pivot

Beast of the East 2009: Recap

Beast of the East 2009 (Poster)

The early days of flat track roller derby in Canada were dominated largely by the Hammer City Roller Girls and especially by the Hamilton Harlots. Late in the summer of 2006 the Harlots won the Betties D-Day, the first inter-city flat track derby tournament in Canada, with victories over Montreal and ToRD‘s Smoke City Betties. They would continue to lead the pace in Canadian derby by scoring a lopsided victory over MTLRD‘s La Racaille in the 2008 Beast of the East final. (Derby Luv has archived all of the results from 2008) But there was a definite shift in power during the 2008 season and although the Harlots, based on their previous record, would enter the tournament as favourites, no one was counting out any of the teams from Montreal or Toronto. One thing was certain, BOE 2009 would usher in a new era of competitive roller derby in Canada.

THE EARLY ROUNDS

Aside from an only slightly surprising Death Row Dames victory over Thames Fatales (23-19), the early rounds went mostly as expected. Massive victories by ToRD’s Gore-Gore Rollergirls (103-11 over Capital Carnage), Hammer City’s Harlots (69-6 against the GTAR’s Derby Debutantes), and MTLRD’s Les Filles du Roi (77-6 vs. The Death Track Dolls) and La Racaille (67-10 over the Bay Street Bruisers, in their last appearance as a team) established the early front runners.

ToRD’s Gore-Gore Rollergirls and Ottawa’s Capital Carnage ready to kick off BOE ’09

Despite opening losses, the Death Track Dolls and Rideau Valley’s Slaughter Daughters would battle their way through to the quarter finals with back-to-back must-win victories. One shocker could be the elimination of defending ToRD champs The Chicks Ahoy!, but they faced a tough draw, losing tight bouts to MTLRD champs La Racaille and Hammer City champs, the Harlots.

THE QUARTER-FINALS

One of the most anticipated quarter-final match ups never actually happened. The improved and determined Smoke City Betties were looking to have a big year in ToRD and were fired up for a quarter-final test against the Gore-Gore Rollergirls. Unfortunately, shaken up by the devastating injury to one of their star players, Desmond Deck-Her (check out her 2007 and 2008 jammer stats), the Gores pulled out of the tournament, giving the Betties a clear path to the semis. MTLRD’s Contrabanditas advanced with a hard-fought victory over the surprising Slaughter Daughters while the other bracket would see La Racaille trounce the Dolls and Les Filles Du Roi handle the Harlots in a classic, low scoring bout. The Harlots’ loss ending their bid for consecutive BOE titles.

THE SEMI-FINALS

In only a minor surprise, three of the four semi-finalists were from MTLRD, with ToRD’s Betties being the only exception. They’d put up a great fight against the Ditas, but for the second time during the weekend, the Montreal skaters in black overcame the scrappy Betties squad 33-23. In the other semi, the two finalists from MTLRD’s previous season met for the second time in the tournament. The first round meeting had been an instant classic, a back and forth battle that saw Les Filles pull it out in the end. It would be a different story in the semis as La Racaille pulled ahead early and could not be caught, holding on for a 38-20 victory and setting up an all Montreal final.

THE FINALS

Led by the likes of Trash N Smash, Ewan Wotarmy, and Georgia W. Tush, the Contrabanditas would throw everything they had at their league rivals. La Racaille would answer back with memorable jams from Izzy Skellington, Lyn-dah Kicks and, of course, the Iron Wench, while Wrath Poutine, Bone Machine, and  No Holds Bard held the pack. In the end, La Racaille just had too much fire power and won their first BOE championship 49-34.

THE NERD’S PICKS

Breakout Team: Slaughter Daughters of the Rideau Valley Roller Girls

Despite entering the tournament as relative unknowns, The Daughters would announce their presence in their very first bout pushing the highly favoured  Smoke City Betties to the limit before falling 32-24. They would go on to take their next two bouts with impressive victories over Tri-City’s Venus Fly Tramps (48-14) and Forest City’s Thames Fatales (68-28). Their tournament would end in the quarter finals, but not before Semi Precious, Dee Dee Tee, Sister Disaster, the awesome Soul Rekker, and their teammates made quite an impression.

The Dolls’ Land Shark calls the jam against The Vicious Dishes

Breakout Player: Land Shark (ToRD’s Death Track Dolls)

After a solid rookie campaign in 2008, there were high hopes pinned on Land Shark as she entered ToRD’s 2009 season.  She didn’t disappoint at BOE 2009 and was phenomenal in the Doll’s run to the quarter finals. Particularly, it was her 15 point jam at a critical point in the a tight, must-win bout against the Vicious Dishes that put the game out of reach and sent the Dolls into the next round. Her break-out performance at the BOE would be a springboard for a breakout season in ToRD that would see her nominated for 2009 jammer of the year.

Best Bout: Contrabanditas (28) vs. Slaughter Daughters (25)–quarter-finals.

This was a very tough call. The other nominees were both first rounders: La Racaille and The Chicks Ahoy! battled through the closest bout of the tournament (36-35, La Racaille), while La Racaille and Les Filles had the most skill-filled and exciting bout (43-35, Les Filles). The fact that these were both first-round bouts would be the difference in the end; I picked the Daughters-Ditas bout because no one expected it to be so close (or so exciting), and it took place in the sudden death, quarter-final round. Despite being over-matched, the Daughters refused to bend under the Ditas’ attack, and in the end came within three points of what would have been a monumental upset.

* Full BOE 2009 results are available here. Preview continues on Thursday.

* All photos were taken by Derek Lang; visit bagelhot for more information.

Blocker Stats: A Look Back at 2008 (2)

ToRD's 2008 Championship Poster

While ToRD’s second season saw the Gore-Gore Rollergirls and Chicks Ahoy! put up impressive regular seasons and return to the championship bout once again, they by no means ran roughshod over the competition. Members of the Bay Street Bruisers, Death Track Dolls, and the Smoke City Betties all figured prominently in the 2008 blocker stats. While some of the DVAS had great seasons (including Mia Culprit, Seka Destroy and Betty Bomber, whose triple-threat potential became apparent in 2008), the responsibility was passed around much more; the numbers more evenly distributed. After dominating 2007, Lock N Roll  (now with the Dolls) followed up with another strong campaign, but it was her former Gores teammate Foxy Sinatra who put up the most consistent numbers,  leading the league in hits and knockdowns, while finishing tied for first in assists and fourth in knockdown %. The Chicks’ Dolly Destructo appears in all categories as well, while also picking up 8 JQ points as well. But after scoring a very high JQ in 2007, In 2008 Dolly Destructo would move clearly into the role of fearsome pack terrorizer that she maintains today.

ASSISTS

Blocker/Pivot Assists
Monichrome (BSB) 24
Foxy Sinatra (GGR) 24
Lock N Roll (DTD) 18
Nasher the Smasher (CA!) 16
Spee Dee Ramone (DTD) 15
Candy Crossbones (CA!) 14
Kandy Barr (GGR) 13
Trashzilla (GGR) 13
Dolly Destructo (CA!) 12
BullNuts (GGR) 11

While the Gores and Chicks would rank seven skaters in the top ten in assists (which undoubtedly had a lot to do with the impressive jammer numbers by their teammates), it was the Bruisers’ Monichrome (now of the Dolls) who would lead in this category, putting up big totals pushing and giving arm whips. Candy Crossbones finishes sixth in this category while also putting up consistent jammer numbers for the second straight season.

HITS

Blocker/Pivot Hits
Foxy Sinatra (GGR) 94
Dyna Hurtcha (SCB) 83
Lock N Roll (DTD) 75
Audrey Hellborn (DTD) 72
Jewel Kicker (SCB) 64
Mega Bouche (CA!) 62
BullNuts (GGR) 59
Miss Behaviour (SCB) 59
Dolly Destructo (CA!) 58
Golide Lock N Load (SCB) 57

Foxy Sinatra dominated this category, but the top skaters in this category tell a tale that is still being told today. In 2008 Dyna Hurtcha took the first steps toward becoming the force who would eventually help lead the Betties to a berth in  the finals in 2009; Audrey Hellborn emerged as one of the most feared hitters in the game; and the versatile Jewel Kicker showed that she was much more than just a (fantastic) jammer.

KNOCKDOWNS

Blocker/Pivot KD
Foxy Sinatra (GGR) 38
Lock N Roll (DTD) 23
Audrey Hellborn (DTD) 21
Rebel Rock-It (BSB) 20
Dolly Destructo (CA!) 18
Dyna Hurtcha (SCB) 18
Coupe de Kill (GGR) 16
Monichrome (BSB) 16
Pretty Peeved (BSB) 16
Nasher the Smasher (CA!) 14

Foxy Sinatra ran away with this one too, registering a remarkable 15 more knockdowns than second place Lock N Roll. Lock and Audrey Hellborn proved to be a frightening duo for the Dolls in 2008, while the star pivot Rebel Rock-It, who now wears the stripe for the Chicks, led three of her Bruisers into the top ten.

KNOCKDOWN % (minimum 60 jams)

DVAS vs. Bruisers (August 9, 2008)

Blocker/Pivot KD %
Kandy Barr (GGR) 72
Pretty Peeved (BSB) 50
Sue Deuce (SCB) 48
Foxy Sinatra (GGR) 40
Rebel Rock-It (BSB) 37
Dolly Destructo (CA!) 31.03
Monichrome (BSB) 30.77
Lock N Roll (DTD) 30.67
Wyld Wench (BSB) 30.56
Audrey Hellborn (DTD) 29

Kandy Barr may not have thrown as many hits as some of her counterparts in 2008, but when she did, her opponents certainly felt it being knocked down a remarkable 72% of the times that she hit them. But this is not to diminish the impressive numbers of Sue Deuce and especially of Pretty Peeved (now of the Betties) who finished with an impressive 50% despite throwing almost twice as many hits as Kandy Barr. Members of five of the six ToRD teams were ranked in the top ten in this category, rounding out a well balanced season in terms of hitting and blocking.

We’re only one week away from The Beast of the East! A full preview of the tournament will begin on Tuesday.

Blocker Stats: A look back at 2007 (2)

ToRD 2007 Championship Poster

In hockey they say that offense wins games; defense wins championships. In roller derby, you could say something similar: jammers win games; packs win championships.

Looking back at the blocker stats from ToRD’s 2007 season, the prevalence of members of the Chicks Ahoy! and the Gore-Gore Rollergirls speaks to the dominance of the two teams. The Gores’ Lock N Roll would prove to be the most dominant blocker in ToRD’s first full season, registering in the top ten in all four major categories including leading in total assists (19), and coming second in both total hits (109) and knockdowns (25). Her value to the Gores was evident also in the fact that she was on the track for 63% of her team’s total track time.

ASSISTS

Blocker

Assists

1. Lock N Roll (GGR)

19

1. Kinky K (DTD)

19

3. Foxy Sinatra (GGR)

18

4. Bones Brigade (DTD)

12

4. Midnight Snatch (DTD)

12

6. Nasher the Smasher (CA!)

10

7. Monichrome (BSB)

9

7. Tara Part (CA!)

9

7. Aimme Zing (CA!)

9

7. Rated R (DVAS)

9

The number of assists reflects a blocker/pivot’s total of whips, pushes and bulldozers. A couple of Gores held the top of the list, but the bottom half was dominated by the Chicks and Death Track Dolls. A lot of these names would become well known to ToRD fans in the coming seasons, with the Chicks blockers forming a sold core that continues to exits (for the most part) in 2010.

HITS

Blocker

Hits

1. Foxy Sinatra (GGR)

121

2. Lock N Roll (GGR)

109

3. Brimstone Cowgirl (GGR)

103

4. Bones Brigade (DTD)

91

5. Tara Part (CA!)

69

5. Mia Culprit (DVAS)

69

7. Sierra Hotel (CA!)

62

7. Junkie Jenny (GGR)

62

9. Chili Diablo (BSB)

61

10. Aimee Zing (CA!)

59

The amazing positional blocking and hitting of the Gores showed in the total hits category as they managed to lock up the top three spots. Brimstone Cowgirl makes her only appearance in these stats, but it’s a name that will become synonymous with solid blocking and confident pack leadership in ToRD. Tara Part had a solid showing too, part of a very consistent year for the Chicks’ blocker. The Gores’ Foxy Sinatra really ran away with this category, laying out more than double the number of hits than tenth place Aimee Zing.

KNOCKDOWNS

Blocker

Knockdowns

1. Chili Diablo (BSB)

26

2. Lock N Roll (GGR)

25

3. Dolly Destricto (CA!)

22

3. Foxy Sinatra (GGR)

22

5. Mega Mouth (CA!)

17

6. Mia Culprit (DVAS)

16

6. Midnight Snatch (DTD)

16

8. Sierra Hotel (CA!)

15

9.  Tara Part (CA!)

14

9. Nasher the Smasher (CA!)

14

While the Gores may have had more overall hits, the Chicks laid the most bodies down on the track accounting for five of the top ten spots in total knockdowns. Dolly Destructo, who also had a sold year jamming, shows up here, proving herself to be on of the most versatile ToRD players of 2007.  Mia Culprit made sure that the DVAS had representation in these stats also, showing up in three of the four categories.

KNOCKDOWN %*

Blocker

KD %

1. Chili Diablo (BSB)

43%

2. Midnight Snatch (DTD)

36%

3. BlacknBlue Barbie (DTD)

32%

4. Mega Mouth (CA!)

30%

5. Nasher the Smasher (CA!)

25%

6. Sierra Hotel (CA!)

24%

6. Creepella (CA!)

24%

8. Lock N Roll (GGR)

23%

8. Mia Culprit (DVAS)

23%

10. Tara Part (CA!)

20%

10. Coupe de Kill (GGR)

20%

*minimum 45 jams as pivot / blocker

Gore-Gore Rollergirls vs. Chicks Ahoy! in ToRD's 2007 championship bout.

The 0-3 Bay Street Bruisers’ Chili Diablo takes her second category, while two Dolls round out the top three. But once again the Chicks flexed their collective muscle in this category; of the five girls in green represented, Nasher the Smasher and Mega Mouth put up the biggest knockdown percentages showing that despite all of the changes ToRD has gone through in the three years since its inaugural season, some things have stayed the same.

2008 stats are on their way; Beast of the East review/preview still to come too.

The Jammer Quotient: A Look Back at 2007 (1)

Chicks Ahoy! vs. Gore-Gore Roller Girls (2007)

In the lead up to ToRD’s 2010 regular season, I decided to take a look back at the jammer quotients from the 2007, 2008, and 2009 seasons. The jammer quotient is a statistical comparison of jammers based on a jammer’s rating in five categories. As expected, over a full season, the JQs were quite close, and the rating rewarded the most consistent jammer. The one limitation that I had is that the data for one of the five JQ categories (plus/minus) is not available for ToRD’s first two seasons; thus the highest JQ a player could possibly achieve in either 2007 or 2008 was 40 (though I’ve added adjusted scores in parentheses based on percentage). Those first two seasons are also interesting in that ToRD was then a six-team league consisting of the 2007 champion Gore-Gore Roller Girls (GGR), 2008 champion Chicks Ahoy! (CA!), the Smoke City Betties (SCB), the Death Track Dolls (DTD), and the two defunct teams: the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad (DVAS) and the Bay Street Bruisers (BSB).    

 

ToRD’s 2007 JAMMER QUOTIENT

Jammer Total Points Points Per Jam Plus/ Minus Jam % Lead % JQ
Dust Bunny (GGR) 10 7 N/A 4 9 30 (38)
Candy Crossbones (CA!) 7 10 N/A 0 8 25 (32)
Jewel Kicker (SCB) 4 4 N/A 6 10 24 (30)
Desmond Deck Her (GGR) 8 8 N/A 0 6 22 (28)
Dolly Destructo (CA!) 9 6 N/A 5 0 20 (25)
G-Force! (CA!) 6 1 N/A 7 5 19
Jubilee (DTD) 5 3 N/A 8 0 16
Ce Four (BSB) 0 0 N/A 9 5 14
Ice Pick (DVAS) 1 9 N/A 1 2 13
Miss Tress Nightmare (DTD) 3 0 N/A 10 0 13

 

The 2007 champion Gore-Gore Rollergirls produced two of the top five rated jammers, a tradition of depth at the position that has continued to this day. Dust Bunny didn’t exactly run away with the JQ, but the largest gap between positions was the 5 point gap between her first place JQ and Candy Crossbones’ second place one. A 3 point gap between sixth place G-Force! And seventh place Jubilee was the second largest gap. Over the course of the season, it was consistency that paid off with Dust Bunny being one of only three jammers to gain points in all four categories. (The others were G-Force! and Ice Pick.) No Jammer led in more than one category but Dust Bunny came first in total points and second in lead %. While Demolition Dawn (SCB) was statistically the biggest triple threat (with an average of at least three jams per bout as pivot, blocker, and jammer), Dolly Destructo spent the most time in the pack of the JQ rated skaters, and recorded a very high number of hits (38) and a knockdown percentage of 58%.

Below is the breakdown by category for rankings of each of the four stats used to determine the 2007 JQ.

TOTAL POINTS

Jammer Total Points
Dust Bunny (GGR) 173 (10)
Dolly Destructo (CA!) 167 (9)
Desmond Deck Her (GGR) 152 (8)
Candy Crossbones (CA!) 143(7)
G-Force! (CA!) 142 (6)
Jubilee (DTD) 134 (5)
Jewel Kicker (SCB) 128 (4)
Miss Tress Nightmare (DTD) 119(3)
Alicia Arsenic (GGR) 113 (2)
Ice Pick (DVAS) 112(1)

The Gore-Gore Roller girls and Chicks Ahoy! were the dominant teams in 2007 and it showed in the total points category as members of each team held down the top five positions.

POINTS PER JAM

Jammer Points Per Jam
Candy Crossbones (CA!) 5.5 (10)
Ice Pick (DVAS) 5.33 (9)
Desmond Deck Her (GGR) 5.24 (8)
Dust Bunny (GGR) 4.55 (7)
Dolly Destructo (CA!) 4.51 (6)
Japanna (DVAS) 4.32 (5)
Jewel Kicker (SCB) 3.88 (4)
Jubilee (DTD) 3.83 (3)
Kandy Barr (GGR) 3.67 (2)
G-Force! (CA!) 3.55 (1)

Despite not even finishing in the top ten in jam %, Candy Crossbones finished fourth in points scored, and made the most of her limited opportunities by scoring an amazing 5.5 points per jam over the course of the season.

JAM %

Jammer Jam %
Miss Tress Nightmare (DTD) 35.24 (10)
Ce Four (BSB) 33.65 (9)
Jubilee (DTD) 33.33 (8)
G-Force! (CA!) 33.06 (7)
Jewel Kicker (SCB) 32.35 (6)
Dolly Destructo (CA!) 30.58 (5)
Dust Bunny (GGR) 29.01(4)
Alicia Arsenic (GGR) 26.12 (3)
JJ Bladez (DVAS) 25.00 (2)
Ice Pick (DVAS) 22.43 (1)

Miss Tress Nightmare was ToRD’s workhorse of 2007, wearing the star for an amazing 35% of the 0-3 Death Track Doll’s jams. All in all seven skaters jammed for about 1/3 of their teams jams.

LEAD %

Jammer Lead %
Jewel Kicker (SCB) 61 (10)
Dust Bunny (GGR) 58 (9)
Candy Crossbones (CA!) 54 (8)
Alicia Arsenic (GGR) 49 (7)
Desmond Deck Her (GGR) 48 (6)
Ce Four (BSB) 43 (5)
G-Force! (CA!) 43 (5)
Japanna (DVAS) 42 (3)
Ice Pick (DVAS) 38 (2)
Kandy Barr (GGR) 37 (1)

Given the sheer number of jams each of them took part in over the course of the seasons, Jewel Kicker and Dust Bunny put up absolutely amazing percentages in this category. It will be interesting to see if the comparative parity amongst the ToRD teams in 2010 will allow for such high averages from any player.

2008 and 2009 JQs are coming soon.

Word on the track

Ewan Wotarmy lines up Lady Gagya; Rebel Rock-It attempts to cut through the pack (New Skids on the Block vs. CN Power 03/27/10)

MONTREAL HOTTEST TEAM IN  WFTDA?

In a Quad City Chaos preview I’d speculated that Montreal’s New Skids on the Block may have been the hottest WFTDA team in 2010. I was basing my statement on the fact that after opening 2010 with 2 tough losses to highly ranked WFTDA teams, the Skids have won their final five bouts by huge margins (not to mention a couple of one-sided victories against non-WFTDA teams). So, with all that in mind, are the Skids really the hottest WFTDA skaters in 2010?

According to the numbers on  flattrackstats.com (WFTDA points and 0verall rankings), there are four teams in the running, but I’m not going to count the Oly Rollers because their biggest leap in points actually occurred at the 2009 WFTDA Nationals (even if only reflected in the opening standings of 2010). So that leaves Montreal against the Bellingham Roller Betties and the Slaughter County Roller Vixens. In terms of point differential (flattrack stats uses a very precise, complicated and fascinating algorithm to determine its points; you can read all about it here), Slaughter County has made the greatest leap in 2010 (75.55 points). This is only slightly higher than Bellingham’s 65.89 point leap and Montreal’s 62.88 point leap. What is important to note though, is how each team’s ranking has changed. Bellingham has only moved 3 spots from 72nd to 69th overall (and upon further inspection, did so based not on their own victories, but on the losses of others). Similarly, while Slaughter County had the biggest points increase, they only  jumped 13 spots (70th -57th), and they too relied upon the losses of others (and their own losses to highly ranked teams), and one big victory over Central Coast. In terms of rankings, Montreal is the clear winner in this category, jumping a remarkable 24 spots so for in 2010 (from 58th to 34th, and 13th to 8th in the Eastern Region). More importantly, they did so based not on the misfortunes of other teams, but on the strength of their own victories. So what had begun as simple hyperbole, has turned out to be true: Montreal’s New Skids on the Block are indeed the hottest team in WFTDA.

(Check here for a recap of the Skids’ recent 3 game, east coast road trip).

OLY ROLLERS APPROACH ANOTHER LANDMARK

Speaking of hot teams! With their 170-119 victory over 11th ranked Madison, the top ranked defending WFTDA champion Oly Rollers took one more step toward a big record with their 14th consecutive WFTDA sanctioned victory. They are now only 4 wins away from Gotham‘s record of 18 strait victories; a two-year streak that ended last year. (The DNN roundup of Oly’s victory also includes a very good recap of the Hammer City-hosted WFTDA sanctioned bout between the Eh! Team and the New Skids on the Block prior to The Quad City Chaos.)

MEN’S ROLLER DERBY???

Although men’s bouts have been happening since the start of derby’s modern revival, and random teams having been popping up all over the place (including Western Canada), for the first time an organized league has been formed. The Men’s Derby Coalition (MDC) (featuring teams in Baltimore, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts) kicked off play on March 27th, 2010. (The Derby News Network provides a great season preview.)

DERBY SISTERS KICK OFF REGULAR SEASON EARLY

While most eastern Canadian leagues kick off their home leagues in May, the Tri-City Roller Girls are starting their season pre Beast of the East this year, on April 10th, with a bout between defending champs The Vicious Dishes and their Tri-City rivals The Venus Fly Tramps. Both teams will be looking to get some important game-practice in leading up to BOE 2010.

COMING SOON:

Look for a look back at Beast of the East ’09, a preview of BOE ’10, and team previews for the upcoming ToRD season.

Quad City Chaos: Recap

Defecaitlin fights through Terminal City's pack.

THE RESULTS

No surprises at this weekend’s Quad City Chaos, unless Montreal’s New Skids being even better than advertised could be considered a surprise. Montreal easily won the first annual Quad City Chaos invitational, posting lop-sided victories over all involved, including topping 200 points in two of their three bouts. CN Power (2-1) finished a strong second in the tournament, with Hammer City’s Eh! Team third after edging a game Terminal City squad in an exciting and closely contested conclusion to the tournament.

TEAM

WINS

LOSSES

POINTS FOR

POINTS AGAINST

New Kids on the Block (MTLRD)

3

0

597

126

CN Power (ToRD)

2

1

231

395

Eh! Team (Hammer City)

1

2

228

401

Terminal City All Stars (TCRG)

0

3

238

372

THE BOUTS

The bouts involving CN Power, The Eh! Team, and the Terminal City All Stars were all close, hard fought battles, with the teams often changing leads. The differences between these three teams were negligible at best, and you got the feeling that on any given night any one of these teams could prevail. That parity made for an exciting weekend and bodes well for the future of roller derby in Canada.

After a disorganized, and potentially jet-lagged opening half against the CN Power, Terminal City noticeably improved with each bout, often quickly adapting to the nuances of the eastern game and the strategies of the opposing teams.

Brim Stone and Perky Set at the top of the pack.

Skater for skater the girls from Vancouver matched up well. Despite the 0-3 record, The All Stars showed moments of brilliance over the weekend; at times this team was like a shape shifter, adapting to and countering strategies of other teams. They were capable of keeping Montreal under 200 points (160) almost solely due to their defense on power jams. Not wanting to get into a slow, strategic positional-blocking battle with the Skids, they instead elected to race ahead of the Montreal blockers and stretch the pack to encourage one on one battles. This also forced the jammer to work twice as hard, resulting in extremely fast-paced, low scoring jams.

The Eh! Team looked a little unpracticed at times this weekend, with loose formations and no answers to the pack strategies being employed by the Skids. But they had some great jamming and also improved with each bout and will undoubtedly use this weekend as a starting point for what should be a challenging but exciting WFTDA season.

Even missing a few star players, The New Skids on the Block look poised to make a breakthrough in WFTDA’s Eastern division. Almost militant in their preparation and surgical in the execution of strategy, Montreal constantly frustrated the other teams with a few different blocker traps (at the back and on the line), some well-timed and well-placed hits, and an almost unhitable arsenal of jammers. This is a team to watch in 2010, and, as long as the players stay healthy, should make its well-deserved debut in the WFTDA Regionals.

Collide-O-Skope Kid and Iron Wench at the line.

THE PERFORMANCES

Such a long tournament and there were so many amazing performances that it is hard to narrow down key players on each side. Terminal City’s Lambe Baste Her, Luludemon, and Roller Girl provided strong jamming all weekend, while Barra Couga was a tenacious thorn in more than a few sides. LA Gunns did not look like someone returning from a major injury and delivered some serious hits in the pack, and 8-Mean Wheeleer provided solid leadership.

For the Eh! Team, Carla Coma and Vicadoom continued to carry the jam load, but big hitter Bitchslap Barbie stepped in against TCRG and put up a lot of points in the victory. Perky Set battaled hard all weekend, and Lock N Roll made her return to The Hangar wearing a visitor’s jersey for the first time, and looked up to the tastk, even taking her turn with the star against her former CN Power teammates.

The New Skids on the Block simply had no weaknesses in its lineup. The Iron Wench continued to show that she is a world class jammar, with strong suport from Lyn-dah Kicks and Georgie W. Tush.  Jess Bandit proved that she can lead a pack with the best of them, and Ewan Wotarmy and Smack Daddy did double duty, providing solid pack blocking with some energetic jams.

THE HOME TEAM

Mach Wheels holds Avi Hater outside while Lunchbox takes the inside.

Any way you look at it, this was an extraordinarily successful weekend for the members of CN Power. They had an opportunity to test themselves against the best that the country had to offer and managed to grind out two impressive victories; perhaps more importantly, they faced intelligent, tough opponents with different strengths and weaknesses, which will undoubtedly teach them a lot going forward. While the two victories were important, the way they happened was potentially more so.

Feeling confident and urged on by the home crowd, CN Power came out flying in its opening game against Terminal City. Employing a strategy of slow packs and aggressive jamming (reminiscent of their victory over The Rideau Valley Vixens), the trio of Lunch Box, Land Shark, and Defecailtlin lead the team to a huge lead early against a bewildered, and unfocused Vancouver squad, taking a 40 point lead into halftime. But the second half was another story and the All Stars were like a different team–relentless defense, aggressive hitting, and defensive jamming all contributed to a much more competitive second half, and although CN Power held on for a 97-79 victory, they  paid a physical price for it in the end.

The effects of playing back-to-back bouts were obvious as the hometeam fell behind early against their provincial rivals from Hamilton (55-49 at the half). But CN Power, still stinging after a two year losing streak to the Eh! Team, sent a clear message in the second half: the team has come to play in 2010. With Defecaitlin seeing limited action due to injury, Bambi stepped up and provided key jams in the second half, and in a spirited effort, CN Power took the lead and held on for an amazing 89-87 victory.

It was a different story against the Skids. After an emotionally exhausting Saturday, CN Power was never really able to get anything going against the powerhouses on Sunday. Constantly frustrated,  CN Power did show signs of the potential for a stronger performance late: even in the face of such opposition, Lunchbox was her usual calm self and provided some much needed consistency at the jam line, and Land Shark displayed a new level of toughness mixing it up with (and even getting the better of ) Montreal’s super pivot Jess Bandit on a few occasions. CN Power also showed some ingenuity in the second half  including giving Montreal a taste of its own medicine with a well executed trap. But in the end the inability to defend against the power jam allowed the Skids to run up the score.

Brim Stone and Rebel Rock-It provided solid leadership up front all weekend and Nasher the Smasher, making her 2010 debut, also looked comfortable in the stripe. Mach Wheels continues to impress with her unbelievable control and poise and made more than her fair share of hilight-worthy assists on the weekend (including an impressive ‘waitress’ against the Skids).

PS: ToRD.TV LAUNCHES!

This weekend also saw the launch of ToRD.TV, a site dedicated to hilighting ToRD and its skaters. Keep an eye out for upcoming specials (interviews, bout hilights, etc…) from this weekend’s Quad City Chaos.

Quad City Chaos Preview: Terminal City All Stars

For most derby fans here in the east, the Terminal City Roller Girls are an unknown quantity; unfortunately, the same goes for the Derby Nerd. But I’ve got scouts working out west and have been watching my fair share of video to prepare this Terminal City primer for all the fans at Quad City Chaos. Part of the original wave of derby growth in Canada in 2006, Terminal City has grown into a well established three-team league. The play widely in western Canada, but also south of the border where they’ve earned their cred playing some of the finest derby teams on the left coast (including representatives from the Oly Rollers and Rat City). Last year, Bad Reputations took the TCRG league championship against the Riot Squad (Faster Pussycats rounds out the competition in the league).

THE TERMINAL CITY ALL STARS
Bouts: Vs. Toronto’s CN Power (2pm on the 27th); Vs. Montreal’s New Skids on the Block (6:30pm on the 27th); Vs. Hamilton’s The Eh! Team (3:30pm on the 28th).

Starting up front, expect to see Tiki Timebomb and Bustylicious spend their fair share of time wearing the stripe and leading the way, with pack support from big hitter Barra Couga, Shift Kicker, and Sissy Straight-edge, while LA Gunns supplies  assists for her jammers, 8-Mean Wheeler holds the line. Expect triple threats Luludemon and former “most feared” award winner Lucrushya Boardya to also have a big impact in the tournament.

The Terminal City All Stars look as if they also have a lot of depth at jammer with many girls able to step up and wear the star. The champion Bad Reputations will be well represented at the jam line lead by veteran skater RollerGirl. Look for her to share duties with former rookie of the year Avi Hater, Lamb Baste-her (who can also provide some solid hitting), Collide-O-Scope Kid, and Booty Quake.

THE DERBY NERD THINKS

They’ll need top performances from all of those potential jammers to match up with the depth of jammers in the tournament, particularly from the New Skids, but they’ll also need to be willing to be defensive against the aggressive jammers from CN Power. In the pack they’re going to need to maintain the scrappiness and persistent aggression that they’ll face against the Eh! Team, but keep control of things against the the Skids’ tight packs and CN Power’s active pivots.

THE DERBY NERD PREDICTS

The Derby Nerd picked victories for the other teams against the Terminal City All Stars, but honestly the Terminal City skaters could very easily come east, pull an Oly Rollers and completely dominate the whole tournament. Like the Derby News Network says, watching video “aint at all like being there!”, so earlier predictions were based on video comparisons, which just don’t cut it. What I can safely predict, is that this is going to be an amazing and competitive tournament featuring the highest level of roller derby yet seen in Canada.

ROSTER

(Jersey number and club team in parentheses)

Avi Hater (747 Riot Girls), Barra Couga (25 & Under  Bad Reputations), Booty Quake (8.0 Bad Reputations), Bustylicious (33 Riot Girls), Collide-O-Scope Kid (3 Bad Reputations), 8-Mean Wheeler (18 Faster Pussycats),  LA Gunns (0.45 Bad Reputations), Lamb Baste-Her (K0 Bad Reputations), Lucrushya Boardya (4 Riot Girls), Luludemon (44 Riot Girls), RollerGirl (77 Bad Reputations), Roxie Hardknox (16 Riot Girls), Shift Kicker (27 Faster Pussycats), Sissy Straight-edge (2 Faster Pussycats), Tiki TimeBomb (3.2.1 Faster Pussycats)

Quad City Chaos Preview: The Eh! Team

This should be a huge year for Hammer City. The Eh! Team is currently ranked 17th in WFTDA‘s North Central division, and look to move forward from there. The experience they will gain and the quality of competition they will face will undoubtedly expedite their growth.  They opened 2010 with a tough loss against The Fort Wayne Derby Girls Bomb Squad, but will only get stronger as the year progresses. Like the Skids, their roadtrip featured a fairly lean roster, so they’ll have a lot of skaters eager for action at the Quad City Chaos.

THE EH! TEAM

Games: Vs. ToRD’s CN Power (4:30pm ont he 27th); Vs. Vancouver’s Terminal City All Stars (3:30pm on the 28th).

Up front , The Eh! Team is going to need to make sure that they keep their packs tight and quick. Look for the solid Perky Set and Judge Jodie to be leading the way pivoting, but it will be imperative that the big hitters in the pack like Ivy Rupted, Haykeye Pierce, Eduskating Rita, and Dicey keep things together and make sure that they stay unified in their defense.  Expect Bitchslap Barbie to throw more than her fair share of shoulders and hips around the track. Also watch for the return to The Hangar of former ToRD standout Lock N Roll, who will certainly be relied upon for her blocking abilities and could potentially run a few jams as pivot.

The workhorse Carla Coma and the speedy Vicadoom twill take the jam line as the Eh! Team’s 1-2 punch, but you can expect scrappy jams from the tough-as-nails Mean Little Momma and the fearless Dicey too. It will be key for Hammer City’s jammers to hold their own against the opposing jammers, including stepping up defensively when necessary.

THE DERBY NERD THINKS

The Eh! Team will need to keep an active pack if they want to succeed at Quad City, and that means keeping things tight and maintaining a physical level of play. They’ll also have to follow the lead of their pivots and help their jammer when needed. While the Hammer City girls can hold a mean line, they’ll also need to be sure that they aren’t getting beaten to the outside. Their jammers will be relied upon defensively too and will need to take an active role in neutralizing the opposing jammers.

THE DERBY NERD PREDICTS

1-2 and third place in the tournament. Things could get tough for Hammer City; they have to contend with a fired-up CN Power in front of their home crowd, and Montreal has far more bouts under their belts at this point in 2010 and could be a step or two in front of everyone because of this. The Eh! Team will be hungry for a victory by the end though, and are bound to take out their frustrations against the Terminal City All Stars.

THE ROSTER

(Jersey numbers and club teams in parentheses)

Bitchslap Barbie (98 Hamilton Harlots), Boom Boom Betty (31 HamiltonHarlots), Carla Coma (621 Hamilton Harlots), Chainsaw Mary (NC17 Hamilton Harlots), Cut Off (706 Death Row Dames), Dicey (905 Hamilton Harlots), Eduskating Rita (2009), Hawkeye Fierce (4077 Hamilton Harlots), Hozone Slayer (Death Row Dames HO3), Ivy Rupted (4 Death Row Dames), Jett Girl (15 Hamilton Harlots), Judge Jodie (67 Hamilton Harlots), Little Red Rollerhood (7 Death Row Dames), Lock N Roll (00), Mean Little Mama (0 Death Row Dames), Miss Carriage (33 Death Row Dames), Perky Set (3 Hamilton Harlots), Snuffette (822 Hamilton Harlots), Tori Nado (8 Death Row Dames), Vicadoom (420 Hamilton Harlots)

Quad City Chaos Preview: New Skids on the Block

Montreal’s New Skids on the Block have certainly been the busiest team in Canada in 2010, and just may be the hottest team in WFTDA! Having played in a number of games south of the border this year, the skaters are coming to Toronto in game shape. They’ve just returned from an east coast road trip that saw them go 3-0 making some pretty good competition look pretty bad. According to flattrackstats.com, their current winning streak has them sitting in 8th place in WFTDA’s Eastern Region, a huge leap from 13th where they started the year. Needless to say, this is a very good team with very few weaknesses. To make matters worse for the competition at Quad City, the Skids only carried an 11 person roster on their road trip, meaning they’ll have plenty of fresh faces for the tournament.

NEW SKIDS ON THE BLOCK

Games: Vs. Vancouver’s Terminal City All Stars (6:30pm on the 27th); Vs. ToRD’s CN Power (1pm on the 28th).

The New Skids on the Block are making quite a name for themselves by their ability to handle a pack, and who’s going to argue with players like Smack Daddy, Trash ‘N Smash, Nameless Whorror, Bone Machine, Wrath Poutine, Jess Bandit…well you get the idea. This is not a pack to take lightly. There is power, skill and depth up front and it will take a huge effort by an opposing pivot to wrestle control away from them. Word on the track is that key veteran Beater Pan Tease has been nursing a knee injury that caused her to sit out the recent round trip. Although her name is penciled into the roster, it remains to be seen how much of a role she will have at Quad City. For the fan’s sake, let’s hope she’s healed up and ready to go.

There is no less depth at jammer on this team. Led by the phenomenal Iron Wench, the Skids will undoubtedly rotate Georgia W. Tush, Izzy Skellington,  Ewan Wotarmy, and Romeo at the jam line, but don’t be surprised to see some of the blockers mentioned above (and even some who haven’t been!) get a shot with a star. This is a diverse, well-organized team that can mix it up positionally based on the situation.

THE DERBY NERD THINKS

Their jammer’s ability to neutralize the other team’s jammer will be key.These are jammers who can mix it up with other jammers and even blockers if needs be, but they also have the endurance to out pace a pack. But despite the unbelievable depth at jammer, victory in this tournament will be based on the Skids’ pack control. Their ability to trap blockers and pace packs will be what separates them from the competition.

THE DERBY NERD PREDICTS

The Skids will go undefeated in the tournament and take first over all, but it won’t be easy. While I don’t think the Skids are invincible (and The Eh! Team was within spitting distance in a bout against them last year, losing by only 4 points), they are simply too hot right now. They have burst out of the gates in 2010 and have been playing a lot of games against some solid competition, so I think they are ahead of the other teams in terms of game-readiness.

THE ROSTER

(Jersey number and club team in parentheses)

Beater Pan-Tease (1976 Les Filles du Roi),  Bone Machine (1111 La Racaille), Cheese Grater (289 Contrabanditas), Ewan Wotarmy (7734 Les Contrabanditas), Georgia W Tush (Contrabanditas), Iron Wench (516 La Racaille), Izzy Skellington (182, La Racaille), Jess Bandit (8 Les Filles du Roi), Lady J (86), Lyn-dah Kicks (75 La Racaille), No Holds Bard (2X4 La Racaille), Romeo (222 Les Filles du Roi), Smack Daddy (3X Les Filles du Roi), Trash N’ Smash (1.18 Contrabanditas), Karla Shnikov (AK 47 Contrabanditas), Lil Mama (2 Les Filles du Roi), Nameless Whorror (202 Les Filles du Roi), Rae Volver (38 Les Filles du Roi), Wrath Poutine (30 La Racaille)

Beater Pan-Tease (1976 Les Filles du Roi),  Bone Machine   (1111  ), Cheese Grater (289), (Ewan Wotarmy 7734 Les Contrabanditas), Georgia W Tush (Contrabanditas), Iron Wench (516 La Racaille), Izzy Skellington (182, La Racaille), Jess Bandit (8), Lady J (86), Lyn-dah Kicks (75), No Holds Bard (2X4), Romeo (222 Les Filles du Roi), Smack Daddy (3X Les Filles du Roi), Trash N’ Smash (Contrabanditas), Karla Shnikov (AK 47), Lil Mama (2), Nameless Whorror  (202), Rae Volver (38), Wrath Poutine (30 La Racaille)

Quad City Chaos Preview: CN Power

The Quad City Chaos is a four team round robin style tournament that will be played over the 27th and 28th of March at The Hangar. It will feature four of the best roller derby rosters in Canada, the all star teams from the leagues in Toronto, Hamilton, Montreal and Vancouver. The complete schedule can be found here. I’m going to start my four part Quad City Chaos preview with, who else? The hosts, Toronto’s CN Power.

CN POWER

Games: Vs. Vancouver‘s Terminal City All Stars (2pm on the 27th); Vs. Hamilton’s Eh! Team (4:30pm on the 27th); Vs. Montreal’s New Skids on the Block (1pm on the 28th).

CN Power kicked off 2010 with a lopsided victory over the scrappy Rideau Valley Vixens, exactly the kind of confidence booster that this squad needed after an uneven 2009. The 2010 version of CN Power looks focused and organized, and they’ll need both given the nature of the competition in this tournament.

The key to the victory over the Vixens was an uncontainable early onslaught by three of ToRD‘s top jammers, Lunchbox, Land Shark, and 2009 Jammer of the Year Defecaitlin (AKA: Dust Bunny). I don’t see CN Power veering too much from that strategy this this weekend, and the return of Bambi to the lineup will give them the depth that they will need as the weekend progresses. Over the course of the tournament, keep an eye out for jams from Betty Bomber, Memphis Kitty, 2009 rookie of the year Kari Mia Beere, and Marvel S. Maven, the standout sophomore who had an amazing 100% lead percentage in the bout against the Vixens.

Hit for hit, CN Power can go shoulder to hip with any team in the country. With the likes of Mega Mouth (AKA: Mega Bouche), Nasher the Smasher, Hoff, Lady Gagya and Dolly Destructo throwing hits, there will be no shortage of toughness on this squad. The return to the line up of 2009 Triple Threat winner Dyna Hurtcha will make up for the loss of Seka Destroy, who was excellent in her CN Power debut against the Vixens. Another big hitter, Jubilee, also has returned to ToRD after a year-long hiatus and will be making her 2010 CN Power debut at the tournament.

While they will need top jamming and big hitting to match up against Terminal City and The Eh! Team, in the key Sunday afternoon bout against The New Skids, CN Power will need to wrestle control of the pack from the pack-masters from Montreal; that means pivots Brim Stone, Rebel Rock-It , and Mach Wheels will need to control a tight pack when the stripe’s on their helmets. Also the consistency and calming influence of veteran Demolition Dawn will go a long way over the course of the grueling weekend. Look for sophomore skater Panty Hoser (who was also solid in her CN Power debut) to get some very important experience leading her pack.

THE DERBY NERD THINKS

Laying down the law early will be key for ToRD. It was the quick, efficient rotation of  ToRD’s top three jammers early on in the bout against the Vixens that sealed the deal in the season opener and they will need to establish that presence at Quad City. Also, keeping calm in the pack against the relentless grinding of the Hammer City girls and the shifty play making of the Skids will be key. This is going to be a long two days, so rotating the line up to keep everyone fresh and  limiting opposing power jams by staying out of the penalty box will be keys.

THE DERBY NERD PREDICTS

A close, early win over Terminal City will give CN Power the confidence they’ll need to pull off an upset victory over the WFTDA ranked Eh! Team (giving them some much needed revenge after a tough loss in 2009); unfortunately,  I don’t think things will go as well against the powerhouse Skids on Sunday, leaving the hosts with a second place finish. But let’s hope that CN Power proves me wrong!

ROSTER (with jersey number and club teams in parantheses)

Bambi (33, Gore-Gore Rollergirls), Betty Bomber (23 Death Track Dolls), Brim Stone (21:8 Gore-Gore Rollergirls), Defecaitlin (2 Gore-Gore Rollergirls), Demolition Dawn (36 Death Track Dolls), Dolly Destructo (e^[pii] Chicks Ahoy), Dyna Hurtcha (21, Chicks Ahoy!), Hoff (65 Chicks Ahoy), Jubilee (27 Death Track Dolls), Kari Mia Beere (06 Chicks Ahoy), Lady Gag-ya (212 Gore-Gore Rollergirls), Land Shark (1/3 Death Track Dolls), Lunchbox (7-11 Gore-Gore Rollergirls), Mach Wheels (V12 Chicks Ahoy), Marvel S. Maven (22 Chicks Ahoy), Mega Mouth (26er Chicks Ahoy), Memphis Kitty (56 Smoke City Betties), Nasher the Smasher (2by4 Chicks Ahoy), Panty Hoser (99, Death Track Dolls), Rebel Rock-It (7 Chicks Ahoy).

Bambi (33, Gore-Gore Rollergirls)
Betty Bomber (Death Track Dolls)
Brim Stone (21:8 Gore-Gore Rollergirls)
Defecaitlin (7 Gore-Gore Rollergirls)
Demolition Dawn (36 Death Track Dolls)
Dolly Destructo (e^[pii] Chicks Ahoy)
Dyna Hurtcha (Chicks Ahoy!)
Hoff (65 Chicks Ahoy)
Jubilee (Death Track Dolls)
Kari Mia Beere (06 Chicks Ahoy)
Lady Gag-ya (212 Gore-Gore Rollergirls)
Landshark (Death Track Dolls)
Lunchbox (1/3 Gore-Gore Rollergirls)
Mach Wheels (V12 Chicks Ahoy)
Marvel S. Maven (22 Chicks Ahoy)
Mega Mouth (26er Chicks Ahoy)
Memphis Kitty (Smoke City Betties)
Nasher the Smasher (2by4 Chicks Ahoy)
Panty Hoser (24, Death Track Dolls)
Rebel Rock-It (7 Chicks Ahoy)