Tornado Sirens

Toronto Storms the Fort: CN Power and Bruisers Win Big in Indiana

CN Power LogoCN Power 266 vs. Fort Wayne logoBomb Squad 100

Bay Street Bruisers LogoBS Bruisers 245 vs. Fort Wayne logoSWAT Team 100

Coming off of impressive home wins against Killamazoo, Toronto Roller Derby’s CN Power and Bay Street Bruisers hit the road on the weekend for a double header in Fort Wayne, and both came away with impressive, message-sending victories. Two weeks ago at home, Toronto’s travel teams both won by remarkably similar amounts, and they did so again against Fort Wayne. Despite a packed Memorial Colliseum and a vocal partisan crowd, the visitors were unfazed and continue to look impressive as they build toward their first major showdowns of the season at next month’s Quad City Chaos.

Before embarking on their first road trip of the season, CNP released its 2013 team photo by Adam Coish. (coishphotography.com)

Before embarking on their first road trip of the season, CNP released its 2013 team photo by Adam Coish. (coishphotography.com)

In the opening game of the double header, the Bay Street Bruisers came out flying , going up 18-6 after two jams (despite giving up a very early power jam that the pack was able to fend off). Strong jamming and stifling pack defense had the Bruisers up significantly, 66-8 10 minutes in. Then the hometeam came storming back, and for almost ten minutes threatened to take control of the game. Slipping into penalty troubles (both in the pack and with jammers), the Bruisers gave up five lead jammer statuses in a row and suddenly the home team was within reach, 81-42. But the Bruisers switched gears, earning lead on 7 of the final 9 jams of the half, but more impressively locked down the defense, not allowing a single point over the final 10 minutes or so to lead 165-42 at the half.

This dominant run continued at the start of the second half as well as the Bruisers opened up with 5 of the first 6 leads and built an overwhelming 181-42 lead. But as it did in the first, things went awry near the midway point of the frame. The SWAT Team’s defense improved considerably as the game went on and they did not give up a significant power jam in the second half (on two occasions, the teams swapped jammer penalties), unfortunately for the home team, they couldn’t quite solve the Bruiser defense, and Toronto held on for the 145 point victory.

In the main event, Bomb Squad hosted CN Power almost a year to the day after their first meeting last year, a 13-point nailbiter that was in doubt almost the whole way through. What a difference a year can make.

A quiet end of season for Toronto (their only bout over the last few months of 2012 was a short-handed loss to Grand Rapids), meant that in terms of rankings (on flattrackstats and WTDA), these two teams were in very similar positions. But as they did against a slightly favoured Killamazoo two weeks ago at home, CN Power defied expectations and showed that in 2013, this is a focused and determined team, ready to climb the standings.

Fort Wayne got out first picking up a 2-0 jam by Adkins Riot with strong back-of-pack defense able to hold off Toronto co-captain Dusty (AKA Defecaitlin). But CN Power battened down the hatches and went on a 19-0 run before Adkins Riot once again was able to put up some points for Fort Wayne (this time on a 10-point power jam). It was back and forth early with the teams sharing 50% lead percentage and similar scores (23-17, Toronto) nearing the ten minute mark.

Then one jam turned the game around.

Fort Wayne lost their second straight game to kick off the 2013 WFTDA season.

Fort Wayne lost their second straight game to kick off the 2013 WFTDA season.

Despite continued punishing pack work from Fort Wayne’s phenomenal Enya Grave (who recently spent time playing for mighty Naptown), Toronto blocker twosome Dyna Hurtcha and Tara Part orchestrated a 24 point jam for Dusty that gave Toronto a 47-17 lead, part of a dominant 6-jam run in which the hosts were kept off the board. Fort Wayne’s Pink Painther finally got the home team back on track with a big 19 point power jam pick up that helped get the Bomb Squad back in it (within 14 points at the 20 minute mark of the half). But it was another well executed power jam, this time pivoted by co-captain Lady Gagya and jammed by Rebel Rock-It, that helped CN Power pull ahead significantly 126-48 at the half.

The impressive Memorial Coliseum was silenced by the beginning of the second half, and CN Power held steady in the half to maintain and slightly build their lead. Not to say that there weren’t moments of excellence from the hosts and some strong individual play from Enya Grave (who even took on the star in the second half), triple threat Adkins Riot, pivot Dodger L. Bows and the hard hitting Top Shelf (to name a few); but it was another well-balanced performance from CN Power, even more steady and consistent than their win against Killamazoo two weeks ago. The team continues to show impressive jammer depth (Bambi, Bala Reina, Dusty and Rebel Rock-It all looked comfortable on the track and brought their own unique style to the star, keeping the opposing defense off balance), and the pack work has been excellent, with Dyna Hurtcha and Tara Part, and then Betty Bomber and Nasher the Smasher, providing dynamic duos, with Lady Gagya continuing to show strong leadership as pivot.

Naptown_Roller_Girls_logo

CN Power played well in a loss against a very strong Naptown team on the second leg of the road trip.

By the 20 minute mark of the second half, CN Power was up 191-80, and never let up over the final 10 minutes (something that has happened to the team in the past) and ended the game on a Bambi-skated power jam to lift the team to an impressive 166-point victory.

On Sunday CN Power continued their road trip in Indianapolis against Naptown in a closed bout. While Toronto would drop this game 239-96, the score was actually better than predicted by flattrackstats.com, and allowed CN Power to continue its climb up the rankings. Although WFTDA has yet to release official rankings yet, Toronto has now climbed into the all-important Top 40 on flattrackstats.com (39th— within the potential Division 1 cut off). In rollergirl.ca’s Canadian rankings, CN Power is now ranked 3rd, having gained some distance on 4th ranked Tri-City, and now nipping at the coattails of Terminal City.

**Next up for both the Bay Street Bruisers and CN Power is the ToRD-hosted Quad City Chaos that will feature teams from Queen City, Rideau Valley and the Ohio Rollergirls.

CN Power Hits the Road: Bruisers tag along for first leg of two game road trip

CN Power opened the season with a home win over KIllamazoo. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

CN Power opened the season with a home win over KIllamazoo. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

CN Power kicked off its 2013 WFTDA season with a big 263-169 win over regional rivals the Killamazoo Derby Darlins: in three seasons, Toronto now has three wins over Killamazoo, two at home, one away in Michigan.  After ending 2012 with a loss, it was a confidence-boosting way to kick off 2013.

This weekend, ToRD’s top team heads to Indiana for back-to-back games against vastly different opponents. On Saturday, February 16, CN Power will play against the Fort Wayne Bomb Squad. It’s been almost a year to the day that Fort Wayne first hosted Toronto in WFTDA action, with Toronto coming away with the victory in a thrilling 16-point win. Both teams went in different directions at that point, with CN Power taking off on a winning streak and Fort Wayne losing two straight before coming on strong again at the end of the year.  The teams finished close in the 2012 WFTDA regional rankings, with Toronto sitting in 14th in the North Central and Fort Wayne 16th.

Fort Wayne has played two games so far in 2013: a non-sanctioned win against Southbend, and a loss in their WFTDA opener 180-117 against Bleeding Heartland.

On Sunday, CN Power will head down the interstate to Indianapolis to take on the Region’s 3rd ranked Naptown Roller Girls Tornado Sirens.  The last time these two teams met was in December 2011, and while a shorthanded CN Power put in a scrappy performance, they were overwhelmed by the Tornado Sirens.  Naptown, went on to have a spectacular 2012, going 9-6 in regular season games (against top-level competition), then taking third spot in the North Central Regionals before taking down host Atlanta at the Championships and falling in a respectable quarterfinal loss to eventual champs Gotham (which had them finishing in the top 8 in the WFTDA). With world class jammers like Amooze Bouche and Maiden America, and phenomenal blocking from the likes of Asian Sinsation and Dora the Destroyer, this is a team to watch in 2013.

Naptown has already played twice in the early going of 2013, notching big wins against Cincinnati (254-107) and Bleeding Heartland (211-85).

CN Power co-captain Dusty had a strong return to the lineup after a long injury layoff. (Photo by Derek Lang)

CN Power co-captain Dusty had a strong return to the lineup after a long injury layoff. (Photo by Derek Lang)

CN Power got off to exactly the start they wanted to with the win over Killamazoo. There are great expectations for the team this season, with the skaters now moving full time to the travel team roster. The adversity the team faced last season helped build depth in the roster. The jammer rotation seems solid, with Dusty, Bambi, Kookie Doe and Rebel Rock-It taking up primary roles, with 2012 Bay Street Bruiser standout Bala Reina waiting in the wings for her shot. Candy Crossbones has been playing in the pack more (with much success) but can always be called upon when a physical jammer is needed. Potential triple threat Bruiseberry Pie has also shown that she is more than capable of picking up any slack with the star as well.

The pack is once again led by the calm, consistent play of Tara Part and Nasher the Smasher, but has considerable depth as well. Co-captain Lady Gagya continues to develop her solid positional play, while Betty Bomber and Dyna Hurtcha stepped up in a big way in the opening game and are at the heart of the lineup. The depth in the pack comes from a core of veterans including Mega Bouche, Panty Hoser, Jubilee, Mia Culprit and Santa Muerte, with newcomers Renny Rumble and Chronic rounding out an impressive roster.

The Bay Street Bruisers defeated Killamazoo's B-Team in their home opener. (Photo by Derek Lang)

The Bay Street Bruisers defeated Killamazoo’s B-Team in their home opener. (Photo by Derek Lang)

ToRD’s B-travel team, the Bay Street Bruisers will be tagging along for the first leg of the roadtrip, facing off against Fort Wayne’s SWAT Team in the opening part of a double header on Saturday. Like CN Power, the Bruisers are also coming off of a big victory to kick off the 2013 season, and after a successful first season as Toronto’s farm team, also have high expectations for the year. Led by an established jammer core of Bellefast, Getcha Kicks and Hailey Copter (formerly known as titmouse), Taranasaurus Rex had a breakout game against Killamazoo, taking advantage of a few relief opportunities to put up 33 points and hold a 100% lead percentage.

The pack is anchored by a solid veteran core including co-captains Canadian Psycho and Dawson along with Speedin Hawking, Foxy Sinatra, Sinead O’Clobber,  Monichrome, Junkie Jenny, Furious Georgia, Robber Blind and Audrey Hellborn (who will make her Bruisers debut in Fort Wayne); they are joined by emerging skaters Scarcasm, Ames to Kill, Biggley Smalls, Tomy Knockers, Rhage in a Cage to fill out a very deep B-team roster.

Fort Wayne’s SWAT team has been busy so far in 2013, and played in this past weekend’s B-Cup tournament in Bleeding Heartland; although they are only 1-3 early in the season, that track experience is invaluable, and they’ll be looking to turn things around at home against the Bruisers.

Saturday night’s double header will be live streamed by the Fort Wayne Derby Girls.

CN Power goes 1-1 on final road trip of 2011

This fall ToRD’s CN Power attained full WFTDA status and began play in the North Central Region. In only a few short months the team has made staggering leaps forward and has turned a few heads in the process. It has been somewhat of a whirlwind season for the team, but one that has positioned them nicely to make a potential run at the playoffs next year, their first full year in the WFTDA, but it will certainly not be easy, and big losses to highly ranked playoff teams show that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.  The final road trip of CN Power’s season took them to Indianapolis to play two games, games that would be representative of the highs and lows of this initial foray into the highest levels of contemporary roller derby: a stiff challenge against the 3rd ranked Naptown Roller Girls Tornado Sirens, and a thoroughly dominant performance against the 20th ranked Derby City Roller Girls.

Beginning WFTDA play in 2008, Naptown’s profile has risen steadily in the North Central Region, making the playoffs in 2010 and culminating in a run to the WFTDA Championships this year where they ran into a formidable wall called the Philly Roller Girls. They were bumped from the tournament in the first round; nonetheless, the team’s thrilling performance at the North Centrals, in which they often seemed down but not out, showed that Naptown has the depth of talent and certainly the will to be a continuous contender. Playing out of the 8000 seat Pepsi Coliseum on the Indiana State Fair grounds, Naptown has a big profile in its home city, and is part of the first wave of truly successful, big-stadium flat track roller derby teams in the WFTDA. For CN Power, it was the first taste of the big time.

Rebel Rock-It put the first points on the board for CN Power. (Photography by Michael Guio)

The ToRD travel team was caught a little wide-eyed and in awe to open the bout against the Tornado Sirens, quickly falling behind 41-0 behind the steady jamming and solid pack recycling of the hosts. Missing a few key jammers, CN Power reached into its own deep bench to put some first-time jammers on the line, and it was one of those first-timers, regular pivot Rebel Rock-It, who put the first points up on the board for the visitors nabbing 6 points about five minutes in to break the goose egg and allow the team to relax. CN Power seemed to settle down after that and with strong pack work from Nasher the Smasher (who also fell into some uncharacteristic penalty trouble later in this one), Panty Hoser and Jubilee early were able to hold the hosts pack and prevent them from running away with it. In the team’s best jam of the bout, another regular blocker, Aston Martini, danced confidently through a solid pack to pick up 15 points in her first jam with the star for ToRD’s travel team. But behind amazing jamming from the likes of Maiden America (41 first half points), R.I.P. Tide (28) and Blue Messiah (27), the Sirens were able to pull ahead 115-35 at the half.

Naptown's Asian Sinsation and Dora the Destroyer were dominant in the pack.

Perhaps displeased with allowing the visiting upstarts to contain them in the late stages of the first half, Naptown came out blazing to kick off the second. Asian Sinsation and Dora the Destroyer were dominant in the pack all night and the diverse Cereal Killer was a thorn both in the pack and with the star; and in a period of dominance that highlighted the experience gap between the two teams, Naptown took complete control of the game, scoring 74 points in the opening four jams of the half to pull ahead 189-35. A critical time-out calmed the nerves of CN Power and allowed the team to refocus (only giving up 76 points for the rest of the game). Tara Part and Brim Stone continued to show strong leadership and reliable blocking on the track, while Hurlin’ Wall stepped up and seemed to relish the physical challenge posed by the opposing team as she had one of her strongest games with the team. Dyna Hurtcha was a steadying presence on the jammer line and it was a late 19 point pick up on a power jam that breathed new life into CN Power and helped them finish strong and skate off the track with their heads held high. Penalty troubles were really the difference in this one (CN Power gave up 7 power jams in the second half) as the discipline and steadiness of the veteran Sirens allowed them to skate relatively cleanly and keep control of the game throughout. In the end, the 266-67 loss was actually a solid showing for CN Power, exceeding the predicted expectations of Flat Track Stats.

Hurlin Wall had a strong bout for CN Power.

It was a different story on day two of the season-ending road trip as CN Power faced off against Louisville Kentucky’s Derby City Roller Girls (a team that last year was ranked as high as 17th in the North Central). After a sluggish start that saw both teams come out of the gates neck and neck, about half way through the first half, CN Power settled in and started to pull away for a 122-24 lead at the half.

In the second half the Toronto skaters completely took over the bout. Defensively, the Toronto packs were too much for the overwhelmed Derby City skaters as every skater on the CN Power bench contributed to the fierce pack work that typified the second half. The jamming core of Dyna Hurtcha, Betty Bomber and Rebel Rock-It had little trouble putting up points in the half (Bomber closed out the game with a natural 30 point jam to add an exclamation to the day), and CN Power eventually ran away with it, giving up only 4 points in the half and pacing themselves to a 295-28 victory to end 2011 on a high note.

Although only full members of WFTDA for a few months now, CN Power has certainly announced themselves as a team to watch in the North Central. Finishing 2011 with a 9-3 record, their only losses came to top-ranked WFTDA competition in Montreal’s New Skids on the Block (6th in the East) and Naptown (3rd in the North Central), and the far more experienced Grand Raggidy Roller Girls (11th NC). They thoroughly dominated lower ranked North Central teams all year and early on, at the Quad City Chaos, scored a big unsanctioned victory over the Tri-City Thunder (16th NC), Toronto’s closest WFTDA rivals. While it remains to be seen where CN Power falls in WFTDA’s year-end rankings (which will be the team’s first official ranking), Flat Track Stats has shown CN Power to be on a steady incline up the rankings, having them at 37th overall and 12th in the North Central to close out 2011. 2012 already looks to be an exciting year for Toronto’s premier roller derby team as they’ve got big sanctioned bouts lined up with Fort Wayne, Roc City and Grand Raggidy, not to mention tournament play including a Quad City Chaos that could be a full WFTDA sanctioned tournament for the first time.

**Stay tuned to torontorollerderby.com for updates to the 2012 season; did you know that season tickets are already on sale?? Available online!**