ROc Stars

Toronto All Stars Roar Back to Life with Big Win Over Roc City

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This was the first showdown between Toronto and Roc City since 2012. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

It’s been a while since Toronto Roller Derby and Roc City duelled on the flat track: Five years actually, give or take a few weeks, and at that time in March 2012 the two teams were on very different trajectories. Then, Toronto’s 171-108 win was part of a 10-1 to start the 2012 season, while for Roc City it was one of 6 losses in 7 games to kick of theirs. And although the Roc Stars would eventually turn that year around, they would never quite reach the heights that Toronto would. Eighteen months out of that win, the ToRD All Stars were turning heads in their first WFTDA D1 playoff appearance, the first of three straight appearances at the highest competitive level the sport has to offer.

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Toronto got off to a quick start and were led offensively by Wolverina’s 135 points. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Fast forward to March 2017 and once again the two teams find themselves on a level playing field: Roc City having held steady over the years (still searching for their first D2 playoff appearance) are coming off of a 6-7, 2016 season and were ranked 92nd in the WFTDA coming into the showdown at The Bunker. Toronto, on the other hand, had fallen even faster than they’d previously risen. A disastrous 2016 saw the team go 2-8 with an average margin of loss of 213 points and tumble from a height of 23rd in the WFTDA to the 99th spot they held before Saturday night’s game. The result of a mass retirement of virtually a generation of skaters and the growing pains associated with restructuring and rebranding the All Stars, last season proved to be one of rebuilding. And that rebuilt roster was on full display on Saturday, the results of which should be cause for optimism.

Toronto burst off the starting line off after the opening whistle putting up 17 points over three jams before Roc City could even register a point, all part of a run of 6 straight lead jammer statuses and a 51-24 scoring spree that saw Toronto jump out to an early lead. The lead could have been ever higher but early penalty troubles (part of a 29-penalty opening half for the home team) resulted in a lot of pack disadvantages.

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Despite early penalty troubles, the Toronto defence held steady. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

While Toronto’s jammer rotation included house league favourites Banshee and Monster Muffin, the crowd also got its first glimpse of the season of all-star-exclusive jammers Wolverina (who would lead the game in scoring with an impressive 135 points on a 90% lead percentage) and off-season transfer Pikante (95 points, 80%) from Helskinki’s Kallio Rolling Rainbow (she’s also a member of Portugal’s national team).

Despite the pack penalties, Toronto managed to extend its lead to 103-39 just past the midway point of the opening period, one they extended to 175-71 at the break.

Considering the Toronto skaters have spent most of their season so far knocking each other around in ToRD’s ultra-competitive house league, aside from the penalty troubles (that only got marginally better in the second half), the lines were tight. Constructed around home-team cores, one side of the All Stars pack featured the Chicks Ahoy! core of Boxcar, Joss Wheelin’ and Meg Fenway complemented by the Death Track Dolls’ Kate Silver and the Smoke City Bandits’ Jessica Rabid. Meanwhile, the other line saw the Gore-Gore Rollergirls’ core of Will Wrecker, Santa Muerte and Viktory Lapp completed with the Dolls’ Dawson and the Bandits’ titmouse. Both lines had strong moments throughout and both saw a foul out as well (Kate Silver and Santa Muerte).

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Kandy Krusher paced the offence for Roc City with 48 points. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The second half was a near mirror image of the first: a 45-18 opening five-minute run for Toronto extended to 296-112 with ten minutes to go and although the Roc Stars outscored Toronto 19-18 over the final three jams, it barely put a dent in Toronto’s 380-138 win.

 

It was the first time in nearly three years that Toronto managed to crest the 300-point mark, and along with the contributions from Wolverina and Pikante got 105 points from Banshee and 46 points from Monster Muffin, who had to leave the game early in the second half due to injury.

Roc City was led on the scoreboard by Kandy Krusher’s 48 points and Florence Fightingale’s 44. In the pack they were led by co-captains Hater Tot and double threat Terminal Trend and the hard hitting D-Day.

The All Stars will face off against Ottawa’s Capital City at the Bunker on April 22 before heading to Tri-City’s third-annual Beaver Fever tournament in June. Meanwhile, Toronto Roller Derby returns with its house league playoff quarterfinals on April 8 at the Bunker.

*The Toronto Vipers also made their 2017 debut on Saturday with an impressive 264-179 loss to the significantly more experienced Belleville Roller Derby Bombshells. A strong start to the season for ToRD’s future stars.

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The Vipers (in red) made their 2017 debut. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

 

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WFTDA Wrap: CN Power Rocks Roc City; Skids, Terminal City split

CN Power hosted its first ever WFTDA sanctioned homegame against the Roc City Roc Stars. (Photos by Kevin Konnyu)

Roc Stars 108 vs. CN Power 171

CN Power continues its slow climb up the competitive ladder of the WFTDA after putting together a near perfect performance against a tough and wily Roc City team on Saturday in the first ever sanctioned WFTDA home bout hosted by ToRD.  For about 50 minutes CN Power (ranked 17th in the North Central) was in control, dominating portions of the game, before focus was lost in the final 10 minutes and Roc City (17th in the East) was able to mount a comeback and erase what had been a 100-point deficit for much of the second half, but it would prove too little too late as CN Power held on for the 63-point victory.

An early 25-point CN Power power jam blew the game wide open early in the first half.

Coming off of a wild, penalty filled victory against the overly physical Fort Wayne Bomb Squad only two weeks ago, CN Power put together a much more controlled performance against the Roc Stars from Rochester. Things were quite tense from the beginning, with both teams performing well from the opening whistle. Each team seemed cautious at first, and as the points slowly accumulated on each side (5-4 for the visitors five minutes in), it looked as though each team was waiting for the other to make a mistake.  Short, well-defended jams typified the action in the early going of the bout, and there wasn’t a mistake made until a very well-timed last-line hit by Jubilee forced a momentum cut from the Roc City jammer and gave CN Power the power jam with Bambi wearing the star. The host team executed perfectly locking in a tight trap and allowing Bambi to quickly ring up 25 points to blow the game wide open: 29-5.

Aston Martini spent some time with the star for the fourth game in a row.

The Roc Stars seemed a little stunned at this point and the ToRD skaters took over the next few jams to pad their lead, and very slowly the hosts built that lead to 70 points. CN Power went with a slightly different offensive look in this one, slotting Aston Martini and Rebel Rock-It into a more regular spot in the jammer rotation (along with DefeCaitlin, Bambi and Dyna Hurtcha–who, quite effectively, was able to spend more time in the pack) and the broader rotation gave their offense a more varied look. The Roc Stars though, were not about to go down without a fight, and pushed back at the end of the first half, with physical jammer Shockin’ Audrey putting points up on the board to cut into the Toronto lead, 81-24 at the half.

Panty Hoser (99) delivered some big hits for CN Power (in the penalty box with Tara Part, who had another strong game as well).

Seeing that an undisciplined CN Power at full strength may have been hard to beat, Roc City (who mounted a major second-half comeback against Tri-City Thunder only a few weeks before) began to mix things up. The jam starts shifted in the second half to the jammer line where they stayed for almost every jam in the half. Roc city tracked a deep jammer rotation in Kell’d on Impact and Shockin’ Audrey, along with the the very physical Natasha Musquashya (who loved to mix it up off the jammer line) and the triple threat Asa Clubs (who seemed to get stronger as the bout went on). In the pack, JoJo Thrasher and Roxy D. Sniper kept Toronto honest. But CN Power had some stand outs of their own including a monster bout from Panty Hoser, who played the most physical game of her CN Power career. The hosts kept things simple and took advantage of every pack advantage and power jam to build a 144-45 point lead midway through the half.

With the game seemingly getting out of control, animated Roc City bench manager Grid Iron called for an Official Review of a Bambi 9-point jam; it proved to be a timely request as the points were stricken and Bambi was thrown in the box. Roc City fought back hard here as the discipline seen in the Toronto skaters evaporated. Roc City ended the game coming on strong, holding CN Power to about 15 points over the final ten minutes, but it was too little too late as CN Power scored the big victory.

Read Justice Feelgood Marshall's full recap of the bout on the Derby News Network (and see photos by Fotodog).

SKIDS SPLIT NORTH CENTRAL ROAD TRIP

Montreal’s New Skids on the Block kicked off their competitive WFTDA season this weekend, going  1-1 on a road trip through Minnesota.  In Saturday’s marquee matchup, the 6th ranked Skids took on the North Central’s 2nd ranked Minnesota All Stars (fresh off a 2012 that saw them make the quarterfinals at the WFTDA championship) in St. Paul. With Georgia W. Tush still recovering from a major collarbone break and Iron Wench off of the continent, they tracked a comparatively inexperienced jammer rotation, and while defensively they were able to stay in the game, four jammer penalties were the difference in this one as Minnesota dominated early and then held on as the Montreal skaters made their (now expected) late-game push. Final score 136-95 for Minnesota.

Montreal managed some level of revenge, heading to the second of the Twin Cities, Minneapolis, to take on North Star Roller Girls, who are ten spots lower than Minnesota, ranked 12th in the North Central. The Skids evened up their 2012 WFTDA record with a convincing  261-51 victory.

Next up for Montreal is an intriguing April 7th matchup against No Coast Derby Girls, who are ranked 6th in the South Central (No Coast plays out of Lincoln, Nebraska).

Terminal City All Stars played in their first Wild West Showdown.

TERMINAL CITY GOES 1-2 AT WILD WEST SHOWDOWN

Vancouver’s Terminal City All Stars have been the talk of the West in early 2012, debuting with an impressive 3-0 record at the Big O tournament, which included a big victory over Pikes Peak and (in this Nerd’s unofficial estimation) climbing up to about 17th in the rankings. They continued their hot streak at the team’s first ever appearance at the Wild West Showdown. In their opening bout of the tournament on Saturday, the All Stars upset 12th ranked Emerald City 129-109, but fell twice on Sunday to 8th ranked Jet City (141-74) and 15th ranked Santa Cruz (97-84).

Despite the (respectable) losses, Terminal City continues to look very comfortable in the West and although still early in the season, are playing within striking distance of the WFTDA playoffs.

CANADA’S WFTDA TEAMS (Ranking, Region, 2012 Record)

New Skids on the Block, Montreal Roller Derby (6th East): 1-1

Tri-City Thunder, Tri-City Rollergirls (16th North Central): 1-0

CN Power, Toronto Roller Derby (17th North Central): 2-0

Terminal City All Stars, Terminal City Roller Girls (23rd West): 5-2

WFTDA Weekend Preview: Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver all in action

CN Power (17 NC)         vs.         Roc Stars (17 E)

 Coming off a big 151-138 season opening win over Fort Wayne (14 NC), Toronto Roller Derby’s CN Power makes its home debut, hosting Roc City’s Roc Stars (Rochester, New York) on Saturday.  It’s an intriguing cross-region WFTDA matchup featuring the 17th ranked team in each region.

While both teams are playing in their first full seasons in the WFTDA and have already made big impressions, they’ve each gotten off to very different starts to 2012. CN Power scored a hard-fought upset over Fort Wayne to build some confidence moving forward, while Roc City has already faced struggles against Canadian opposition. In a non-sanctioned bout against WFTDA Apprentice Rideau Valley Vixens in January, they fell 128-99. Then just two weeks ago, they kicked off their 2012 WFTDA season by hosting Kitchener’s Tri-City Thunder in a back-and-forth game that was not decided until the final 10 minutes, when Thunder rode a few power jams to a 124-92 victory.

** The CN Power vs. Roc City  bout will kick off a double header at the Bunker in Downsview Park (also featuring the Death Track Dolls vs. the Smoke City Betties in ToRD regular season play). Doors open a 5:00PM. Tickets available online and at select locations.

**Check ToRD TV and Canuck Derby TV for boutcast updates.

New Skids on the Block (6E, 18 DNN)     vs.     Minnesota  All Stars (2NC, 12 DNN)

In the marquee WFTDA matchup  of the weekend, Montreal’s New Skids on the Block (ranked 6th in the East) head to Minnesota to take on the Minnesota RollerGirls All Stars (2nd in the North Central) in what promises to be a phenomenal bout.

While Montreal certainly aren’t new enough to catch anyone off guard anymore, in Minnesota they will face one of the original WFTDA leagues with a history as long as any in this sport.  Both teams are coming off of banner competitive years, and busy ones at that. Montreal played a remarkable 22 bouts in 2011 scoring big wins over Rat City, Boston, Texas and Huston to name a few. Unfortunately they ran out of steam at the Eastern Regionals, losing in a thrilling fifth place bout against London that was voted the Bout of the Year by DNN fans. Minnesota peaked at the right time and made it all the way to the WFTDA Championships where they knocked off Charm City in the first round before falling to Texas in the quarterfinals

Catch the game live on the Derby News Network (7:30 PM CST; 8:30 PM EST)

TERMINAL CITY READY FOR A WILD WEST SHOWDOWN

Vancouver’s Terminal City All Stars have exploded out of the gates in 2012, their first complete season in the WFTDA. Ranked 23rd in the highly competitive Western Region, the All Stars have already gained some valuable tournament experience this season, turning some heads with an impressive 3-0 showing at The Big O in Eugene, Oregon that included a definitive victory over 18th ranked Pikes Peak 194-94. They’ll be returning to tournament play already at this weekend’s Wild West Showdown.

The Slaughter County (Kitsap County, Washington) hosted tournament is a slight step up in the  competitive pecking order over The Big O, so Vancouver will face much stiffer competition. But after such a dominant performance over the lower ranked teams in the Region, it is a much deserved challenge: a similar showing at this tournament could go a long way in raising their WFTDA ranking.

On Saturday night, Terminal City will face off against 12th ranked Emerald City (Eugene); on Sunday, they’ll meet 8th ranked Jet City (who stumbled at The Big O being upset by Silicon Valley before scraping by 17th ranked Wasatch by 5 points), and 15th ranked Santa Cruz. All the teams should provide a stiff challenge to Vancouver who will gain a lot from the experience, win or lose.

The other WFTDA teams taking part (rankings in parentheses): Slaughter County Roller Vixens (11th), Bellingham Roller Betties (16th), Sin City Rollergirls (19th), Dockyard Derby Dames (21st), FoCo Girls Gone Derby (26th), and Humboldt  Roller Derby(-). (WFTDA Apprentice league Paradise Roller Girls from Hawaii will also take part.)

OTHER ACTION

The North Central Region is a busy weekend this weekend with three other bouts, all with potential impact on the rankings.

Mad Rollin’ Dolls (10th) vs. Arch Rival (6th, 23 DNN)

Ohio Roller Girls (9th) vs. Bleeding Heartland Rollergirls (13th)

NEO Roller Derby (23rd) vs. Killamazoo Derby Darlins (20th)