Santilly In Yo Face

Dollmination: The Dolls put up record numbers in championship season

The Betties join the Dolls (with the Boot) for a post game photo. (Photo by Greg Russell)

The Betties join the Dolls (with the Boot) for a post game photo. (Photo by Greg Russell)

It finally was the Year of the Doll.

After years of merely proclaiming it so, this year the Death Track Dolls put together an unbelievable season on their way to clinching their first ever ToRD championship. It was also a great turnaround for their opponents in the final, the Smoke City Betties, who Battled for the Boot for the first time since a 2009 loss to the Gore-Gore Rollergirls. The Betties threw all they had at the Dolls, but simply couldn’t match the depth of a Dolls team that was peaking at the right time in a season that has built slowly but steadily. They followed that same arc in this game as well, eventually pulling away in the Battle for the Boot and winning it by a championship game record setting 258-73 score.

The game began as a battle as the Betties started strong in grinding out a 3-1 lead after three jams, but there was a sense that the Dolls were more comfortable with the intensity of the game and were never truly strained. Approaching the 10 minute mark, with the Betties leading 7-5, a 20-0 jam orchestrated by what has become a trademark stifling defense represented the second and final lead change of the game. It was jammed by Bellefast and on the following jam, Santilly in Yo Face scored another 13 pointer, all on natural grand slams, to blow the game wide open. They Dolls managed a 61% lead percentage in the first half to the Betties 35%, to open up a 78 point lead at the break.

Dolls co-captain Scarcasm duels with Betties blocker Platinum Bomb. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Dolls co-captain Scarcasm duels with Betties blocker Platinum Bomb. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The half unraveled very much as the season did for the Dolls: a solid, but not extraordinary victory over the Chicks Ahoy! kicked things off (the Gores and the Betties would both earn victories over the Chicks by significantly better scores); then a phenomenal run to third place at the Beast of the East, followed by a tough but character-building loss to the Forest City Timber Rollers, prepared them for their dominant run through the rest of the regular season.

All season the Dolls won on hard and heavy defense and an excellent, soul-sucking power kill, led by co-captains Scarcasm and Speedin Hawking and including an emerging Ames to Kill and a reborn Audrey Hellborn, but supported by a roster loaded with strengths up and down the bench. Added to a core that has been building this team for up to five years were shrewd draft picks that included a mix of ToRD-built skaters and experienced transfers led by 709 Derby Girls transfer Rainbow Fight, who broke years-old jamming records in the house league this season, and was still the fourth jammer in a high-powered four-jammer rotation of Santilly In Yo Face, Bellefast and Getcha Kicks who all combined to set a league team scoring record of 689 points in the regular season.

Betties co-captain Misery Mae gets ready to set an offensive pick for her jammer, Udre. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Betties co-captain Misery Mae gets ready to set an offensive pick for her jammer, Udre. (Photo by Greg Russell)

The second half of the Battle for the Boot started off much the same as the first half, as the Betties were once again at their best from the opening whistle and managed to catch the Dolls off guard. A 31-0 run to kick off the second half (built on four straight lead jams and padded by a 20-point power jam), was the best sustained push by the Betties of the game and got them within 47 points, ten minutes into the half.

But once again, they could not sustain the push, and when the Betties made a mistake (in this case back-to-back jammer penalties) the Dolls pounced, putting up 55 points over four jams to bring their lead back over 100 points and essentially put the game out of the reach.

Santilly In Yo Face jukes around Misery Mae in the midst of a run of 11 straight leads to put the game away in the second half. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Santilly In Yo Face jukes around Misery Mae in the midst of a run of 11 straight leads to put the game away in the second half. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The Dolls followed this burst with a series of 11 straight lead jammers that brought them to their record-setting scores. Although the championships haven’t necessarily been close games (the Gores 89-53 win over the Chicks in ’07 remains the lowest scoring and closest final), this Dolls victory was particularly dominant. They were the first team to score over 200 points in the Battle for the Boot, and their 185-point victory was the biggest margin of victory in champs’ history.

As in this game, the Dolls season also closed out strong compared to its beginning. The last time the team was near the top, they finished tied with the best record in the 2008 regular season but ended up losing the tiebreaker, slipped to second and lost in the semifinals to the Chicks. Previous to 2013, that had been the closest the team had come to finishing in top spot in the league. They closed out this home season with a 233-153 victory over the Gores and an even more impressive 265-63 victory over the Betties to clinch top spot.

Dolls co-captains Scarcasm and Speedin Hawking accept the Boot. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Dolls co-captains Scarcasm and Speedin’ Hawking accept the Boot. (Photo by Greg Russell)

This season marked an overhaul in league structure that saw CN Power skaters leave their home team rosters; this allowed the Dolls and the Betties—who’d been rebuilding during the Chicks and Gores recently string of dominance—to be ready when their opponents faced the big roster shakeups they dealt with this season. With the combined experience they had, the overall talent and structure, the Dolls were simply too much for the Betties in the Battle for the Boot 7 and, ultimately, too much for all of ToRD in 2013.

* That concludes the 2013 ToRD house league season, but stay tuned as things are just ramping up for ToRD’s travel teams, with a handful of home games remaining for the Bay Street Bruisers and the D-VAS, and the WFTDA playoffs coming up for CN Power.

Dolls, Gores Dominate in Season-closing Double Header

The Death Track Dolls were the last team in ToRD to never have Battled for the Boot. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The Death Track Dolls were the last team in ToRD to never have Battled for the Boot. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

After six seasons, the Death Track Dolls are finally going to Battle for the Boot.

In a record-setting night, the Dolls entered their highly anticipated matchup against the Smoke City Betties with an opportunity to claim top spot in Toronto Roller Derby’s regular season and earn the all-important bye directly to the 2013 ToRD championships, and they did so in emphatic fashion, crushing the Betties 265-63 with what would turn out to be the second highest point total in league history; second to only the monstrous total the Gore-Gore Rollergirls were able to put  up in their 323-75 victory over the Chicks Ahoy!  in the regular season closer at the Bunker

Gores rookie Purple Pain and co-captain Kandy Barr contain Chicks rookie Mean Sreak. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Gores rookie Purple Pain and co-captain Kandy Barr contain Chicks rookie Mean Streak. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Gore-Gore Rollergirls 323 vs. Chicks Ahoy! 75

Both teams entered their final games of the season missing key players, but as they have done for the past two seasons, the Gores defied the adversity they faced and simply overwhelmed the Chicks with stifling pack work and superior jamming. Both teams entered this season with significantly reworked rosters, but while the Gores maintained a broad core of veterans to build around (led by Santa Muerte, Chronic, Kandy Barr, Foxy Sinatra, Junkie Jenny), the Chicks were stripped down even barer than that, sporting ten new skaters on their roster. Add to that the early season losses of Roadside BombShel and Marmighty, and the focus of the season had to shift to building for the future.

The Gores took control early and never relented, and aside from a few moments late in the first half, were in complete control throughout. The turning point actually came early on. The opening jams were tight and fast with the Gores creeping out to a 3-0 lead, but then a 32 point jam (later corrected to 30) by Taranosaurus Rex (all on natural grand slams) made it 35-0 and essentially put the game out of reach.

Chicks rookies R2-Smack-U (right) and Smack Mia-Round work together to contain the Gores' Beaver Mansbridge. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Chicks rookies R2-Smack-U (right) and Smack Mia Round work together to contain the Gores’ Beaver Mansbridge. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Riding a steady stream of rookie jammers led by Kingston transfer BLackeyE, GTA transfer Rosemary’s Rabies (who had her strongest game for the Chicks and scored 24 out of 59 points in the first half), and rookies Heavy Knitter and Mean Streak, the Chicks ran into penalty troubles early and could never seem to get out of the cycle. The Gores, without Foxy Sinatra and Santa Muerta, looked to the remaining veterans for leadership and found it in spades. Riding a deep bench that included skaters Emma Dilemma and Gamma Rei, and supported by strong rookies Purple Pain and Full Deck, the Gores controlled the pack and on the strength of some phenomenal jamming (led at half by T-Rex’s 76 points), were in clear control at the break 174-59.

The second half started much the same as the first ended: strong play from the Gores paced by an excellent jammer rotation that is led by JQ leading Lexi Con, T-Rex and third-year skater R.I. Pink. The Gores held the Chicks to only 10 points over the opening ten minutes of the half and their relentless pack work kept the Chicks heading to the penalty box.

Gores jammer Taranosaurus Rex picked up 76 points in the first half. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Gores jammer Taranosaurus Rex picked up 76 points in the first half. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Missing key skaters Dyna Hurtcha, Kookie Doe  and Biggley Smallz, the defending champs rode veterans Robber Blind, Furious Georgia, Doris Doomsday and Tess D’Urb Evil, but the Chicks just did not have the depth of experience to compete. With so much track time and responsibility it wasn’t surprising that the vets eventually ended up in penalty trouble (Robber Blind fouled out late) which allowed the Chicks to give a ton of important track time to emerging rookies like R2-Smack-U, Joss Wheelin and Emraged who all seem to be thriving under the pressure.

The Gores needed some help from the Betties (that they didn’t get) to be able to compete for top spot in the league, but they certainly did their part and more in the victory (which set a record for highest point total in a game—it was the first time a ToRD house league team eclipsed the 300 point barrier), and will have to settle for second spot in the league and a berth in the ToRD semifinals. For the Chicks, an all-important rebuilding year comes to a close, and while it was a challenge for the three-time champs, with a base of emerging stars, the future looks bright.

ToRD scoring leader Santilly In Yo Face led another strong offensive performance from the Dolls. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

ToRD scoring leader Santilly In Yo Face led another strong offensive performance from the Dolls. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Smoke City Betties 63 vs. Death Track Dolls 265

The Dolls and Betties entered this showdown with a lot on the line: the Betties were looking to spoil the Dolls’ close-to-perfect season and throw the standings into turmoil, while the Dolls were looking to wrap up top spot. The tension was palpable at the start, and while neither team seemed hesitant after the opening whistle, neither team was able to shake the other over the opening twenty minutes of the half.

With jammer Bellefast out for the game, the Dolls slipped Rainbow Fight into the rotation with the league’s leading scorer Santilly In Yo’ Face and Getcha Kicks, and the trio dominated early. The Dolls kicked things off with seven-straight lead jams (and nine out of the first ten) but they couldn’t use the dominance in that stat category to pull ahead. It was the Betties who actually took an early lead on the strength of a 20-point power jam and held it until the seventh jam of the game when the Dolls crept ahead. The packs were even in the early going with the likes of Misery Mae, Tushy Galore, Tomy Knockers and Tropic Thunder able to match the Dolls deep bench (led by Scarcasm, Speedin Hawking, Ames to Kills and Audrey Hellborn—who had an incredible game in the pack, consistently devastating the Betties’ jammers) and the lead flipped two more times in the opening twenty minutes of the half.

Death Track Dolls vs Smoke City Betties

Early on, the Betties’ packs were able to contain the Dolls. (Photo by Greg Russell)

But then, the Dolls took over. A 20 point power jam returned the lead to the Dolls and then the pack stepped up with stifling defense. The Betties simply didn’t have the depth of experience to compete against the depth of the Dolls who were able to track experienced line after experienced line and even held the Betties scorless on a power jam that extended over two jams. Led by 68 points from Rainbow Fight, the Dolls led 121-41 at the half.

The Dolls dominance continued to kick off the second half when they picked up five of the six lead jammers to start things off (and twelve of the first fifteen) and continued to hold the Betties scoreless over the opening ten minutes of the half (outscoring them 41-0) to truly put the game away. While the Betties relied on veteran leader Hailey Copter with the star, they used a broad rotation of SewWhat?, Udre, Wolverina (adding Laya Beaton and rookie Kil’Her at Large late), but none could find any sort of consistency against the Dolls’ pack work. The Betties managed only 22 points in the second half, while the Dolls pushed the pace and skated away with the surprising and impressive 202 point victory.

The Dolls stifling defense has become their trademark this season. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The Dolls stifling defense has become their trademark this season. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The Dolls get a month off leading up to ToRD’s June 15th championship. The Betties, who were preseason favourites to make their first appearance in the Battle for the Boot since 2009, will have a few weeks to reflect and build off of the loss before they have to face off against the Gore-Gore Rollergirls in the semifinal on May 25th. It will be the second consecutive season that these two teams square off in the semifinal.

** The bouts were broadcast by Rogers TV. Tune in next Saturday (May 18th) for a rebroadcast of the games.

ToRD: Stats and Standings Update (May 2013)

Regular Season Standings

Teams Wins Losses Pts. For Pts. Agst.
Death Track Dolls 2 0 424
265 (+159)
Smoke City Betties 1 1 339 262 (+77)
Gore-Gore Rollergirls 1 1 320 343 (-23)
Chicks Ahoy! 0 2 207 420 (-213)

The Death Track Dolls continue their reign on top of the ToRD standings, and just seem to really be coming together as a team as evidenced by their excellent third place finish at the Montreal’s Beast of the East. While the Smoke City Betties and Gore-Gore Rollergirls have identical records, the Betties have the slight edge in team plus minus (an important stat that ended up being the tie-breaker last year) based on their strong performance against the Chicks Ahoy! (they held them under 100 points). The defending champs Chicks continue to try to find their footing in this rebuild and develop their younger/newer roster.

Full results are available here.

Jammer Quotient Top 10

Rookie Gore Lexi Con had a strong game in the loss to the Dolls and pulled ahead into top spot in the JQ ratings. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Rookie Gore Lexi Con had a strong game in the loss to the Dolls and pulled ahead into top spot in the JQ ratings. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Skater JQ
1. Lexi Con (GGR) 43
2. Santilly In Yo Face (DTD) 41
3. Hailey Copter (SCB) 33
3. Slaptrick Swayze (SCB) 33
5. Bellefast (DTD) 32
5. Udre (SCB) 32
7. Chevy Chase Her (CA!) 24
8. Getcha Kicks (DTD) 18
9. Kookie Doe (CA!) 10
10. Taranosaurus Rex (GGR) 9

Gore-Gore Rollergirls rookie jammer Lexi Con leaps into the top spot in the JQ standings on the strength of her strong performance in the loss against the Death Track Dolls. While second ranked Santilly In Yo Face remains the league’s dominant scoring jammer right now (she leads the league in points with 158, points per jam with 6.1, and plus/minus at +64), Lexi, who leads the league with a 73% lead percentage, is in the top four in every major category (including second in points and plus/minus).

After their dominant performance against Chicks Ahoy!, three Smoke City Betties jammers break into the top five with Hailey Copter leading the league in jam percentage (she’s jammed in 33.7% of her team’s jams), Udre posting a remarkable 5.7 points per jam, and Slaptrick Swayze sitting in the top three in three different stats (points, plus/minus and jam percentage).

Complete jammer stats and complete JQ breakdown here.

TEAM LEADERS

death track dolls logoDeath Track Dolls

Blockers

Track % Plus/Minus Assists* Blocks* Knockdowns*
Rainbow Fight 47% Rainbow Fight 158 Scarcasm 8 Ames to Kill 8 Audrey Hellborn 3

*incomplete stats

Jammers

Points Points Per Jam Plus/Minus Jam % Lead %
Santilly 158 Santilly In Yo Face 6.1 Santilly 64 Bellefast 30% Santilly 54%

GoreLogo-FinalGore-Gore Rollergirls

Blockers

Track % (50%+)
Plus/Minus Assists Blocks Knockdowns
Kandy Barr 53% /
Santa Muerte 54%/ Junkie Jenny 51%
Foxy Sinatra 98 Santa 29 Foxy 19 /Santa 19 Foxy 6

Jammers

Points Points Per Jam Plus/Minus Jam % Lead %
Lexi Con 129 Lexi Con 4.3 Lexi Con 59 Lexi Con 31% Lexi Con 73%

Smoke City Betties LogoSmoke City Betties

Blockers

Track % (50%+)
Plus/Minus Assists* Blocks Knockdowns
Renny Rumble 58% Mouth of the South 81 Renny Rumble 9 Renny 34 Renny 7

*incomplete stats

Jammers

Points Points Per Jam Plus/Minus Jam % Lead %
Hailey Copter 107 / Slaptrick Swayze 107 Udre 3.38 Udre 5.7 H. Copter 34% Udre 67%

chicksahoy_logoChicks Ahoy!

Blockers

Track % Plus/Minus Assists Blocks Knockdowns
Biggley Smallz 62% / Robber Blind 59% Joss Wheelin -14 Biggley Smallz 36 Biggley Smallz 51 Biggley Smallz 9

Jammers

Points Points Per Jam Plus/Minus Jam % Lead %
Chevy 87 Chevy Chase-Her 3 Kookie Doe -23 Chevy 34% Chevy 55%

LEAGUE PENALTY LEADERS

Player (Team) Minutes
1. Biggley Smallz (CA!) 12
2. Santa Muerte (GGR) 11
3. Furious Georgia (CA!) 10
3. Renny Rumble (SCB) 10
5. Tushy Galore (SCB) 9
5. Robber Blind (CA!) 9

*All four of ToRD’s houseleague teams will be in action this Saturday (May 11) in another double header. Check back for a preview on Thursday.

ToRD: Stats and Standings Update (April 2013)

Regular Season Standings

Teams Wins Losses Pts. For Pts. Agst.
Death Track Dolls 1 0 191
112 (+79)
Gore-Gore Rollergirls 1 0 167 110 (+57)
Smoke City Betties 0 1 110 167 (-57)
Chicks Ahoy! 0 1 112 191 (-79)

After one round of regular season ToRD play, the Death Track Dolls find themselves in the rare position of being on top of the standings. Their impressive victory over the rebuilding Chicks Ahoy! (the first time they’ve done so in a regulation game), has them just ahead of three-time league champs, the Gore-Gore Rollergirls, who have retooled their roster and seem to be weathering a significant off-season roster shakeup. The Smoke City Betties looked a little out of sorts in their opening loss to a surprisingly strong Gores team, but with lots of new pieces in important positions, may have needed time to adjust.

Full results are available here.

Third-year jammer Santilly In Yo Face is atop the rankings for the first time. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Third-year jammer Santilly In Yo Face is atop the rankings for the first time. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Jammer Quotient Top 10

Skater JQ
1. Bellefast (DTD) 38
1. Santilly In Yo Face (DTD) 38
3. Lexi Con (GGR) 34
4. Chevy Chase Her (CA!) 33
5. Foxy Sinatra (GGR) 25
6. Rainbow Fight (DTD) 23
7. Hailey Copter (SCB) 17
7. Udre (SCB) 17
9. Getcha Kicks (DTD) 14
10. Taranosaurus Rex (GGR) 10
Smoke City Betties vs Gore Gore Roller Girls

Foxy Sinatra averaged 4.4 points per-jam in a strong performance from the usual blocker. (Photo by Greg Russell)

No surprise that the league-leading Dolls have two skaters at the top of the standings. Bellefast and Santilly are 1-2 in league scoring (69 and 66 points respectively) and jammer plus/minus (+63, +25). They switch roles on points per jam leaders with Santilly recording a remarkable 6.0 PPJ, while Bellefast is just behind at 5.3.

Right behind them in the standings is rookie Lexi Con, and rookie-transfer Chevy Chase-Her. Chevy led the league in jam percentage (33%), appearing in more jams than anyone else (she did double duty vs. the Dolls after Roadside BombShel left the game due to her injury). Rainbow Fight, currently 6th despite not being a primary jammer, recorded a remarkable 86% lead percentage against the Chicks. Rounding out the Top 5 is converted blocker Foxy Sinatra, who had a fantastic game with the star despite very limited experience as jammer in her long career.

Complete jammer stats and complete JQ breakdown here.

TEAM LEADERS

death track dolls logoDeath Track Dolls

Blockers

Track % Plus/Minus Assists Blocks Knockdowns
Ames To Kill 50% Rainbow Fight 82 Scarcasm 8 Ames to Kill 8 Audrey Hellborn 3

Jammers

Points Points Per Jam Plus/Minus Jam % Lead %
Bellefast 69 Santilly In Yo Face 6 Bellefast 63 Bellefast 31% Rainbow Fight 86%

GoreLogo-FinalGore-Gore Rollergirls

Blockers

Track % (50%+)
Plus/Minus Assists Blocks Knockdowns
Kandy Barr 56% /
Junkie Jenny 54% /Foxy Sinatra 52% /Santa Muerte 50% /
Foxy Sinatra 63 Santa 22 Foxy 11 Santa 2 /Emma Dilemma 2

Jammers

Points Points Per Jam Plus/Minus Jam % Lead %
Lexi Con 47 Foxy Sinatra 4.43 Lexi Con 20 Lexi Con 29% Lexi Con 79%

Smoke City Betties LogoSmoke City Betties

Blockers

Track % (50%+)
Plus/Minus Assists Blocks Knockdowns
Renny Rumble 58% / Platinum Bomb 52% / Tomy Knockers 50% Tomy Knockers 10 Renny Rumble 9 Tomy 13 Tomy 4

Jammers

Points Points Per Jam Plus/Minus Jam % Lead %
Hailey Copter 46 Udre 3.38 Udre 3 H. Copter 33% / Slaptrick Swayze 33% Udre 50% / Wolverina 50%

chicksahoy_logoChicks Ahoy!

Blockers

Track % Plus/Minus Assists Blocks Knockdowns
Biggley Smallz 64% / Dyna Hurtcha 60% / Robber Blind 52% / Furious Georgia 52% R2-Smack-U 16 Dyna Hurtcha 34 Biggley Smallz 8 Biggley Smallz 4

Jammers

Points Points Per Jam Plus/Minus Jam % Lead %
Chevy 64 Chevy Chase-Her 4.27 Kookie Doe 3 Chevy 35% Chevy 67%

LEAGUE PENALTY LEADERS

Dyna Hurtcha (left) and Biggley Smallz led the league in track percentage even factoring their penalties. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Dyna Hurtcha (left) and Biggley Smallz led the league in track percentage even factoring their penalties. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Player (Team) Minutes
1. Renny Rumble (SCB) 7
1. Furious Georgia (CA!) 7
2. Mouth of the South (SCB) 6
4. Santa Muerte (GGR) 5
4. Tushy Galore (SCB) 5
4. Tomy Knockers (SCB) 5
4. Biggley Smallz (CA!) 5
4. Dyna Hurtcha (CA!) 5

*All four of ToRD’s houseleague teams will be in action this Saturday (April 13) in another double header. Check back for a preview on Thursday.

Battle for the Boot 2011: The Semifinal

#3 Death Track Dolls vs. #2 Chicks Ahoy!

TEAM STATS (2011 Regular Season)

Stat

Death Track Dolls Chicks Ahoy!
Record

1-2

2-1

Points For / Against (+/-)

193 / 363 (-170)

408 / 189 (+219)

Lead Jammer Percentage

41%

55%

Points Per Jam

1.5

3.24

Total Blocks (Knockdowns)

230 (38)

387 (57)

Assists (including offensive blocks)

64

137

Minor / Major Penalties (Minutes)

84 / 27 (37)

85 / 23 (30)

The Dolls put together their best bout of the season against MTLRD's Les Contrabanditas at the Beast of the East. (photo by Derek Lang)

THE SEASON

Given the history between these two teams (including a split of two games at the 2011 Beast of the East), the way in which the Chicks Ahoy! so easily handled the Death Track Dolls in the final bout of the season came as a great surprise to many. The question hanging over this upcoming semi-final is how will the Dolls respond? Will we see the focused and determined Dolls who outlasted 13 other teams to finish 3rdat the BOE tournament? Or will it be the unfocused, frustrated Dolls that the Chicks walked all over in the final bout of the regular season?

The Chicks beat the Dolls in the opening round of the Beast of the East on their way to a 4th place finish. (photo by Derek Lang)

It’s been that kind of season for the Dolls. Opening with a lacklustre (though not terrible) performance against the defending champion Gore-Gore Rollergirls, the Dolls rallied and put together a textbook win against the Smoke City Betties to even up their record 1-1. One clear problem was arising though, and that was consistency. There’d been moments of brilliance against the Gores (a late first-half pushback saw them dominating the packs) that couldn’t be maintained, and lapses against Betties that allowed their opponents to get back into the game. It has become clear that remaining mentally focused and putting together a consistent sixty minutes will be key if the Dolls want to have a shot (this could also explain why they did so well at the BOE where the short games meant streaky play and quick bursts were rewarded). The setbacks were a disappointment for a team that has shown only steady growth over the previous two seasons. They’ll need a season-best performance if they hope to qualify for their first ever Battle for the Boot.

The Chicks were too much for the Dolls in the season closer, a 194-35 victory. (Photo by Chrissie Wu)

The Chicks Ahoy!, on the other hand, have surpassed all expectations in 2011. With a new-look lineup (including a rookie bench boss in Flyin’ Bryan Killman) making up the team that was humbled in the 2010 Battle for the Boot, the Chicks came out flying in a dominant performance against the Betties to open the season. They would maintain that momentum in their rematch against the Gores, when the two teams put together as exciting a half of roller derby that has been seen in ToRD in at least a year. But the Chicks couldn’t hold the momentum and drifted late in the bout. But they were undeterred by the loss and after putting together their finest performance ever at the BOE (4thplace), came out and wiped the track with the Dolls to close out the regular season. That victory, in which they controlled play from start to finish, has got to provide a boost of confidence for the Chicks who are looking for

Nasher the Smasher could be a game changer for the Chicks. (Photo by Derek Lang)

their fourth spot in the championship in five years.

GAME CHANGERS

Chicks Ahoy!: Nasher the Smasher has always been one of ToRD’s most feared blockers, but there was always that one issue that hung over her: lack of discipline. In 2011, Nasher has overhauled her game, still capable of devastating strikes (she was second on the Chicks in blocks and knockdowns), she has become a much more positional force on the track, and—most importantly—has completely done away with the discipline issues that dogged her early in her career recording only 2 majors and 1 (!) minor over the course of the season (despite being on the track for 54% of her team’s jams). Another player who has stepped up in a big way in 2011 is a 2010 rookie standout, Marmighty. The sophomore star matched Nasher’s 54% jam percentage (second to only Rebel Rock-It on the team) and put up an unbelievable plus/minus of 147. Although she ran into some penalty trouble against the Dolls, she was such a dominant force in that bout that this only really stood out on the stat sheet.

Whether jamming or in the pack, Betty Bomber will be a big part of the Dolls' game. (Photo by Chrissie Wu)

Death Track Dolls: Since the retirement of Mach Wheels, Betty Bomber has emerged as the most effective triple threat in ToRD, and her value to the Dolls cannot be overstated. She almost single-handedly kept her team in the final regular season game against the Chicks. If she wasn’t so valuable in the pack, Bomber would undoubtedly be one of the top jammers in the league. Second, the blocking combination of Jubilee and Panty Hoser. The Chicks have an incredibly deep pack, and for the Dolls to have any sort of chance in this one, they are going to need their best pack players to step up and be at their best. When their heads are in the game, Hoser and Jubilee are two of the best in the league, their work one-on-one is outstanding and they were first or second in virtually every major blocking stat for the Dolls this season. The mental focus of the team seems to run through these two players, and they will need to be at their best to counteract the depth of the Chicks.

The rookie duel between the Dolls' Santilly In Yo Face and the Chicks' Kookie Doe could be key. (Photo by Chrissie Wu)

Rookie Showdown: Finally, one of the interesting stories of the bout will be the jammer battles between a few rookies, the Dolls’ Santilly In Yo Face and the Chicks’ Kookie Doe. With Dolls jammer Land Shark returning to the lineup, the first lines of offense are virtually even, which means that it could come down to which of these rookies is capable of providing more depth on offense for her team. While Kookie Doe has clocked a lot more track time this season, Santilly has a slight lead in lead % (47% to 38%) and they are statistically even in points per jam. The one difference could be that Santilly was destroyed by the Chicks’ blockers in the last bout and will have to mentally put that behind her entering the playoffs.

STATS LEADERS

BLOCKERS

Stat (Minimum 21 jams)

Death Track Dolls Chicks Ahoy!
Blocks Panty Hoser 57 Mega Bouche 67
Knockdowns Jubilee 9 Mega Bouche 10
Assists (including offensive blocks) Jubilee 17 Tara Part 30
Blocker +/- Lucid Lou +2 Marmighty +132
Pivot +/- Dolly Parts’em +11 Mega Bouche +116
Total +/- Demolition Dawn +9 Dyna Hurtcha +160
Minor Penalties Jubilee/Monichrome 14 Mega /Rebel Rock-It 14
Major Penalties Jubilee 6 Marmighty 4
Penalty Minutes Jubilee 8 Marmighty 5

JAMMERS

Stat (Minimum 21 jams)

Death Track Dolls Chicks Ahoy!
Points Land Shark 80 Candy Crossbones 141
Points Per Jam Land Shark 1.9 Dyna Hurtcha 3.48
Jammer +/- Land Shark 24 Dyna Hurtcha +99
Lead % Land Shark 53% Dyna Hurtcha 74%
Jam % Betty Bomber 36% Candy Crossbones 35%

**Tickets are available online or at numerous retailers downtown. Doors open at 6:30 PM, with opening whistle at 7:30 PM.

**The bout will be broadcast by Rogers TV. Keep an eye out for dates and times.

Chicks Dominate Dolls to Close out ToRD Regular Season

The Chicks and Dolls met for the ninth time in their history on Saturday night. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Death Track Dolls 35 vs. Chicks Ahoy! 194

Toronto Roller Derby closed out its regular season on Saturday night with a matchup between its two fiercest rivals, the Death Track Dolls and the Chicks Ahoy!. These two had most recently faced off twice in Montreal’s Beast of the East tournament, splitting two exciting games which included an exciting 42-31 victory by the Death Track Dolls in the third place bout. But this one did not live up to the lofty expectations that are usually satisfied when these two teams meet, as the Chicks Ahoy! looked calm, cool and collected on their way to a definitive victory, the 159 point win constituting the largest margin ever recorded between these two  teams.

With Land Shark not in the lineup, Dolls rookie Santilly In Yo Face was a big presence with the star. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Things started off as tight as expected. Riding rookie jammer Santilly In Yo Face in the early going, the Dolls stayed close to the Chicks who managed to jump out to a slight lead, 7-5, on the strength of confident jamming from veteran skaters Dyna Hurtcha and Candy Crossbones. But things quickly went awry for the Dolls who were playing without star jammer Land Shark. A Slam Wow cutting major (the first of four jamming majors for the second-year skater) allowed the Chicks to pull away  29-5. But the difference in the early going was in the excellent pack work of the Chicks. Composed and tight, the once vaunted and feared Chicks hit-and-run offense has been refined to a much more effective and strategically controlled style of play and dominated the pace and formation of the packs all night. Not that these Chicks can’t lay down the law with some big hits (as evidenced by the pounding that Marmighty and Mega Bouche in particular laid on Santilly In Yo Face), but the hits were properly timed and never seemed frivolous. The Dolls, on the other hand, couldn’t manage much pack control and actually seemed rattled early on, overly concerned by some inconsistent reffing that, while affecting both teams, only seemed to get under the skin of the Dolls. The Chicks were cruising at the half, well ahead of the Dolls 111-13.

The Chicks’ Marmighty had another extraordinary bout in the pack. (Photo by Greg Russell)

The Dolls regrouped and refocused to kick off the second half and came out with a much more focused effort. Betty Bomber, who’d taken over jamming duties late in the first, continued to keep her team in it with some extraordinary jamming, the only Dolls jammer who was capable of consistently getting leads, but they still couldn’t make up much ground down by 100 ten minutes in. Santilly proved to be a scrappy force for her team and kept going despite the relentless and punishing blocking from Marmighty. A stand out in her rookie season in 2010, Marmighty has quickly developed into one of the smartest and most effective blockers in the league whether positionally (one-on-one) or as a striking jammer killer. Her phenomenal play was a big reason for the Chicks’ pack dominance. Jubilee came in to jam for the Dolls in the second half to relieve the penalty-laden Slam Wow and did well despite limited experience this season. But the composure of the Chicks allowed them to ride out the push back and eventually wrestled control and momentum back from their opponents, adding to their lead, 134-29, mid way through the half.

Chicks rookie jammer Kookie Doe is a leading candidate for rookie of the year. (Photo by Greg Russell)

With such a big lead, the Chicks were able to experiment with their lineups late and the crowd was treated to some unconventional jammers: blocker Hum Dinger, for example, and Bala Reina who had a real breakout tournament at the BOE 2011 and has very quietly put together a solid rookie season for the Chicks. And speaking of rookies, if there was any question left coming into this one, Kookie Doe may have quieted any remaining skeptics in her pursuit for rookie of the year as she put together yet another consistent bout with the star. Kookie also got her skates wet in the pack on this night as the Chicks continued to rotate their jammers late in the game. In the end, the Chicks were far too much for the Dolls on this night, pulling away for an extraordinary 194-35 victory.

After such a dominant performance, the Chicks are heavy favourites heading into the semifinal. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Having finished second and third in ToRD’s regular season, these two teams will do it all over again on June 11 in the semifinals, with the winner earning a shot at the defending champion Gore-Gore Rollergirls in Battle for the Boot 5. While the two lineups will be far different from those seen on this night, the Dolls will have to make some major adjustments (both on and off the track) to have a shot at taking down this Chicks team that has gotten better as the season has gone on. Once known for showing their emotions on the track and being penalty prone, the 2011 version of the Chicks Ahoy! is one of the most composed and disciplined ever. While certainly not an impossible task, it will take a much more consistent and focused effort from the Death Track Dolls to have a shot at taking them down.

* The game was boutcast live by the ToRD.TV team and broadcast through Canuck Derby TV. You can also catch layer9’s track side HD footage here.

* Tickets are already on sale for the June 11th semifinal.

Dolls pull into 3rd place with win over Betties

Both the Dolls and the Betties were looking for their first win of the season. (Photography by Sean Murphy)

Death Track Dolls 115 vs. Smoke City Betties 62

Two teams desperate for a win and looking to get their seasons back on track clashed at the Hangar on Saturday night; and with nothing left to lose and everything to gain, both teams left it all on the track. Key players on both sides stepped up, and supporting players emerged as potential leaders, and after a hard fought back and forth that for the second week in a row had the crowd appreciatively in it for the long haul, the Death Track Dolls prevailed for their first win of the season, leaving a bruised but not battered Smoke City Betties—confidence restored—left to build off of what was perhaps the team’s best bout in two years.

There were a lot of stories to follow in this one; from the official return of retired player Slaughter Lauder to the Betties (this time running the bench with rookie Wolverina) to a couple players making impressive bouting debuts (Rug Burn for the Betties, Santilly In Yo’ Face for the Dolls, both graduates of the D-VAS program); aside from the action off the track, there was a lot to think about on it as well. The Betties got off to a dream start in this one, tight back walls from Betties’ vets Pretty Peeved and Mia Culprit combined with precision jammer take outs by BruiseBerry Pie

Rug Burn was just one of the rookies who had an impressive debut in the bout.

and slick jamming from Memphis Kitty saw the Betties fly out of the gates and take a 6-0 lead. But the Dolls didn’t panic and a Land Shark 4-and-done a few jams later gave the Dolls their first lead of the bout. But the Betties were unfazed. Inspiring her teammates, the impressive rookie Rug Burn picked up lead jammer on the first jam of her career. The first half of the period was a scrappy back-and-forth affair, but some early penalty troubles for Bruise and some solid jamming from the Dolls’ all-star duo of Sharky and Betty Bomber, had the Dolls up 6 thirteen minutes in.

Not to be outdone by her rookie counterpart, it didn’t take Dolls’ rookie Santilly In Yo’ Face long to assert her presence in the discussion of rookie of the year as well. Aided by some great one-on-one work from Lucid Lou on Bettie’s jammer titmouse, it was a huge 15 point jam for the fearless rookie that finally blew this bout wide open, giving the Dolls the biggest lead of the half, 35-14, and leading off a series of jams where the Dolls would threaten to pull away. But the Betties, showing a calmness on the bench and a resolve on the track that had not been seen in the opener, would not be pushed around and some great power-kill defence and timely jamming of their own (concluding with a Memphis Kitty power jam) had them clearly back into it, down 48-27 at the half.

Rookie Santilly In Yo Face had a key 15 point jam for the Dolls in the first half.

The veteran presence of the Dolls pivots (including Sinead O’Clobber, who had a breakout bout) allowed the Dolls to remain calm and weather the pushback. While the Betties never seemed out of it by any means, they just couldn’t wrestle away the momentum from the Dolls and build any sort of sustained comeback. But they were still frustrating their opposition. BruiseBerry continues her vicious assault on ToRD since transferring to the league in the off season, and after just a so-so return, the rust has fully fallen off of Mia Culprit and she had a scrappy and altogether effective bout, getting under the skin of her opponents and providing some solid blocking. One such contentious jam actually left Dolls’ key jammer Land Shark fuming on the bench, which allowed Santilly more track time to hone her skills. Her and Rug Burn’s impressive debuts tonight along with Chicks’ rookie jammer Kookie Doe, represent the most impressive rookie-jammer-class possibly since the first season of ToRD(when the likes of Dust Bunny, Candy Crossbones and retired Bettie Jewel Kicker distanced themselves from the pack). Despite the increasingly deep Betties’ jammer lineup (a formidable foursome now with Kitty, Burn and titmouse joined by Tropic Thunder), the Dolls outpaced them in this one, just managing to pull away at the very end for an important 53 point victory.

Mia Culprit was back to her old self: sold blocking and getting under the skin of her opponents.

While both teams looked far better than their season debuts there is still some work to be done. All of ToRD’s hometeams seem to be developing, strategically, into CN Power modelled teams, which is a good thing for the league, as the teams are constantly testing strategies off of each other. While power kill defences were mostly excellent from both sides, power jams were not fully taken advantage of. As parity comes slowly to ToRD, and there is less and less left separating the teams, the play of special teams is going to become essential: and while the Dolls especially were adept at setting traps, they had trouble holding them (not to take anything away from players like Sin D Drop Her of the Betties and Doll Jubilee who seemed especially competent at fighting their ways out of traps). For the Betties, the key will be to continue to build on the solid foundation that finally seems to have settled in. In terms of individual talent, there is very little (if anything) separating the Dolls and the Betties, teamwork, buying into systems and honing strategies is the only difference.

Next up for all of the ToRD hometeams is Montreal’s fourth annual Beast of the East, featuring the top sixteen eastern Canadian hometeams in a two-day, twenty-eight-bout tournament. All should be in mid-season form, and therefore, are expecting to do well. Keep an eye out for upcoming features tied into BOE 2011 including an updated eastern Canadian power rankings, a comprehensive look at the history of the Beast, and, of course, a preview for the 2011 event.