Beast of the East 2011: Daughters Go Undefeated to Tame the Beast

The top three teams at the 2011 Beast of the East (Slaughter Daughters, Gore-Gore Rollergirls and the Death Track Dolls). (Photography by Derek Lang)

Last year, at the 2010 Beast of the East, amidst all of that Montreal dominance, there were some major surprises. The Toronto Roller Derby League had a terrible tournament by their own standards, with the Smoke City Betties, Death Track Dolls (both 0-2), and Chicks Ahoy! (1-2) all eliminated unceremoniously in the first round. Similarly, Rideau Valley’s Slaughter Daughters—who had an amazing 2009 and came into the tournament with high hopes—were two and done on Saturday. At the 2011 Beast of the East it was a different story, as the Ontario teams were the talk of the tournament and the Slaughter Daughters would be the only squad to go through both days undefeated to deservedly hoist the award, that to trophy-designer Tommy Toxic’s credit, was the by far the most beastly yet created.

La Racaille (MTLRD) and The Derby Debutantes (GTAR) face off in the double elimination round.


The cliché is that records are made to be broken, and although coming into the tournament there was a lot of talk about parity among the top teams, records were set and then broken continuously on day one. It began right with the opening game of the tournament when the GTAR’s Derby Debutantes became the third team to lay down 100 points in a BOE bout with a 124-4 victory against BOE newcomers Les Duchesses de Quebec (who were playing their first-ever bout). It was just the beginning of record setting scores as four teams would be capable of putting down 100 points (the Debutantes would become the first team to have 100 points scored for and against in the same tournament). When all was said and done, it was Montreal’s new-look Contrabanditas setting all of the records in a 148-0 shutout against the GTAR’s Chrome Mollys (who were the second of three teams playing in their first BOE).

For the most part, the opening bouts of the double elimination round went as expected; if there was an upset, it would be the Death Track Dolls victory over the defending champion Filles du Roi (who were tracking an almost unrecognizably young lineup after MTLRD’s off season shake-up)—a bit of foreshadowing of the Dolls-as-Montreal-killers on the weekend. The top game of the opening round easily went to the much anticipated matchup between the Vicious Dishes and the Gore-Gore Rollergirls. Two of the pre-tournament favourites—the top teams from Tri-City and ToRD—did not disappoint. Although the two teams had never played before, there was considerable history built up in recent, tense bouts between the all star teams of the two leagues. This one came down to the final jam, with the Dishes pulling out a thrilling two-point victory.

The Dishes would also be involved in another close first round bout, on the losing end this time to the Ditas (27-21) although both teams would make it through to the round of eight. Joining them in the quarterfinals were the Ditas’ MTLRD league mates La Racaille (who went 2-0), and defending champs FDR who had to win a qualification showdown against the Derby Debutantes. The quarters were rounded out by the Slaughter Daughters and three Toronto teams, the perennial powerhouses Gore-Gore Rollergirls along with Chicks Ahoy! (first quarterfinal experience since 2008), and the Death Track Dolls who returned to the second round for the first time since 2009.

ToRD's Gore-Gore Rollergirls saved their best for day two, scoring one-sided victories in both the quarter and semifinals.



From the opening bout of the quarterfinals, it was clear that the top teams were able to step it up to another level when it mattered most. MTLRD’s La Racaille, who had a solid opening day, were dominated by the considerably more experienced Gores, 88-11, marking the first time that La Racaille, the most successful team in the tournament’s early history, would not qualify for the final. Two of the other bouts were somewhat one-sided as well, with the Slaughter Daughters throwing down their “A” game in a 71-3 victory, knocking out the defending champion Filles du Roi; similarly, pre-tournament favourites the Vicious Dishes just couldn’t ever wrestle momentum away from a very physical, very tight Chicks Ahoy! team, going down 48-8, in what was an extremely close bout until the Chicks were able to pull away on the strength of a well-executed power jam with Dyna Hurtcha sporting the star.

ToRD's Death Track Dolls recorded the biggest upset of the tournament in their quarterfinal win over MTLRD's Les Contrabanditas.

But it was the Death Track Dolls and Les Contrabanditas who would provide the greatest excitement in the second round. Montreal’s hopes were clearly on the backs of the experienced Ditas, who looked to be the strongest, most consistent team in day one of the tournament. The Dolls, on the other hand, were already pleased with a return to the second round of competition, which, regardless of what happened, qualified as a success. Not surprisingly, the experienced team from Toronto came into the bout loose and relaxed; taking advantage of early penalty troubles from the Ditas, the Death Track Dolls rode some consistent pack work and fine jamming from Land Shark and breakout player Santilly In Yo Face to an early lead that they would hold onto in the face of a considerable push back at the end of the bout, holding on for the 58-49 upset to push three of the four Toronto teams into the semifinals.

The Slaughter Daughters' bench watches the scoreboard during the final jam of the 2011 Beast of the East.


In the first all-ToRD semifinal, the Death Track Dolls just couldn’t summon the kind of performance that had led them to their win over the Ditas, what may have been the biggest victory in the team’s history. After a so-so Saturday that saw them hold on for a victory over Thames Fatales in a qualifying bout, the Gore-Gore Rollergirls continued to step it up on Sunday. They’d had some slow starts in the first round and certainly remedied that, pulling away from the Dolls early to qualify for their first ever BOE final. It was vindication of sorts for the team that has been the tops outside of Montreal for the past two years.

In the second semifinal, the Chicks Ahoy! continued their strong play on Sunday, creeping out to a slim 8-4 lead in what was another scrappy and defensive performance from the ToRD team. But the Slaughter Daughters showed the same kind of focus and determination that they had all tournament and stayed close, taking their first lead, 11-9, at the midway point of the bout. It would remain close through to the very end, with both teams displaying fantastic pace control defensively to keep things tight and low scoring. It was 19-19 with just under two minutes left when Soul Rekker took a lead on a hard-fought, slow moving jam that allowed her to pick up a double grand slam to break the stalemate and give the Daughters a 10-point lead that they defended, riding a 33-19 victory to advance to the finals.

RVRG's Slaughter Daughters: 2011 Beast of the East champions


The Death Track Dolls capped off a hugely successful tournament with a historic 42-31 victory over their ToRD rivals, Chicks Ahoy!, in the third place bout. The Chicks didn’t have much left in the tank, their previous two bouts being defensive grinders against very physical opponents. For the Dolls, it represented their first victory over the Chicks after some very close bouts over the past two seasons, and their best showing in this tournament.

When all was said and done, and 14 teams fell away, it was clear that the two best teams of the tournament remained. Rideau Valley’s Slaughter Daughters and ToRD’s Gore-Gore Rollergirls were set to make history as the combatants in the first ever all-Ontario final. The final lived up to and eventually surpassed all possible expectations, coming down to a remarkable final jam. Five-on-five these two teams were well matched, keeping the crowd guessing through numerous lead changes (including three on a Ripper A. Part vs. Bambi jam that had no lead called). What it came down to was special teams and who could take advantage on power jams. Despite leading by 16 at the start of the final jam, the Gore’s jammer Bambi took her fourth minor on her initial scoring pass to send the inexhaustible Soul Rekker on a power jam. Semi Precious and Assassinista led an indestructible trap that kept the pack crawling, and with only 9 seconds left, Soul Rekker was finally able to complete the comeback and take the 20110 Beast of the east 87-85. (*There seemed to be some confusion about scoring at the end, although it looked like Rekker made four, five-point scoring passes).

The Daughters were more than worthy champs, facing any style of play they encountered with confidence and adaptability. They had extraordinary depth at jammer (easily the top 1-2-3 jammer rotation in the tourney), and played special teams simply, but masterfully, owning pace lines and setting hard traps.

The Nerd's 2011 MVP: Semi Precious of the Slaughter Daughters


MVP: Semi Precious (Slaughter Daughters)

After last year’s pack-play-evolution, it was obvious that the team with the top pack would do very well this weekend: that was certainly the case with the champion Slaughter Daughters who could dole out timely punishing hits, positionally block one-on-one with the best of them, and set devastating traps. At the centre of it all was Semi Precious. Big-time recognition has been a long-time coming for this extraordinary blocker.

Breakout Player: Assassinista (Slaughter Daughters)

There were at least a few players in the running for this one, but once again, the packs were the difference all weekend and Assassinista was undeniably a force in the Daughters’ championship pack. This is almost a cumulative recognition for Assassinista whose play for both her hometeam and the travel team Vixens has been turning a lot of heads for some time. This weekend, she proved that she deserves recognition among the elite.

The Nerd's 2011 Breakout Team: The Death Track Dolls (ToRD)

Breakout Team: The Death Track Dolls (ToRD)

In 2009, Dolls’ star jammer Land Shark took home this recognition as a player; two years later, and she’s leading her team to the award. The Dolls recorded an early minor upset over a young FDR squad, and then looked lacklustre in a loss against leaguemates, the Chicks Ahoy!, but things got rolling in a must-win, 84-8 surprisingly dominant victory against the Riot Squad. A major upset over Les Contrabanditas in the quarterfinals, and a third place rematch win over the Chicks cemented this teams’ status as breakout team of the tourney.

* The Beast of the East in its entirety was boutcast live by Canuck Derby TV and has been archived for your viewing pleasure.  Keep an eye out for layer9’s trackside archive as well.

***A special thanks to Montreal Roller Derby who hosted another amazing tournament and Canuck Derby TV for making sure that everyone could see it.

Thunder Overpowers Toronto

Tri-City Thunder hosted ToRD's CN Power in the first meeting of the two teams

CN Power (ToRD) 50 vs. Tri-City Thunder (TCRG) 122

It was the end of Oktoberfest in the Tri-City area on Saturday night, and that festive atmosphere extended all the way to New Hamburg Arena where Toronto had come to town to play the hometown Thunder in a highly anticipated bout. The upstart Tri-City Roller Girls have had a break-through year at all levels in 2010, and their commitment and dedication to reaching the highest stages of the sport was evident in this one as they dominated ToRD’s CN Power on their way to a statement-making 72 point victory.

Nasher the Smasher had another strong bout for CN Power (looking to stop Freudian Whip)

Things started off tight, with each team attempting to get a feel for the other. CN Power’s Nasher the Smasher and Thunder’s Jill Standing began what would be some great early pivot battles as each team attempted to wrestle control of the bout away from the other. It was tight hitting, fast moving in the early going, and leads were traded seemingly by the jam. A big jammer take out from Mega Bouche and an athletic jam from Lunchbox (who would have some stunning battles with a physically/stylistically similar Motorhead Molly) had Toronto up 5-4 five minutes in. Tri-City’s vaunted pack control was countered in the early going by a combination of strong pivoting (Brim Stone overmatched Lillith NoFair early on), and heads-up jamming (Land Shark avoiding “eating the baby” in a game attempt by Skate Pastor and Anita Martini to drag her back to the pack). Toronto’s power game was firing on all cylinders, highlighted by successive jammer take-outs on Cell Block Bettie by Nasher and Betty Bomber which aided a Luncbox grand slam and gave Toronto a 13-9 lead ten minutes into the first half. But just as CN Power seemed to be imposing its will on the hosts, the Thunder started rolling.

Dyna Hurthca, lining up against Skate Pastor, helped CN Power regain momentum late in the first half.

Adjusting to their opponents pace and heavy hitting, the Thunder blockers dropped back and took over the back of the pack, relying on their jammers’ athleticism and endurance to get themselves through, while they focused on shutting down Toronto’s jammers; Skate Pastor quickly took back the lead for Tri-City. CN Power was slow to adjust to the pack shift and the Thunder jammers took advantage. Despite strong individual efforts from the Chicks Ahoy! quartet of Rebel Rock-It, Nasher, Mega and Tara Part (whose rapid return to form after a long layoff has been amazing), by the time Dyna Hurtcha and Lady Gagya took back the pack with force, the host team had opened up a 42-15 lead. Despite continuously scrappy jams from Defecaitlin and Land Shark, CN Power couldn’t get anything going offensively. Dyna Hurtcha came out to jam late in the half, and it paid off as she was able to fight through the dense wall of black at the back and out-muscle Motorhead Molly to shift the momentum back Toronto’s way, pulling them within striking distance, 44-26, at the half.

sin-e-star was dominant controlling the pack and holding the jammer

There was a particular tension in the crisp New Hamburg air during half time. With Toronto’s confidence seemingly restored, there was an expectation that the second half would see the same see-sawing action on the track. A key for these teams was to dictate the style and pace of the bout; the first half had seen control shift back and forth, and there was a sense that the team that could impose its will on the track in the early going would take the bout. From the very first jam of the second half, Thunder co-captain sin-e-star, who had an extraordinary bout, imposed her will in a big way. Teaming up with Cellblock Bettie, the two gave it to Dyna Hurtcha early on, compensating for the physicality the Toronto jammer had brought late in the first half. The captain’s performance would lead a huge second-half push back by the Tri-City pack. With Gunmoll Mindy holding the line brilliantly, Lillith NoFair settling into her role as pivot and Greta Garbage and Anita Martini working together to form some great walls, the Thunder took control of the pack and, very quickly, the bout.

But it wasn’t just the pack that shone for Tri-City on this night. Lippy Wrongstockings, Motorhead Molly and Skate Pastor all had strong performances jamming and were complemented nicely by Freudian Whip and Kitty Krasher. Skate Pastor and Motorhead Molly were solid in the pack, withstanding shoulders and sidestepping hips, while it was a Lippy 10 point power jam (well earned after a protracted one-on-one fight with a fiercely determined Brim Stone) that seemed to take the wind out of Toronto. Second-half penalty troubles for CN Power and well played power jams by Tri-City allowed the home to distance itself 90-29 half-way through the second. Thunder was absolutely relentless through the remainder of  the half, dominating the pack defensively, but also putting forth a sustained attack propelled by excellent pack-jammer communication, the combination of which seemed too much for Toronto at times. Defecaitlin had a strong last jam for CN Power, providing some consolation in a tough 122-50 loss.

Two of Canada's WFTDA Apprentice Leagues. Photos by Joe Mac (midnightmatinee)

This bout provided a glimpse into the future of Canadian roller derby, featuring two of Canada’s three WFTDA apprentice leagues. With this victory, Tri-City has clearly put itself at the forefront of Canada’s WFTDA second-wave (after last year’s Hamilton/Montreal debuts). This was just the beginning of what will undoubtedly be a long history between these two teams, and if this really is a glimpse into the future of the sport in this country, then things are definitely headed in the right direction.

WFTDA APRRENTICE MATCHUP: Thunder looks to switch off the Power

The first meeting between these WFTDA apprentice teams

CN Power (ToRD) vs. Tri-City Thunder (TCRG)

Quaint New Hamburg will be the setting for the matchup between Eastern Canada’s two WFTDA apprentice leagues: The Tri-City Thunder host ToRD’s CN Power in the first ever meeting between these two all star teams. Thunder, who have played somewhat in the shadow of their big city neighbours have nothing to lose and everything to gain, while CN Power faces the pressure of expectation.

Tri-City Thunder turned some heads when it went through its inaugural 2009 season undefeated (4-0); the team has continued this rapid development through 2010. 4-2 on the year (both losses were to powerhouse teams from Montreal), it was a key, home track come-from-behind victory in June over Rochester’s Roc Stars that could be argued as a defining moment for the team. Faced with a half-time deficit and a talented squad that was having its way on track, the Thunder came out in the second half and completely took over the bout, imposing its style of play and grinding out an impressive 20 point victory.

Rebel Rock-It yells encouragement from a focused CN Power bench (against the Rideau Valley Vixens)

CN Power got off to a very impressive start in 2010 as well by destroying the Rideau Valley Vixens in the latter’s debut bout, and then knocking off some very tough competition at the Quad City Chaos (which was somewhat of a defacto Canadian championship). Wins over Vancouver and traditional rivals Hamilton placed Toronto second in the tournament behind Montreal’s New Skids on the Block. With ToRD’s regular season in full swing this summer, CN Power played only sparingly and with inconsistent lineups, suffering consecutive losses to Queen City (Buffalo) and Garden State (New Jersey) to even up their 2010 record at 3-3.

The absence of Bareleigh Legal (r) will be felt (controlling the pack with Anita Martini and sin-e-star against Buffalo


It’s not hard to tell these two teams apart when they are on the track; they are models of the dueling styles of play in twenty-first century roller derby. The Tri-City Thunder are a gritty, defensive team that favours a pronounced, pack-isolation and trap style of roller derby. They have dismantled teams’ offenses in 2010, frustrating opponents as their packs stick together like velcro. This is a team that likes to control the pace and formation of the pack, and because of this emphasis on strategic pack play, can be absolutely devastating on power jams.

CN Power, on the other hand, prefers a more old school, hit-and-run style offense that highlights the speed and agility of its jammers. This team prefers to keep things moving, and a fast, stretched pack plays into the team’s strengths. Big hits, disruptive positional blocking and jammers searching for holes more than help typifies CN Power’s offense. But this team can play defense too, and has the experience and awareness to know when to take off or to keep it tight.


Jubilee (l) and Nasher the Smasher will lead a physical, attacking pack (as they did against Buffalo in August)

Led by chief pivots Jill Standing and Greta Garbage, the Thunder’s pack work has defined this team. The workhorse trio of Anita Martini, sin-e-star and Barleigh Legal lead a very strong, positional group of blockers which has often stifled its competition this year. But, word on the track is that Barleigh Legal is done for 2010, which leaves a huge gap that will have to be filled by one of the strong group of blockers that fill out this lineup, including Gunmoll Mindy, Stacie Jones and Lillith No Fair. To counteract Thunder’s strong pack play, CN Power will look to engage in one-on-one battles where they have a chance of disrupting their opponent’s isolation and pace strategies. The experienced pivots of CN Power (Rebel Rock-It, Brim Stone and Tara Part) will look to engage and lure the opposing pivots to keep the pack loose and fast. Taking the physicality up a notch could also be in Toronto’s playbook. Although not without strong positional blockers like Lady Scorcher, the quartet of Nasher the Smasher, Mega Bouche, Jubilee and Lady Gagya fill out a very hard-hitting pack that could flourish without Bareleigh Legal there to police the track for the Tri-City.

Candy Crossbones will be a vital component of CN Power`s attack

This form of pack disorganization could play into CN Power’s favour due to the strength and depth of its jammers. The lead attack of Defecaitlin (AKA: Dust Bunny), Land Shark, Lunchbox and Candy Crossbones is a fearsome offensive foursome: fast, strong, and most importantly, experienced. Not that Tri-City doesn’t have its own impressive group of jammers. Cell Block Bettie has emerged as a force with the star in 2010, Skate Pastor, Kitty Krasher, and Motorhead Molly provide quickness and agility, and the steadiness of Lippy Wrongstockings rounds out an impressive jammer lineup as well. But CN Power may have the advantage in depth, and a balanced attack. Along with their top four, triple threats Dyna Hurtcha and Betty Bomber provide a physical alternative on the attack that the Thunder might not be able to match.

Jill Standing will be a key pivot for Thunder


This bout will be a study in contrasts, and, as such, the team capable of imposing its style of play will have the clear advantage. A strategic, defensive pack-battle would favour the Thunder, while a high-paced, physical, hit-and-run style derby would certainly favour CN Power.

The only shared opponent this year was Buffalo’s Lake Effect Furies (a recently promoted WFTDA league), and the two matches highlight the differing styles of play. Thunder’s defense had its way with the Furies, whose frustrated offense could muster only 51 points. In contrast, Buffalo’s bout in Toronto later in the summer was a high speed, offensive show down (which, unfortunately for Toronto was exactly what the Furies wanted). The ability to impose the style of play will be the story of the night in this first of what will undoubtedly be many matchups between these two Southern Ontario powerhouses.

* The bout is at New Hamburg Arena in New Hamburg, Ontario. Doors: 6:00pm; Bout: 7:00pm. Tickets are available online.

Required Reading:

The Nerd’s review of CN Power’s performance at The Quad City Chaos, and recaps of a double header show down between Tri-City and ToRD hometeams, and Thunder’s victory over Roc City.

Bryan Mcwilliam’s recap of CN Power’s bout against The Lake Effect Furies at Gear Up For Sports.

Joe Mac’s review of Thunder’s bout against The Sexpos at Derby

Suggested Viewing:

Lake Effect Furies (QCRG) vs. CN Power at ToRD.TV

Lake Effect Furies (QCRG) vs. Tri-City Thunderat