and featuring Woleverina, transfer skater Udre, and 2012 breakout skater Slaptrick Swayze who continues to make her presence felt with her calm, steady jamming. The Betties continued the strong play to start the second half, outscoring the Gores 39-18 over the first ten minutes.

While there were strong individual performances in the pack from the likes of Renny Rumble, Tomy Knockers (who may have sustained a wrist injury during the game), Platinum Bomb and Tushy Galore (formerly Sin D Drop-Her) to name a few, they were not able to sustain the same tight formations for long stretches as the Gores were, allowing the Gores to stay in it. For the Gores to be sucesful this season, they need veterans in the pack to step up and assume larger roles, which we saw especially from the likes of Junkie Jenny, but also from Emma Dilemma and Miss Kitty La Peur in the second half.

Usual pack menace Foxy Sinatra (in a massive collision with Udre and Platinum Bomb)

Usual pack menace Foxy Sinatra (in a massive collision with Udre and Platinum Bomb) had a surprisingly strong night jamming for the Gores. (Photo by Greg Russell)

The Gores ran out the clock, closing out the game with strong, well-managed jams from Foxy, and then fittingly from rookies T-Rex and Lexi. Although the Gores led from start to finish, they never fully distanced themselves from the Betties, and while their 167-110 victory was definitive, the Betties always just seemed a jam or two away from putting it all together and getting back into it.

If there was an underlying story of the night, it was the strong play of the so-called rookies on the track. This is clearly the highest level of rookie class ever, based on the large number of transfers and the time many spent on the D-VAS last season. After a fantastically skilled night of derby, the future looks bright.

**I’ll take a look specifically at how that impressive rookie class performed in my next post on Thursday**

**Check out layer9.ca for archived videos of the bouts**

2013 Season Preview Part 1: Chicks and Gores

In 2013, the Chicks won their third ToRD Championship. (Photo by Greg Russell)

In 2012, the Chicks won their third ToRD Championship. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Chicks Ahoy!

2012 Results: 3-0 regular season; second consecutive ToRD Championship (3rd overall). 3rd place at the 2012 Beast of the East.

Who’s Out?

With the majority of CN Power skaters separating from hometeams in 2013, the losses sustained by the Chicks roster are substantial. In terms of 2012 track time, four of the top five skaters are no longer on the roster: Nasher the Smasher (50.8% of all jams), Tara Part (49.2 %), Mega Bouche (47.7%) and Rebel Rock-It (46.9%) are all now full-time members of CN Power. But more than just simple track time, this accounts for a massive loss in leadership as Nasher, Mega and Tara form a core of the Chicks’ pack that dates all the way back to their first ToRD championship in 2008.

The loss extends beyond the pack as well, as their jamming rotation also takes a big hit. One of ToRD’s all time leading scorers (and another member of all three Chicks championships), Candy Crossbones joins 2012 breakout skater Bala Reina—who became the first jammer to lead the league in all five major jammer stats including scoring with a remarkable 211 points—as members of CN Power in 2012.

What’s more, some recent skaters who were emerging as steady vets also retired in the off season: Hum Dinger, Red Light Roxy and Snapp’n Cooter had all developed into key components of team.

Who Remains?

Co captain Dyna Hurtcha returns to the Chicks for a 4th season. (Photo by Billy Archos)

Co captain Dyna Hurtcha returns to the Chicks for a 4th season. (Photo by Billy Archos)

Luckily for the Chicks, they boasted one of the deepest benches in Canadian home team roller derby and have a strong core to rebuild around. This season’s co-captains, Dyna Hurtcha and Kookie Doe, despite playing for CN Power, are sticking around to help facilitate the rebuild. Kookie Doe can anchor an offense while Dyna Hurtcha is one of the league’s great triple threats. They also have a mighty veteran core to lean on.

One of the league’s most dynamic strikers, Marmighty returns to terrorize opposing jammers (remarkably, Marmighty skated in 57% of the team’s jams in 2012). Two members of ToRD’s B-Travel team, Robber Blind and Furious Georgia will be relied upon to take up some leadership slack, and four of the team’s most important recent prospects—Biggley Smallz, Roadside BombShel, Doris Doomsday and Tess D’Urb Evil showed that last year they are ready to take on a larger role.

And finally, although hobbled by off season surgery to begin the year, the sole remaining original Chick, Hoff, will provide undeniable leadership off the track to help guide this team through a potentially challenging period.

Transfer and former D-VAS Chevy Chase Her is one of many experienced "rookies" on the Chicks (photo by Billy Archos)

Transfer and former D-VAS Chevy Chase Her is one of many experienced “rookies” on the Chicks (photo by Billy Archos)

Who’s New?

Who isn’t? Might be a better question. Ten new skaters will be donning sailor green in 2013, a mix of experienced farm team skaters and fresh prospects. The most game ready are those skaters who played a significant amount of time with D-VAS last year and picked up a considerable amount of game experience. Chevy Chase Her (jammer and potential triple threat), Joss Wheelin (jammer/blocker), Machete Maiden (blocker), Mean Streak (jammer/blocker), R2 Smack U (blocker), Rosemary’s Rabies (jammer), and Smack Mia Round are joined by Kingston Derby Girls transfer (B)lackey(E) as being game ready and given the massive turnover on the rosters, could all take on key roles with the team over the course of the season.

How’s it Look?

Surprisingly, not bad! Given the amount of turnover, you’d think that things would be looking gloomy, but the Chicks just may be able to ride out this storm. With Dyna Hurtcha potentially impacting every position, the pack looks strong with key strikers Marmighty and Biggley  balanced by solid positional players in Robber Blind, Furious Georgia and Roadside BombShel. The jammer rotation, led by Kookie Doe, will undoubtedly feature Chevy Chase Her and Rosemary’s Rabies (among others), and given their experience, should be able to have an immediate impact.

So, while it may be a lot to think that this team will be capable of a third straight ToRD championship, the drop off will not be as severe as initially though, and they should be capable of being competitive in every game.

The Gore-Gore Rollergirls

The Gores are three-time ToRD champions. (Photo by Ashlea Wessel)

The Gores are three-time ToRD champions. (Photo by Ashlea Wessel)

2012 Results: 1-2 regular season, Defeated the Betties in the semifinal before falling to the Chicks in the Battle for the Boot.

Who’s Out?

Change started early in 2012 for the Gore-Gore Rollergirls, with key pieces of the pack retiring midseason. In the off season, Molly Boom and Aston Martini (more essential pack players) followed suit and hung up the skates.  The Gores also felt the pinch in the CN Power pull up as well, losing smooth skating pivot Lady Gagya (who along with Foxy Sinatra, played in 52% of the team’s jams) and the explosive jammer core of Dust Bunny and the league’s all-time leading scorer, Bambi. It’s the core of the Gore dynasty that has seen the team reach all six ToRD championship games.

Original Gore Kandy Barr will be joined by Santa Muerte as 2013 co captains. (Photo by Ashlea Wessel)

Original Gore Kandy Barr will be joined by Santa Muerte as 2013 co captains. (Photo by Ashlea Wessel)

Who Remains?

Co captain Santa Muerte and Chronic—two members of CN Power—have elected to skate for the Gores for one more season, add to that the Bay Street Bruisers duo of  Foxy Sinatra and Junkie Jenny and co captain Kandy Barr (the three remaining original Gores) and the skaters in leopard print still have a hearty pack to build around.

Over the past three years, the Gores have been slowly building internal pack depth and that build will play out this season with Emma Dilemma, Gamma Rei, Wheely Nasty and Miss Kitty La Peur all facing much more responsibility in the pack. In terms of veterans, only R.I. Pink (formerly Draculaura / Pinky Violence) spent a significant amount of time with the star last season (although Santa Muerte is a capable triple threat), which means that the jamming—long the strength of this Gores squad—will come primarily from rookie sources.

Who’s New?

Whatever they say about “Gore attitude,” the team certainly seemed to be drafting to fill needs, and they may have done so impressively. While the explosive offense has alway been central to the success of this team, the Gores have traditionally been top heavy, with not a lot of depth at the position. In one off season, a deep draft has changed all that.

Lexi Con will be key part of the Gores' offensive rebuild. (photo by Ashlea Wessel)

Rookie Lexi Con will be a key part of the Gores’ offensive rebuild. (photo by Ashlea Wessel)

D-VAS-developed skaters Lexi Con and Viktory Lapp have both been seen with the star, with Lexi emerging as a juggernaut as 2012 wore on. Joining them as part of this exciting new rotation are transfers Taranasaurus Rex, Beaver Mansbridge and Tarantulove, who all have significant experience jamming (Taranasaurus Rex is already a member of the Bruisers, and Tarantulove played a full WFTDA season with the Rideau Valley Vixens last year).

The pack is filled out with fomer D-VAS captain Purple Pain and transfers Gypsy Nose Bleed and Amefyst (who had off-season surgery and will miss the beginning of the season). Long term rookie prospects Cirque du So-Laid and Full Deck fill out the 2013 Gore Roster

How’s it Look?

This is definitely the dawn of a new era for the Gore-Gore Rollergirls. Along with the shift in on-track personnel, there has even been a changing of the guard on the bench. After six seasons, His Unholiness the Reverend Ramirez has committed full time to CN Power this year, leaving his former understudies Hot Carl and hellbat at the reigns. While there will definitely be a period of transition for this team, they bring an exceptionally experienced group of rookies to the track in 2013 (only two of the ten new draftees lack significant track time), and will certainly be competitive. After riding the wave of inconsistency last season, at the very least—and baring injuries—2013 should bring a steady, consistent roster to build around.