Lake Effect Furies

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

Ohio Goes Unbeaten, Rideau Valley Surprises at 2013 Quad City Chaos

The Vixens Murphy and Rudolph hold CN Power's Kookie Doe in the closing game of the QCC. (Photo by Greg Russell)

The Vixens’ Murphy and Rudolph hold CN Power’s Kookie Doe in the closing game of the QCC. (Photo by Greg Russell)


Four minutes remaining. Down by nineteen points in a game that on more than a few occasions seemed like it had slipped out of their grasp, Rideau Valley Vixens Coach Adam decided to jam second-year Vixen, Kuehl. A versatile skater capable of donning the star, she hadn’t once lined up at the jam line in this, the final bout of the 2013 Quad City Chaos. She was lined up against Candy Crossbones, one of the host team CN Power’s most experienced jammers; a skater who had burned this Vixens team on more than one occasion in the past.

Sometimes, it pays to play a hunch.

The 2013 Quad City Chaos closed out with one of the bigger upsets in recent Canadian roller derby when the upstart Rideau Valley Vixens refused to submit in a fantastic, back-and-forth game that at least twice saw Toronto build leads that seemed almost insurmountable. Kuehl ended up with 20 points on that jam, a power jam, before the Vixens’ dominant defence shut down CN Power the rest of the way. It ended a four game losing streak for the Vixens against their big sisters to the south, dating all the way back to February 2010, and their first ever game together as a team.  It allowed them to lock up second spot in the round robin tournament.

Ohio had a leg up on the competition this weekend, going 3-0 in the round robin tournament. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Ohio had a leg up on the competition this weekend, going 3-0 in the round robin tournament. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Every year the competitive level of the Quad City Chaos has risen to new heights and it was certainly no different this year. The weekend kicked off with a tie-breaker bout between the aforementioned Vixens and Queen City’s Lake Effect Furies. It was the third time these teams had met in the past six months or so, having split the previous two meetings. The first half was furious in its play: fast, hard hitting, tight, only at the end of the half were the Vixens able to build a 27 point lead. They would hold on in a second half that saw neither side give an inch resulting in a virtual dead even period and a 25 point victory for the Vixens.

It would propel Queen City through a competitive, but ultimately frustrating weekend. Perhaps the most consistent team in the whole tournament, they would frustrate all their opponents, yet fail to defeat one. Only one year removed from a near 100 point loss to CN Power, they would push the hosts to the brink on Saturday’s prime-time matchup that turned into a chippy, penalty-filled affair that would see four foul outs and constant pack disadvantages. They would lose by only 52. They would similarly, and just as surprisingly, put up a similar fight against the Ohio Roller Girls on Sunday. Depsite the fact that Ohio was ranked 50 spots ahead of them in the WFTDA standings, the Furies gave Ohio everything it could handle (they were within 20 points at the midway point of the second half) before Ohio was able to pull away at the very end and secure a competitive 86-point victory.

The Vixens may have surprised, but the Furies played three strong games despite going 0-3. (Photo by Greg Russell)

The Vixens may have surprised, but the Furies played three strong games despite going 0-3. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Ohio, to nobody’s surprise, were simply too good: too track ready, too unified, perhaps just too experienced to be upset by any of the teams in attendance. In a surprising Saturday afternoon game, they dominated eventual second-place Vixens 373-38. Aside from Montreal, the Vixens had never faced a team as highly ranked as Ohio, and it showed as they had no response for the relentless Ohio attack. Nonetheless, the Vixens were their usual scrappy selves and the experience will no doubt raise them to another level. Ohio’s toughest challenge came against the host CN Power. Looking to avenge a 100 point loss last May, CN Power was much more consistent and played, easily, their best, most complete game of the weekend and were within reach, down 100-68 at half. A 20-4 run to kick off the second gave Ohio a lead that they wouldn’t relent, holding on for the 46 point win (201-155).  It was a great performance by the host team, but not one they would be able to maintain all weekend.

They significantly varied their roster for the Saturday night showdown with Queen City, flipping five skaters from their Ohio roster; they would make a similar flip for the Vixens game on Sunday. While it was an excellent opportunity to add depth of experience to the bench, it resulted in a team that never quite looked fully unified come Sunday afternoon. The Vixens simply overwhelmed them in the Sunday game with their relentless play and their ferocious determination. They had very few rosters changes to work with and ended up running with a small core of senior skaters who were impenetrable in the end.  It was a tough loss for Toronto, but one that will hopefully be mined for lessons at this early juncture of the season.

The Bruisers won their 9th and 10th games in a row, including defeating Ohio's Gang Green. (Photo by Greg Russell)

The Bruisers won their 9th and 10th games in a row, including defeating Ohio’s Gang Green. (Photo by Greg Russell)


In the two regulation games played on the weekend, the host B-Team, the Bay Street Bruisers, continued their hot streak, winning their 9th and 10th games in a row. On Sunday, the Bruisers dominated the Devil Dollies, a Queen City House league team, 324-88, before facing off against Ohio’s Gang Green on Sunday. Gang Green were the last (and so far only) team to defeat the Bruisers (last May).  Early penalty troubles had Gang Green out to a quick lead, but the Bruisers battled back and took the lead with only 10 minutes remaining in the half. The Bruisers went on a 54-0 run to kick off the second that essentially put the game away. They held on to avenge last season’s loss with a 207-112 win.


The Usual Suspects

Ohio's Smacktivist and CN Power's Nasher the Smasher were both exceptional on the track. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Ohio’s Smacktivist and CN Power’s Nasher the Smasher were both exceptional on the track. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Nasher the Smasher was the eventual MVP for the host, CN Power, and was a key, steadying factor in the strong performance against Ohio. Similarly, Toronto jammer Bambi thrived in that game as well, and again against the Queen City (neither played against Rideau Valley). For the Lake Effect Furies, Team USA’s Addy Rawl juked her way through a successful tournament, using the track exceptionally well with a great side-to-side game. Furies captain CU~T provided great on-track leadership this weekend as well, executing well on power jams, especially, while pivoting.

Ohio’s Phoenix Bunz continues to emerge as one of the game’s great players, so much so, that there is not a roster in this sport that she would not look good on, and she does it all as well, a reliable, speedy jammer and an impenetrable blocker. Ohio jammer the Smacktivist was dominant, displaying her trademark power and surprising agility with the star. And for the Rideau Valley Vixens, Hanna Murphy (formerly Semi Precious) remains one of this country’s star blockers/pivots. Frighteningly fitter now, she remains a one-woman recycling machine on the track. Eventual team MVP and veteran blocker Da Big Block was also great on the weekend for the Vixens, a skater who lives up to her fitting name.

The Vixens' Brennan who debuted at QCC 2012, continues to step it up for Rideau Valley. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The Vixens’ Brennan, who debuted at QCC 2012, continues to step it up for Rideau Valley. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Steppin’ It Uppers

While Betty Bomber has long been a key triple threat for CN Power, her play just continues to become more and more steady, to the point where she has emerged as one of the team’s most reliable blockers. Phenomenal when at a pack disadvantages, Bomber knows when to take risks, but also when to reel it in. Another veteran who is just getting better with age is Queen City’s Vajenna Warrior. A big, powerful blocker, she is also very strong on her skates and is deceptively agile. A monster in the pack this weekend, she frustrated many an opponent.

It’s sometimes easy to forget Kitty Liquorbottom on the Ohio roster. A quiet, efficient jammer, Kitty’s consistency and balance is an essential part of the Ohio’s offense. Also, it is hard to just isolate a player who stepped it up for Rideau Valley as the whole team brought it this weekend. Two players who have increasingly been growing their roles on this team though (and who were outstanding this weekend) were Rudolph (formerly Frostbite Me) and Brennan (formerly Eh Nihilator). Both are exceptional positional players who were key in the pack all weekend.

The speedy, jukey CN Power rookie Bala Reina is playing an increasingly big role on the team. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The speedy, jukey CN Power rookie Bala Reina is playing an increasingly big role on the team. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Breakout Players

CN Power rookie jammer Bala Reina got a lot of track time against Queen City and Rideau Valley and took clear advantage of it. A smart, speedy jammer, Bala is slowly working her way into the rotation and helping to extend the depth of the roster (recent transfer Motorhead Molly only played one game for CN Power, but is another spectacular new jammer for the team, which until recently had lacked depth at the position).  Bratislava Bruisers is an Ohio skater who is taking on a larger role on a roster jammed with talent and was a consistent spark to her team all weekend.

For the Rideau Valley Vixens, a team that has lacked depth at the jammer position, two skaters had breakout weekends with the star. Pix E Cutz has emerged as a key skater for the Vixens this season, while rookie jammer CarnEDGE looked unfazed by the pressure and actually led her team in scoring in the loss against Ohio. Finally, the biggest breakout skater of the weekend was Queen City’s LiBRAWLian. A phenomenal talent with a multi-sport background, this jammer has been skating for less than a year but is already one of the exciting new faces of the WFTDA and has the potential to lead the Furies into a bright future. Frighteningly, she seems to be improving by the jam at this stage in her development.


Sanctioned Games

lake effect furies logoLake Effect Furies (QCRG) 147 vs. Vixens LogoRideau Valley Vixens 172

CN Power LogoCN Power (ToRD)155 vs.Ohio logo Ohio Roller Girls 201

Ohio logo Ohio Roller Girls 371 vs. Vixens LogoRideau Valley Vixens 38

CN Power LogoCN Power 230 vs. lake effect furies logoLake Effect Furies 178

Ohio logo Ohio Roller Girls 211 vs. lake effect furies logoLake Effect Furies 125

CN Power LogoCN Power 155 vs. Vixens LogoRideau Valley Vixens 168

Regulations Games

Bay Street Bruisers LogoBay Street Bruisers (ToRD) 324 vs. devil-dollies-logoDevil Dollies (QCRG) 88

Bay Street Bruisers LogoBay Street Bruisers 207 vs. Gang_Green_Logo_GreenGang Green (Ohio B) 112

**The bouts were all streamed on CanuckDerbyTV. You can catch all of the action in archived video here.**

**Click on the photos to be redirected to the corresponding galleries. Also, check out Joe Mac’s game by game albums.**

Mascot Love: The CN Tower and the Lake Effect Furry (?) share a moment. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Mascot Love: The CN Tower and the Lake Effect Furry (?) share a moment. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Quad City Chaos 2013: Preview

The 2013 Quad City Chaos is the 4th edition of the tournament.

The 2013 Quad City Chaos is the 4th edition of the tournament.

It’s the end of March, which means it’s time for Toronto Roller Derby’s Quad City Chaos. For the first time in the tournament’s brief history, the fourth edition of the annual invitational will be a completely WFTDA sanctioned tournament—the first of its kind in Canada. While WFTDA teams have always been a part of the tournament (Hammer City and Montreal were both full WFTDA members at the first QCC in 2010, and last year three of the four teams were), the fact that this is a fully sanctioned tournament raises the profile of the event and makes it a more appealing destination. With four excellent teams at the top of their games, this year’s tournament should be the most competitive and exciting yet. Add to that the inclusion of ToRD’s second travel team, the Bay Street Bruisers, hosting two games of their own, and the tournament has an even greater depth of competition.


The QCC is a two day, round robin tournament that was topped by host CN Power in 2012 (the hosts have a 7-2 lifetime record in the tournament), but was dominated by Montreal in the first two years, when the New Skids on the Block compiled a 6-0 record while outscoring the opposition a staggering 1455-222. Those first two years, coming as they did after flat track roller derby’s “Great Leap Forward” in 2009, proved important sharing grounds for Canada’s top travel teams. In 2010, Vancouver’s Terminal City All Stars finished last in the tournament (0-3), but used the event as a taking off point to become the dominant WFTDA Division One team they are now. Both the Tri-City Thunder (2011, 2012) and Hammer City Eh! Team (2010, 2012) have taken part in two tournaments, with the Thunder holding a 3-3 record and the Eh! Team sitting at 1-5.  Finally, Ottawa’s Rideau Valley Vixens (returning this year), have taken part in the last two tournaments. In 2011, they were in tough going 0-3, before going 1-2 last year including a thrilling, competitive loss against the Tri-City Thunder.


CN Power's Betty Bomber. Art work by Quick Draw (Adam Swinbourne)

CN Power’s Betty Bomber. Artwork by Quick Draw (Adam Swinbourne)

CN Power (WFTDA Rank: 49th)

The host CN Power have used this tournament as a spring board for their season since the inaugural event in 2010. Last year, the team went 9-2 in sanctioned play including 7-0 in tournament games (at QCC, ECDX and Brew Haha). With CN Power skaters pulled from home teams in 2013 and focusing exclusively on WFTDA play, expectations are higher than ever.

This season, CN Power is already off to a hot start, going 2-1 with one-sided wins over Fort Wayne and Killamazoo, and a well-fought loss to one of the top teams in the game, Naptown. CN Power has lost only to Montreal in the QCC, and this year, based on recent results, they enter as clear favourites in their games against Queen City (they’ve beaten them two in a row) and Rideau Valley (they have never lost to the Vixens); they are in tough against Ohio, the second highest ranked team to ever play in the tournament and a team that beat them by 100 points in their only meeting last year.

The Vixens' Hanna Murphy (formerly known as Semi Precious). Art work by Quick Draw (Adam Swinbourne)

The Vixens’ Hanna Murphy (formerly known as Semi Precious). Artwork by Quick Draw (Adam Swinbourne)

The Rideau Valley Vixens  (WFTDA Rank: 71st)

After competing in last year’s tournament as a WFTDA apprentice league, they burst onto the WFTDA scene in 2012. Going 7-6 overall and 4-2 in WFTDA sanctioned play, it was easily the busiest season for the Vixens and has undoubtedly brought them to another level in their play. Stacked with a formidable front line led by Team Canada skaters Hanna Murphy (formerly known as Semi Precious) in the pack and Soul Rekker on the jam line, they are backed up in the pack by 2012 breakout blocker Margaret Choke and veterans Sister Disaster and Da Big Block. But there is a rising crop of talent on the team as well. Potential triple threat Pix E. Cutz is a force, while Keuhl (AKA: Mudblood) Brennan (Eh Nihilator) and Rudolph (Frostbite Me) all emerged last year as key components of the team. This year keep an eye on newcomers The Warden (an emerging jammer with house league team, Riot Squad) and Eastern Block’her who skated last season with Capital City, a team that earned a solid reputation despite a last-place finish at last year’s RDAC Eastern Regionals.

The Vixens are 0-1 so far this year, kicking things off with a loss to Queen City. This weekend could be a challenge for the Vixens. They’ve split their only two games with the Furies, have never defeated CN Power, and Ohio will be the highest ranked WFTDA team they have faced since playing Montreal at QCC 2011. Nonetheless, the Vixens may have the least to lose and, therefore, the least amount of pressure.

The Lake Effect Furies (Queen City) (WFTDA Rank: 68th)

LiBRAWLian of the Lake Effect Furies. Artwork by Quick Draw (AKA: Adam Swinbourne)

LiBRAWLian of the Lake Effect Furies. Artwork by Quick Draw (AKA: Adam Swinbourne)

Queen City had an inconsistent 2012, going 8-8 overall and 7-8 in sanctioned play, but lost ground against opponents such as Toronto and Tri-City. Their inconsistency is best seen, perhaps, in their performances against the Vixens which included an 89-point loss at the end of last summer, compared to a 90-point victory to kick off this year: making their meeting this weekend a tie breaker of sorts, but also an interesting measure of which (if either) of those previous results is correct.

The Furies have a depth of talent on the bench. Offensively, Addy Rawl, who was a Team USA alternate at the World Cup and has continued to skate with the American National program, leads the attack. Furies rookie LiBRAWLian is a jammer to watch after an incredible breakout house league season in 2012. CU~T, Ivana LeiHerOut, Head Mistress, and Day TripHer supply veteran leadership in the packs. Melania Kosonovich returnd to Queen City this season after time away that included skating a season in Los Angeles.

The Furies are 2-0 so far in 2013 on strong victories over Rideau Valley and Black-N-Bluegrass, and look to continue that strong start against the stiff competition at QCC. They’ve lost two in a row against CN Power and have never faced Ohio.

Ohio's Phoenix Bunz. Artwork by Quick Draw (AKA: Adam Swinbourne)

Ohio’s Phoenix Bunz. Artwork by Quick Draw (AKA: Adam Swinbourne)

Ohio Roller Girls All Stars (WFTDA Rank: 23rd)

The Ohio Roller Girls may be the hardest working team in the WFTDA. In 2012, they went a remarkable 20-2 before going 1-2 in the North Central playoffs, being eliminated by Naptown: No one in 2012, played more sanctioned games than the skaters from Columbus.

An original WFTDA member, Ohio earned a massive, well-deserved reputation last season gaining big victories over Madison, Brew City and Arch Rival to name a few, and went 2-0 on their first Canadian roadtrip (burning through southern Ontario in May of last year). Led by the incredible, multi-talented triple threat Pheonix Bunz (2012 North Central blocker MVP), the offense will also be paced by a solid jammer rotation of The Smacktivist, Kitty Liquorbottom and Hellionboi, all supremely talented and boasting lots of big-game experience. But there is considerable depth in the pack as well. Led by veteran blocker Amy Spears, the packs also boasts hard-hitting Bratislava Bruiser and positional maven Loraine Acid.

Ohio is already off to a fast start in 2013, boasting a 2-0 record after wins over Bleeding Heartland and Burning River. They enter the QCC as clear favourites. While they’ve only ever faced CN Power, they are (and have consistently been) ranked much higher than their three QCC opponents.

Bellefast of the Bay Street Bruisers. Artwork by Quick Draw (AKA: Adam Swinbourne)

Bellefast of the Bay Street Bruisers. Artwork by Quick Draw (AKA: Adam Swinbourne)


For the first time ever, the Quad City Chaos will also feature B-Team matchups.

First off, ToRD’s Bay Street Bruisers will take on Queen City’s Devil Dollies on Saturday. The Dollies, one of Queen City’s house league teams, has a long history in Canada, being one of only two US teams to play in the Beast of the East; they did so in 2008. The Bruisers then take on Ohio’s Gang Green on Sunday. This second showdown will be a rematch of the first ever Bruisers game last May, when the Ohio B-Team defeated the Toronto B-Team 173-109. It was the Bruisers only loss since being resurrected in 2012, and they will be out for revenge on Sunday.

All Games will be streamed live on Canuck Derby TV.


Saturday, March 23rd

10:00 AM: lake effect furies logoLake Effect Furies (QCRG) vs. Vixens LogoRideau Valley Vixens

12:00 PM: CN Power LogoCN Power (ToRD) vs.Ohio logo Ohio Roller Girls

2:00 PM: Bay Street Bruisers LogoBay Street Bruisers (ToRD) vs. devil-dollies-logoDevil Dollies (QCRG)

5:00 PMOhio logo Ohio Roller Girls vs. Vixens LogoRideau Valley Vixens

7:00 PMCN Power LogoCN Power vs. lake effect furies logoLake Effect Furies

Sunday March 24th

11:00 AMBay Street Bruisers LogoBay Street Bruisers vs. Gang_Green_Logo_GreenGang Green (Ohio B)

1:00 PMOhio logo Ohio Roller Girls vs. lake effect furies logoLake Effect Furies

3:00 PMCN Power LogoCN Power vs. Vixens LogoRideau Valley Vixens

Weekend Recap: CN Power improves to 5-0 on WFTDA season

CN Power and the Lake Effect Furies met for the third time in 18 months. (Photo by Joe Mac)


Lake Effect Furies (15th E) 92 vs. CN Power (17th NC) 184

Just six months ago, the last time ToRD’s CN Power and Queen City’s Lake Effect Furies met, it was a quintessential heart-stopping nail-biter: a game that went back and forth from the start, featured numerous lead changes and ended up not being settled until the final minutes when CN Power was able to nudge ahead and squeak out a 10-point victory. On Saturday there were two lead changes and they both occurred within the first eight minutes of the game; the Toronto hosts took the lead at the eight-minute mark of the opening half and never looked back, picking up a definitive 92-point victory and winning their fifth straight WFTDAbout of 2012.

B'kini Whacks had a strong game jamming for Furies; Aston Martini responded defensively for the CN Power. (Photo by Greg Russell)

The Furies play a physical brand of derby that has given CN Power problems in the past, but Toronto withstood the fury and even managed to dish out some punishment of their own over the course of the bout. In the opening minutes though, it was a stalemate. CN Power jumped out to a quick lead on their home track, with a series of quick 4-and-done jams that had them ahead early. But a big 14-point pick up by B’kini Whacks (aided by some stifling pack work) saw Queen City take the lead 17-12 six minutes in. But CN Power did not relent and within three minutes retook the lead 21-17. The actual turning point in the half (and maybe the whole game) came five minutes later when the first power jam was rewarded to CN Power and Candy Crossbones picked up a hard-fought 14 points to give Toronto a 37-20 lead.

CNP jammer Candy Crossbones seemed to thrive in the physical nature of the game. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

CN Power’s core jammer rotation of Candy Crossbones, Bambi and Dust Bunny is a juggernaut of a rotation and one that is only improving with more WFTDA play (their strength also allows skaters like Betty Bomber and Dyna Hurtcha—who had an outstanding game as a blocker—to play in the pack).  Each of the jammers brings a distinct style to the jam line that keeps opposition packs on their toes and impedes any sort of unified defensive effort. Each skater also seems to thrive in particular games, and this one was Candy Crossbones’ to take over. A physical jammer herself, Candy seemed to power-up with every punishing hit delivered by the relentless Furies’ pack (and between the likes of R. Rose Selavy, Lipservice and Vajenna Warrior, there were a lot of those) and dominated the first half, putting up 48 points and ensuring a 92-61 lead at the break.

CNP co-captain Lady Gagya had a strong game in the pack. (Photo by Greg Russell)

CN Power was playing its first game without long-time captain and key pivot Brim Stone, but the team rallied around the gap instead of allowing it to be a distraction. There is a strong on-track leadership core in place led by the always excellent Tara Part and Nasher the Smasher  who have provided the consistency and calmness that has allowed other skaters like (co captain) Lady Gagya and Panty Hoser to step us as leaders as well. Aston Martini has also continued to emerge as a key defensive blocker on this team in 2012 and was a recycling machine in the first half before being pulled in the second as an injury suffered at the recent Quad City Chaos flared up (allowing Jubilee to step into the defensive role, which she handled well). Marmighty was playing in her first game as a member of CN Power, and despite some early penalty troubles, did not look out of place on the track providing some of that much needed physicality that Toronto needed, and is just another example of the depth of Toronto’s bench.

In one of their more consistent efforts all year (they weathered some considerable pushbacks from the visitors, especially near the end of the first half), CN Power skated disciplined and clean and took advantage of power jams and mistakes by the Furies to pull away for the 184-92 victory, another big one on their climb up the WFTDA ladder.

**The game was boutcast by the ToRD.TV crew via Derby News Network and Canuck Derby TV. Watch it here.

Double Header Preview: Gores vs. Dolls / CN Power hosts Queen City

Dolls substitute Land Shark skates against the Gores' Bambi in the Dolls 2008 regular-season win. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

Gore-Gore Rollergirls (0-1) vs. The Death Track Dolls (1-0)

You have to look way back to find the last (and only) time that the Death Track Dolls defeated the Gore-Gore Rollergirls. It was August 19th, 2008, when the Dolls took down the Gores 112-93; it was a game that allowed the Dolls to clinch second place in the regular season standings. The bout was not without controversy. In 2008, ToRD was still running a six-team homeleague and resources were spread thin. For this final regular season game of the season, the Dolls borrowed two substitutes from the D-VAS and one from the Bruisers to fill out the roster. One substitute skater in particular—D-VAS rookie Land Shark—would have a big impact on the game, ending up being named the game’s MVP. Although shrouded in controversy, the three subs (Land Shark and Seka Destroy from the D-VAS, Monichrome from the Bruisers) would all, ironically, end up as part of the Dolls in the dispersal draft following the 2008 season and the contraction of two of the six hometeams.

The Dolls kicked off 2012 with a victory over the Smoke City Betties. (Photo by Joe Mac)

Jumping ahead to April 2012 and much has changed. When these two teams meet on Saturday some of the skaters dressed for the bout were there four years ago, but many new faces have arrived. And after dominating ToRD for five seasons (winning three championships along the way), it is the Gores who now find themselves looking for their first win of the season and the Dolls (the only home team never to appear in a championship game) sitting atop the tight ToRD standings.  If there is a time for the Dolls to change this four-year losing streak, that time could be now.

Over the past two season the Death Track Dolls have done a good job of redefining their team, and have brought in an exciting crop of rookies. They’ll be dressing three rookies on Saturday (Ames to Kill, Bellefast and UpHer Cut), not to mention a handful of second-year skaters. The Gore-Gore Rollergirls, on the other hand, are a team that has not changed much over the past few years (a stretch that included a 12-game winning streak), and still feature a high-powered offense led by two of the league’s top jammers in Bambi and Dust Bunny. The Dolls have been jamming by committee so far this season with upwards of six skaters capable of wearing the star (which is the number they used in their season opener).

Following a twelve game winning streak, the Gores have lost two games in a row for the first time. (Photo by Joe Mac)

The most interesting battle could be in the pack. Skating without Brim Stone (something that the Gores have never had to contend with before) and former rookie of the year Hurlin’ Wall, there is a gap in the pack that the Dolls could take advantage of. Then again, it could just be an opportunity for other skaters to step up. There is no shortage of veteran Gores to step up and either pivot or take on a larger role in the pack. Along with captains Kandy Barr and Lady Gag-Ya, Santa Muerte, Chronic, Foxy Sinatra, Junkie Jenny and Molly Boom are all more than capable on-track leaders. Gamma Rei is always on the verge of a major breakout. But this opportunity could have the greatest effect on a few skaters still looking to make their marks. Miss Kitty La Peur has upped her training this season, and for Emma Dilemma, Mace  O’Kissed and Draculaura, the time has never been better to step up and take on a critical role for the team.

As for the Dolls, Betty Bomber, Sinead O’Clobber, Jubilee and newly emerged triple threat Panty Hoser remain on-track leaders the  for the team, but with Downright Dirty Dawson, Lucid Lou and Speedin Hawking filling out a very experienced pack line up, there aren’t too many holes for the Dolls to fill. Second-year skaters Kat Atomic and Rhage in a Cage have an opportunity to step up here, and rookie Ames to Kill is quickly emerging as a threat in the pack. UpHer Cut will be making her ToRD regular season debut, but with pack experience from her days as a D-VAS, has the potential to make an impact right away.

The Dolls and Gores will be facing off in the second half of the double header.

Lake Effect Furies (2-4,  15th East) vs. CN Power (4-0, 17thNorth Central)

CN Power is undefeated so far in 2012, including four in a row at home starting with the Roc City Roc Stars. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

Queen City’s Lake Effect Furies (Buffalo) and ToRD’s CN Power  have been comparatively busy early in the 2012 WFTDA season, as both teams press for a playoff spot. The host CN Power has burst out of the gates so far in 2012 thoroughly dominating  lower-ranked competition (Hammer City), while looking impressive in wins over similarly ranked teams (Roc City, Tri-City) and teams ranked above them (Fort Wayne).  Counting a non-sanctioned win over the Rideau Valley Vixens, CN Power is on a five-game winning streak to kick off 2012 (and six overall dating back to a 2011 season-ending victory over Derby City). These victories probably will help them jump to 14th in the the North Central.

The Furies may not have had quite the success yet in 2012, but they have been facing some stiff competition so far squaring off solely against teams ranked above them in the WFTDA standings.  Buffalo’s two wins have been minor upsets against Connecticut (14th East) and Suburbia  (12th E), while their losses have been to DC Rollergirls (11th), Maine (10th), and Charm City (3rd). So taking into account their competition, the Furies record is actually quite impressive and realistically places them firmly in 12th in the region.

The Furies defeated CN Power at the Bunker in August 2010. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

This will be the third meeting between these two teams since August 2010. The Furies took that first one in Toronto 110-79, while CN Power took some measure of revenge in Buffalo this past September, taking a close one 139-129. Both teams currently hold a similar position in their respective Regions: up-and-comers on the verge of the playoffs. Yet as recent Furies and CN Power losses to Maine and Grand Raggidy (respectively) show, there is still some work to be done. But not much, and each WFTDA game that these two teams play now is vitally critical to their playoff aspirations.

NOTE: CN Power will be playing its first game without Brim Stone, who is taking an indefinite hiatus from the sport. Brim has been an instrumental part in putting together this CN Power team and

CN Power will be without long-time captain Brim Stone. (Photo by Todd Burgess)

getting it to the level that it is at. While it remains to be seen what the impact of this loss will have on CN Power, the team that Brim so carefully helped construct is one that is built around a deep bench and a strong, ever-evolving core. For ToRD fans, it will undoubtedly be an emotional moment to see a CN Power team line up without its long-time captain, but through the training and leadership she provided, her influence will most definitely be felt.

**Doors at The Bunker open at 5:00 PM; first whistle is at 6:00 PM. Tickets are available online or at various outlets downtown.

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!)

Weekend Recap: Dolls Play with Betties

Death Track Dolls (1-1) 213 vs. Smoke City Betties (0-2) 53

It was yet another beautiful night for  roller derby at The Hangar on Saturday as ToRD’s two winless teams lined up against one another in a battle to stay out of last place in the league and avoid a playoff bout against the first place team. Despite another scrappy performance from the young Smoke City Betties, it was the more experienced Death Track Dolls who delivered two halves of consistent, balanced attack and were eventually able to overwhelm their opposition. In the end, the Dolls would put up one of the great results in their history, becoming only the second ToRD team to put up 200 points in a bout, and skating away with the  impressive 160 point victory.

Audrey Hellborn brought her usual intensity to the jam line

Both teams seemed weary early on as they each looked hesitant off the line. Due to some timing issues with their jam calls, the Betties were not able to take advantage of the slow start for the Dolls. It was Seka Destroy, with a massive jammer take out on rookie jammer titmouse in the 3rd jam, who finally woke up the Dolls. Led by excellent pivoting from Panty Hoser and big hits from Seka and Bonky Kong, there were times in the first half when the Dolls seemed in complete control of the packs. On the jam line though, Sail Her Poon led her contingent of rookie jammers (titmouse and Tropic Thunder anchored by veteran Memphis Kitty) to a lot of leads early on, only to be caught and sometimes outscored by the Dolls’ jammers. Despite the control, it wasn’t until late in the half that the Dolls began to distance themselves. Captain Betty Bomber (who along with Audrey Hellborn took on a larger jam role in the absence of Demolition Dawn) put in two huge jams late (including a 14 point power jam), helping the Dolls open up an 86-28 lead at half.

Land Shark and Memphis Kitty race for the lead

As it went in the opening bout of the season, the Betties refused to succumb to the pressure. Playing as if it were tied, the Betties veterans Lacy Brawler, Pretty Peeved, Lady Scorcher and Hot Roller stepped up their play and brought the intensity of their rookies (Sin D Drop-Her stood out in the second) along too. Despite the effort and determination, it was not to be. The Dolls were more than willing to step up their game. Jubilee pivoted admirably in place of the injured Dolly Parts’em, while Downright Dirty Dawson had the best bout of her career, mixing it up in the pack and looking strong positionally. Land Shark (who put in her second straight dominant performance–on top of last week’s Clam Slam) neutralized Sail Her Poon in the half (although Poon would exact some level of revenge on Sharky with a big jammer take out late in the half). Also building on her Clam Slam performance, Monichrome took some physical jams with the star in the second, and SlamWow (who saw limited jammer action in the first half), had the most effective stretch of jamming of her young career, rattling off three straight lead jams early on to help solidify the Dolls’ lead. As the bout wore on and the lead increased, things got a little looser on the track and penalties started to build up on both sides and both teams started to give their rookies some valuable experience (two skaters, the Dolls’ Sinead O’Clobber and the Betties’ Genuine Risk were making their ToRD debuts).  But in the end the Dolls would not be denied and were able to run away with their first victory of ToRD’s 2010 regular season. Add this to the seesaw bout against the Chicks, and the Dolls have announced that they are a team to watch this season.

Try-City Thunder hosted QCRG's Lake Effect Furies

Two WFTDA Apprentice Leagues Battle it out in Tri-City

In what by all accounts was a physical, defensive battle (read about it here), the Tri-City Thunder continued their impressive 2010 season with a low scoring 72-51 victory over Buffalo’s Lake Effect Furies (QCRG). In the end, the stellar pack control of the Thunder proved the difference. In another cross-border bout, the ever-improving Rideau Valley Vixens headed south to take on the Utica Roller Girls and were bad guests as they spanked their hosts 153-55. This Vixens squad has come a long way since their inaugural game back in February.