Renegade Derby Dames

Weekend Results: Canada’s WFTDA Teams Have Up-and-Down Weekend

It was a busy weekend for Canada’s WFTDA teams, with most of Canada’s top teams spread out across the continent for important regular season matchups.

Both Toronto and Tri-City had busy weekends at Fort Wayne's Spring Roll

Both Toronto and Tri-City had busy weekends at Fort Wayne’s Spring Roll

Montreal Roller Derby: New Skids on the Block

Montreal Roller Derby: New Skids on the Block

Montreal had to have hit the West Coast with high expectations, especially after Vancouver’s Terminal City was able to knock off one of their opponents, the Oly Rollers, last weekend. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. Canada’s top team went 0-3 against incredibly tough competition in Rat, Rose and Oly. The losses will affect their WFTDA rankings (although they lost only 3.6 points on Flattrackstats on the weekend), but the loss to lesser ranked Rat and Oly, especially, shows that they still have a lot of work to do before season’s end to finally attain that goal of making Champs.

Montreal (12th) 124 vs. Rat City (18th) 202

Montreal 109 vs. Rose City (5th) 306

Montreal 174 vs. Oly (14th) 230

Toronto Roller Derby: CN Power

New CNP logo

Toronto entered the weekend on a massive 8-game slide, and were looking for some positives heading into a busy summer. Things started off rough on Saturday against a tough Jacksonville team whose incredibly fast and agile jammers ran roughshod over the team. However, Toronto found their form against lesser opponents as the weekend went on, handling a strong Jet City with ease before crushing Cincinnati to close out Spring Roll (it’s hard to believe this Cinci. team beat Toronto a year ago). They were confidence-boosting wins that the team needed as it looks to shore up a favourable playoff spot.

Toronto (23rd) 116 vs. Jacksonville (16th) 243

Toronto 235 vs. Jet City (36th) 86

Toronto 370 vs. Cincinnati (56th) 83

Tri-City Roller Derby: Tri-City Thunder

Tri-City Thunder Logo

The Thunder headed to Spring Roll hoping to improve their tenuous hold on a Division 1 playoff spot; unfortunately, things didn’t necessarily go as planned. Given a favourable draw for the weekend, Tri-City did go 2-2 for the tournament, but the results were not quite as expected. The wins came against a D-2 non-playoff team (Big Easy) and a D-3 team (Glasgow, though due to lack of high-level competition, Glasgow’s ranking is probably far too low), but both wins were within 40 points. The loss to Jet City, despite being ranked below the Everett-based team, was a missed opportunity to knock of a low-ranked D-1 team, and the upset loss to a determined Chicago Outfit team just trying to qualify for the D-2 playoffs had to have hurt.

Tri-City (40th) 148 vs. Jet City (36th) 178

Tri-City 190 vs. Glasgow (104th) 175

Tri-City 176 vs. Big Easy (82nd) 137

Tri-City 124 vs. Chicago Outfit (65th) 161

Division 2 and Division 3 Action

Vixens Logo

The Rideau Valley Vixens headed to the East Coast to take on Maine’s Port Authorities in a very important D-2 showdown between two teams who have made significant jumps early in 2014, and the Vixens came away with the win: another step in securing a D-2 playoff spot.

Rideau Valley (64th) 192 vs. Maine (72nd) 160

Closer to home, the GTA Rollergirls G-sTARs hosted Alliston’s Renegade Derby Dames Striking Vikings in WFTDA action. This was the second sanctioned bout for the G-sTARs after a loss to London’s Timber Rollers to kick off the season. It was the first ever sanctioned game for the Striking Vikings. It was an incredibly tight game, especially in the first half (the Vikings had a 12-point lead at the break). Some excellent half-time adjustments for the G-sTARs saw the hosts take a lead early in the second that they were able to hold onto for the remainder of the game. Neither team has yet to be ranked (they must play three sanctioned games for an initial ranking), but both will be looking to make inroads into D-3 before the season is over.

GTA (-) 144 vs. Renegade Derby Dames (-) 112

Canadian Power Rankings: April 1, 2014

Captain Lou El Bammo, Dick Pounder, Dr. Jenny Fever and Derby Nerd return for another year of ranking Canada’s top A-level travel teams. Read the 2014 preview here.

TEAM (League) CHANGE NOTES (Rollergirl.ca /WFTDA rank)
1. New Skids on the Block (Montreal Roller Derby)

Montreal Roller Derby: New Skids on the Block

The Skids have kicked off 2014 with a three-game winning streak against Division 1 opponents that includes a blowout over Bleeding Heartland, some measure of revenge against Ohio (who beat them in last year’s playoffs), and a 17-point victory against their chief Canadian rivals, Toronto. (1 / 17).
2. CN Power (Toronto Roller Derby)

New CNP Logo

Off to a 2-2 start against some stiff competition (dominant wins over Bleeding Heartland and Killamazoo, and a heart-breaking loss to Ohio), Toronto pushed Montreal further than any other Canadian team has yet, in a 17-point loss at QCC. Nonetheless, CN Power’s amazing run in last year’s playoffs has proven not to be a one-off as they approach elite status. (2 / 29)
3. Terminal City All Stars (Terminal City Roller Girls)

Terminal City All Stars

Although they have yet to play in 2014, with a majority of last year’s playoff-bound roster returning this season, Terminal City should continue to build on what has been an impressive run. They have a very competitive schedule lined up for spring/summer (including games against the Oly Rollers, Bay Area and Denver) as they try to improve their playoff position. (3 / 37)
4. Tri-City Thunder (Tri-City Roller Derby)Tri-City Thunder Logo The Thunder, representing the newly renamed Tri-City Roller Derby, are on the cusp of WFTDA’s Division 1, and have a solid schedule coming up (they’ll kick off 2014 with a game against the Ohio Roller Girls). (5 / 41)
5. Rideau Valley Vixens (Rideau Valley Roller Girls)

Vixens Logo

Creeping ever closer to D-2 playoffs, boasting a newly, and more competitively organized house league, a fully developed B-team and a season-opening (unsanctioned) win against Misfit Militia, not to mention a decent upcoming WFTDA schedule, 2014 is off to a good start for this Ottawa-based team. (6 / 66)
6. Calgary All Stars (Calgary Roller Derby Association)Calgary All Stars Logo +2 (8) Although currently unranked in the WFTDA, Calgary will certainly debut in the next release (May 1). They dominated competition at Wild West Showdown, posting three one-sided wins against Slaughterhouse (223-92), Ark Valley (264-105) and Dockyard (406-59). (9 / -)

7.Misfit Militia (Misfit Militia Roller Derby)
Misfit Militia Logo
 

-1 (6) After dominating all competition in 2013, the Alliston-based team kicked off 2014 with a tight 168-126 loss against the Rideau Valley Vixens, a WFTDA Division 2 team. That may have been their biggest challenge of the season (at least based on the current schedule). (8 / -)
8. The Eh! Team (Hammer City Roller Girls)

Hammer City Logo

+1 (9) Hammer City is all set to build off of what was their most competitive season since 2009. After shooting back up the WFTDA rankings, they’ve already opened 2014 with a strong performance against the 54th ranked Paper Valley in a 12-point loss. (10 / 85)
9.Kootenay Kannibelles (West Kootenay Roller Derby)

kannibelles Logo

 

+1 (10) The Kannibelles slipped back into the Top 10 at the end of 2013, and they are given the benefit of the doubt here after opening this year with a 204-point victory over Fernie’s Avalanche City. They’ve got a much tougher schedule coming up, featuring games against Calgary and Red Deer. (12 / -)
10. Belladonnas (Red Deer Roller Derby Association)

Belladonnas Logo

-3 (7) Red Deer tumbles in the power rankings after major off-season roster changes boldy alters one of the country’s more consistent teams over the last few years. They remain on the list for now, but it remains to be seen how quickly the newly built team will come together on the track. (4 / -)

New name, new logo. Tri City Roller Derby 2014 LogoThere are no major alterations to the Top 10 with the Top 5 not shifting at all (though Toronto has inched ever-closer to Montreal after a tight game in Toronto last weekend. They’ll have a rematch in Montreal on April 25); however, Red Deer, based on having a significantly different roster from last year’s 15-2 team that dominated western and central Canadian competition, has fallen three spots but remains in the Top 10 for now. This allowed the Kannibelles and Hammer City to jump up a spot.

Based on Calgary’s head-turning dominance at this year’s Wild West Showdown, the CRDA All Stars jump two places from 8th to 6th, barely leap-frogging the Misfit Militia (who narrowly lost to the Vixens). This just makes Hammer City’s inaugural Maple Stir Up (August) all the more intriguing, as both Calgary and Rideau Valley will be there.

ON THE BUBBLE

Lumbersmacks (Muddy River Rollers)Lumbersmacks Logo

Being so early in the season, we have only one team on the bubble: Moncton’s Muddy River Lumbersmacks. They opened the season with a 12-point loss to Montreal’s Sexpos (B-team) before scoring one-sided victories against Maine’s Rock Coast Rollers (377-178)  and the Rideau Valley Sirens (366-40) (B-team). They also played a closed scrimmage against the the Vixens, staying virtually even with them for the first half before the Vixens were able to pull away in the second. The WFTDA Apprentice team has a busy eastern Canadian schedule lined up including an April 26th game against their chief east-coast rivals, Fog City.

TEAMS TO WATCH

Anarchy Angels (Mainland Misfits)

All Stars (Winnipeg Roller Derby League)

Timber Rollers (Forest City Derby Girls)

The Mindfox (Saskatoon Roller Derby League)

Sugar Skulls (Pile O’ Bones Roller Derby Club)

Dolly Rogers (Capital City Derby Dolls)

Les Duchesses (Roller Derby Quebec)

Redneck Betties (South West Saskatchewan Roller Derby Association)

At this early point in 2014, these are the teams that top the Rankings Crew’s list of teams to keep an eye on in the coming months. Although not exhaustive, these are the teams that have been most consistently on the radar over the past twelve months. Some, such as The Mindfox and the Sugar Skulls, have even made appearances in the Top 10.

*These rankings were compiled by the Derby Nerd, Captain Lou El Bammo, Dick Pounder, and Dr. Jenny Fever.

*Read the Canadian Power Rankings preview and explanation here.

 

-Respectful disagreement and debate is encouraged!-

Roller Skatin Banner

Canadian Power Rankings: November 1, 2013

Canadian Power Rankings: November 1st, 2013

TEAM (League) CHANGE NOTES (Rollergirl.ca /WFTDA rank)
1. New Skids on the Block (Montreal Roller Derby)

Montreal Roller Derby: New Skids on the Block

Despite a disappointing WFTDA playoff (a tough win over Wasatch followed by losses to Ohio and London), the Skids remain at the top of the sport in Canada. Since beginning play in 2008, the Skids have yet to lose to a Canadian team.  (1 / 15).
2. CN Power (Toronto Roller Derby)

CN Power Logo

+1 (3) After spending the whole 2013 season in third spot, CN Power finally makes the leap to second. They had a busy few months, crushing Brew City and Grand Raggidy, and shocking the WFTDA with playoff wins over Sacred City and Boston before hard-fought losses against Atlanta And Victorian. (2 / 32).
3. Terminal City All Stars (Terminal City Roller Girls)

Terminal City All Stars

-1 (2) Terminal City slips one spot to third, but more due to Toronto’s impressive play than anything Vancouver did. The All Stars also had an amazing showing in the WFTDA playoffs, scoring upsets over Tampa Bay and New Hampshire, coming up just short against Jacksonville, and falling to the historic Texas Rollergirls. (3 / 37)
4. Tri-City Thunder (Tri-City Roller Girls)Tri-City Thunder Logo The Thunder hold the fourth spot after an extraordinary run in the WFTDA D2 playoffs, where only a controversial overtime loss to Santa Cruz kept them from potentially winning the whole D2 tournament. They knocked off Paper Valley, Carolina and Burning River in their divisional tournament. They followed that run with a position-confirming win over the Rideau Valley Vixens.  (5 / 46)
5. Rideau Valley Vixens (Rideau Valley Roller Girls)

Vixens Logo

Despite a loss to Ithaca, the Vixens hold their spot with a win over Dutchland and a strong performance in a loss to the Thunder. Consistency keeps the Vixens from climbing higher. (7 / 70)
6. Misfit Militia (Misfit Militia Roller Derby)
Misfit Militia Logo
+2 (8) Despite some near constant roster shuffling, the core of this Misfit Militia team remains extraordinary. They are 6-0 in 2013 with an average margin of victory of 325 points. They will need to start facing stiffer competition in 2014 if they want to hold their position, but the potential future looks incredibly bright. (6 / -)
7. Belladonnas (Red Deer Roller Derby Association)

Belladonnas Logo

-1 (6) Red Deer continues its impressive season, recently scoring one-sided wins over the Kootenay Kannibelles  and Saskatoon. 13-2 on the season, the Belladonnas are on a six game winning streak since a July loss against Terminal City. (4 / -)
8. The Eh! Team (Hammer City Roller Girls)

Hammer City Logo

+1 (9) Jumping one more spot, Hammer City continues its impressive 2013 rebirth. One of the biggest movers in the WFTDA, most recently they destroyed the Border City Brawlers then put in incredible efforts in losses to Grand Raggidy and Killamazoo, both teams ranked considerably higher than they are. (9 / 80)
9. Calgary All Stars (Calgary Roller Derby Association)Calgary All Stars Logo -2 (7) Calgary slips not so much due to their own play as much as the play of the teams ahead of them. A one-sided loss to Denver’s B-Team was somewhat buffered by a win over Rocky Mountain’s B-Team and a great performance against Pikes Peak. (14 / -)
10. Kootenay Kannibelles (West Kootenay Roller Derby)

kannibelles Logo

(unranked) The Kannibelles return to the Top 10 for the first time since April, taking advantage of some other teams’ slip ups. The Kannibelles lost this spot earlier in the year due to inconsistency, and two recent, wildly different results against Red Deer show that their may still be some consistency problems. (10 / -)

kannibelles LogoA lot of movement in this month’s power ranking, with only three teams holding on to their spots. Plus, one team, the Sugar Skulls, has dropped from the rankings completely allowing the Kootenay Kannibelles to slip back in. Toronto’s CN Power moves up into second spot, knocking down Terminal City who had held that position all season. Both teams had impressive, surprising WFTDA playoffs, but it was CN Power’s performance against Atlanta (not to mention a win over Boston) that really secured the second spot. The other big movers were Misfit Militia, who has dismantled any team that has gotten in their way this season–although an inconsistent roster and lower-level of competition brings their future and ability to maintain this pace into question. Calgary drops a few spots, but were more pushed out of the way than fell themselves. They are challenging themselves by taking on teams ranked well above them, which while potentially painful now, should pay dividends in the future.

Hammer City’s revival keeps them on an upward trajectory and a run to the WFTDA’s Divsion 2 next season does not seem out of the question at all. Finally, in one of the most anticipated matchups of the season, the Tri-City Thunder held off the Rideau Valley Vixens 199-156 to secure their spot. As with Hammer City, the Vixens are poised to jump to WFTDA’s Division 2 as well and just need to bring a little more consistency to their play. Although supposedly in the midst of a rebuild, The Thunder could very easily become Canada’s fourth Division 1 team next year.

ON THE BUBBLETimber Rollers Logo

Sugar Skulls (Pile O’ Bones Roller Derby Club)

Dolly Rogers (Capital City Derby Dolls)

Timber Rollers (Forest City Derby Girls)

While the Top 9 teams are fairly secure, the Bubble Teams are all close and potentially interchangeable. One thing is keeping all of these teams on the bubble: inconsistency. The Sugar Skulls drop out mostly from lack of recent play, while the Dolly Rogers and Timber Rollers have yet to put together a run of games that would get them on to the list. For example, the Timber Rollers were shocked by Kingston’s Disloyalists in September, only to turn around and put in a strong performance in their first ever WFTDA sanctioned bout (a loss to Lansing) in October.

winnipeg logoTEAMS TO WATCH

The Mindfox (Saskatoon Roller Derby League)

Lumbersmacks (Muddy River Rollers)

Redneck Betties (South West Saskatchewan Roller Derby Association)

Anarchy Angels (Mainland Misfits)

All Stars (Winnipeg Roller Derby League)

Not much change here as the Rankings Crew continues to keep a close eye on these teams. Two, the Lumbersmacks and Redneck Betties are on the rise, while two others, The Mindfox and the Anarchy Angels, are looking to crawl back into the upper echelons of Canadian flat track roller derby (The Mindfox were in the Top 10 as recently as June, and were ranked 6th in the April Power Rankings). One addition to the watch list, was just named a WFTDA Apprentice league: Winnipeg Roller Derby. After a shaky start to 2013, the All Stars have turned it around late in the year winning four in a row, including making up for an early season loss to the Pile O Bones B-Team with a dominant (255-131) win in the rematch.

*These rankings were compiled by the Derby Nerd, Captain Lou El Bammo, Dick Pounder, and Dr. Jenny Fever.

*Read the Canadian Power Rankings preview and explanation here.

*Missed the August 1st Power Rankings post? Get caught up here.

-Respectful disagreement and debate is encouraged!-

Canadian Power Rankings: August 1, 2013

Canadian Power Rankings: August 1st, 2013

TEAM (League) CHANGE NOTES (Rollergirl.ca /WFTDA rank)
1. New Skids on the Block (Montreal Roller Derby)NewSkidsLogo2012 For once, Montreal seems to be peaking at the right time! Winners of three in a row, featuring a 400+ point victory over plunging Carolina and a two-game sweep of Charm and Houston at ECDX, the Skids have entered the Top 10 of the WFTDA rankings for the first time. (1 / 8).
2. Terminal City All Stars (Terminal City Roller Girls)Terminal City All Stars Terminal City holds on to second spot after dominating the West Coast Dust Up, allowing them to slip back into  WFTDA’s Division 1 just in time for the playoffs. Their massive victories over Red Deer and Mainland Misfits were especially impressive. (3 / 38).
3. CN Power (Toronto Roller Derby)CN Power Logo CN Power has put together their most consistent and impressive streak of the season that culminated in an upset victory over Bleeding Heartland in Indiana that essentially launched them into the WFTDA Division 1 playoffs. They jumped 10 spots in the current WFTDA ranking and are securely in second in the rollergirl.ca Canadian rankings. (2 / 39).
4. Tri-City Thunder (Tri-City Roller Girls)Tri-City Thunder Logo A rough but tough loss to Cincinnati  was followed by a big victory over Windy City’s Second Wind. On the strength of their increasingly strong play, they have qualified for the WFTDA Division 2 playoffs. All of this despite being in the midst of a fairly significant rebuild. (4 / 60)
5. Rideau Valley Vixens (Rideau Valley Roller Girls)Vixens Logo The Vixens fell to Maine before taking both games at ECDX (over Low Country and Dominion), but the wins weren’t quite enough to get them into the Division 2 playoffs (although after some teams pulled out of the tournament, they ended up missing out by only two spots). (5 / 67)
6. Belladonnas (Red Deer Roller Derby Association)Belladonnas Logo After debuting in the rankings, The Belladonnas hold on to sixth spot for the second straight rankings. They followed up their Flat Track Fever tournament win with a 4-1 run (their only loss coming to Terminal City) including a dominant victory over the rising Mainland Misfits. (9 / -)
7. Calgary All Stars (Calgary Roller Derby Association)

Calgary All Stars Logo

+1 (8th) Calgary continues their impressive rise in the power rankings. Coming from seemingly nowhere at the start of the season, Calgary moves up yet another spot after big victories over St. Albert (Heavenly Rollers) and Regina (Sugar Skulls). They also, impressively, defeated Team Saskatchewan. (13 / -)
8. Misfit Militia (Misfit Militia Roller Derby)
Misfit Militia Logo
(unranked) After separating from their previous league, the Misfit Militia slipped out of the Top 10. A thoroughly dominant performance at the RDAC Easterns was somewhat hard to read given their roster contained borrowed players, but the incredibly impressive victory over Royal City’s all stars confirmed Misfit Militia’s spot. (6 / -)
9. The Eh! Team (Hammer City Roller Girls)Hammer City Logo (unranked) After years in the wilderness, the Hammer City Roller Girls are back. After going 2-6 to start the WFTDA season, Hammer City has roared back and has won their past three games in dominant fashion (over Glass City, Little Steel Derby Girls, and Hudson Valley). One of the fastest rising teams in the WFTDA rankings this season, they have leaped 40 spots (!) since the beginning of 2013. (11 / 93)
10. Sugar Skulls (Pile O’ Bones Roller Derby Club)Sugar Skulls Derby LOGO -3 (7th)  Regina’s Sugar Skulls slip due mainly to inactivity, but also because of a fairly one-sided loss to Calgary (their only action since the last ranking). (18 / -)

Hammer City LogoWhile the top six remains unchanged, this was, nonetheless, the most contentious power rankings yet! The bottom four got completely shifted around, seeing two teams dropped from the rankings all together. Terminal City just barely held on to their spot ahead of ToRD’s CN Power. Calgary’s fast and furious rise has them pushing up against and fighting for entry into one of those top six spots. E-Ville slips out of the Top 10 due to inactivity and Saskatoon slips out due to slowed activity as well, but also due to a surprising loss to Swift Current’s Redneck Betties (Swift Current wasn’t even on the Power Rankings radar, but we’ve certainly taken notice now).  Thunder and Vixens hold their respective spots as we near a highly anticipated fall showdown between these two WFTDA Division 2 teams.

But change has come once again to the Power Rankings. After years of rebuilding and relative obscurity, the Hammer City Roller Girls are back and doing well at all levels (from their B-team to their farm team to their WFTDA team). Since joining the WFTDA in 2009, the Eh! Team had compiled an overall record of 4-27 before coming in to the 2013 season. This year, they’ve gone 5-6 against tougher competition and seem to show no signs of slowing.  Reentering the Top 10 are the Misfit Militia, who had briefly slipped out of the Power Rankings after some organizational shifting and a split from their original league. Reborn as an independent team, they have looked dominant ever since, going 4-0 and outscoring their opposition by an astonishing 1831-195 over that span.

ON THE BUBBLE

Dolly Rogers (Capital City Derby Dolls)

Anarchy Angels (Mainland Misfits Roller Derby)

The Mindfox (Saskatoon Roller Derby League)

E-Ville Dead (E-Ville Roller Derby)

Saskatoon and E-Ville remain on the bubble after slipping out of the Top 10, for E-Ville it may just be a matter of getting back into action and showing that they haven’t lost a step, while Saskatoon, since winning RDAC Nationals early in 2013, has seen the rest of its region catch up and in some cases surpass them. The Dolly Rogers started as a team to watch and remains strongly on the bubble as impressive performances keep piling up, and the Anarchy Angels also follow the Dolly Rogers to the bubble and are one big upset away from making the leap.

TEAMS TO WATCHMuddy River Logo

Kootenay Kannibelles (West Kootenay Roller Derby)

Timber Rollers (Forest City Derby Girls)

Lumbersmacks (Muddy River Rollers)

Redneck Betties (South West Saskatchewan Roller Derby Association)

We’ve been watching the rebuilding Kootenay Kannibelles all season, but their relative lack of activity keeps them from advancing. Similarly, Forest City’s all stars have been on the radar all season, but their early season success hasn’t quite translated into late season dominance yet.  The first new team to the Rankings Crew’s watchlist is Muddy River’s Lumbersmacks (Moncton, New Brunswick) who remain the premier team on Canada’s East Coast (staying just a bit ahead of Saint John’s Fog City Rollers); since an impressively narrow loss to Montreal’s Sexpos in April, the Lumbersmacks have put together a string of five straight victories concluding with a surprisingly one-sided win over Quebec’s Les Duchesses (422-161) just a few weeks ago. Finally, Swift Current’s Redneck Betties jump into our sights after an upset over previously ranked Mindfox (Saskatooon) followed by a dismantling of Billings (Montana) and a tight loss to a very talented Calgary house league team.

*These rankings were compiled by the Derby Nerd, Captain Lou El Bammo, and Dick Pounder. Sadly, we have had to say goodbye to original Crew Member Andi Struction. Stay tuned in the coming months for a big announcement about a potential new member of the Power Rankings Crew!

*Read the Canadian Power Rankings preview and explanation here.

*Missed the June 1st Power Rankings post? Get caught up here.

-Respectful disagreement and debate is encouraged!-

Fresher and Furiouser: the 2013 Fresh and Furious Tournament

Les Buches became the second consecutive team from Quebec to win the Fresh and Furious tournament. (Photo by Francis St-Onge from Les Buches Facebook page)

Les Buches became the second consecutive team from Quebec to win the Fresh and Furious tournament. (Photo by Francis St-Onge from Les Buches Facebook page)

For the second straight year, a team from Quebec swept in to win the Fresh and the Furious tournament. Last year, Montreal’s Smash Squad were the stars of the show, and this year, Les Bûches—a team made up of skaters primarily from Quebec but also from Montreal, Rimouski and Trois Riviere—were the dominant team in the tournament, leading virtually every game from start to finish and going undefeated. It was actually clear early on that this was going to be a three-team tournament, as ToRD’s D-VAS and Hammer City’s Fresh Meat joined Les Bûches in distancing themselves from the competition.

But this is a “freshies” tournament, which means that there were the requisite surprises as well with Fergus (aided by a few key skaters from Grey Bruce) providing the Cinderella-like moments early on before Orangeville’s surprising final four appearance forced everyone to take notice. All in all, it was the grueling, epic, single-day tournament that everyone has come to expect from this tournament, only the level of play continues to advance at an impressive, almost unbelievable rate, showing that the future of the sport in the region is bright indeed.

DOUBLE ELIMINATION ROUND

The Arena

Les Buches and Hammer City met in a key early matchup. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Les Buches and Hammer City met in a key early matchup. (Photo by Greg Russell)

In the arena, things got off to a tight start when Border City’s Windsor A-Salt took out Woodstock/GTA’s Debutante Warriors (there was a number of mixed-league teams in this tournament, most borne out of the necessity of having enough skaters to fit under the strict eligibility rules). Last year’s finalists, the Top Herloins out of Royal City were smacked around by the Renegade Derby Dames early and eventually eliminated by Windsor. Capital City—a league to watch this season—had a rough go of it as well, falling in two straight. While the top two teams in the pool—Les Bûches and Hammer City—battled early with Les Buches taking the tight 88-61 win, before Hammer City put in two dominant performances, culminating in a mind-boggling 198-13 win over Durham’s DRRDy Farmers, to advance.

Les Bûches, Hammer City, Alliston’s Renegade Derby Dames, and Windsor all advanced to the quarter finals from the main arena.

Despite only having seven skaters, Crow City (Chatham) put in a heroic performance, going 1-2 in the double elimination round (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Despite only having seven skaters, Crow City (Chatham) put in a heroic performance, going 1-2 in the double elimination round. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The Bubble

Aside from perennial contenders the D-VAS, the pool was wide open in the Bubble, allowing a few surprise teams to emerge. Fergus advanced straight through to the quarters with back-to-back victories over Queen’s Court (Buffalo) and the Smooth Operators (Peterborough’s 705 Roller Derby), becoming the only team in the first round to record multi 100+ point games in the process. After giving the D-VAS everything they could handle in the opener, Orangeville began its march to the final four with a tight victory over the Power Dames (made up mostly of Cornwall’s Seaway Roller Derby Girls) before eliminating 705 in a one-sided elimination game. The D-VAS advanced straight through with a 138-11 victory over a short-handed Crow City team (who easily won the spirit award for going 1-2 with only 7 skaters on their bench!). Finally, the NEOFights (a mixed team from Northern Ontario—a “fresh” version of the NORD team that recently finished second at the RDAC eastern championships) overcame an opening-game loss to knock off Queen’s Court and Crow City.

The D-VAS, Fergus Feims, Orangeville’s Pulp Affliction, and the NEOFights advanced to the quarterfinals from the Bubble.

An impressive and surprising run by Fergus was finally stopped by Hammer City in the quarterfinals. (Photo by Greg Russel)

An impressive and surprising run by Fergus was finally stopped by Hammer City in the quarterfinals. (Photo by Greg Russel)

QUARTER FINALS

After the double elimination round, the tournament shifted to a single-elimination knock out playoff. The NEOFights continued to round into form as the day went on (much like their big sisters counterparts did a few weeks before at RDACs) and gave Les Bûches all that they could handle in the quarters, but simply didn’t have the offense to penetrate Les Bûches increasingly stingy defense. Fergus’ shocking run finally came to an end against a very strong Hammer City team that managed a second-straight 100+ point game to advance. The D-VAS and Windsor continued a rivalry that has built in this tournament (they faced off twice last year, splitting the games) with the D-VAS providing too much depth for the Border City freshies, and Pulp Affliction extended its unlikely run by knocking off the favoured Renegade Derby Dames.

Orangeville turned some heads with a run to the final four, but were overwhelmed by Les Buches in the semis. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Orangeville turned some heads with a run to the final four, but were overwhelmed by Les Buches in the semis. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

FINAL FOUR

Orangeville’s exciting run came to an abrupt conclusion against Les Bûches, who dumped them 99-9 in the semi finals: It really was the point at which this mixed Quebec team truly came together. Nonetheless, it was an impressive, take-notice tournament for Orangeville who were lead by strong performances from Hall N Ass (who was actually a Tri-City fresh meat) and Starbust with the star and Kate Knevil and Red Hot Sonia in the pack to name a few. At a tournament of freshies, Pulp Affliction simply didn’t have a sophisticated enough offense to overcome Les Bûches increasingly stifling play.

The other semifinal was a contrast as Hammer City and the D-VAS renewed one of Canada’s oldest roller derby rivalries. Hammer City was every bit the equal to ToRD’s fresh team except for perhaps in depth (and discipline, as D-VAS power jams truly sealed the deal in this one). Led by a few astonishing fresh meat skaters in Jangerous (jammer) and Homewrecken Holly (pivot), Hammer City fell behind early and often on undisciplined play, and despite a valiant comeback in the end, simply ran out of time against Toronto, falling 77-61. It was the third-straight year that the D-VAS qualified for the final four, and their return to the final comes on the heels of last year’s third place performance.

The D-VAS advanced to their third straight final four and second championship in two years. (Photo by Greg Russell)

The D-VAS advanced to their third straight final four and second championship in two years. (Photo by Greg Russell)

By the final game—nearing twelve hours after the tournament commenced—the D-VAS were showing signs of strain, while Les Bûches were just rounding into top form. Les Bûches represent the first real boom in flat track roller derby in Quebec; despite the fact that they have one of the top leagues in the game in Montreal, the sport has been slow to take off in the province (there are about five women’s leagues in Quebec right now compared to around fifty in Ontario). But it has been a very good year for the leagues that do exist.

Roller Derby Quebec leads the second generation of roller derby in Quebec: their Rouge et Gore have had an impressive 2013 making the final eight at the Beast of the East before winning the Moncton Murder tournament. Three of those skaters, Nelson Mandale, Dina Myth and Vinny Neutron were key for Les Bûches this weekend (not to mention their leaguemate Dur a Queer who was dominant at times in the pack). Dey Moniak had a very strong tournament representing Rimouski, while a few Montreal Smash Squad skaters were key as well: Clara O’Key and Sugar Shane in the pack, while Gameboi was simply unstoppable with the star, while also performing exceptionally well in the pack.

Both finalists were loaded with individual talent, including Montreal's Clara O'Key (Buches pivot) and ToRD's Emraged (D-VAS pivot). (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Both finalists were loaded with individual talent, including Montreal’s Clara O’Key (Buches pivot) and ToRD’s Emraged (D-VAS pivot). (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Not that the D-VAS didn’t have their share of stars as well. Babushkill and Moose Knuckles were key in the opening victory against Pulp Affliction, while the trio of Full Deck, Emraged, and Android W.K. were difference makers all day. They all played multiple roles throughout the tournament, and the season of training with ToRD’s houseleague definitely showed as their track awareness and poise was evident.

But in the end, Les Bûches simply had too many weapons to contend with and overwhelmed a tiring D-VAS team late, pulling away for the convincing 122-45 victory and the Fresh and the Furious 2013 championship.

RESULTS

Double Elimination: Arena Windsor A-Salt 56 vs. Debutante Warriors 55Hammer City 61 vs. Les Bûches 88

Renegade Derby Dames 87 vs. Top Herloins 31

Cannon Dolls 40 vs. DRRDy Farmers 58

Windsor 16 vs. Les Bûches 118

Debutant Warriors (eliminated) 39 vs. Hammer City 83

Renegade Derby Dames 69 vs. DRRDy Farmers 30

Top Herloins 76 vs. Cannon Dolls 26 (eliminated)

Windsor 67 vs. Top Herloins 28 (eliminated)

DRRDy Farmers 13 (eliminated) vs. Hammer City 198

Double Elimination: BubbleNEOFights 52 vs. Area 705 66Queen’s Court 36 vs. Fergus Feims 113

Power Dames 38 vs. Crow City 43

Pulp Affliction 22 vs. D-VAS 52

Area 705 51 vs. Fergus 100

NEOFights 114 vs. Queen’s Court 34 (eliminated)

Crow City 11 vs. D-VAS 138

Power Dames 43 (eliminated) vs. Pulp Affliction 52

Area 705 26 (eliminated) vs. Pulp Affliction 96

Crow City 41 (eliminated) vs. NEOFights 85

Quarter Finals

Les Bûches 82 vs. NEOFights 33

Fergus Feims 64 vs. Hammer City 119

Renegade Derby Dames 53 vs. Pulp Affliction 56

D-VAS 58 vs. Windsor A-Salt 34

Semi Finals

Les Bûches 99 vs. Pulp Affliction 9

Hammer City 61 vs. D-VAS 77

Championship

Les Bûches 122 vs. D-VAS 45

Les Buches Logo

** The games were boutcast in HD by Layer9 through Canuck Derby TV. Check here for the complete archives.

The Fresh and the Furious 2013: A Viewer’s Guide

The Fresh and the Furious 2013The Fresh and the Furious 2013 is the fourth version of this event since the rebirth and rebranding of this tournament after the inaugural Virgin Suicides Brawl ushered in the second wave of Ontario roller derby. That tournament was held in 2008 and was won by the now defunct Death Row Dames out of Hammer City but featured teams that would go on to great heights including eventual Beast of the East winners Vicious Dishes and Slaughter Daughters. It is hosted annually by the GTA Rollergirls at Ted Reeve Arena in Toronto’s east end and is the premiere “prospects” event in the region (and the country for that matter). Each year it gives a glimpse of the future of roller derby in the region, while also providing an exciting and unpredictable tournament. This year, for the first time ever, the whole tournament will be boutcast on Canuck Derby TV.

The Fresh and Furious is a one day, sixteen team, double elimination tournament that follows the same tournament structure and format as Montreal’s annual Beast of the East. Having two tracks allows for the whole tournament to be played out over the course of a single, epic day. Although, since this year’s tournament will be boutcast, that means you have viewing choices to make. First, check the complete schedule here to see when and where the teams will be playing their first game in the double elimination round. Teams will start either in the Bubble or the Arena with a just a two-team crossover in the quarterfinals. After that, the final four will shift to the main arena for the semifinals and the finals.

THE ARENA

Absent since winning the Virgin Suicides Brawl, Hammer City returns.

Absent since winning the Virgin Suicides Brawl, Hammer City returns.

Game 1 (11:00 AM): Windsor A-Salt vs. Debutante Warriors

Since making an impressive debut at 2 Fresh 2 Furious in 2011, Windsor’s Border City (a WFTDA Apprentice league) has been on a quick upward swing, including advancing to the semi final last year. The Debutante Warriors are a mixed team featuring skaters from Woodstock Warriors and the host GTA Rollergirls.

Game 2 (11:40 AM): Hammer City Fresh Meat vs. Les Buches

Hammer City sends their first team to the tournament since their Death Row Dames won the Virgin Suicides Brawl in 2008. Back on the rise after a few years of rebuilding and restructuring, Hammer City should be a team to watch in the tournament. But Les Buches have rookie skaters from across Quebec’s slowly growing number of leagues, including Roller Derby Quebec and Roller Derby Rimouski, and Roller Derby 3R. After Montreal’s success last year, they should also be competitive.

Game 3 (12:20 PM): Renegade Derby Dames vs. Top Herloins

An interesting battle between two of the comparatively well established leagues in the tournament. Renegade Derby Dames have just gone through a bit of a league shake up, but have traditionally been strong, while Royal City’s Top Herloins made it all the way to the final in last year’s tournament.

Game 4 (1:00 PM): Cannon Dolls vs. DRRDy Farmers

This will be Durham Region’s third time at the Fresh and the Furious tournaments while Capital City returns after last year’s debut. Capital City has been on quite a roll lately, while Durham Region is also deep into their season, so this should be a great match up to end the first round in the arena.

A regular participant, Buffalo's Queen City remains the sole US participant.

A regular participant, Buffalo’s Queen City remains the sole US participant.

THE BUBBLE

Game 5 (11:00 AM): The NEOFights vs. Smooth Operators

Like the NORD team that recently came second at the RDAC Eastern Championships, the NEOFights contain representatives from multiple leagues in Northern Ontario (Gold City, Nickel City, Greater Sudbury, Cochrane, Temiskaming, Sault Roller Derby and Kirkland Lake). The Smooth Operators represent Area 705 Roller Derby, one of the leagues operating out of Peterborough.

Game 6 (11:40 AM): Queen’s Court vs. Fergus Feims

Queen City’s long relationship with leagues north of the border has continued even at the fresh meat level as they are a frequent participant in the tournament and have always done well (they lost in the quarter finals last year), and this year they will be taking on Fergus Roller Derby’s Fergus Feims. Fergus is part of what has been an unabated third wave of roller derby development in Ontario, and Eastern Canada as a whole, over the past two years and will be making their Fresh and Furious debut.

Game 7 (12:20 PM): The Power Dames vs. Crow City Roller Girls

The Power Dames represent Cornwall’s Seaway Roller Derby Girls, but this weekend, will have a roster filled out by skaters from By the Rapids Roller Derby and Northumberland Roller Girls. From Chatham-Kent, Crow City is another fresh league, but features former Tri-City skater Greta Garbage (who will be bench managing this weekend).

Game 8 (1:00 PM): Pulp Affliction vs. D-VAS

A few interesting connections to be made in this final first round game in the Bubble: Both coincidentally take their names from Quentin Tarantino references, but the roller derby ties run a little deeper. Orangeville’s Pulp Affliction will be bench managed by Bay Street Bruisers Bench Manager (who was also recently named to the bench staff for Team Canada) Flyin’ Bryan Killman and Bay Street Bruisers skater Rhage in a Cage (who also play’s for ToRD champs the Death Track Dolls). Both have regular ties to Orangeville, but also, for obvious reasons, to ToRD’s D-VAS as well (not the least of which is that Flyin’ Bryan has regularly bench managed the D-VAS over the past two seasons).

Read about last year's  Fresh and Furious: GTA Drift

Read about last year’s Fresh and Furious: GTA Drift

ELIMINATION GAMES

After the initial games, the teams will advance based on wins and losses: two straight wins will earn a team a bye directly into the single-elimination quarterfinals. While a team gets up to three chances to get the two necessary wins, back-to-back losses means elimination from the tournament.

For the 7:00 PM semi final, the Bubble boutcast will shut down as the final four will play out the tournament in the main arena.

An essential and important tournament for the development of new skaters in the region, the importance of the event continues to grow as the number of new leagues in Ontario (and now Quebec) continues to grow at an extraordinary rate.

The boutcast for both tracks will begin at 11:00 AM. The final four showdown begins at 7:00 PM.

Canuck Derby TV logo

Canadian Power Rankings: June 1, 2013 (Second Quarter)

Canadian Power Rankings: June 1st, 2013 (Second Quarter)

TEAM (League) CHANGE NOTES (Rollergirl.ca /WFTDA rank)
1. New Skids on the Block (Montreal Roller Derby)NewSkidsLogo2012 Still the best until someone can knock them off, and while CN Power pushed them to the limit in Montreal, the Skids put in strong performances in losses to Bay Area and Philly, and managed a big win over Santa Cruz. They also climbed two spots in the latest WFTDA rankings. (1 / 15).
2. Terminal City All Stars (Terminal City Roller Girls)Terminal City All Stars Terminal City clings to second spot despite slipping down into  WFTDA’s Division 2. Strong showings in losses to higher ranked Victorian and Sacred City allow them to hold their spot, despite the big loss to London and a so-so win over Silicon Valley. (3 / 43).
3. CN Power (Toronto Roller Derby)CN Power Logo CN Power is starting to play with a lot more consistency, but their impressive performances in losses to higher ranked Montreal and Cincinnati were not enough to pull them into second. (2 / 49).
4. Tri-City Thunder (Tri-City Roller Girls)Tri-City Thunder Logo The Thunder finally started rolling at Spring Roll, losing to CT Roller Girls before pulling out a big, surprising victory over the Chicago Outfit. That victory allows them to hold on to their position. They still cling to a WFTDA Division 2 playoff spot as well. (4 / 56)
5. Rideau Valley Vixens (Rideau Valley Roller Girls)Vixens Logo The Vixens have not been able to build on their early season success and stalled somewhat in the second quarter losing to New Hampshire and narrowly defeating River City, which more than likely ended their chances at a WFTDA playoff spot this season. (5 / 73)
6. Belladonnas (Red Deer Roller Derby Association)Belladonnas Logo (unranked) The Belladonnas finally got on the track in 2013 and they lived up to preseason expectations, surging into the rankings with an impressive tournament victory at Flat Track Fever (defeating Calgary, The Sugar Skulls and The Mindfox in the process). (8 / -)
7. Sugar Skulls (Pile O’ Bones Roller Derby Club)Sugar Skulls Derby LOGO The Regina skaters hold their spot after a solid performance at Flat Track Fever. They did manage a win over the Belladonnas in the preliminary round of the tournament, but Red Deer defeated the Sugar Skulls later in the tournament. (12 / -)
8. Calgary All Stars: Calgary Roller Derby AssociationCalgary All Stars Logo (unranked) After years of rolling under the radar, Calgary has  stepped things up in 2013 and is one of the more exciting teams in Canada right now. They had a strong showing at Flat Track Fever and traveled to Saskatoon and defeated The Mind Fox despite missing key players. A team on rise. (13 / -)
9. The Mind Fox (Saskatoon Roller Derby League)mindfoxlogo -3 (6th) The Mind Fox exploded out of the gates in 2013, but as the season has progressed, the rest of the west has started to catch up and even pass them. They defeated E-Ville, but suffered losses to the Belladonnas and Calgary that have dropped them. (14 / -)
10. E-Ville Dead (E-Ville Roller Derby)

E-Ville Logo

 Despite rosters losses, this team keeps rolling along. They had a solid performance at Flat Track Fever (including trading wins with the Mind Fox) that has allowed them to cling to their Top 10 spot. (10 / -)

Belladonnas LogoThe main story may be that there wasn’t too much change in the Power Rankings this quarter (the Top 5 remains completely unchanged), despite the fact that two teams dropped out of the Top 10. The West Kootenay Kannibelles have been slipping since their peak at RDAC Westerns in 2012. The had a strong showing at Spokarnage, but against untested teams, and still are sitting on that loss to current #10 E-Ville. And due to some upheaval in Alliston (and a lack of action), the Misfit Militia have also slipped out of the Top 10. The recently separated from their league (the Renegade Derby Dames) to go it alone, and it remains to be seen how they will respond to this change. They did recently score a large victory over unranked Les Duchesses (Quebec), but their lack of action against top-level competition drops them.

Which, of course, means that we can say hello to two new teams. First off, Calgary enters the Top 10 in the 8th position. Formerly considered a “bubble” team, Calgary is the fastest climbing team in Canada right now and it seemed to just be a matter of time before they cracked this list. After years of relative competitive obscurity, it’s been fascinating to watch the rise. Also surging into the Top 10 are Red Deer’s Belladonnas. Despite a late start to 2013, they haven’t seemed to have lost a step from their strong 2012 and handily won Flat Track Fever. They followed that up with a thoroughly dominant performance against an overmatched St. Albert.Hammer City Logo

ON THE BUBBLE

Not too much shift here either. Forest City’s loss to Capital City, despite the fact that they were very shorthanded, means that the Timber Rollers fail to progress here, but their strong performances this season (including a recent win over Border City) keep them hanging out on the bubble. The West Kootenay Roller Derby’s Kannibelles fall from the Top 10 but remain on the bubble after their impressive performance at Spokarnage. Finally, the Hammer City Roller Girls continue their top season ever in the WFTDA (their three WFTDA victories this season represents a massive jump from the one they’d won in the last three years). Also quite tellingly, their B-team and Fresh Meat team have been putting in strong performances, speaking to an ever-strengthening base.

TEAMS TO WATCH

Word out of the west is that that Mainland Misfits’ Anarchy Angels (Cloverdale, BC) remain a team to watch: they went 2-2 at Spokarnage and soundly defeated The Raggedy Rollers. Out of the east, Capital City’s Dolly Rogers (Ottawa) have been slowly putting together a string of solid results and most recently defeated Forest City’s Timber Rollers to catch the attention of the rankings crew.

*These rankings were compiled by the Derby Nerd, Captain Lou El Bammo, Dick Pounder and Andi Struction.

*Read the Canadian Power Rankings preview and explanation here.

*Missed the first quarter Power Rankings post? Get caught up here.

-Respectful disagreement and debate is encouraged!-

Canadian Power Rankings: April 1, 2013

Canadian Power Rankings: April 1st, 2013 (First Quarter)

TEAM (League) CHANGE NOTES (Rollergirl.ca /WFTDA rank)
1. New Skids on the Block (Montreal Roller Derby)NewSkidsLogo2012 They’ve unquestionably been the best team in the country since 2010, and they have yet to be challenged; strong wins to kick off 2013 (they are 4-1) and a well-played loss to Windy City mean that they remain the cream of the crop in Canadian roller derby (1 / 17).
2. Terminal City All Stars (Terminal City Roller Girls)Terminal City All Stars Off to a solid 3-1 start to 2013, consistency allows this team to hold on to second spot (their only loss so far was a two-pointer to Santa Cruz). The fastest rising team in WFTDA throughout 2012, they are currently the only Canadian team other than Montreal in WFTDA’s Division 1 (2 / 39).
3. CN Power (Toronto Roller Derby)CN Power Logo A lack of consistency (losses to beatable teams in Grand Rapids and Rideau Valley, yet a fantastic performance against Ohio) has CNP trapped at third. Firmly in a Division 2 playoff spot, they will need more consistent performances to move into Division 1 and climb up these rankings (3 / 49).
4. Tri-City Thunder (Tri-City Roller Girls)Tri-City Thunder Logo Only one game in 2013 so far (a loss to Montreal), the team holds their fourth spot for now, but will have to prove themselves to keep it. Massive roster changes mean that Thunder will need solid performances against upcoming opponents (including Killamazoo and Cincinnati) to hold onto this position. (4 / 50)
5. Rideau Valley Vixens (Rideau Valley Roller Girls)Vixens Logo A recent huge upset over CN Power was somewhat balanced out by a surprising collapse against Ohio, but they are definitely a team trending upward, and wins against scheduled opponents like New Hampshire and Tri-City will certainly propel them higher. (5 / 71)
6. The Mind Fox (Saskatoon Roller Derby League)mindfoxlogo A fantastic performance at RDAC Nationals has this team leaping up the rankings. Clearly the dominant team of the tournament, they will have a chance to hold this spot at the upcoming Flat Track Fever. While the Top 5 is locked in pretty solidly, right now, The Mind Fox seems to have the best chance to make a run for it (11 / -).
7. Sugar Skulls (Pile O’ Bones Roller Derby Club)Sugar Skulls Derby LOGO Another team trending upward; impressive second place finish at RDAC Nationals including a big win over E-Ville solidified this spot. However, there are a lot of teams gunning for them, and a strong performance at Flat Track Fever would help them solidify their ranking.(13 / -)
8. Misfit Militia (Renegade Derby Dames)

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

Like the Thunder, the Misfit Militia are given the benefit of the doubt due to a lack of activity so far in 2013. After a breakout 2012, this spot is the Militia’s to lose, and with games only scheduled against Les Duchesses (Quebec) and Royal City, they will need to make a big impression in those games. (8 / -)
9. E-Ville Dead (E-Ville Roller Derby)E-Ville A team trending downward right now on the backs of some transfers and roster changes, they hold this spot based on a strong third place performance at RDAC Nationals including last-jam victory over the Kannibelles; the upcoming Flat Track Fever should say a lot about the direction they are heading in (10 / -).
10. Kootenay Kannibelles (West Kootenay Roller Derby)kannibelles Logo Another western team that seems to be trending downward  after a huge roster shakeup following a very successful 2012 season. The depth of this league will be tested in 2013 as the Kannibelles rebuild. A tough loss to E-Ville at RDAC knocks them to the bottom of the Top 10. (7 / -)

ON THE BUBBLE

Timber Rollers LogoWhile there are a number of teams that came up in the discussion of this opening power ranking, a few teams that we feel could have a very real impact on these rankings in 2013 are the CRDA All Stars (Calgary Roller Derby Association), The Belladonnas (Red Deer Roller Derby Association), and the Timber Rollers (Forest City Derby Girls).

Calgary and Forest City are both WFTDA apprentice leagues who have refocused their leagues recently and committed to producing top-level travel team rosters.  Recent transfers to Calgary have provided bench depth and leadership, while Forest City has restructured their league so that the travel team has a unique roster, and they’ve internally developed some strong new skaters who have helped push this team to a 3-0 start in 2013.

Red Deer is another team to watch that has a deep bench. The Belladonnas feature three skaters who were members of Team crdaallstars_logoCanada at the inaugural World Cup, and are on the bubble because of a lack of activity this year, and also inconsistency last year: a thrilling performance a Flat Track Fever followed by a disappointing RDAC Westerns. Nonetheless, they are a team that has the depth to work its way back up the rankings. They, along with with Calgary, have a huge opportunity to make an impression in the upcoming Flat Track Fever.

The Canadian Power Rankings will be updated on July 1st.

These rankings were compiled by the Derby Nerd, Captain Lou El Bammo, Dick Pounder and Andi Struction.

Read the Canadian Power Rankings preview and explanation here.

Respectful disagreement and debate is encouraged!

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.

ROUND ONE

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)

CONSOLATION ROUND

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.

MEDAL ROUND

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)

COMPLETE RESULTS

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

Semifinals

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

Championship

Forest City 88 vs. Bay Street Bruisers 163

Dames of Thrones Preview: Eastern Champs Second RDAC Regional Tournament

A TALE OF TWO TOURNAMENTS

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 TEAMS

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.

THE OPENING ROUND

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.