Queen City Roller Derby

Timmins’ Daughters Mine for Gold at 2 Fresh 2 Furious

The Gold Miners' Daughters (Timmins), 2 Fresh 2 Furious Champions. (Photo by Joe Mac)

When the Gold Miner’s Daughters opened up their 2 Fresh 2 Furious with a slight upset over the more experienced Violet Uprising from Royal City, it didn’t turn too many heads. And when the unheralded team had a setback in their second bout, it seemed that would be the end for the upstarts from Timmins. But by the end of a grueling one-day, two-track tournament, the small-town skaters would find themselves face-to-face with their big city counterparts from ToRD, and more surprisingly would stare them down; the Daughters saved their best for last as they overcame ToRD’s D-VAS in a 43 point championship victory.

A TALE OF TWO TRACKS: The Double Elimination Round

Durham Region defeated Kingston (Shirts) to kick off the tournament. (Photo by Sean Murphy)

The Battle for the Bubble

The two teams from Guelph’s Royal City were the pre-tournament favourites in this pool, and while Violet Uprisings was two and done in the double elimination (losing a heartbreaker 47-42 against the Kingston “Shirts” team in the elimination game), the mixed team of Queens of Pain kicked things off with what turned out to be the dominant performance of the tournament, a 99-15 victory over another hybrid team made up of players from Ottawa (ORD), Timmins (TRD), and Soonami (Sault St. Marie); they followed that victory with a tougher 32-17 win over Belle City’s (Brantford’s) Belles of the Brawl to assure themselves a spot in the quarterfinals.

Belles of the Brawl defeated Kingston (Shirts) to stay alive in the tournament. (Photo by Joe Mac)

Durham Region Roller Derby entered the tournament with a long and winding history to get to this point, but they are a team on the rise and proved that early on as well defeating Kingston (46-22) and then the Gold Miners’ Daughters (38-30) to book their spot in the quarterfinals. The Daughters looked out of sorts in that bout, suffering too many jammer penalties to get any sort of offense going, and couldn’t overcome the solid pack work from Durham. But the loss may have been exactly what they needed as they bounced back to trample the ORD/TRD/SSM mixed team in the elimination game to set up a rematch against Durham in the quarters. In the other elimination match, the Belles of the Brawl overcame the impressive Kingston Shirts team 51-24 to set up the second quarterfinal rematch.

Royal City's Queens of Pain emerged as favourites after the most dominant victory of the tournament (99-15). (Photo by Joe Mac)

Belle City ran out of steam in the quarterfinal. For much of this round, the Belles had ridden the extraordinary play of jammer Vitamin K, who was especially dominant in their opening victory over Peterborough’s Electric City Rollers, but the Queens of Pain (with a very balanced attack led by Hot Cross Guns and triple threat Mandy Maggotbone) were too much and moved through to the final four with a 38-13 victory. The second quarterfinal was another rematch, this one between Durham Region and the Gold Miners’ Daughters. And while in the early going, it seemed like it would be another tight one, the Timmins skaters were just warming up. Despite strong jamming from Cutsie Bootsie and String Blade, and solid pack work led by pivots Karma Screwya and Hitz Miller, Durham had no response for the extraordinary jamming from the Daughters’ Kill’er Princess and Nasty Nads as the Timmins team pulled away in the end to get their revenge and, more importantly, their spot in the seminfinals.

Playing their first competitive derby, Windsor's Border City Brawlers picked up their first win ever (over the Ottawa Delinquents). (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The Tangle in Ted Reeve

There was no clear favourite on the other track which featured fresh meat teams from two WFTDA leagues (ToRD and Queen City) and the host, GTAR’s Chrome Mollys. The Mollys and D-VAS did their part, both going 2-0 to earn a bye to the quarterfinals (though both faced early challenges, D-VAS from Queen City, Molly’s from South Simcoe in an exciting and controversial game). Just to complicate matters, South Simcoe Roller Rebels threw their name into the mix when they kicked things off with a one-sided trouncing (83-36) over Windsor’s Border City Brawlers, who were making their competitive debuts. But Border City would improve as the day went on and would earn their all-important first ever victory, 53-47 against the Ottawa Delinquents.

ToRD's D-VAS eliminated Kingston (Skins) in the quarterfinals. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Border City, who were led by workhorse Tulkamania, would see their journey come to an end  in another nail-biter that went down to a final pass that saw the Kingston Derby Girls’ Skins team pull out a 44-42 hard-fought victory. Buffalo’s Queen City made up for an opening bout loss to pull out two victories in a row to get back to the quarterfinals (including an 85-4 shellacking of Peterborough’s Damaged Dollz who, shorthanded, were playing with borrowed D-VAS). They ended South Simcoe’s impressive tournament in the elimination game, holding off a stiff challenge to win, 39-19, and set up a quarterfinal showdown with the defending champ Chrome Mollys.

ToRD’s D-VAS ended the tournament for the Kingston Derby Girls when they eliminated the Skins in the quarterfinals, but it rounded out an impressive showing for the Kingston league, which saw both teams pick up at least a victory, and the Skins make it to the final eight. Queen City and the Chrome Molly’s sparred in the other quarterfinal in a great battle that saw the hosts pushing the Buffalo team to the very end. It was only a timely, game-saving jammer take out by the standout Day TripHer that allowed Queen City to hang on for the 43-37 win that eliminated the hosts.

The D-VAS and Queen City met in one semifinal. (Photo by Sean Murphy)

THE CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND

The final four featured two very intriguing matchups that did not disappoint. Two of the pre-tournament favourites, Queen City and ToRD’s D-VAS, squared off in the opening bout. These two established leagues have a long history from home team scrimmaging to travel team showdowns, and this first-time freshies matchup lived up to all expectations. Led by co-captains Skinned Knee Crosby and Tammunition in the pack, the D-VAS pulled away early, but their Hell Bat led offense, which had been explosive all day, faced a tough test from the Queen City packs and they never let ToRD pull away and kept it close to the final jam, but couldn’t quite narrow the gap, dropping the 28-23 decision. The second semifinal was equally as compelling. Heavily favoured Queens of Pain pulled ahead in the early going and controlled things for much of the game. But the Gold Miner’s Daughters were improving continuously all day, and it was visible in this bout. Pivot Ames to Mame kept things calm in the pack and pulled out big moves one-on-one. The tenacious skaters from Timmins never seemed out of it and with only two minutes left, jammer Kill’er Princess gave the Daughters their first lead of the bout, 32-28. Kill’er Princess was back out with the star for the final jam as well and as she’d done all day, calmly took the lead to call it and earn a berth in the championship.

The Gold Miners' Daughters were at their best in the final against the D-VAS. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

There was just something about the swagger that had crept into the Gold Minters’ Daughters’ game by the time the championship rolled around that made things seem like they were inevitable. After feeling things out in the early part of the tournament, gaining valuable track experience, the Daughters had continuously honed their game. When the opening whistle blew in the final bout of 2 Fresh 2 Furious, it looked like this team from Timmins had only just found its stride. This is not to take anything away from their opponents, ToRD’s D-VAS, who entered the tournament with heavy expectations on their shoulders and carried them well. Paced by an agile jammer rotation of Hell Bat, Keri Daway and Scrappy Skins, and anchored by the solid pack work of Renny Rumble, Laya Beaton and Bridget Bones, the D-VAS had the deepest roster in the tournament, but they seemed gassed by the end of the night and didn’t have enough to contain the extraordinary jamming by the Daughters’ duo of Nasty Nads and tournament Future Star (MVP) Kill’er Princess, which, by the end of things, was the not-so-secret to their success. It was an extraordinary showing for a team that came, seemingly, from out of nowhere, but has now let it be known that they have most definitely arrived.

* In the battle of royalty, the Queens of Pain (Guelph) defeated Queen City (Buffalo), 38-14, for third place, to end a strong showing for both teams. Guelph’s Royal City continues to show that they are a league on the rise, and are the leaders of the second-wave of Ontario roller Derby that is currently sweeping the province.

* Layer 9 captured much of the tournament in HD from his usual trackside location. Watch the final here!

*A special thank you to the GTA Rollergirls and all the tournament volunteers for their hospitality.

* Stay tuned: On Friday, the final Nerd Meat post will include a more personal reflection on the tournament.

COMPLETE RESULTS:

Ted Reeve Bubble Ted Reeve Arena
Double Elimination

DURHAM REGION ROLLER DERBY 46 VS. KINGSTON – SHIRTS 22

VIOLET UPRISING [RCRG] 30 VS. GOLD MINERS DAUGHTERS (TIMMINS) 47

ELECTRIC CITY ROLLERS (PETERBOROUGH) 30 VS. BELLES OF THE BRAWL 75

ORD/TIMMINS RD/SOONAMI 15 VS. QUEENS OF PAIN (RCRG) 99

DRRD 38 vs. GM Daughters 30

K-Shirts 47 vs. Violet Uprising 42 (eliminated)

Belles 17 vs. Queens of Pain 32

Electric City 24 (elimin.) vs.  ORD/TRD/SSR 56

GM Daughters 48 vs. ORD/TRD/SSR 23 (elim.)

Belles 51 vs. K-Shirts 24 (elim.)

Quarter Finals

DRRD 29 vs. GM Daughters 42

Queens of Pain 38 vs. Belle City 13

Double Elimination

BORDER CITY BRAWLERS 36 VS. SOUTH SIMCOE REBEL ROLLERS 83

CHROME MOLLYS (GTAR) 45VS. OTTAWA DOLLINQUENTS 24

D-VAS (ToRD) 59 VS. QUEEN CITY 32

KINGSTON – SKINS 65 VS. DAMAGED DOLLZ (PETERBOROUGH) 36

South Simcoe 42 vs. Mollys 44

Border City 53 vs. Delinquents 47 (eliminated)

D-VAS 85 vs. K-Shirts 12

Queen City 85 vs. Dollz 4

South Simcoe 19 (elim.) vs. Queen City 39

K-Skins 44 vs. Border City 20 (elim.)

Quarter Finals

Mollys 37 vs. Queen City 43

D-VAS 70 vs. K-Skins 20

 

 

 

Semi Finals

QCRG 23 vs. D-VAS 28

GM Daughters 32 vs. Queens of Pain 28

Third Place

Queen City 14 vs. Queens of Pain 38

Finals

D-VAS 24 vs. GM Daughters 67

2011 2 Fresh 2 Furious Champions: Gold Miners’ Daughters (Timmins)

Nerd Meat Part 6: Derby Time

Nerd Meat: The Nerd Does Derby

Part 6: Derby Time

Sometimes it seems like fresh meat moves so quickly, but then I think back and realize that it has already been over two months. We practiced with a team for the first time—the Death Track Dolls, a team I have a personal attachment with—and we started hitting. This is a critical moment, because I think this is the moment when people begin to get weeded. There will be a divide between those who enjoy the sport and want to be a part of it, or at least follow it, and then there will be those who will want to play. Who won’t stop until they are rostered and bouting.

The Death Track Dolls kicked off this year's team-training component of the Fresh Meat program. (Photo by Sean Murphy)

And that divide has already begun. Just over 50 skaters left, still more than half, and at this point, it’s safe to say that this will be a huge graduating class. I’ve been surprised by some of the people who have made it through this far, those whom I’d pegged early on as not being into it enough: those women who hadn’t seen bouts or couldn’t skate a lick. And there are groups forming in the pack, friendships being forged; there is a comfort and a familiarity among many of them that I’m sure some outsiders would find hard to believe has formed in just over two months. Sitting down at the Hangar bar directly after practice during those beautiful moments when you feel invigorated and healthy and fresh and that beer probably tastes like the best beer you’ve ever had in your life (IE: before the pain kicks in), when everyone is relaxed and talkative, sharing already-formed inside jokes and talking about the upcoming bout, we feel very much like a team, not like the group of strangers that we actually are. Although physically we’re all wound up with adrenaline from practice, time seems to move a  little slower in those moments, and everyone can sense it. Whether they know it or it not, these women are changing their clocks to derby time.

Derby time is as much a state of mind as anything else, tied-in, in large part, to the early evolutionary stage of the game at which we have all entered. Derby time is the reason why 2003 can be viewed and discussed as “ancient history.” It’s the reason why teammates who’ve known each other for a season can have the intimacy of childhood friends. It’s also why we can look back with nostalgia and talk sentimentally about the “simpler days” of derby before 2009, those fun-loving, hard hitting, fast-moving days before The Great Leap Forward (see Nerd Meat Part 8). Derby time follows the same calendars and clocks as the real world, but for rollergirls (and for those of us swept up in their wakes) to achieve some sort of sustainable life-work-derby balance, it is often necessary to cram 30-35 hours into a 24 hour period or slip an extra day or two in between Thursday and Friday (especially in those weeks leading up to bouts).

HCRG's Steel Town Tank Girls and ToRD's Smoke City Betties kicked off the inaugural Beast of the East. (Photo by Derek Lang)

Although the explosion of derby in eastern Canada began as far back as 2006, everyone in this part of the country synchronized their watches to derby time on April 19, 2008 (a few months later, at Roller Con 2008, a Canada East vs. Canada West bout synchronized derby time across the country). At 10:00 am on April 19, at Arena St. Louis in Montreal, Hammer City’s Steel Town Tank Girls lined up against ToRD’s Smoke City Betties in the opening bout of the inaugural Beast of the East, and the sport in this country has never been the same. It was this moment when the fates and futures of the all of the leagues in this region became intertwined. It was the expansion of the sisterhood that had already begun in every league and in those few inter-league bouts that had already occurred (and at the Betties D-Day tournament two years prior). It was the launching of a trajectory of competitive growth that continues to this day.

La Racaille had a breakout tournament at the 2008 Beast of the East. (Photo by Derek Lang)

Tournaments like this all over North America (and now the world) have become essential in the development and evolution of the sport. It is an opportunity to share strategies and evolve as a community. At that point in the development of Canadian roller derby, though, it was still all about learning the sport, and the Hamilton Harlots were still very much leading the class. They would dominate the early rounds with crushing victories over ToRD’s Gore-Gore Rollergirls and Bay Street Bruisers before knocking off Montreal’s Les Filles Du Roi 59-28 in the semi-final. Despite the Harlots dominance, 2008 also represented the first stages in a power shift in not just eastern Canadian roller derby, but roller derby in this country. Prior to the start of the season, Hammer City had expanded to a third team, the Death Row Dames. Predictably, the Dames were eliminated early, falling to the visiting Devil Dollies from Queen City (Buffalo). One of Canada’s original teams, the Steel Town Tank Girls trounced the Smoke City Betties in their opening bout. In the quarterfinal they lined up against Montreal’s La Racaille and its breakout star, the Iron Wench. In a nail-biter, Montreal’s hometeam pulled off a thrilling 32-30 victory to knock the second HCRG team out of the tournament.

The Hamilton Harlots continued their reign at the 2008 Beast of the East. (Photo by Derek Lang)

The final four consisted of the Harlots and all three of Montreal’s hometeams. While the Harlots would eventually (and convincingly) hold off the challenge from the Montreal upstarts, 55-18, Montreal’s success in the tournament would represent a taste of what was to come in the future. If you talk to the skaters about that tournament now (and the subsequent Beasts as well), they talk about how much of a bonding experience it was; a celebration of derby. It brought all of the eastern Canadian skaters together into a fully unified community for the first time.

Although I’ve more or less been running on derby time since just a few weeks after BOE 2008, I’m only now beginning to discover that there is a sort of derby time that exists on the track as well. I discovered it in those moments early in a practice when you’ve managed to get your skates on before anyone else and you get the track all to yourself. Within a few laps, the world beyond the track begins to blur, turns into a freeze-frame version of life that looks a little duller and moves a little slower than the one you’re experiencing.

Derby time is the reason why–even though it’s only been a few years–I can’t remember what life was like before I discovered the sport, and why I now can’t imagine a life without it.

CN Power: 2011 Team Preview

CN POWER

Wins Losses +/ – Notes
2010 Record

3

4

-127

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

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

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

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

THE ROSTER

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

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

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

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

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

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

KICKING OFF 2011

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

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

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

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

2011 CN POWER ROSTER

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

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

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