Sin D Drop-Her

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.


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)


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.


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)


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


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


Forest City 88 vs. Bay Street Bruisers 163

Dolls win and Betties impress in their season openers

Smoke City Betties and Death Track Dolls kicked off their 2012 seasons on Saturday. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Smoke City Betties 100 vs. Death Track Dolls 115

The Betties are back.

After two years of rebuilding led to a string of punishing defeats at the hands of their ToRD leaguemates, the Smoke City Betties have returned to competitive form narrowing the gap between themselves and, at the very least, the third place Death Track Dolls. And while the Dolls were the team that took the brunt of the first wave of this new-look Betties club, they were not at all interested in lying down and allowing the skaters in blue to trod all over them; the Dolls showed their own improved level of determination as they overcame a half-time deficit to come back and snatch away the 15-point victory.

The biggest issue with the Dolls in 2011 was an unbalanced and inconsistent offense, and although they do have what looks like a future jamming star in rookie Bellefast, it seems that for the Dolls to find success in 2012, they will need to provide offense by committee and they used a deep rotation of six jammers in their season opening win, rotating primary veteran blockers like Jubilee and Panty Hoser from the pack onto the jammer line. The Betties, on the other hand, seem to have a fairly set rotation of jammers that they rolled out to much success on Saturday. Second-year skater Rug Burn took on the star for the first jam of the season and lined up against an imposing triple threat in Betty Bomber, and was joined by BruiseBerry Pie and titmouse as the primary jammers. It was a back and forth battle in the early going with neither team able to shake the other, and after 5 minutes, neither had taken control , with the Dolls holding a precarious 10-9 edge.

Scarcasm (providing a bridge for the Dolls' front wall) was one of many impressive rookies in the game. (Photo by Greg Russell)

In a game that was all about renewal and the future, it was the rookies who stood out in this one. The Dolls played three of their impressive draftees and from Bellefast’s fearless jamming to Ames to Kill’s poise in the pack to Scarcasm’s impressive track awareness (providing some nice bridging early in the half), this rookie class is living up to the hype that preceded the season. The Betties also tracked impressive rookies Renny Rumble, Laya Beaton and Slaptrick Swayze (along with sort-of-rookie Wolverina).  But in another return of sorts, injury-plagued skater titmouse, looked in mid-season form (despite being off skates for the last few months), and was a big part of the Betties early success, as they held a 20-19 lead eight jams into the first half. At this point, the Dolls began to inch ahead, riding a wave of slightly undisciplined play from the Betties and using a power jam to snatch the biggest lead of the half, 44-20. But the Betties would not yield, and once again it was titmouse who stepped up late in the half, and on a jam in which the Betties were able to recycle Demolition Dawn continuously, she picked up a string of natural grand slams that saw the Betties retake the lead, 47-44. A series of back-and-forth jams kept things close, with the Betties holding a six-point edge at the break, 58-52.

Veteran Bettie Sin D Drop-Her working with rookie Renny Rumble in the pack. (Photo by Joe Mac)

While rookies stepped up in this bout, veterans certainly left their mark on the game as well. Dolls co-captain Panty Hoser put in early notification of her interest in the triple-threat award as she looked very comfortable jamming (despite the fact that she’d never jammed in a game before). Her captain-counterpart Sinead O’Clobber also continues to emerge as an on-track leader , leading smart packs and helping to orchestrate the second half push back, aided by steady play from pack-vets Monichrome, Downright Dirty Dawson, Lucid Lou, and Slam Wow. Within four minutes of the restart the Dolls had retaken the lead, 65-61. Mia Culprit, Lady Scorcher and Sin D Drop-Her anchored the Betties defense and helped orchestrate the mid-half comeback. With 17 minutes remaining, Hoser got sent to the box, springing a Rug Burn power jam, and a solid offensive block from Scorcher helped the Betties regain the lead.

The lead changes continued through the middle of the half, with the Dolls holding a slight edge, 89-88 with ten minutes remaining. The Betties looked to mix things up by putting Wolverina on the line, but the Dolls locked in the defense at this point and held on to the momentum. With seven minutes remaining, it was a Rug Burn major cut (and subsequent power jam skated by Hoser) that finally may have turned the tides in the Dolls’ favour: solid isolation and trapping by Bomber and Jubilee assured a big pick up, and they took the biggest lead of the half, 108-92. Despite the best efforts of BruiseBerry Pie and titmouse on the line, the Betties were unable to mount a comeback, and some clutch late-game jamming from Bellefast (who may not have gotten lead in her final few jams, but always passed cleanly and forced calls) allowed the Dolls to ride out the wave at the end and hold on for the 115-100 victory.

titmouse made an impressive return from injury to anchor the Betties' offense. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Along with all of the debut skaters, Mr. Wencer on the Dolls’ bench and Raunchy Hextall on the Betties’, also made their bench managing debuts, and the benches ran smoothly all night. While both teams have to be pleased with the way things went, the league itself was victorious as well. This bout, along with a thrilling season opener between the Gore-Gore Rollergirls and the Chicks Ahoy!, means that after a few years of blowouts and wide gaps in talent, ToRD is nearing a level of competitive parity that has not been seen in years. With this year’s rookie class looking to be the most successful and deepest yet, and all four teams anchored by solid veteran cores, 2012 looks to be a very exciting year for roller derby fans in Toronto.

***Next up for ToRD is the third annual Quad City Chaos on the weekend of March 31st and April 1st. Stay tuned to the ToRD website for ticket availability.