Killamazoo Derby Darlins

Rideau Valley Makes WFTDA History at Thrilling D2 Tournament in Kitchener-Waterloo

The Vixens defeat Berlin in an all-international final to become the first non-US-based team to win a WFTDA playoff tournament.

Canada's Rideau Valley Vixens are the first non-US team to win a WFTDA playoff tournament. (Photo from Vixen's Facebook page)

Canada’s Rideau Valley Vixens are the first non-US team to win a WFTDA playoff tournament. (Photo from Vixens’ Facebook page)

Since the team made its debut on a snowy February 27th, 2010, at the ToRD Hangar in Toronto, the Rideau Valley Vixens have been one of this country’s most enigmatic teams. Consistently fielding some of Canada’s finest skaters (including two members of Team Canada and a big chunk of Ontario’s provincial team), the team has not always lived up to the sometimes-lofty expectations thrust upon it. Until, that is, this past weekend, where they far surpassed those expectations, outlasting Berlin’s Bear City in an absolutely thrilling championship game to become the first team outside of the United States to win a WFTDA playoff tournament, earning them a spot in the Division 2 championship game in Nashville in November where they will square off against mighty Detroit.

Graduating to full WFTDA membership in June 2012, the Rideau Valley Vixens struggled to find consistency early in their WFTDA careers, hovering around the high D2 rankings and never quite able to string together more than three wins in a row, all the while capable of pulling off shocking victories (such as a 2013 victory over Toronto’s CN Power) as often as they were able to slump to disappointing losses.

After narrowly missing out of the D2 playoffs in 2013, things did finally begin to change for the better for the team this season. Kicking off 2014 on a six-game winning streak (that included an impressive non-sanctioned win over Misfit Militia), the team found itself surging up the WFTDA rankings, finally slipping comfortably into a playoff spot in May, as the sole Canadian team in the D2 playoffs (four others qualified for D1).

The Kitchener-Waterloo D2 tournament actually contained a series of historic moments: the first tournament hosted outside of the US (and Tri-City Roller Derby knocked it out of the park—universally praised for the organization); the first to feature a team from continental Europe (Bear City’s Berlin Bombshells); the first to feature nation’s capitals square off (it happened twice, first when Berlin knocked out DC in the quarterfinals); and, eventually, the first to feature a fully international final.

Gold Coast (and Team USA) skater Baller Shot Caller led her team all the way to the 3rd place game where they fell to a scrappy Killamazoo led by Javelin (33) and Neva Soba. (Photo by Joe Mac)

Gold Coast (and Team USA) skater Baller Shot Caller (jamming) led her team all the way to the 3rd place game where they fell to a scrappy Killamazoo led by Javelin (#33 left) and Neva Soba. (Photo by Joe Mac)

While the big-picture view of this tournament will focus on the history, at track level, the quality of the play stole the show; parity was the dominant story of the tournament, and it made for some phenomenal games. Of the 17 games, 9 finished with a differential of less than 20 points, and the event was bookended by the tightest results, with the opening and closing games of the tournament being settled by 3 points. Only one game—Rideau Valley’s 239-130 win over Boulder Country—featured a point differential of more than 100. Overall, the average point differential was 41.4. This, along with the first D2 Duluth’s 73 point average differential, provides the best indicator that the WFTDA’s new playoff system is producing the desired results

While this was the dominant tale, A sub narrative may have been the story of the upsets. The top two seeds (DC and Queen City) ended up playing for 5th, and while two of the top four finishers were expected (3rd seed Vixens and 4th seed Killamazoo finishing 1st and 3rd respectively), the other spots were filled by the 9th seed (Berlin) and the 7th seed (Gold Coast), both of whom had to endure (and survive) the Friday morning play-in games. Nonetheless, it was clear that despite the necessity for some slight internal adjustments, these 10 teams deserved to be here.

The final was an extraordinary display of what modern women’s flat track roller derby has to offer: furious play, as slow and gritty as it was fast and loose (the slower play an advantage to Rideau Valley), phenomenal clutch performances, and two teams that left it all on the track.

The Vixens led over the opening 5 jams before a 9-0 Bear City jam gave Berlin the lead 30-22. They would hold the lead until the 43rd jam of the game and would trade back one more time before Rideau would retake the lead two jams later and hold on until the end, holding off a 20-18 Berlin run in a frantic final jam that went the full 2 minutes. When the final whistle blew, the Vixens had managed a 243-240 victory.

Two critical moments defined the second half. The first consisted of both teams trading errors: A rare moment of confusion late in the second half (jam 42 of 47) on the Rideau Valley bench saw the Vixens not field a jammer. It looked to be the defining moment of the tournament, until, that is, the Berlin jammer (Master Blaster) attempted a risky apex jump that landed her in the penalty box, thus ending the jam. Critical errors traded so cancelling each other out.

Berlin's Master Blaster was simply phenomenal, leading the tournament in scoring and track time for a jammer. She was the worthy winner of the MVP award. (Photo by Joe Mac)

Berlin’s Master Blaster was simply phenomenal, leading the tournament in scoring and track time for a jammer. She was the worthy winner of the MVP award. (Photo by Joe Mac)

The second key moment came in the final jam. With the Vixens up by 5, they needed only to keep pace with Berlin. A key knock-out/drag back by Jane Rudolph on lead jammer Master Blaster late put the jammer a half lap back of her counterpart Soul Rekker, the Vixens’ jammer; this proved critical when Rekker picked up a last-second penalty and Master Blaster was just too far behind to catch up and score a full pass.

The play was indicative of the kind of performances that Rideau Valley got on the weekend from their core vets. In the final, with key blockers Hannah Murphy and Margaret Choke having fouled out by the midway point of the second (they’d been leading their team in track time to that point), it was incumbent upon others to step up, and step up they did. Rudolph was extraordinary in the championship game, and given the stage, veteran blocker Sister Disaster played the game of her career, key in moments of jammer relief (including two key star passes) and overcoming any physical disadvantage with heart and pure determination (she would lead the tournament in blocker plus/minus). Brennan was another critical force and first-year transfer BlackeyE has blossomed in Rideau Valley (her third league).

Berlin, playing short all weekend, used their blockers on a much more even rotation, with the extraordinarily feisty Catherine Beat-Her Bonez leading the way, but Bee Fattal (who lead her team with a blocker +122), Paulina Pocket, Emmazon and Heavy Rotation were all key.

But if you want to look at the key difference between the two finalists, it comes down to the jammer rotation. The Vixens dominated Berlin’s Donner Doro and Kozmic Bruise, limiting them to 34 and 36 points and 18% and 20% lead percentages respectively; however, eventual tournament MVP Master Blaster was another story entirely, and as she did all weekend, played over half of her team’s jams with the star (including 5 of the last 6 jams). She finished with 164 of her team’s points in the game and held a remarkable 72% lead percentage.

The Vixens had a slightly more balanced approach. Two first-year jammers (at the WFTDA level) Austin Tatious and Shania Pain (a transfer from the Yukon) played well above their experience level. Austin finished the game with 39 points and a 64% lead percentage, while Shania finished with 77 and 44% (and ended the tournament as the 5th leading scorer). But the story of the game (and the weekend) was the play of veteran Soul Rekker; in the final, she finished with 127 points and a 50% lead percentage and was critical in the last jam, going lap for lap with Master Blaster. Furthermore, she led the tournament in lead percentage (66%) and points per jam (6.5) among jammers with at least 30 jams.

Overall, both D2 tournaments have set a standard for the upcoming D1 teams to compete against. This tournament was run phenomenally in a beautiful venue with decent crowds that filled out nicely for the key Saturday night/Sunday evening games: the emotion in the building during the final was unbelievable. If these past two weekends are any indicator of what is to come in the 2014 WFTDA Division 1 playoffs, we should all expect nothing less than the best.

***All games were broadcast live on WFTDA.TV and will all eventually be available for free in the WFTDA.TV archives. Do yourself a favour and (re)watch them!

***Read blow-by-blow game recaps at Derby News Network and


  • 1st Place – Rideau Valley Roller Girls (3 seed)
  • 2nd Place – Bear City Roller Derby (9 seed)
  • 3rd Place – Killamazoo Derby Darlins (4 seed)
  • 4th Place – Gold Coast Derby Grrls (7 seed)
  • 5th Place – Queen City Roller Girls (2 seed)
  • 6th Place – DC Rollergirls (1 seed)
  • 7th Place – Chicago Outfit Roller Derby (5 seed)
  • 8th Place – Demolition City Roller Derby (8 seed)
  • 9th Place – Boulder County Bombers (6 seed)
  • 10th Place – Grand Raggidy Roller Girls (10 seed)

Tournament Stats Leaders (minimum 30 jams unless indicated–Stats by Rinxter)


Master Blaster (BCRD) 506 Soul Rekker (RVRG) 66% Master Blaster (BCRD) 90
Soul Rekker (RVRG) 345 Jessie Girl (KDD) 64% Lola Blow (CORD) 65
Lola Blow (CORD) 330 Master Blaster (BCRD) 62% Bitchin N Rollin (GCRG) 54
LiBRAWLian (QCRG) 282 LiBRAWLian (QCRG) 62% Matza Ball Breaker (CORD) 54
Shania Pain (RVRG) 235 Dubois/Doobie Trap (KDD) 62% Soul Rekker (RVRG) 53

*Gold Coast’s Bitchin N Rollin was the only other jammer to score over 200 points (225)

**Demolition City’s Stepheree finished with a 73% lead percentage over 26 jams.


Bangs McCoy (DCRD) 119 Sister Disaster (RVRG) +151
Baller Shot Caller (GCRG) 109 Brennan (RVRG) +146
Heavy Rotation (BCRD) 106 Margaret Choke (RVRG) +134
Paulina Pocket (BCRD) 103 Murphy (RVRG) +123
Catherine Beat-Her Bonez (BCRD) 101 Bee Fattal /Karo’Bolage (BCRD) +122

ToRD Takes Two: CN Power and Bruisers Triumph over Killamazoo

killamazoo logoKillamazoo Derby Darlins (13th NC) 169 vs.CN Power Logo ToRD CN Power (14th NC) 263

After a breakthrough 2012 season, things ended poorly for CN Power last year. Struggling through injury and unexpected retirements, the Toronto all stars headed to Grand Rapids to take on the Grand Raggidy Roller Girls missing key players. The results were disappointing for the team to say the least: a big loss to a lesser ranked opponent.

Kookie Doe was part of an effective Toronto jammer rotation. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

Kookie Doe was part of an effective Toronto jammer rotation. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

Fast forward to this weekend and a recovered, rested CN Power took to the track for the first game of 2013 against a Killamazoo Derby Darlins group that may have been the only team in WFTDA’s North Central Region that was hotter than CN Power in 2012. Having slipped ahead of CN Power in the rankings (largely due to a victory over that same Grand Raggidy team shortly before Toronto lost to them), Killamazoo ended 2012 on a tear, going 11-4 in WFTDA play (14-4 overall), and was looking to avenge two previous losses to CN Power.

Toronto had other things in mind.

Driven by a vocal home crowd, CN Power lunged out to a 31-3 start 4:30 into the game. Killamazoo was caught off guard, and in the early going, were having troubles containing CN Power’s jammers. Dust Bunny looked solid in her return after a long injury layoff, while Bambi bounced back after a rough game in Grand Rapids. Rebel Rock-It, who shifted her game to take on more jamming in 2012, continued to look solid with the star, and last year’s breakout offensive threat Kookie Doe (who introduced herself to the derby community after an explosive ECDX) rounded out an impressive and consistent rotation for the home team.

The return of Nasher the Smasher and Tara Part had a big impact on Toronto. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

The return of Nasher the Smasher (front right) and Tara Part (left) had a big impact on Toronto. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

By the midway point of the period, CN Power remained in complete control, up 88-21 as Killamazoo ran into penalty troubles and CN Power was able to take advantage of power jams.  One of the bigger weaknesses in the Grand Raggidy loss was loose packs, but Toronto was significantly tighter in this one: It was a veteran lineup full of big-game experience and it showed in the poise and control of things in the first half.  The impact of the on-track leadership of the likes of Tara Part and Nasher the Smasher was evident, and for the half, CN Power would accumulate only 16 penalty minutes to Killamazoo’s 24.

But Killamazoo tightened up as the half continued and managed a push pack in the final 10 minutes. A physical jammer rotation was anchored on the first half by Terrorhawk but featured triple threat Rosie Furocious and Doobie Trap as well. Killamazoo kept pace with CN Power for the duration of the half, just getting edged 48-38 over that span, but were down a considerable margin at the break, 173-62.

Killamazoo, ranked one spot ahead of CN Power, was hoping to avenge two previous losses. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

Killamazoo, ranked one spot ahead of CN Power, was hoping to avenge two previous losses. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

This parity continued through the first ten minutes of the second half as the Derby Darlins settled into the game, and some determined pack work from Furocious, Neva Soba, and Javelin started to draw considerable pack penalties from CN Power. Heckler (who had played in the B-team game earlier in the evening) also came on strong with the star in the second, helping to pull more leads from the undermanned CN Power packs. By the midway point of the second, Killamazoo had chipped away at the lead to make it 214-132.

The biggest downfall for Killamazoo may have been power jam management. Too often they allowed CN Power skaters to pace-line during the jammer advantage, and wasted valuable moments unsuccessfully trying to isolate and trap at fast speeds. Although CN Power did not have as many power jam opportunities in the second, they took advantage of those they did to maintain their lead, so despite the strong pushback from the visitors, the difference remained significant (237-158) with only 7 minutes remaining.

Potential triple threat Dyna Hurtcha continues her outstanding work in the pack. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

Potential triple threat Dyna Hurtcha continues her outstanding work in the pack. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

CN Power would actually end up getting outscored in the second half (107-90), due, in large part, to pack penalties that often left only two blockers on the track. That being said, the Toronto blockers often stepped up in these situations, with Betty Bomber and Dyna Hurtcha working particularly well in short handed situations.

In the end, a fully stacked CN Power was too much for the visitors from Michigan, and Toronto was able to kick off 2013 much like they did 2012—with a minor upset in an important WFTDA game, winning 263-169.

While Toronto got two weeks off before their next game, Killamazoo was right back at it and did not leave Canada empty handed, defeating Hammer City’s Eh! Team 358-126 in a WFTDA sanctioned bout on Sunday.

killamazoo logoKillamazoo Killa Crew 129 vs. Bay Street Bruisers LogoToRD Bay Street Bruisers 268

The Bay Street Bruisers kicked off their second season as ToRD’s B-team playing in what will be just the first of a handful of double-headers with their big sisters CN Power. Last season, the Bruisers initially focused on more regional play, and while that will remain a big part of their season in 2013, they will also shift focus to more travel south of the border, and will even take part in this year’s Quad City Chaos.

The Bruisers continued their impressive run, winning their 7th straight game. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The Bruisers continued their impressive run, winning their 7th straight game. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The Bruisers established themselves as a B-team to watch in 2012, winning the RDAC Eastern Canadian Championship, compiling a 6-1 record overall and rising all the way up to 8th in overall Canadian rankings (currently, they are ranked 10th—the only B-team in the Top 10).

As CN Power would, the Bruisers jumped out to a quick start, taking the first four lead jammer statuses and building a 21-6 lead. The first power jam actually went to the visitors, but they were unable to do much with it, getting all sorts of trouble from the Bruisers power kill and only managing a 5-point pick up. The Bruisers kept a tight jammer rotation of Bellefast, Getcha Kicks and Hailey Copter (formerly titmouse) who were able to keep The Killa Crew off guard. While the Bruisers were able to build a significant lead through the first 20 minutes (68-26), they couldn’t quite pull away.

Led by the powerful Maditude Adjustment and Heckler (who also played for the A-team), Killa Crew varied its jammer rotation and was able to mount—if not a comeback—at least enough of an attack to stay within reach over the final ten minutes; the Bruisers held a 53% lead percentage for the half, but it was only 33% over the final ten minute stretch. Nonetheless, they led105-53 at the break.

Getcha Kicks was impressive on the night, helping the Bruisers' jammers dominate lead percentage in the second half. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Getcha Kicks was impressive on the night, helping the Bruisers’ jammers dominate lead percentage in the second half. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Killa Crew maintained this momentum over the first 5 minutes of the second half, managing to create three consecutive power jams and climbing all the way back to be within 6, 109-103. A timeout from the Bruisers bench allowed the team a moment to calm themselves and refocus, and the Bruisers came out flying the rest of the way (Killamazoo would be held to only 26 points over the final 20 minutes).

The Bruisers were led in the packs by veteran pivots Speedin Hawkin, Dawson and Monichrome, Scarcasm and Ames to Kill were dominant defensively, while Robber Blind and Furious Georgia provided some strong offensive blocking.  The tight jammer rotation opened up later in the game allowing Bruisers rookie Taranasuarus Rex an opportunity with the star, and one she made the most of, managing a 100% lead percentage over four jams that included a late 25 pointer that put the game away. The Bay Street Bruisers managed a 78% lead percentage over the final 15 minutes of the game, outscoring their opposition 101-24 over the span, running away with what at one point, looked like was going to be a tight game.

With the home opener out of the way, ToRD’s travel teams will be on the road in two weeks with CN Power and the Bruisers taking on Fort Wayne on February 16th, and CN Power then taking on the mighty Naptown (Indianapolis) on the 17th. The Fort Wayne double header will be boutcast live; stay tuned for more details.

ToRD Hosts Killamazoo to Kick off Travel Team Season

Kill v ToRD 2013 posterToronto Roller Derby’s 2013 travel team season kicks off on February 2nd with a double header at The Bunker as CN Power hosts the Killamazoo Derby Darlins and the Bay Street Bruisers face off against Killamazoo’s B-Team, the Killa Crew. In a growing rivalry, this will be the third time that CN Power and Killamazoo square off in the past two years, with CN Power taking the first two games in a home and away series.

The Derby Darlins vs. CN Power

CN Power is coming off of a strong first season competing in the WFTDA, going 9-2 in sanctioned games and climbing from 17th to 13th overall in the North Central Region. They kicked things off in February with an upset over then 14th ranked Fort Wayne in Indiana before coming home and reeling off four straight sanctioned victories over Roc City (Rochester, New York), cross-province rivals Hammer City and Tri- City, and Buffalo’s Lake Effect Furies.

Having inched their way to 15th in the North Central at that point, the Toronto all stars suffered their first set-back of the season, losing a hard-fought bout against the extremely talented Ohio Roller Girls out of Columbus, Ohio. It was a back and forth game in the first half, with Ohio pulling ahead by 13 at the break on the back of a power jam. In the second half, a string of untimely injuries had Toronto scrambling; despite their best efforts, they were unable to recover getting badly outscored in the second half and falling 197-91.

The loss propelled the team into its first appearance at the Milwaukee’s Mid-West Brewhaha where they would open with an impressive 158-124 victory over Burning River (Cleveland), before dismantling Fox City (Appleton, Wisconsin) 441-43. This would mirror their inaugural experience at Philadelphia’s legendary ECDX just a few weeks later, where a hard-fought bout (a fantastic 148-120 victory over Maine) would be followed by another blowout (a 375-60 win over Harrisburg), victories made all the sweeter due to the absence of key skaters to injuries.

CN Power after a victory over Buffalo rivals, the Lake Effect Furies. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

CN Power after a victory over Buffalo rivals, the Lake Effect Furies. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

It was at this point in the season where injuries and unexpected retirements began to take their toll.  While their impressive run brought them all the way up to 13th in the North Central, it would not be enough to get into the playoffs, which allowed the team to focus on rebuilding a roster. This rebuilt roster would only get one chance to play, a disappointing loss to Grand Raggidy on the road in Grand Rapids in October. Nonetheless, the team was ready for 2013 and a renewed focus on WFTDA play.

2013 marks a major change in ToRD’s focus, with the skaters of CN Power leaving their home teams to focus exclusively on travel team play in the highly competitive league.  This new roster will face a stiff first challenge against a revamped Killamazoo Derby Darlins who ended 2013 as one of the hottest teams in the North Central Region. Finishing 10-4 in sanctioned play and leaping from 20th to 14th in the WFTDA North Central Region, the Darlins went 7-2 from July to October, but showed some inconsistency when a big upset over Grand Raggidy was followed by a shocking loss to NEO (out of Akron and ranked only 23rd in the region at the time). But Killamazoo’s strong showing against Grand Raggidy and then also against Ohio and Detroit (albeit in losses) shows that this team can bring it against tough competition. Having lost two in a row to CN Power, they will undoubtedly be on the hunt for revenge.

The Killa Crew vs. The Bay Street Bruisers

ToRD’s newly reborn Bay Street Bruisers (the former home team was resurrected as a B-Team in 2012) had an extremely successful first season, putting together an impressive 6-1 record after beginning their season in May.

The Bruisers first ever bout was a tough one against a very strong Ohio B Team, Gang Green (who went 13-4 in a very busy season), a bout that would turn out to be their only loss in 2012 (163-107). The Bruisers then headed to Guelph to take on Royal City’s Brute-Leggers, in what would turn out to be another tough game, a 23-point victory.

The Bay Street Bruisers as 2012 RDC champions. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The Bay Street Bruisers as 2012 RDAC champions. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

This would set the stage, for ToRD’s first appearance at RDAC’s Eastern Canadian Championship (Roller Derby Association of Canada). The Bruisers would take down Nickel City’s Sister Slag in the first round, before mounting a late-game comeback to take down Renegade Derby Dame’s Misfit Militia by 10 points in the semi final. In the final, the Bruisers defeated the defending champion Forest City All Stars 177-88 to take the Eastern Canadian championship.

In the fall, a new-look Bruisers’ roster would continue to have success, first taking on the Brute-Leggers in a rematch of their tight May bout, this time roughing up their Royal City opponents at home, winning 271-43. The Bruisers finished 2012 on the road, taking a short-handed roster to Grand Rapids to take on the G-Rap Attack, a game they would win 162-80.

The Killa Crew now has two full seasons under their belts, and were busy in 2012, playing twelve games. But wins were hard to come by for the Crew, as their 4-9 record indicates. Two late-season losses to the G-Rap Attack (though both were fairly close) are the only points of comparison with the Bruisers. But a new season brings new expectations. This will be the first game of the season for each team.

** Doors open at The Bunker at 5:00 PM, with the opening game whistle at 6:00 PM. Tickets are available online or at select outlets.

2012 Season Preview: CN Power

CN Power 2012


CN Power completed its apprenticeship and kicked off life as a member of the WFTDA’s North Central Region in 2011, making a commitment to compete. And it was a successful initial foray into the highest levels of competitive flat track roller derby. The team kicked off 2011 with a preview of things to come  when they crushed WFTDA team Killamazoo Derby Darlins 197-35 in a February home game (Killamazoo was ranked 19th in the North Central at that time). CN Power completed its apprenticeship when it hosted Montreal’s New Skids on the Blocks, Tri-City Thunder and the Rideau Valley Vixens at the second annual Quad City Chaos, going 2-1 with victories over Thunder (112-98) and Vixens (156-40) to finish second in the round robin tournament for the second year in a row.

CN Power overwhelmed a short handed Eh! Team in October. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

After acceptance into the WFTDA at the end of the summer, the Toronto all stars continued to dominate the lower levels of the North Central completing a home-and-home sweep of Killamazoo (220-76) before destroying traditional rivals from Hammer City, the Eh! Team (277-22). The team stepped up the competition in the fall facing a considerable challenge in Grand Raggidy (ranked 11th), losing 148-68 in Grand Rapids. CN Power got back on a winning streak with a hard-fought 139-129 victory over Queen City’s Lake Effect Furies (14th in the Eastern Region) and Rideau Valley’s Vixens.

In December, CN Power faced its stiffest challenge ever against Naptown. (Photo by Michael Guio)

CN Power closed out 2011 on a Midwest road trip that saw them face off against North Central powerhouse Naptown (falling mightily 266-67) before taking out their frustrations on Louisville’s Derby City Rollergirls 295-28. All in all, going 9-3 on its first full season with a set roster and after gaining admittance to the WFTDA, it was an impressive year for a team that previous to this had never played more than seven bouts in a season (in 2010, after only four in 2009 and one in 2008).

For a complete list of scores and results, click here.

Mia Culprit returns to CN Power. She was part of the first ever CN Power team that challenged the Eh! Team in 2008. (Photo by Derek Lang)


After a series of makeshift rosters suffered crushing losses to end 2010, CN Power reorganized and restructured and 2011 was the first year try outs lead to a set roster. In 2012 the competitive structure remains and three new skaters have been added to the team. League veteran and current member of the Smoke City Betties Mia Culprit returns to CN Power (she was part of the first ever CN Power lineup in 2008) adding power and depth to the pack, which will also be bolstered by the arrival of Chicks Ahoy! member Marmighty, who turned some heads with her league play in 2011. And finally 2011 rookie of the year Kookie Doe (also of the Chicks Ahoy!) rounds out the additions and adds depth to the jammer rotation. Lady Gagya joins Brim Stone as co-captains for 2012.

CN Power already has a steady and consistent flow of competition lined up for 2012 with spring bouts scheduled against Queen City’s Lake Effect Furies and a March 3rd home debut against Rochester New York’s Roc City All Stars. They also have two tournaments lined up: along with hosting the third annual Quad City Chaos (March 31-April 1), they will also take part in the Midwest Brewhaha in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (June 2-3).

Fort Wayne is CN Power's first opponent in 2012.

CN Power kicks off 2012 this Saturday with a critical road game showdown against Fort Wayne in Indiana.  The Fort Wayne Derby Girls are a historic flat track team, playing in the WFTDA since 2007. They were also involved in some of the sport’s earliest cross-border showdowns in their dealings with the Hammer City Eh! Team.  Currently they are ranked 14th in the North Central, but climbed as high as 12th in 2011 (they went 5-6 in WFTDA action in 2011, facing off against some of the toughest competition in the region). They played their first bout of 2012 on January 21st with a definitive 204-80 win against 23rd ranked NEO Roller Derby (Akron, Ohio).

You can catch all the action live from Fort Wayne on the Derby News Network beginning at 6:00 PM eastern.

2011 Team Stats Highlights

  • Over a grueling twelve-game schedule, Nasher the Smasher (49%), Brim Stone (44%) and Tara Part (42%) were on the track for over 40% of CN Power’s jams (triple threat Dyna Hurtcha was on for 37%). Defecaitlin was the busiest jammer, jamming for 24% of CN Power’s jams.
  • Nasher led the team in blocks and knockdowns, while tied with Mega Bouche for assists.
  • Defecaitlin  led the team in scoring with 445 points (49 points per game, 3.83 points per jam). Dyna Hurtcha (340) and Candy Crossbones (314) also scored over 300 points on the season. Despite appearing in only three games, Bambi managed to score 149 points (49.7 points per game).
  •  Defecailtin also led the team in jammer +/- (+213) and lead % (59%).
  • Given her amount of track time, it’s no surprise that Nasher racked up the most penalties (43 minors, 21 majors for 27 minutes).  Dyna Hurtcha (22) and Mega Bouche (20) also registered at least 20 minutes in penalties.


Nasher the Smasher spent more time on the track in 2011 that any other CN Power skater. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

Aston Martini 510hp (Blocker)

Bambi 33 (Jammer)

Betty Bomber 23 (Blocker, Jammer)

Brim Stone (C) 21:8 (Pivot, Blocker, Jammer)

Bruiseberry Pie 31 (Blocker, Jammer)

Candy Crossbones 2020 (Jammer)

Defecaitlin 2  (Jammer)

Dyna Hurtcha 21 (Blocker, Jammer)

Hurlin Wall 89 (Blocker)

Jubilee 27 (Blocker)

Kookie Doe 807 (Jammer)

Lady Gag Ya (C) 212db (Blocker)

Marmighty 41 (Blocker)

Lady Gagya joins Brim Stone as CN Power co-captain in 2012. (photo by Kevin Konnyu)

Mega Mouth 26 (Blocker, Pivot)

Mia Culprit 22 (Blocker)

Nasher the Smasher 2×4 (Blocker, Pivot)

Panty Hoser 99 (Blocker, Pivot)

Rebel Rock-it 7 (Pivot, Blocker, Jammer)

Santa Muerte 111 (Blocker, Jammer)

Tara Part L7 (Pivot, Blocker)


The Rev. Ramirez

Sonic Doom

The Derby Nerd

Nerd Meat Part 7: Leaps and Bounds

Nerd Meat: The Nerd Does Derby

Part 7: Leaps and Bounds

Now that the weather is starting its slow ascent into summer, I’ve been starting to skate outside. Equipped with some outdoor-appropriate wheels by wheel-hoarding rollergirl partner (are all rollergirls, by nature, wheel hoarders?), the first experience on concrete was not at all as frightening as I’d initially anticipated. There’s a school near us and surrounding the soccer field behind it is a full-size, smoothly paved track. Running drills, playing cat and mouse, I was reminded of that first time my partner and I went skating outside. We were still in Montreal at the time, and had just watched the 2008 MTLRD championship bout (the “Celery Championship,” won by La Racaille—picture flailing stalks of celery replacing the traditional white towel at hockey games and you get the idea), and my partner had finally gotten to the point where she was no longer content to sit in the suicide seats and watch anymore. She wanted to get out there and play. Only problem: She couldn’t skate.

Slaughter Lauder, jamming for the Betties in ’09, was the last ToRD skater to don artisitic skates in bouts. (photo by Kevin Konnyu)

Her first skates were those old-school, white artistic skates (last worn in ToRD during the 2009 season by Slaughter Lauder), bought for a few bucks at the Salvation Army on Rue Notre-Dame, just a block or two north of the Lachine Canal and the recreation trail that follows its coasts. She was committed enough even then to try to skate home and so we began a slow, laborious stutter-stepping march along the smooth trails next to the Canal.

2008 was a strange season for eastern Canadian roller derby: there was a sense of “settling” going on. The rush and adrenaline of the first seasons had passed, leaving leagues to deal with what they’d created. In Montreal, that meant a unified, highly competitive home league of three teams; in Hammer City, it meant the continued focus on the development of the Eh! Team and traveling far and wide; in Toronto, it meant a struggle to maintain control of the largest flat track roller derby league in the world. Perhaps most importantly, 2008 would see the creation of the New Skids on the Block and CN Power, the travel teams in Montreal and Toronto: the first forays into the larger world of flat track roller derby for these two leagues (this would be mirrored out west as well, in Edmonton and Vancouver among others). There was still a sense that things were settling: it was definitely still an era of change and foundation building.

The Eh! Teams takes on Texas’s Hot Rod Honeys in 2008. (photo by Derek Lang)

The development of roller derby in this country continued to be led by Hammer City. That year the Eh! Team would have the pleasure of heading right into the primordial ooze of flat track roller derby by taking on a Texas Rollergirls’ hometeam; they would also strike up a long standing cross-border feud with Killamazoo that continues to this day. And of course, they would continue to blaze a trail into big-tournament participation by continuing to take part in Fall Brawl (where they would finish 2nd in the non-WFTDA bracket).

But growth in the sport certainly wasn’t limited to Hammer City. In Vancouver, Terminal City was setting the pace out west, and in August of that year would host Derby Night in Canada, where the TCRG All Stars would defeat Montreal’s newly formed, suddenly continent hopping New Skids on the Block 66-48 in the final. But Canada would also have a hand in spreading the derby word internationally as well when in June, Team Canada, a conglomerate of 4 different Canadian leagues (stretching from as far east as Toronto and as far west as Vancouver), headed to the United Kingdom to take on Glasgow (a 102-41 win) and then London Brawling (won by the hosts 128-45). This would mark the first international flat track roller derby bouts played between intercontinental teams.

Hammer City’s Eh! Team and ToRD’s CN Power, first met in June, 2008. (photo by Derek Lang)

But as much as there was growth, there was also change. One of Canada’s first teams, the Steel Town Tank Girls would not survive the season (though the gap would be filled by a third Hammer City team, the Death Row Dames), and ToRD was struggling through its second season, attempting to maintain some sort of control over a sprawling, six-team league. While the CN Power travel team would be formed, the league focus on internal politics and attempts to placate the differing directional opinions (not to mention trying to maintain ToRD’s steadily growing popularity in the city) would mean that it would be largely overmatched by, in particular, the Eh! Team (they would first meet on June 21 at the George Bell arena in Toronto’s west end). ToRD’s six-team league would not survive 2008 with both the D-VAS and eventually the Bay Street Bruisers contracting (though the Bruisers would actually have one last hurrah at the BOE ’09, and the D-VAS would be reborn as a farm team).

MTLRD’s New Skids on the Block became the first Canadian team to defeat the Eh! Team in July 2008. (photo by Susan Moss)

But the biggest change in the sport in Canada would actually not fully come yet, but be hinted at in a July bout at Arena St. Louis in Montreal. Hammer City’s far more experienced Eh! Team would head north to take on the upstart New Skids on the Block, a rag-tag looking squad of Montreal all stars decked out in the now ubiquitous neon. Only the hometeams had faced each other to this point with HCRG taking almost all of those match ups, with only La Racaille managing a slim (32-30) victory over Steel Town at the BOE 2008. That would all change during that Saturday night in July, when the Skids would ride the momentum caused by an intense, ever-intelligent home town crowd to a historic 58-48 victory, marking the beginning of a shift in power in Canadian derby that would take almost another year to fully play out.

I was there at that bout, in my customary spot in the suicide seats, cheering wildly and probably a little belligerently (funny how when I knew the rules less, I actually used to yell at the refs more). While I was already completely enamored with the sport at that point, I was only just beginning to get a sense of the larger world of derby, and the greater significance of that Skids’ victory was lost on me at the time. Upon retrospect, it’s clear to see now that it was the first step in a complete recalibration of the sport in this country, led by a Montreal machine that would help expand the borders of the game.

The D-VAS (in black) last played as a ToRD hometeam in 2008. They now serve as a farm team for the league. (photo by Kevin Konnyu)

It’s remarkable how quickly flat track roller derby is evolving, how that bout was only three years ago but seems like a different era all together. My partner was able to go from absolutely no skating ability to being rostered in a single year. Now, with 90 new recruits, the gap between the skaters who will be ready for drafting by the end of the program and those who won’t be, will be significant. The sport also requires a new level of athletic and strategic commitment as well, and the isolation and pace strategies that fresh meat are now learning at an early stage of training, didn’t even exist in 2008. Here in Toronto, players aren’t even necessarily drafted to teams upon completion of the fresh meat program anymore; instead, they will hone their skills playing for the resurrected D-VAS, which now serves as a league-wide farm team, allowing skaters to be drafted at a significantly higher level. Now, before a skater plays a bout with a ToRD hometeam, she will have the experience of being part of a team, attending regular practices, and most importantly, bouting. All before she’s even drafted.

And this is just the beginning of another massive evolution that will truly change the nature of the sport; as right now, hundreds of young girls are playing in junior roller derby leagues all across North America (including here in Toronto), learning the fundamentals of the game at a mind-bogglingly young age. When these kids start reaching playing age and a wave of junior-trained skaters starts being drafted into leagues (some who will have been skating for up to nine years at that point), it will signify a massive leap forward and the sport will change once again.

Power kills the ‘Zoo; DVAS slay the Sisters

CN Power hosted Michigan's Killamazoo Derby Darlins at a packed Hangar.

Killamazoo Derby Darlins 35  vs. CN Power 197

It was a pink-clad and energized sell-out crowd at the Hangar that greeted the Killamazoo Derby Darlins as they made their first foray north of the border. And it was a pink clad, hyped up roller derby team that welcomed them to Canadian roller derby. Recently promoted to full WFTDA status, Killamazoo looked shaky early on as they adjusted to the slick Hangar floors, and after being overwhelmed in the first ten minutes, never really seemed to get back into it, as CN Power skated away with a lopsided 162 point victory.


The jammer trio of Land Shark (pictured), Candy Crossbones and Defecaitlin was dominant.

Having lost four bouts in a row to end 2010, CN Power rejigged the lineup, found a new focus and purpose, and put a renewed effort into training and preparation: It paid off early. After the opening jam ended in a 0-0 deadlock, Defecaitilin got CN Power on the board for their first lead of the bout and it was a lead they would not relent.  Killamazoo had no answers early on for the sustained ToRD attack led by the strong jamming trio of Land Shark, Defecaitlin, and Candy Crossbones (who led the bout in scoring with 78 points in 10 efficient jams). ToRD’s jammers managed an impressive 83% overall lead percentage (led by Land Shark’s 87%), keeping a lot of the decision-making in their own hands.

While at times ToRD seemed thrown off by the loose, stretched packs (and did suffer some discipline problems that resulted in a fair number of penalties), Dyna Hurtcha, Brim Stone and Dolly Destructo showed a great track awareness, assisting with timely offensive blocks when their jammers were stuck against Killamazoo pivots at the front.  But for the most part, the divided blockers made easy pickings for the ToRD jammers who could not be beaten one-on-one. A much needed timeout 9 minutes in seemed to settle down the Michigan skaters and in the following jam were able to put up their first points of the bout. Nonetheless, mid way through the half, the visitors faced a 56-4 deficit.

Lady Hawk (blocking Defecaitlin) had a strong bout for Killamazoo.

There were moments of great individual effort from the Killamazoo skaters; Darlin triple threat Javelin had a strong bout, leading her team in blocks (10), and despite being trapped behind a back wall at one point on a well-executed Toronto power jam, played some brilliant one-on-one defense on the jammer to limit the damage. Even with some big hitters of their own, the Killamazoo skaters got increasingly frustrated by the heavy hits doled out by the likes of Jubilee, Nasher the Smasher and Tara Part. Despite the ability in flat track roller derby to make up a lot of ground in a short amount of time, CN Power seemed in total control of this one, building a 112-10 lead heading into the half.


CN Power played a textbook flat track roller derby bout, strategically sound and physically prepared. Dictating their style of play, ToRD’s pivots—co-captain Brim Stone and the Chicks Ahoy! trio of Rebel Rock-It, Mega Mouth and Tara Part—controlled the pace and, when possible, the formations of the packs; whether walling up along turns to open an outside lane for Land Shark, or splitting an unfocused pack to allow Defecaitlin to deke her way through, Toronto’s packs were working well for their jammers. To their credit, Killamazoo never stopped battling and were able to slow CN Power’s point production late in the game. Lady Hawk had a strong second half for the ‘Zoo delivering solid blocks in the pack and donning the star for her team as well. Rosie Ferocious took advantage of a rare Killamazoo power jam to pick up 9 points in The Darlins’ biggest jam of the night (Sparkills had an 8 pointer to open the second-half scoring for Killamazoo). But with 10 minutes left in the game, and the fans beginning to trickle out of the Hangar on an increasingly snowy evening, CN Power was cruising, up 174-31.

CN Power rookie Hurlin' Wall lines up Killamazoo jammer Javelin.

Killamazoo’s Yoga Nagettit starting taking out her frustrations on the track late in the second half, keeping things physical and scoring a solid jammer take out on Land Shark. But it was Hurlin’ Wall, CN Power’s lone rookie in the lineup, who took over the pack for Toronto in the second half, leaving it all in the track with some ferocious hits and strong positional blocking. After also looking impressive in her hometeam opener, it doesn’t seem like we’ll have to worry about a sophomore slump for Hurlin. Dyna Hurthca joined the jammer rotation in the second half, adding a physical component to CN Power’s offense, propelling them to a 197-35 victory.

After an inconsistent 2010, CN Power looks reenergized and refocused in 2011. The continuity of a set roster has visibly aided the pack awareness, and more than ever, CN Power looks like a unified front. With significantly stiffer competition coming up in next month’s Quad City Chaos, ToRD’s all stars can’t spend too much time celebrating this one. But the confidence gained from this victory, and knowing  that they can pull off a WFTDA calibre bout, will only help CN Power moving forward.


Stat CN Power Derby Darlins
Margin of Victory/Loss +162 -162
Lead Jammer Percentage 83% 14%
Points Per Jam 4.93 .88
Total Blocks (Knockdowns) 56 (19) 65 (8)
Hits on Jammer (Jammer knockdowns) 10 (15) 41 (7)
Assists (including offensive blocks) 49 25
Minor Penalties (Major penalties) 43 (15) 48 (16)


Stat (Minimum 7 jams) CN Power Derby Darlins
Blocks (Knockdowns) Nasher  8 (3 with 5) Javelin 10 (Miss B. 2)
Jammer hits (Jammer knockdowns) 4 with 2 (Tara/Dyna 4) Javelin 8 (Miss B. 2)
Assists (including offensive blocks) Dyna/Rebel  8 Sparkills  6
Blocker +/- Jubilee +108 Yoga Negattit -11
Pivot +/- Brim Stone +70 Noam Stompsky -25
Total +/- Jubilee +108 Sparkills -34
Minor Penalties (Major penalties) Rebel 6 (Nasher/Dyna 3) Javelin 8 (Ivanna / Beverly 3)


Stat (Minimum 5 jams) CN Power Derby Darlins
Points Candy  78 Rosie Ferocious 9
Points Per Jam Candy  7.8 Rosie Ferocious 1.5
Jammer +/- Candy  +72 Rosie Ferocious -5
Lead % Land Shark 87% Rosie Ferocious 20%
Jam % Land Shark 38% Lady Hawk/Beverly 17%

Zebra Mafia: Penny Whistler (Head Ref), Parking Lot (Assistant Head Ref), D-Minus (HCRG), Hot Carl (HCRG), R’Effin Adorable, Trickless Magician (Killamazoo), Ref-ormed Rebel (FCDG).

D-VAS (ToRD) 71 vs. Sister Slag (NCRD) 38

The opening bout of the double header featured ToRD’s future stars, the D-VAS, hosting Nickel City’s Sister Slag. Lead by bench managers Raunchy Hextall and retired CN Power jammer Lunchbox, the 2011 D-VAS are beginning a journey that could eventually see these fresh meat drafted onto one of ToRD’s four hometeams. Many of these players were skating in their debuts, which allowed ToRD’s fans (and hometeam captains with an eye for the future), the first look at the next crop of Toronto talent. It’s going to become increasingly more difficult to gain a position on one of the Toronto rosters, and this bouting experience is integral in the development of these players.

Smashley of Sister Slag lines up against the D-VAS' Hellbat (photo by Joe Mac)

For Nickel City, this bout represented the second foray south after 2010’s bout against Forest City’s Luscious Lunch Ladies. The skaters of Sister Slag, the league’s travel team, are picking up necessary experience on these trips to bring back to their developing league (which consists of two hometeams: The Sudbetties and Smelter Skelter). This bout was the first of a home and home between these two teams that will be reciprocated with a visit by the D-VAS later in the year.

With Low Ride Her on the bench nursing an injury, Sister Slag was missing an essential component of their team. A competitor in the all star game at Toronto’s Blood & Thunder Training Camp, she could have been a difference maker in this one. What this gap did allow, was for other skaters to step up and lead their team. Smelter Skelter captain Smashley lead the offense for Sister Slag with 16 points, joining Wheels of Misfortune in going toe-to-toe with each of the D-VAS solid crop of developing jammers. The comparative experience of the remaining D-VAS from last year’s squad was evident on the track. Laya Beaton (10 blocks, 5 assists) and Skinned Knee Crosby (9 blocks) were strong up front for the DVAS, with Laya taking her turns with the star as well. Sister Slag captain Dirt Devil was a solid leader for her team on the track, pivoting with confidence.

The bout was tight in the early going, with the D-VAS unable to hold leads. Some untimely Sudbury penalties and another D-VAS vet, Krash, may have been the difference in the end. Krash skated well all bout and gained confidence with her jamming as the game wore on. Keri Daway (who led the DVAS with 32 points and a 100% lead percentage in 6 jams) and Hellbat provided the depth at jammer that allowed the D-VAS to pull away with a 71-38 victory.

* Keep an eye on ToRD.TV for a video recap and layer9’s video archive of the bout. *

And finally, for your viewing pleasure: After the bout, a fan shot this video on the 101 TTC bus that runs from The Hangar to the Downsview subway station. Only roller derby could inspire a bus full of people to have a sing-along (to Queen at that). And to think they almost cut this route.

Nerd Meat Part 3: The “Moment”

Nerd Meat: The Nerd Does Derby

Part 3: The “Moment”

I don’t have any way to back this up, but I have a feeling that this is the largest intake of fresh meat that any league in Canada has seen (just under 90), at least since those first heady days of the sport’s emergence in this country when whole leagues formed in a matter of weeks. It speaks to the cultural prevalence of the sport; the level of media saturation and pop culture awareness that exists. Even just two years ago I’d meet people all the time who had no idea roller derby was making a comeback. That’s not usually the case anymore here in Toronto. People may not have seen flat track roller derby, or know the specifics, but they usually know it’s here and happening.

ToRD's WFTDA Apprenticeship has brought an increased visibility to CN Power.

The increased media prominence in Toronto is coming at a very opportune time. With ToRD on the verge of WFTDA status, the visibility of its travel team, CN Power, is only going to grow south of the border, and it seems that the Toronto media is finally catching on to the importance of CN Power in the larger world of roller derby. In the lead up to this weekend’s bout against Michigan’s Killamazoo Derby Darlins there has been front-page coverage on a major Toronto paper (The Toronto Sun) and prominent sports coverage on City TV’s evening news, all on top of the the usual media avenues. CN Power hasn’t yet drawn the sorts of crowds or inspired the sort of support that ToRD’s hometeams have, but all evidence points toward this weekend’s bout being the most successful and well attended CN Power bout ever—perhaps the travel team is finally starting to draw the sort of increased attention that it deserves.

Right along side this rise in media interest, has been the influx of interested partcipants. The reasons these women tell me they have for joining fresh meat are as varied as the body types and backgrounds. Some just thought it would be a unique “alternative” way to exercise (with the comfort of a large group of like-minded women—and a few guys); some caught a bout or two and were intrigued enough to take the next step, wanted to see if they had what it took to play; others have been watching the sport for much longer, have already skated and trained even, and know that at the end of the fresh meat the opportunity to be drafted to the D-VAS—or even directly onto one of ToRD’s hometeams—exists. These skaters gaze out at the Hangar during fresh meat sessions with a different look in their eyes. Now that they have seen the incredible crowd and felt the energy of ToRD’s season opener and are being swept up in the fervour surrounding this all star bout, they are getting even hungrier.

I won’t surprise anyone by saying that the first time I saw roller derby my life changed. I won’t surprise anyone because I wear my passion for this sport on my sleeve, but also because most people involved in flat track roller derby have had the same experience: The experience that I’ve most often heard described as “the moment.” A few skaters at Fresh Meat speak of having had this moment, and those ones—even if they can’t skate a lick right now—are hooked; it might take them a full year or even two to learn to skate, but they will; they may not be drafted for a draft or two, but they’ll persevere and end up on a roster. They may have undistinguished careers on the track, they may become superstars. But they’re in now, and they won’t get out.

A crowd lines up outside of Arena St. Louis for a 2008 Montreal Roller Derby bout.

My moment came in Montreal on May 31st, 2008, just after Montreal Roller Derby had hosted the inaugural Beast of the East. A few friends (two women) had caught wind of the sport and had gone to check it out. Neither were athletic in the slightest, nor—as far as I knew—had any interest in sports whatsoever. I don’t think either of them even skated very much. But they’d fallen in love at first sight. We saw them at a bar and they couldn’t stop talking about it, raving about it, actually. They told us that the following weekend, two of Montreal’s home teams, Les Filles du Roi and La Racaille, were hosting B-teams from Boston, The B Party, and Charm City (Baltimore), Female Trouble. My partner and I were eventually convinced to check it out.

Montreal plays its home games in Arena St. Louis, a modest-sized arena tucked away in Montreal’s laid back Mile End neighbourhood. It’s right off of The Main—Montreal’s busiest strip—but if you weren’t looking for it, you’d never find it, probably never even know it was there. I won’t lie and claim to remember what I was expecting when I walked into the arena, but I do know that what I discovered was not what I was expecting. It was absolutely packed that night, and in those days the crowd was still predominantly women. There was cheap PBR (and Old Milwaukee when that ran out) and the spectators were quickly rowdy. I couldn’t figure out who all these people were. They didn’t look like sports fans, they looked like people you’d see at a gig at Sala Rossa down the street, not at a sporting event. But they were rabid about the game, and their affection for the women on track was extraordinarily obvious. I was so amazed by what I was seeing around me that it took me a long time to even look at what was happening on the track.

La Racaille vs. Les Contrabanditas at MTLRD's Arena St. Louis. (Beast of the East 2010)

Of course, when I did turn my attention to the track, I had no idea what was going on. It was just absolute chaos to me. Up to ten women were flinging themselves around the track, seemingly haphazardly and with complete abandon. I could see the refs and hear the whistles but it was all meaningless. What I did know was that Montreal was getting beaten pretty badly in the opening bout. To my untrained eye, the teams on the track didn’t seem that different, but as much as I tried, I couldn’t figure what the American team was doing so differently. Every once in a while a particular skater would go onto the track for Montreal and the game would change, the crowd would shift expectantly. She was a small woman, wiry, but muscular. She was distinguished by the star on her helmet, and the awkward, hunched-over stride that brought her so low around the turns she could slap the floor if she wanted. It didn’t take me long to realize that whenever she was on the track Montreal’s score increased.  It gave me something to latch on to; I could match the cheers in the crowd with this skater’s ability to get through the pack, weave her way through the opposing blockers and take assists from her own. Gaining a centre point allowed me to see that within all the apparent chaos, there was a particular order to things. There were strategies, counter strategies. And no matter how out of hand the score got, we just waited for the skater with the distinctive gait to get back on the track so we could cheer. We were eventually able to read the number scrawled on her arm and checked her name in the program: Iron Wench.

The Iron Wench jams against CN Power at the 2010 Quad City Chaos.

Both Montreal teams got defeated that night, but it would mark the beginning of a journey that those skaters would take right to the highest levels of competition. The Iron Wench would become a respected star of the sport; Boston and Charm City would battle for National championships; Montreal would be the first non-US team to compete in the WFTDA playoffs: The three women I was with at that double header would all become skaters who continue to skate to this day.

I may not remember what my expectations were that night, and I certainly know that I didn’t learn that much about the sport, but I knew one thing right away, that my life had changed in a profound way.  Like so many of the people who I was skating with at fresh meat—and like so many others all over the world before them—roller derby had gotten to me: I’d had my moment.

**Visit the Nerd Meat Archives**

CN Power: 2011 Team Preview


Wins Losses +/ – Notes
2010 Record




First victory over WFTDA team (Hammer City); hosted inaugural Quad City Chaos (finished second to Montreal).

CN Power kicked off 2010 with a big win over the Rideau Valley Vixens. (Photo by Derek Lang)

The Apprenticeship begins in earnest. ToRD’s 2011 will be defined and shaped by the league’s pursuit of full WFTDA status. And while the ramifications of this will be felt at every level, the focus will be placed squarely on ToRD’s all stars, CN Power. 2010 proved to be a breakout year for flat track roller derby, and not only in terms of participation and popularity, but also in terms of strategic evolution. The sport of roller derby changed in 2010 as pack isolation and trap strategies that had been created in 2009 disseminated throughout the sport. The development of clearly defined situational offenses and defenses necessitated an elevated commitment to training, and if teams wanted to compete, a more sophisticated style of play on the track. Subtly, this has altered the nature of the WFTDA Apprenticeship process. It is no longer simply a red-tape process of achieving administrative and organization goals, it is now—unofficially—also an apprenticeship in the sport. There are so many leagues in WFTDA (more than 100 official members with another 60 at various stages of apprenticeship), that being a member is no longer enough. The disparity between the bottom teams and the top teams in each region is massive, and achieving  full member status is no guarantee that a team will be able to compete in its region.

2010 was a year of highs and lows for CN Power, beginning with a trio of wins (by a combined score of 170 points) over challenging opponents. A one-sided victory over the newly formed Rideau Valley Vixens was followed by Quad City Chaos victories against Vancouver’s Terminal City All Stars and the Hammer City Eh! Team (a two-point nail-biter that represented ToRD’s first victory over Hamilton’s top team). A 184 point loss to Montreal’s New Skids on the Block brought things back to earth, and after a lengthy break for ToRD’s home season, CN Power suffered three straight losses. One to Garden State and the others to fellow apprentice leagues Lake Effect Furies (from Buffalo’s Queen City Rollergirls) and Tri-City Thunder (coincidentally, both opponents rode those victories almost directly into full WFTDA status). Facing inconsistent rosters, and suffering lengthy injury absences, CN Power was never able to recapture its early year form and lost those four straight bouts by a combined score of 297 points, which equates to an average margin of loss of 74 points.


CN Power finished second to Montreal at the Quad City Chaos. (Photo by Derek Lang)

Although there are a handful of rookies on CN Power’s 20 player roster, expect the veterans to lead the way in key positions. Not that the rookies won’t get to see a lot of action. The condensed nature of next month’s Quad City Chaos will necessitate rotating through the whole roster, a great opportunity for CN Power’s newcomers.

Pivots: A position where CN Power looks strong in 2011. Brim Stone, Rebel Rock-It, and Nasher the Smasher formed the core of CN Power’s pivots last season and will do the same this year. Tara Part returned late in 2010 and is now ready to pick up where she left on and will be a leader on the track in 2010. Molly Boom has proven to be a reliable on-track leader for the championship Gores and could join triple threat Betty Bomber in filling out the lineup.   

Blockers: Mega Bouche and Lady Gagya have taken on versatile blocking roles with their home teams and will be expected to fill out the pack for CN Power (don’t be surprised to see either with the stripe at some point). Lady Scorcher will be relied upon to add a calm, positional complement on the track, while CN Power stalwarts Dolly Destructo, Dyna Hurtcha and Jubilee are hard hitting blockers capable of big  jammer take outs and of disrupting opponents’ packs. Big things will be expected from ToRD’s 2010 rookie of the year Hurlin’ Wall, who joins her hometeam teammate Aston Martini as rookie blockers on this year’s all star squad.

Jammers: The attack will undoubtedly be lead by the veteran trio of Dust Bunny and Land Shark, who both looked strong for their respective teams in ToRD’s season opener; and Candy Crossbones who was shifting into top form at the end of 2010 and could benefit from the quick changeover between seasons. Betties’ second-year players Sail Her Poon and titmouse will probably begin their own apprenticeships this year, and the offense will be supported by Brim Stone (who jammed considerably in the recent season opener) and Betty Bomber, who does it all for the Death Track Dolls.

CN Power suffered an August set back to Buffalo's Lake Effect Furies. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)


CN Power’s 2011 season begins on February 26th when they host the Killamazoo Derby Darlins at The Hangar. The bout will be part of a double header kicked off by ToRD’s future stars, The D-VAS, who will be hosting Sudbury’s Nickel City. This will be the second bout for both teams, although much of the 2010 D-VAS squad has been drafted in ToRD, meaning this will be a now-look team. Nickel City’s travel team, Sister Slag (they have two home teams), debuted last year against Forest City’s Luscious Lunch Ladies.

Killamazoo recently gained WFTDA status and has booked a busy 2011 in hopes of moving up the North Central Standings; it is a busy schedule that includes a home and home with CN Power, who will travel to Michigan for the return portion in August. Killamazoo is a fitting and realistic opponent for CN Power who will be entering the North Central Region as well; they will provide a good measuring stick for how far CN Power has to go to be competitive in the region.

The next big challenge comes at the second annual Quad City Chaos, which ToRD will host on March 26th and 27th. Montreal’s New Skids on the Block will return to defend their title, in what will be an outstanding showcase of the best that eastern Canadian roller derby has to offer. The rising Rideau Valley Vixens and the 2010 breakout Tri-City Thunder give a glimpse of the future of the sport in this country. These four teams, along with Hammer City (who is in the midst of a WFTDA-centered league restructuring), form a solid foundation for Canada’s entrance into WFTDA: a strong regionally based, collective force that can provide the quantity of quality competition needed for each individual team to improve and advance.

CN Power hosts Killamazoo in the 2011 season opener on Feb. 26th.


Aston Martini (Blocker, Gore-Gore Rollergirls)
Betty Bomber (Triple Threat, Death Track Dolls)
Brim Stone (Pivot, Jammer, Gore-Gore Rollergirls)
Candy Crossbones (Jammer, Blocker, Chicks Ahoy!)
Dolly Destructo (Blocker, Chicks Ahoy!)
Defecaitlin (Jammer, Gore-Gore Rollergirls, AKA: Dust Bunny)
Dyna Hurtcha (Jammer, Blocker, Chicks Ahoy!)
Hurlin Wall (Blocker, Gore-Gore Rollergirls)
Jubilee (Blocker, Death Track Dolls)
Lady Gag Ya (Blocker, Gore-Gore Rollergirls)
Lady Scorcher (Blocker, Smoke City Betties)
Land Shark (Jammer, Death Track Dolls)
Mega Mouth (Blocker, Pivot, Chicks Ahoy!, AKA: Mega Bouche)
Molly Boom (Blocker, Pivot, Gore-Gore Rollergirls)
Nasher the Smasher (Pivot, Blocker, Chicks Ahoy!
Rebel Rock-It (Pivot, Chicks Ahoy!)
Sail Her Poon (Blocker, Jammer, Smoke City Betties)
Tara Part (Pivot, Blocker, Chicks Ahoy!)
titmouse (Blocker, Jammer, Smoke City Betties)

* Audrey Hellborn (Triple Threat, Death Track Dolls); on injury reserve.

Tickets are available online, or at numerous vendors downtown. Doors of The Hangar open at 5:00 pm. The first bout kicks off at 6:00pm.