Nickel City Roller Derby

Bruisers Sit Atop Throne as Eastern Champions

ToRD’s Bay Street Bruisers, 2012 RDAC Eastern Canadian Championship (Photo by Greg Russell)

You could look at the outcome of the Roller Derby Association of Canada’s 2012 Eastern Canadian Championship and see that the status-quo had been maintained: No one would have been surprised to see Toronto, Forest City and Royal City finish as the top three teams in the tournament. But if that is all that you took away from this weekend, you’d be missing almost the whole story. With four of the ten games being settled by 10 points or less and only two breaking the 100-point differential, the real story was in the parity. There was fantastic, exciting roller derby provided during nearly every game with the tournament’s only winless team, Capital City’s Dolly Rogers, providing some of the most exciting moments, losing by miniscule margins of 9, 6, and 5 points. The tournament’s lowest ranked team, Nickel City’s Sister Slag, grew almost exponentially. They started the tournament getting knocked around by the eventual champs in the opening game before pushing a vastly more experienced team to the limit in their second. Then in the second of back-to-back games, they upset their favoured opponents to claim 6th spot.

It was a tournament that delivered on both fronts: great derby, but a great learning experience for the teams as well.


Sister Slag was paying close attention during their opening round loss to the Bruisers. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The only significantly one-sided bouts occurred (unsurprisingly) in the opening round. Second seed Bay Street Bruisers (Toronto) took down seventh seed Nickel City’s Sister Slag (Sudbury) by 137 points, though the far less experienced team from Sudbury certainly had moments, and used a strong opening and then final ten minutes to keep the score down. In the only other lopsided score of the weekend, third seed Misfit Militia (from Aliston’s Renegade Derby Dames) tore up the track against the G-sTARs (GTAR), building on a 160-10 half-time lead and riding some stifling pack work to a 326-point victory. The win sent a clear message and set up a highly anticipated semifinal matchup up between the tournament’s second and third seeds.

The final first-round bout lived up to the billing as the closest seeds the Brute Leggers (fourth) and the Dolly Rogers (fifth) swapped leads throughout (Capital City was up at half) to kick off the tournament with a thoroughly entertaining game that would be indicative of much of the weekend’s matchups. The Royal City hosts were able to put together a customarily strong second half to pull ahead and hold on for the 142-131 victory and an opportunity to face off against the defending champions, Forest City, in the semfinal.

The G-sTARs defeated the Dolly Rogers on their way to a fifth place finish. (Photo by Neil Gunner)


The opening round divided the teams into the consolation bracket and the single-elimination medal round, with the three losing teams from the opening round playing a round robin to determine the bottom three spots in the tournament. This round began with a showdown between the fifth and sixth ranked teams in the tournament, and it too did not disappoint finishing with the G-sTARs clutching a 140-134 victory against the Capital City Derby Dolls. Growing through a tough rebuild, the GTA skaters looked like a far different team this time around, shaking off their opening–round loss to win both of its consolation games. Built around veterans like Newfie Bullet, Lee Way Wreck’em and Holly de Havilland, and featuring a promising skater in Paper Jam, they were able to close out their tournament with a 19-point win over Sister Slag to secure fifth spot.

The Dolly Rogers used this tournament to announce its presence. Led by strong pack work from the likes of Whips N. Chaynes and eventual team MVP Delicate Plow’her, some crafty jamming from Sneaky Dekey and consistency from Ha-Lou-Ween (not to mention double-threat performances from Violently Jill and Deanna Destroi), Capital City impressed with their ability and preparation, but showed that they still lack the all-important game experience that allowed them to close out wins.  They closed out their tournament the way they began it, with a thrilling back-and-forth game characterized by large swings in momentum, only this time it was with a surprisingly resilient Sister Slag. Led by Elle Hoar (whose role seemed to grow as the tournament went on), and paced offensively by Legzy Megzy and Red Hot and Anna Maul, the Nickel City skaters seemed to grow closer together during the tournament and finished as a much tighter and more polished team than they were when it began. They closed out the final consolation game with a natural grand slam to break a tie and secure sixth place with the 149-144 victory.


The Brute Leggers were taken out of their game by Forest City’s physicality. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Perhaps the greatest level of tension and excitement came in the semifinals where the top four seeds squared off. In the first semi-final, the Brute Leggers dominated Forest City early on. With an offence paced by Hot Cross Guns and Hellcat of Panar and a pack anchored by Kim Scarsmashian, Forest City—responding with a jammer crew of Andi Slamberg, Mighty Thor and Torque e Mada and a veteran pack now ubiquitous in eastern Canadian derby—was only able to score 7 points over the first twenty minutes of the half. But with London blocker Mirambo raising the intensity level, knocking Royal City off balance, the defending champs began to claw back and were down 60-38 at half. Never able to get their heads back into it and thrown off by Forest City’s intense physicality, the hosts managed only 26 second-half points to fall 145-86.

The Bay Street Bruisers needed a late comeback to get passed the Misfit Militia, in one of the most exciting games of the tournament. (Photo by Neil Gunner).

In the second semi-final, the Misfit Militia roared off of the jammer line and barely looked back, throwing everything they could at the Bay Street Bruisers who could never really get anything going in  the first half. Consistent jamming from Randy Roll-lin and Zombabe and dominant pack work from Renny Rumble had the Bruisers stumped throughout. The Militia had a 27-point half-time lead. The dominance continued in the second half, but the persistence of jammers Bala Reina and titmouse, and the on-track leadership of eventual team MVP Chronic had the Bruisers sticking around, never letting the lead grow past 50 points, and when the penalty calls started going their way, they were ready. A 29-point Bala Reina power jam (much of it orchestrated with the Bruisers having only two Blockers, Chronic and Miss Kitty La Peur, on the track) with only ten minutes remaining had Toronto within 12 points and holding all the momentum. They controlled things for the final ten minutes aas frustration mounted for the Renegade Derby Dames and were able to hold on to advance to the final.

The Brute Leggers pulled it together to defeat the Misfit Militia in the third place game. (Photo by Greg Russell)

The Misfit Militia never seemed to recover from the defeat, while the Brute Leggers pulled it together after their emotional loss to come back to control the third place bout most of the way and skated to the 190-129 victory. The championship game provided an entertaining first half that saw the Bruisers storm out 42-9 lead at the halfway mark. Strong jamming from Bala Reina and Bellefast continued to pace the Bruisers who were able to impose their style of play on the game early, and never let Forest City get comofortable. Although penalty troubles allowed London to get back into it only a few minutes later (they even briefly took the lead at the 10-minute mark), the Bruisers regained control to lead 78-54 at the half. The second half was all Bruisers with the lead increasing steadily to 135-86 at the midway point, before they held on for the 163-88 victory and took home the 2012 RDAC Eastern Canadian Championship.

The Bay Street Bruisers and Forest City All Stars (Eastern Region) join the Terminal City All Stars and Kootenay Kannibelles (West), Saskatoon Roller Derby and Pile O’ Bones Derby Club (central) at the Canadian championship. The Atlantic representatives will be determined at a tournament in St. John’s in September.

Bruisers’ jammer (and one of the team MVPs) Bala Reina was dominant in the final. (Photo by Greg Russell)


First Round

Brute Leggers (Royal City Roller Girls) 142 vs. Dolly Rogers (Capital City Derby Dolls) 131

Misfit Militia (Renegade Derby Dames) 354 vs. G-sTARs (GTA Rollergirls) 28

Bay Street Bruisers (Toronto Roller Derby) 253 vs. Sister Slag (Nichel City Roller Derby) 116

Consolation Pool

G-sTARs (1-0) 140 vs. Dolly Rogers (0-1) 134

G-sTARs (2-0) 194 vs. Sister Slag (0-1) 173

Sister Slag (1-1) 149 vs. Dolly Rogers (0-2) 144

Medal Round


Forest City All Stars 145 vs. Brute Leggers 86

Misfit Militia 130 vs. Bay Street Bruisers 140

Third Place

Brute Leggers 190 vs. Misfit Militia 129


Forest City 88 vs. Bay Street Bruisers 163

Dames of Thrones Preview: Eastern Champs Second RDAC Regional Tournament


Last month the Terminal City All Stars won the 2012 RDAC Western Canadian Championship in fairly convincing fashion: holding off a more than game West Kootenay Kannibelles team in the final, 159-75. The Kanibelles turned a lot of heads with their dominant performance in the tournament, and with E-Ville upending Red Deer’s Belladonnas in the third place game, it was clear that the top four teams in the region had performed as expected, and the top two teams had qualified for the Canadian Championship.

It will be a slightly different story at this weekend’s Dames of Thrones: RDAC Eastern Canadian Championships.

With the top leagues in the east focused squarely on the WFTDA, the Eastern Championship has developed into an Eastern Canadian B-Team Championship (although Montreal and Tri-City will not be sending their B-Teams).  Nonetheless, with the absence of the top teams in the region, this tournament will feature a fairly even field of teams that should provide a close, exciting tournament. A lot of these leagues are looking to work their way into that upper-echelon of derby, and this weekend will provide them with a platform on which to do that. With a wide open field, the scene is set for a team to make some waves and announce itself as a the Next Big Thing in Canadian Derby.


The Forest City All Stars won the inaugural Eastern Canadian Championship last year in Ottawa. (Photo by Neil Jeffry)

The Favourites

Given the relative lack of play between participants, it’s somewhat challenging to pick favourites, but as defending champions (winners of the precursor CWRDA Championships last year), London’s Forest City All Stars are the team everyone is gunning for. Formed out of Forest City’s two hometeams, the All Stars came together exclusively for last year’s Eastern Canadian Championship and took the tournament by storm, scoring one-sided victories at every level (and defeating a Rideau Valley B-Team for the championship). The All Stars have seen limited action this year, but have scored lopsided victories over Blue Water (Port Huron, Michigan) and Lansing’s Mitten Mavens in preparation for the tournament. Part of eastern Canada’s first wave of leagues, Forest City has the most experienced core of skaters in the tournament, and boasts a roster very used to these big-game situations.

The Bruisers and the Brute-Leggers recently faced off with the Bruisers winning 176-153. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The Contenders

One of Canada’s top leagues, Toronto Roller Derby, will be sending its B-Team, the Bay Street Bruisers, to compete in the tournament and should be looked upon as a threat. Although the teams itself has not been playing together long (the B-Travel team was born this year and has only two games under its belt), it is made up of an experienced roster of skaters from ToRD’s four houseleague teams. 1-1 on the season thus far, they enter the tournament as the #2 seed on the strength of a recent victory over the Royal City Brute-Leggers. The Brute-Leggers have been rounding into form over two years now and have been very busy this year, compiling a 6-3 record on the season. But two of those losses have come to the Bruisers and the Thames Fatales (Forest City’s top hometeam), which should give Toronto and London some confidence heading in.

The Dark Horse

Renegade Derby Dames’ Misfit Militia, could be the dark horse pick of the tournament.

If there is one team that could shake up the top, it could be the Renegade Derby Dames’ Misfit Militia. Training in relative quiet in Aliston, Ontario, there isn’t a lot to base judgement of this team on, but it is a squad made up of a core of very strong skaters. Adding to the intrigue is the fact that they have had uneven results this year: They’ve faced off against two tournament participants in their only two bouts of the  season, dominating the Derby Debutantes before falling in a tight one against Capital City’s Dolly Rogers (who will also be participating).

The Field

Ottawa’s Dolly Rogers lead the pack of the rest of the participants and have had an interesting season as well. The team is 4-3 on the season but seem to rounding into form and are coming off of back-to-back victories that included a 283 point thrashing of Peterborough. Dolly Rogers skater Lobster, veteran skater with Capital City, said the team was not too surprised with their victory over Peterborough and will be use it as “a bit of a confidence boost.” The team Brazil representative at the World cup added that “this tournament’s going to be what we need right now: a challenge.”

Capital City’s Dolly Rogers defeated the Renegade Derby Dames earlier in the year.

Although GTAR’s G-sTARs did exceptionally well at last year’s tournament, finishing in  third place, the team has gone through a recent roster overhaul that sees them slipping into a mid-season rebuild that could hamper their chances this weekend. The G-sTARs are 1-6 on the season with a lot of losses coming against stiff competition, but the sole victory was in their final tournament tune-up against Durham’s Atom Smashers that ended the six-game slide.  Nickel City’s Sister Slag has the least amount of game play this year. Playing out of Sudbury, Nickel City has followed an optimistic 2011 (going 2-4 in their first season of bouting) with a quiet 2012. Their only competition has come in a one-sided victory over the Derby Debutantes, GTAR’s B-Team, in May.


While the defending champion Forest City All Stars will receive a bye to the semifinals, the other six teams kick things off in the opening round. First whistle blows at 8:30 AM, with the host Brute-Leggers facing off against the Dolly Rogers. Up next (10:15) will be the Misfit Militia against the G-sTARs; the Misfit Militia crushed the G-sTARs’ little sister (the Derby Debutantes) early this season, so the GTA skaters will be looking for revenge. The opening round ends with the Bay Street Bruisers squaring off against the Sister Slag at 2:00 PM.

The winners of these three games will advance to the final four, while the losers will continue the tournament in a round-robin consolation bracket to determine final seedings.

***Dames of Thrones: RDAC Eastern Canadian Championship will be boutcast live all weekend by the fine folks at Canuck Derby TV. Check here for the complete schedule.

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.

Gores Win 10th Straight in Season Opener vs. The Dolls

Land Shark led the Dolls in scoring with 24 pts; Dust Bunny's 69% was the highest lead % in the bout.


Toronto Roller Derby kicked off its fifth season in front of a packed house at the Hangar last night, a showing that bodes well for ToRD in 2011. In light of recent controversy surrounding the fate of the Hangar’s TTC line (which, thankfully, resulted in a partial victory for ToRD), Toronto City Counselor Maria Augimeri blew the ceremonial first whistle to kick off the bout between the Death Track Dolls and the defending champion Gore-Gore Rollergirls. Despite tracking a youthful lineup that featured three skaters making their debuts, the Gores looked every bit the champion on their way to another decisive ToRD victory, their tenth in a row.

Brim Stone wore the star for 35% of the Gores' jams (being blocked here by Sue Saint Marie).


After taking the most jams with the star of her career last season, Brim Stone skated nicely into the spot in the jammer rotation recently vacated by the retired Lunchbox. It was a not-so-new-look 1-2-3 punch that came out swinging early on in the first half, taking the first four straight leads (and a 16-1 lead) before Land Shark finally took her first lead of the  bout (only to be reeled in and forced to call by Bambi). The Gores showed no signs of a championship hangover as they dominated the pack in the early going. The Dolls seemed content to allow the Gores to bring the game to them; loose packs and isolated skaters were no match for Bambi and Dust Bunny who finished 1-2 in 2010 jammer stats. The strong play of jammer duo Betty Bomber (.8 PPJ, 33% lead %) and Land Shark (1.04 PPJ, 43%) kept things from getting out of hand, earning leads or staying close enough to their opponents to keep the scoring low, and allowing the Dolls to at least remain within reach, 47-5, with 10:00 left in the half.

Kandy Barr (centre) and Lady Gagya joined the Gores' pivot rotation.

Dolls’ pivot Monichrome had a strong first half  for her team despite facing unfamiliar opposition up front as veteran blockers Kandy Barr and Lady Gagya took over pivoting responsibilities from Brim Stone. The Dolls began to tighten things up late in the first half, and with the score 54-8 a big Jubilee jammer take out (she led the Dolls with 18 blocks) allowed Land Shark to take the lead, pick up some points and, more importantly, some momentum. The Dolls were a streaky team in 2010 often riding waves of momentum in and out of bouts, and they pushed back hard at the end of the first. Spurred on by their strongest, most controlled packs of the half, the Dolls went into the lockeroom on a high, getting the crowd back into it and pulling as close as they had been all bout, 57-26.


The Gores did not look intimidated at the start of the second half. Despite allowing the Dolls to creep their way back late in the first, the Gores calmly regained control early in the second. After a few great stalemate jammer battles killed off the Dolls’ momentum, strong jamming by the usual suspects (Dust Bunny and Bambi) allowed the Gores to keep adding to the tally, even if only in small increments. The second-year core of Aston Martini, Hurlin’ Wall, Santa Muerte and Gamma Rei, armed now with the experience of a championship victory, played a huge role in this bout; it was with consistent attention to fundamentals that the Gores began to pull away. Despite some scrappy battles in the pack between Lucid Lou and Santa Muerte, and some hard-fought back-and-forths between Land Shark and Dust Bunny, the Dolls just couldn’t maintain a consistent offensive pushed and were facing an 85-35 deficit mid way through the second.

Panty Hoser (with a late jammer take out on Bambi) came on strong in the second half.

There were jams when the Dolls looked like they could compete, Dolls’ pivot Panty Hoser became a bigger factor as the bout wore on; Land Shark and Betty Bomber (despite only getting minimal breaks from jamming by Jubilee and Demolition Dawn) continued to put in spirited performances for the Dolls right through to the end; and Jubilee had a monster night in the pack leading her team in most statistical categories (hits, knockdowns and assists). Despite the great individual moments by the Dolls, the collective chemistry of the Gores was just too much; they kept things simple in the late stages of the bout, tracking veteran pivots to keep the pack under control and allowing the Gores jammer trio to continue their strong performances. Although the Dolls were able to hold the explosive Gores’ offense to a respectable 107 points, they were unable to put together a consistent attack of their own, and in the end the Gores secured their tenth consecutive ToRD victory with a 107-43 win.


The Gores have now won 10 straight ToRD bouts.

The Gore-Gore Rollergirls look ready to lead ToRD in this all-important WFTDA apprenticeship season. The three rookies in the lineup fit in seamlessly, and were slowly integrated into the lineup throughout the night. The Death Track Dolls, on the other hand, are going to have to regroup and look for a way to build on this. While they often seemed on the verge of pulling off strategies and wrestling control of the pack away from the Gores, they just seemed a step or two away from executing.

The Chicks Ahoy! and the Smoke City Betties kick off their season on March 12th.

You can catch video of the bout at layer9; stay tuned to ToRD.TV for an upcoming recap; stats highlights here.

CN Power hosts Killamazoo (Michigan) in an all-important inter-city bout on February 26th as part of a double header also featuring ToRD’s future stars, the undrafted D-VAS, taking on Sudbury’s Nickel City Roller Derby in the second bout of this up-and-coming league’s history.


Mega Bouche of the White Team was one of many ToRD skaters taking part. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

Team Black (Mamas) 144 vs. Team White (Trash) 141

For the three days preceding Saturday’s Blood & Thunder All Stars Bout, skaters from all across Canada (and even a few from south of the border) descended on the ToRD Hangar for the first Training Camp the popular magazine has hosted in the city. Mirroring the expedited growth of the sport in Canada, the camp was jammed full of some of the most talented skaters this country has to offer (fittingly, on the eve of the camp, Tri-City was declared Canada’s third full WFTDA member). With such a deep pool of talented athletes, it was no wonder that two impressively skilled lineups were thrown together for Saturday’s bout. And after a rocky first half for the girls in white, the second half brought the level of back-and-forth strategic play that was expected from the two all-star squads, with Black managing to hold on for the nail-biting victory in a bout that came right down to the final contested jam.


ToRD's Bambi and Terminal City's Luludemon were both key for their teams. (Photo by Joe Mac)

The key to the kinds of bouts that feature teams of hastily thrown-together talent is how well—and how quickly—the skaters can come together. So while Terminal City’s Luludemon spotted White a quick 4-0 lead, it was clear in the early going that Black was gelling just a little bit quicker. This could have, in large part, been due to the core of five Rideau Valley Roller Girls and four ToRD skaters that shaped the lineup, providing a lot of much-needed familiarity. Nonetheless, there was a lot of line juggling going on as teams figured out who was playing well with whom. The RVRG pack-powerhouse Semi Precious controlled things in the pack early on, while ToRD vet Bambi and Montreal legend Georgia W. Tush took control of things from the jam line; Tush was especially solid early, quickly reeling in Rainbow Fight after the precocious Newfie battled her way through the pack to take the lead (Rainbow Fight and Nickel City’s Low Ride Her were the two least inexperienced skaters on the rosters, both playing for rookie leagues, although neither looked out of place on this night).

Forest City's Tamahawk was a revelation; while RVRG's Soul Rekker was business as usual. (Photo by Joe Mac)

In what was quickly becoming the story of the bout, it was another RVRG skater who would blow the game wide open as Slaughter Daughter/Vixen Soul Rekker put up an impressive 20 points. A subsequent power jam by Dyna Hurtcha capped a run of 56 consecutive points for Black as they opened up a commanding 56-4 lead half way through the first. Things opened up a bit in the later stages of the first half, with White finally finding their footing and way back into the bout. Luludemon and Soul Rekker had some great first half battles, but the story was in the pack; strong positional pairings like Tush and Precious or 8 Mean Wheeler (Terminal City) and Brim Stone (ToRD) complemented by big hitting from Assassinista (RVRG) and Mia Culprit (returning to competitive roller derby after a year-long hiatus) made up the difference in Black’s 83-26 half-time lead.


With the teams fully comfortable with each other, and the play opening up considerably near the end of the first half, if was no surprise that the second half featured more strategic play, and a big pushback from White. Having watched the first half from behind the benches, E-Ville’s Coach Pauly and Quadzilla (both instructors at the camp) couldn’t help it, and found themselves getting more and more involved over the duration of the second half. Knowing they needed to do something different than what they’d done in the first half to make up the gap, White set the tone for the half with an early star pass between Rainbow and Lulu that worked brilliantly breaking up a long and potentially tiring jam to rack up 17 points for White and getting them back into the bout. There were more RVRG players standing out for the White squad as well, with Surgical Strike doing her part in the pack to help White’s chances. Yet another in a long line of up-and-coming Montreal skaters, Hustle Rose was a huge triple threat for White as well, busting out of traps and picking up points in the early going to keep her team in the game. It was a Hustle power jam that pulled White within striking distance, 113-111, midway through the second.

Hustle Rose (MTLRD) gets some help from RVRG's Surgical Strike. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

Another strong contingent in the bout emerged as the bout progressed; the four Forest City skaters on White—Mirambo, Anya Face, Commiekaze and Tamahawk—were all key elements in the White comeback. Mirambo was solid all bout, while Anya helped orchestrate a key 20 point power jam (made possible by a well-executed trap in a 4-1 pack advantage) that had White take the lead for the first time since the opening jam, 121-113. The pairing of Chicks Ahoy/CN Power teammates Mega Bouche and Tara Part was also effective for White, creating solid walls up front, along with Montreal’s Trash N Smash. But the experienced players on Black remained unfazed by the quick loss of their lead; Tush was key in the final jams of the bout, with Bambi confidently taking back the lead with a 14 point jam with under five minutes to go. After trading the lead back and forth, and only two minutes remaining White jammer Luludemon gave her team the lead on a grueling jam, only to find herself sent to the box, leaving Tush with just enough time to lap the pack and pick up a grand slam to pull ahead 142-141. With three seconds left on the clock, White called a time out. But in the final jam, the reliable Bambi, who is coming off of another strong ToRD season that concluded with a championship only weeks ago, took the lead for Black and after a brief, heart-stopping delay, called the jam to give her team the 144-141 victory.

It was, literally, a cross-Canada collection of talent. (Photo by Joe Mac)


For most of the skaters in Toronto this weekend, this camp represents the end to a 2010 season that was groundbreaking in many ways for the sport in general, but for the sport in Canada in particular. Montreal broke through the international boundaries to announce Canada’s burgeoning emergence as a potential roller derby power. Their finishing the season with a run at WFTDA’s Eastern Regionals and a 7th place ranking in the Region are major accomplishments, especially considering how far they have come, and quickly they managed it. ToRD’s early season success at the Quad City Chaos showed that CN Power has the potential to compete at the top level of Canadian derby, but Tri-City’s October victory over their big-city rivals, and

Dyna Hurtcha had a solid night for Black. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

their recent earning of full WFTDA status, proved a reminder to ToRD (and all the other top Canadian leagues) that the “top level” is rising quickly. 2011 promises to take it to yet another level, with  Terminal City beginning their WFTDA Apprenticeship, Forest City continuing their forays into the U.S., and the Rideau Valley Vixens poised to be Eastern Canada’s next big breakout team. If 2010 was the year flat track roller derby grew up, then 2011 will be the year it matures.

Check out Layer9’s bout footage at ToRD.TV.

Check here for the full rosters.

Weekend Recap: Gores Gore Chicks

Nasher the Smasher and Brim Stone leading their packs.

Chicks Ahoy! 80 (1-1  -32) vs. Gore-Gore Rollergirls 124 (2-0  +234)

In a highly anticipated matchup at the Hangar on Saturday night, the defending champion Gore-Gore Rollergirls took on their long-time rivals Chicks Ahoy! in a bout between ToRD’s two remaining undefeated teams. It was a hard-hitting, scrappy affair in the packed and sweaty Hangar, a bout that the Gores took control of early and aside from a few strong pushbacks, maintained control of throughout, pulling into top spot in the standings with the 124-80 victory.

Both teams seemed hesitant at first, with neither capable of taking a clear advantage. Jammers took leads only to be reeled in before completing a scoring pass, or got caught up in back walls before being forced to call. The Gores’ Bambi finally broke the deadlock, recovering from a thundering jammer take out by Nasher the Smasher to pick up 7 points and open up a 10-0 lead five minutes in. It would be short lived though as the Chicks tight pack work was quickly rewarded with a power jam. Rebel Rock-It pivoted a strong, slow pack, while Mach Wheels danced her way to 15 points and a brief 15-11 lead. In an exciting turn of events, the Gores were immediately given a power jam as well and Lunchbox took back the lead with a triple grand slam of her own.

Foxy Sinatra (blocking G-Force) made an impressive return to ToRD after a one-year hiatus.

There were some interesting positional matchups in the early going. The Gores, who have been mixing things up this season, continued to do so early on. The hard-hitting Foxy Sinatra was pivoting, allowing Brim Stone to play as blocker a little more  (although she was pivoting a surprisingly good pack of rookies as well). But it was at the jammer position where the Gores would once again shine. Although sticking with their big three, the matchups were not working in their favour early on. The Rev took note and a few adjustments later and the jammers were rolling. With all three picking up considerable points late in the half to ensure that the Gores would maintain their lead, which was 74-37 at the half.

Traditionally, the Chicks have been known as a hard hitting, defensive team, but they showed great preparation for this bout and a willingness to adjust to their opponents. Taking a much more strategic approach (pace control, isolation and trapping with the packs) to complement the big hits and jammer take outs by the likes of Fubar, Nasher and Dolly Destructo the Chicks may have put together their most consistent and unified bout of the season. Fireweed’s scrappiness straight from the whistle and Marmighty’s tenacity in the pack though, reminded the Gores that this isn’t always a fun team to play against.

Rebel Rock-It (who had a great night with the stripe) takes a rare turn as jammer.

The second half kicked off with a bit of a pushback from the Chicks’ jammers, but while Candy and Mach were consistently getting leads, they weren’t able to shake the Gores’ jammers and make clean scoring passes. But persistence pays off, and it was the more strategic Chicks packs which were finally able to wrestle control away from the Gores . Over a series of jams (including another well-executed power jam—Rebel Rock-It and Nasher were leading traps effectively all night) the Chicks were able to reel off 23 unanswered points to pull within 19 (91-72) more than halfway through the period. Not to be outdone, the Gores adjusted to their opponents as well, stepping the physical play up, and seeming to want to engage in pack break ups and hit-for-hit blocker battles. Power blocker Foxy Sinatra led the Gores attack back, and was complemented by a group of talented rookies and the veteran presence of pivots Brim Stone and Junkie Jenny. Hurlin Wall built on her excellent rookie season and continues to develop into a wall of a positional blocker. Santa Muerte made her ToRD regular season debut as well and wreaked havoc on the Chicks’ pack. With the Gores retaking control of the pack, the Chicks took some untimely penalties. Bambi was able to pick up another 15 points with Mach Wheels in the box to restore the Gores’ cushion. A few more untimely penalties that lead to Gore pack advantages allowed that Gores to defend their lead and play out their eventual 44 point victory.

Lunchbox tries to get around Robber Blind

Mach Wheels and Bambi (this season’s two JQ leaders) engaged in epic jammer battles all night, evading blocks and trading leads, and the strategies being employed (on the track and on the benches) speaks volumes to the fast evolution of the sport. But what was most impressive (as it has been for much of the season), is the quality of this year’s rookies class. From Marmighty, the lone Chicks rookie, to the coterie of impressive rookies on the Gores, the future looks bright for ToRD.

Check out layer9’s full bout plus interviews and more at ToRD.TV.

Keep an eye on my stats page for the updated stats (including the JQ).


Derby Debutantes (GTAR) 44 vs. Thames Fatales (FCRG) 174

In a wise developmental move, Sudbury’s Nickel City rollergirls hosted an exhibition bout featuring two veteran teams from the south to learn the ins and outs of hosting a bout, but also to introduce the city to the sport. The Thames and Debs seemed to play a much more defensive game in their second meeting of the year, but the outcome remained the same, another big victory for the Thames (who seem to be collecting big victories this season).