Grand Raggidy

ToRD Closes Out Home Season with Double Header Against Royal City

ToRD hosts Royal City in a double header. Doors at The Bunker open at 5:00 PM.

When ToRD’s Bay Street Bruisers and Royal City’s Brute Leggers met in Guelph’s Sleeman Centre this past June, the newly formed B-Team from Toronto was playing its second competitive game since being reborn as a travel team (the home team version of the Bruisers disbanded in 2009). Meanwhile, the Brute Leggers, another relatively newly formed travel team, were already well into a busy breakout season, holding a 3-2 record coming off of a hard-fought eight-point victory over Kingston’s Disloyalists.

The Bruisers would burst out to a substantial early lead in the June showdown, and would hold off a significant Brute Leggers second-half pushback for a 176-153 victory. That Bruisers’ win was the first of four in a row, which included a Roller Derby Association of Canada (RDAC) Eastern Canadian championship. The Brute Leggers have continued their busy season and now stand at 5-7 on year, but currently find themselves on a three-game losing streak that includes losses to Tri-City hometeam (and Beast of the East champs) the Vicious Dishes, the Renegade Derby Dames Misfit Militia, and GTA’s G-sTARs.

ToRD’s other farm team, the D-VAS, played for much bigger stakes the last time they met Royal City’s farm team, The Top Herloins. In the semi-finals of this year’s Fresh and Furious tournament, the D-VAS took an early lead only to have the Herloins pull ahead and hold off a late D-VAS surge for a miniscule two-point victory.

The Bruisers held off the Brute Leggers for a 20 point win at a June showdown in Guelph. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Both teams, however, are composed of young, mostly inexperienced skaters who have been going through a season of massive growth. It has to be assumed that much has changed between both of these teams since that July showdown four months ago. The D-VAS recently exhibited that growth with an impressive victory over The Disloyalists, avenging an early season 259 point loss. They defeated the Kingston team by a similar margin as the Brute Leggers did, which implies that this D-VAS team has developed significantly this season.

But just because the Bruisers and Brute Leggers represent teams higher up each league’s competitive ladder doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been change in the teams. The Bruisers present a much different roster from the one that squared off against Royal City in the summer. Overall, there are nine new skaters on the team, and five on the game-day roster who weren’t on the team in June. The Brute Leggers, who contain skaters that also play on the Top Herloins, have gone through an immense change, and since they started playing publicly in May of last year, have played a remarkable 23 games, picking up a lot of valuable track experience along the way.

The Top Herloins defeated the D-VAS by two points at the Fresh and Furious: GTA Drift. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

On top of the potential competitive nature of the bout, this D-VAS team will be playing its last game together before ToRD’s house league entry draft next month. Due to CN Power’s recent commitment to having its skaters commit fully to only the travel team roster, there are a lot of spaces open on ToRD’s four home teams; virtually all of the current roster of D-VAS will be drafted into the league for the 2013 season. The core of this team has been skating together for nearly two years now, and will soon find themselves distributed over four teams.  As for the D-VAS: word on the track is that there is a very talented crop of fresh meat ready to fill the spaces that will be opened on the farm team.

For the Brute Leggers, this will mark the conclusion of a busy, ground-breaking season that saw them pick up third place in RDAC’s Eastern Canadian Championship (which they also hosted!), but even more importantly play a lot of games. They played a range of talent level and didn’t back down from any challenges and have set the stage for a big 2013 season.

The Bruisers now represent the all-star skaters of ToRD’s houseleague, and with a handful of games already scheduled for south of the border, are looking to finish 2012 strong with the roster that will represent the team for the bulk of 2013. After this weekend, the Bruisers will hit the road with their big sisters CN Power and head to Grand Rapids to take on the G-Rap Attack in a double header featuring CN Power’s WFTDA sanctioned showdown with Grand Raggidy. A win on Saturday would go a long way in building confidence for the trip.

***The games will be played at The Bunker in Downsview Park.  Doors open at 5:00 PM, with the opening whistle of the D-VAS vs. Top Herloins game set for 6:00 PM. The Bay Street Bruisers vs. Brute Leggers bout will start at 8:00 PM.  Tickets are available online or at a handful of locations downtown.

***  The Caplansky’s food truck will be returning for the game, so come for dinner!

CN Power takes the split on first WFTDA roadtrip

CN Power went 1-1 in its first WFTDA sanctioned roadtrip, scoring a victory over Queen City’s Lake Effect Furies while falling short against the Grand Raggidy All Stars. Both teams offered extraordinarily physical challenges to CN Power who were primed for top-flight competition after one-sided victories over the Hammer City Eh! Team and Killamazoo Derby Darlins. While CN Power remains officially unranked, both opponents were ranked well above the ToRD all stars in their respective regions. (*Disclaimer: The Nerd was managing the bench for the Grand Raggidy bout)

CN Power (– NC) 68 vs. Grand Raggidy All Stars 148 (11 NC)

Both opponents had size and strength advantages over CN Power that provided a unique set of challenges in the pack for ToRD’s all stars. Grand Raggidy finished the season ranked 11th in the North Central, just one spot out of the playoffs, providing CN Power with an opportunity to see where they stood in their region: their performance should prove to be a confidence builder.

Things started off extremely tight, with the teams trading leads in the very early going and Grand Raggidy having a difficult time containing ToRD’s speedy jammer trio of Bambi, Defecaitlin and Dyna Hurtcha. But where they lacked in speed they made up in power, and quickly began to dominate the packs. Forming tight, almost impenetrable walls, the hometeam was able to keep fairly consistent control over the pace and formation of the packs that kept CN Power from being able to mount any sort of comeback once the hosts pulled into the lead.

Despite strong games from Panty Hoser and Lady Gagya coupled with the on-track leadership of Brim Stone and Tara Part, about halfway through the second Grand Raggidy was threatening to run away with it. Nonetheless, the Toronto skaters pushed through to the end, and in a positive sign of things to come, CN Power refocused late and kept their heads in the game, finishing strong and even carrying a lot of the play in the last five minutes of the game to narrow the spread that at one point was threatening to grow. Grand Raggidy held on for the 148-68 win.

CN Power (– NC) 139 vs. QCRG’s Lake Effect Furies (14 E) 123

One night and what seemed like half a country later, CN Power found themselves in Buffalo, NY to face off against Queen City’s Lake Effect Furies. The Furies, ranked 14th in the very competitive Eastern Region, brought a similar skill-set as Grand Raggidy to the matchup: strong pack work and great one-on-one ability. Despite the long drive and the unfamiliar surroundings, CN Power roared out of the gates and rode a 24 point Candy Crossbones power jam to a 38-10 lead ten minutes. Bolstered by the arrival of some fresh legs in Candy, Bruiseberry Pie, Betty Bomber and Santa Muerte, CN Power kept pouring it on, extending their lead to 65-31 with eight minutes left in the half. But in a half that was loaded with penalties (on both sides) momentum swings were inevitable, and Queen City (who were coming off of a big victory over the Tri-City Thunder the night before), got their heads back in the game. Led by some phenomenal pack work from Vajeena Warrior, the Furies crawled their way back into it. Strong one-on-one play allowed them to dominate the packs, and they completely neutralized Toronto’s jammers late in the half (often continuously recycling them at the back of the pack). They kept Toronto off the scoreboard for the last 8 minutes and actually pulled ahead 68-65 at the half.

It was much the same to kick off the second half as the game threatened to get away from CN Power. Despite an early Toronto power jam, Queen City continued to ride strong blocking in the first ten minutes (while CU~T also threw down some big hits for the hometeam), increasing their lead to 99-75.

The penalty woes that had plagued both teams in the first disappeared in the second, which made for some exciting derby, and as they had the night before, CN Power began to get stronger as the bout slipped into its later stages. Jubilee and Aston Martini both had stand-out performances in the second half taking over the back of the pack and often peeling the opposing blockers off of CN Power’s jammers. Nasher the Smasher also had a strong bout, often effectively goating the Furies’ jammers to buy time for her own. With just over eleven minutes remaining in the game ToRD slipped back into the lead 104-103 for the first time in the half. The teams would continue to trade leads in an increasingly tense bout, until Dyna Hurtcha took advantage of a power jam to put up 19 points and give CN Power a 126-110 lead with just under five minutes left.

Some Queen City strategic miscues (including a few intentionally delayed penalty box entries by their jammers) allowed CN Power some breathing room. Leading 139-118 heading into the final jam, Queen City picked up lead and five points on a grand slam, but it was all they could manage as CN Power held on for the 139-123 victory.

CN Power's new mascot was on hand in Grand Raggidy (thanks to the slamtastic Slam Wow!)