Quad City Chaos 2012

Quad City Chaos Recap (Part 2): The Commentary

THE RESULTS

TEAM WINS LOSSES +/-
CN Power (ToRD) 3 0 500
Tri-City Thunder (TCRG) 2 1 361
Rideau Valley Vixens (RVRG) 1 2 26
Hammer City Eh! Team (HCRG) 0 3 -887

CN Power finished atop the standings at the third Quad City Chaos for the first time in the tournament’s brief history, and after two years of Montreal dominance (they had an average margin of victory of 250 points at last year’s tournament), things were much tighter this year: For the first time more than one team finished with a positive plus minus (only Montreal has done so in the past). Although the competitive level was closer, there was still an element of competitive separation between the clubs, with the Eh! Team falling to a -887 point differential (though comparatively, they had the least experienced lineup and as such, showed immense real-time progress all weekend).

The participants of the 2012 Quad City Chaos. (Photo by Joe Mac)

But this tournament has never fully been about the competition (although this year’s addition showed that the event is certainly moving that way), and instead has provided an opportunity for some of Canada’s top travel teams to get together early in the year to help push each other forward. This year, the Vixens seemed to be the team that gained the most, showing huge strides over last year’s showing (and almost pulling off a big upset over Tri-City). They showed that they are clearly a team that should be followed, and proved that they are not that far from the top. And while in the end the battle of Ontario predictably came down to the Thunder and CN Power  (with CN Power improving to 2-1 against them in the battle for provincial supremacy), it’s not hard to imagine a QCC in the not-too-distant future where all the teams are on the same competitive level.

THE PLAYERS

Defecaitlin helped anchor the explosive CN Power offense (she recorded a 39 point jam against Hammer City). (Photo by Neil Gunner)

THE USUAL SUSPECTS

One thing that has paced CN Power ahead of the crowd is its explosive offense, anchored by the depth of its jammer rotation. With an impressive (and diverse) core rotation of Defecaitlin, Bambi and Candy Crossbones, CN Power was hard to keep off the board with any regularity; in the pack Tara Part and Nasher the Smasher continue to provide solid leadership and consistent play.  For the second place Thunder, Bareleigh Legal and sin-e-star continue to offer a frighteningly efficient and consistent blocking duo; they are intense competitors (Bareleigh sometimes lets that intensity get the best of her) with a ferocious desire to win that drives the Thunder. The offense remains anchored by Motorhead Molly who has been a pillar of stability as the Tri-City rotation has gone through some changes over the past year.

The Vixens Semi Precious was dominant as usual (laying a hit on the Thunder’s Konky). (Photo by Greg Russell)

The Vixens continue to be led on the track by the extraordinary Semi Precious; she is a smart player who plays a simple, no nonsense brand of flat track roller derby: strong positionally, accurate and efficient with hits, and a recycling machine, Semi Precious (a member of team Canada) remains one of this country’s premier players of the sport. The Vixens have faced many changes over the years, but having Soul Rekker and Dee Dee Tee wearing the star remains the same. Dee Dee Tee especially stepped it up this weekend, showing a tenacity and fight that only seems to grow with time. Finally, on an Eh! Team full of fresh faces, Bitchslap Barbie and Mean Little Mama remain at the centre of it all. Versatile players both, Mama leads on the track with her ferocity while Barbie, the team captain, remains the motivator, seemingly unfazed in the face of great deficits.

THE STEPPIN-IT UPPERS

Vixens pivot Margaret Choke has emerged as a solid on-track leader. (Photo by Greg Russell)

While it would be easy to say that the whole Vixens team stepped up its game, that charge is clearly being led by Margaret Choke. Always a reliable presence, Choke has elevated her game to a new level in 2012 playing with a confidence that is making her another on-track leader for this team. Offensively and defensively, her timely hits and strong positional play make her an all-around pack threat. The Eh! Team, so short on experience, is another teams full of skaters who have no choice but to step it up. But in terms of reliability and consistency, Lorazeslam  and Whacks Poetic, really stepped it up this weekend. Lorazeslam is a scrappy jammer who has that key jammer ability to just keep going and going (and brings that fire to blocking as well), while Whacks Poetic has become a calm and stabilizing pivot. They will both be vital to the redevelopment of this team.

Thunder’s Sofanda Beatin’ holds back Defecaitlin. (Photo by Joe Mac)

Tri-City Thunder’s Sofanda Beatin’ has upped her game in a big way this year as well. A lack of pack depth (or drop off between lines) has been an issue with the Thunder in the past, but Sofanda has shown that these gaps can be filled from within. Always a strong hitter and threat on her line, her athleticism and track sense have both leapt to a new level this year and she was an intimidating presence on the track all weekend. Similarly, CN Power’s Aston Martini has always been a strong skater and solid blocker, but she brought her A-game to the QCC  and was a game changer in many ways. A quiet but consistent blocker (a big part of her effectiveness is drawn from her footwork),  Aston showed a certain fire and swagger this weekend that has been lacking from her game at this level, and that now awoken could make her a frightening new piece of the CN Power puzzle.

THE BREAKOUT PLAYERS

Thunder rookie Ova’Kill jammed like a veteran all weekend. (Photo by Greg Russell)

The biggest individual story of the weekend may have been the revelation of rookie Thunder jammer Ova’Kill. In her first half of play ever, she put 50 points on the board against the Eh! Team, and rode that confidence-building debut all the way through the tournament. With a couple key jammers having retired over the past year, she will undoubtedly become an essential piece of the Thunder offense (and seems ready for that role already). The Vixens had breakout players all over the track, but two that consistently stood out were Mudblood and Tarantulove. While Tarantulove is a newer skater who, like Ova’Kill, has immediately taken to jamming, Mudblood has been evolving into a triple threat with the Riot Squad for a while now. Starring with the Rideau Valley Vermin at last year’s CWRDA (now RDAC) Eastern Championship, Mudblood has brought her game up a notch with the Vixens.

Hammer City’s Zoe Disco (right) and Lorazeslam form a two wall to hold back Vixen’s Dee Dee Tee. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The Eh! Team is full of potential, with a whole roster of exciting young skaters. Two players who really stepped up their games this weekend though were Zoe Disco and Oh Henry. Both have a year of experience under their belts now and have begun to mature into reliable players (though track awareness  takes time and experience). Although the Eh! Team had a rough weekend, competitively, they have a good, young stable of skaters around which to build this team. They all gained invaluable experience this weekend.

***All the WFTDA action was streamed live on Canuck Derby TV. Check the archives if you missed it. The non-sanctioned games will be available on Layer 9.

***Next up for the CN Power is an April 14th home date with Queen City’s Lake Effect Furies (Buffalo); the Vixens will be visiting New Hampshire Roller Derby on the same night; The Eh! Team will kick off its home season on May 12th against Roc City, while the Thunder will head to Grand Rapids on the same night.

2012 Quad City Chaos Preview: Part One (The Tournament)

The third annual QCC will be held on March 31st and April 1st, 2012, at ToRD's Bunker.

THE HISTORY

In 2010, the first Quad City Chaos featured the top four teams in Canada at the time (Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton and Vancouver), and, therefore, came to be seen as somewhat of an unofficial Canadian Championship. In a major coming-out party, Montreal dominated the round-robin tournament, exhibiting the knowledge gained on their long WFTDA road trips earlier that year. While the New Skids on the Block showed Canada what the competitive level of flat track roller derby was quickly rising too (the sport was only months removed from “The Great Leap Forward”), the three other combatants were very evenly matched and provided some thrilling roller derby (including Toronto’s first ever win over Hamilton, an 89-87 heart stopper). This year, Toronto Roller Derby’s CN Power will host the third Quad City Chaos in their Bunker in Downsview Park.

Montreal and Toronto play in the 2010 QCC. (photo by Derek Lang)

In the two years since the inaugural version of this four-team invitational, so much has changed. Flat track roller derby has evolved far beyond the simplicity of the earlier incarnations of the sport and although Montreal still continues to pace the pack in Canadian roller derby, they are at the very least, no longer playing a different game from their nearest competitors; Montreal may have dominated the tournament again last year, but it was a far different kind of dominance. After a disappointing 2010, CN Power grew in leaps and bounds in 2011, the first year that ToRD’s top travel team played with a set roster. Finishing second in the tournament for the second year in a row (including a thrilling 14-point victory over rivals Thunder from Tri-City), they used the success of the Quad City Chaos as a springboard for their first season playing in the WFTDA’s North Central Region (they’d close out the year ranked a more-than-respectable 17th in the Region). The Thunder themselves made an impressive Quad City Chaos debut, defeating other first timers the Rideau Valley Vixens to ensure a third-place finish (they would go on to complete 2011 ranked 16th in the North Central). The Quad City Chaos has become an important early season tournament for Canada’s top travel teams, and in 2012, this is no different.

Full 2010 QCC results.

2011 QCC recap: Part 1 (Games); Part 2 (Commentary)

Hammer City's Eh! Team (seen here in the 2010 QCC) return to the tournament in 2012. (Photo by Derek Lang)

THE TOURNAMENT

While the inaugural QCC was an unofficial Canadian Championship, the 2012 version may well be looked at as an unofficial Ontario championship. Two-time defending QCC champions Montreal’s New Skids on the Block are out this year meaning that there will be a new QCC champ crowned. Along with host team CN Power, the Tri-City Thunder and Rideau Valley Vixens will be returning to the tournament, while 2010 participants Hammer City’s Eh Team! returns after a one-year hiatus. These four teams represent Ontario’s (and right now four out of five of Eastern Canada’s) full contingent of WFTDA participants. The WFTDA has changed the face of competitive roller derby in North America (and increasingly the world), and Canadian teams are currently making a charge up the rankings. With Vancouver’s Terminal City All Stars turning heads out west and Montreal remaining one of the top teams in the east, Ontario’s four-team WFTDA cohort is set to enter the picture in a big way in 2012.

The Thunder vs. CN Power game at QCC '11 was the hilight of the tournament. They face off on Saturday night. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

The 2012 QCC will feature sanctioned bouts between all three full WFTDA members, and each team will play a bout against the Rideau Valley Vixens who (like CN Power at last year’s tournament) are on the verge of completing their WFTDA Apprenticeship and will once again be the biggest beneficiaries of this experience. With Hammer City being a year into a major rebuild and Rideau Valley dealing with a significant roster shakeup of their own, the tournament looks like CN Power’s or the Thunder’s to win. With CN Power ranked 17th in the WFTDA’s North Central Region and the Thunder ranked 16th (not to mention that the two teams have split their previous two meetings), their Saturday night prime-time matchup (7:00 PM) has all the makings of a phenomenal showdown and could be the bout of the weekend (and with rankings on the line, has ramifications outside of this tournament).

SCHEDULE

DAY ONE: SATURDAY MARCH 31st:

12:00 PM: CN Power (ToRD) vs. Vixens (RVRG)

2:00 PM:  Eh Team! (HCRG, 25th in North Central) vs. Thunder (TCRG, 16th NC) (WFTDA Sanctioned: tune in to Canuck Derby TV for live streaming)

5:00 PM: Vixens vs. Eh Team!

7:00 PM:  CN Power (17th) vs. Thunder (16th) (WFTDA Sanctioned: tune in to Canuck Derby TV for live streaming)

DAY TWO: SUNDAY APRIL 1st:

2:00 PM: Vixens vs.  Thunder

4:00 PM: CN Power vs. Eh! Team (WFTDA Sanctioned: tune in to Canuck Derby TV for live streaming)

**Tickets for the 2012 QCC are now available.
**Tune in to Canuck Derby TV for live streaming of all the WFTDA sanctioned action.

**Thursday: 2012 Quad City Chaos Preview: Part Two (The Teams).