tri city roller girls

Tri-City Dishes out Punishment, wins 2012 Beast of the East

Tri-City's Vicious Dishes become the fifth Beast winner in five years. (Photography by Joe Mac)

For the second straight year parity was the word in Montreal as Eastern Canada’s traditional powerhouses from Montreal, Toronto, Rideau Valley and Tri-City put on an unpredictable and thrilling show in one of the sport’s last great houseleague tournaments: for the first time ever, all four semifinalists represented four different cities. But there were also a few big surprises –including the emergence of a new team to watch from northern Ontario—and the variety of styles of derby played had the crowd enthralled over two days and twenty-eight games. In the end, the Vicious Dishes, a supremely talented team that had never fared well at the Beast, pulled it all together at the right time and rode a thrilling Sunday push to the Championship final, and their first Beast of the East victory.

Pre-tournament favourites Chicks Ahoy! and Slaughter Daughters kicked off the tournament.

DOUBLE ELIMINATION ROUND

Set up by a random draw, the first round is always full of surprises and this year with a stacked upper bracket, was full of exciting action early. The tournament opener saw two pre-tournament favourites square off in a sleepy bout with ToRD’s Chicks Ahoy! taking the 10-point victory over the defending champion Slaughter Daughters out of Rideau Valley. But given the disparity in experience between some of the leagues, there were also some blowouts. Only twice in the tournament’s history had teams recorded shutouts (with 20 minute preliminary round games, this is certainly doable), yet the Vicious Dishes managed to pull it off twice defeating Muddy Rivers’ Reines of Terror and Quebec’s Les Duchesses by a combined score of 271-0 (although Les Duchesses would hit the century mark as well in their historic first-ever victory over an overmatched Debutantes team from GTA, part of a record-setting seven 100-point performances in the tournament). Despite these massive victories, the Dishes remained under the radar based on a sloppy, inconsistent performance resulting in a loss to co-hosts Les Filles du Roi.

2008 champs Hamilton Harlots returned to winning ways with a victory over first-timers Motor City Madames from Durham.

There were certainly a fair share of surprises as well, as pre-tournament favourites and last year’s finalists the Gore-Gore Rollergirls (who played very short-handed) never seemed to quite get their heads in it and were eliminated in the first round for the first time since 2008 (which was a single-elimination tournament). 2008 champs the Hamilton Harlots would get back in the win column this season, but would get dominated by the Daughters in an elimination game, and last year’s third place finishers, ToRD’s Death Track Dolls would see their tournament end early with a 59-31 loss to La Racaille. The Smoke City Betties picked up the slack for the ToRD contingent though, pulling off a demoralizing last-jam victory over the Thames Fatales to book their spot in the quarterfinal for the first time since 2009. Also short-handed, the Thames Fatales (one of eight teams playing in their fifth BOE) would never quite recover from that blow and would be overwhelmed in a surprisingly one-sided loss to an increasingly strong Babes of Thunder team from Thunder Bay (77-20), one of three teams debuting at the Beast (the others were the Reines and Durham’s Motor City Madames).

Led by excellent play from Mel E. Juana (among others), La Racaille would be the only of the three host teams to advance past the quarterfinals.

KNOCKOUT ROUND

Quarterfinals

Although the Chicks handled the Babes fairly well in the first quarterfinal (an 85-22 win that was never in doubt), it certainly wasn’t easy, and the performance capped an incredible tournament by the skaters from Thunder Bay. Beyond that, the quarterfinals provided some thrilling, high-scoring bouts including a four-point victory by the Daughters over a resurgent FDR who, paced by the amazing return of Beater Pan Tease after a two-year absence, saw a fierce late-game comeback fall just short (71-67). The Smoke City Betties competed well with, but could never quite solve La Racaille (78-59), and in the most thrilling (and controversial) game of the round, Les Contrabanditas fell to the Vicious Dishes. It was the second-straight year that the Ditas, Montreal’s big hope for the past two years, fell in the quarterfinals in somewhat of an upset. Although there was controversy at the end, the Ditas didn’t bring their A-game and early on it actually looked as if the Dishes would run away with it. A late-game push proved to be too little too late as the Dishes held on 64-54.

Despite a tough semi-final loss for the second straight year, the Chicks Ahoy! won their first Beast of the East trophy.

Semifinals

For the first time in the tournament’s history four different cities were represented in the semifinals. In the first, highly anticipated semifinal (a match up most had seen coming prior to the tournament), the Chicks Ahoy! became unraveled in an uncharacteristically undisciplined game against the Slaughter Daughters that saw them spend almost the entire game shorthanded (including a near eight-minute run when they were down 4-2 in the pack). Against a team as experienced and focused as the Daughters, it was virtually impossible for the Chicks to stay in it, and the Daughters guaranteed themselves a chance to defend their titles with the 65-31 victory.

In the second semifinal, the host city’s last hope, La Racaille, seemed to run out of steam against a team that was just beginning to pick it up. Using smart, punishing pack work (beautiful bridging to the front and back), the Dishes ground down the very talented La Racaille, but never ran away with it, securing the team’s first visit to the championship final with the 67-48 win.

Finals

For the second time in the tournament, the  Chicks Ahoy! and La Racaille met, and although this Montreal team looks as if it has come a long way in the past year (and sports an exciting lineup including homegrown talent Mel E. Juana, Nameless Whorror and Sparkle ‘N Maim and impressive transfers Surgical Strike, Slavic Slayer and Pelvis Stojko), they were outmatched again by a composed Chicks team led by Tara Part and Nasher the Smasher (dominant in the pack), and a strong jammer rotation of Candy Crossbones, Dyna Hurtcha and Bala Reina. Although unhappy with not advancing to the final, the Chicks picked up their first Beast trophy ever in the 87-48 victory.

Stifling pack work helped the Dishes win their first Beast of the East.

More evidence of the parity amongst the elite leagues in Eastern Canada, the Vicious Dishes vs. Slaughter Daughters final marked the first time in the tournament that both finalists had lost a game on route to the championship. Despite losses to key skaters, the Daughters have managed to fill gaps with excellent pickups in Eh Nihilator (a Gainesville transfer) L.A. Clip-her and Amanda Pummeler, and seemed poised to defend against a Dishes team that had taken many by surprise. Skating without the injured Cleothrashya and key jammer Motorhead Molly (replaced by leaguemates Leigh-zzie Borden and Freudian Whip respectively), the Dishes grasped control of the final early and never relented. With a core of Thunder skaters creating solid packs (sin-e-star, Bareleigh Legal, Anita Martini, Sofanda Beatin, Stacie Jones and Suzy Slam) and solid jamming from Lippy Wrongstockings and the converted pivot Jill Standing,  the Dishes got better as the tournament progressed and seemed the fresher and more focused of the two teams in the final. Despite the usual excellent work by the likes of Semi-Precious Margaret Choke, Scotch Minx and Sister Disaster (who joined Bareleigh Legal in fouling out of the game) the phenomenal jamming of Soul Rekker (that included one of the best apex jumps many had ever seen), the Daughters could never completely control the Dishes’ packs as they had others throughout the tournament, and despite the rain of boos that cascaded down upon the perhaps unfairly unpopular Dishes, they were clearly the top team by the end of it and became the first team to score over a hundred points in the final (and the first to hit the mark three times in single a tournament), winning 118-63 and claiming the team’s first ever Beast of the East championship.

Always amazing one-on-one, Semi Precious (#10) has, frighteningly, taken her pack work up another notch.

NERD’s PICKS

MVP: Semi Precious  (Slaughter Daughters)

The strength of the team-play of the champion Dishes made it hard to single-out any one player (which probably says a lot about why they won the tournament), so for the second year in a row, the Rideau Valley blocker takes the prize. Despite not leading her team to a championship, the Team Canada standout put together yet another incredible tournament and was the talk of the weekend among commentators, fans and players alike. Her always ferocious one-on-one abilities are now complemented by amazing pack leadership and she has become a complete player and one of this country’s elite superstars.

Daughters' Amanda Pummeler looked unintimidated against more experienced jammers like Freudian Whip.

Breakout Player:  Amanda Pummeler (Slaughter Daughters)

There were amazing breakout performances by so many skaters including Cutsie Bootsie (the Motor City Madames) whose team’s early exit didn’t allow her to face the stiff, late-round competition. Freudian Whip (Vicious Dishes) and Bala Reina (Chicks Ahoy!) both entered the tournament riding impressive 2012 performances and the hometown Apocalipstick (Les Filles du Roi) and Mel E. Juana (La Racaille) have been training with the mighty New Skids on the Block. But Rideau Valley’s Amanda Pummeler (a Fredericton transfer) takes the cake for answering a question: how do the Daughters reach the final with the absence of key jammer Ripper Apart? To win the tournament requires a deep jammer rotation and Pummeler added that with an impressive, consistent breakout performance.

Babes of Thunder made a huge impression in their impressive debut.

Breakout Team: Babes of Thunder (Thunder Bay)

While ToRD’s Smoke City Betties certainly get some consideration for their return to form, the Babes of Thunder made this a fairly easy decision. With very little action under their belts, and a roster known by no one (with the exception of former Montreal and Rose City skater Boxcar Bethy), the Babes impressed. In their opening game against FDR, the Babes seemed to know what to do, they just couldn’t quite do it, but by the end of the first round (including consecutive must-win victories over Reins of Terror and Thames Fatales), the Babes were rolling and their quarterfinal appearance announces them as a team to watch.

* All the tournament action was covered by Canuck Derby TV and you can watch the archives here.

* A big thanks to Canuck Derby TV and Montreal Roller Derby, but the Nerd would like to send out a special thanks to Neon Skates for their support of the Nerd’s coverage of the 2012 Beast  of the East.

Beast of the East: History by the Numbers

Beast of the East: By the Numbers

To get ready for the 2012 Beast of the East, take a look back at the history of the tournament.

PARTICIPANT HISTORY (BOE 2012 participants first)

Team League BOE Record Notes
Les Duchesses RDQC  0-2 Second appearance.
Thames Fatales FCDG 4 – 7 Quarter final in 2010
Hamilton Harlots HCRG 7 – 4 Fourth Appearance (2008-2010). Missed 2011. Champs in 08.
Derby Debutantes GTAR 2 – 6 Fourth appearance.
La Racaille MTLRD 14 – 4 Runners-up in 08, 10. Champs in 2009.
Les Contrabanditas MTLRD 12 – 5 2nd place in 2009. 3rd in 2010.
Les Filles du Roi MTLRD 13 – 4 Semi-final losses in 08, 09. Champs in 2010
Slaughter Daughters RVRG 7 – 4 Fourth appearance. Champs in 2011
Chicks Ahoy! ToRD 6 – 7 Quarterfinals in 2008. 4th place in 2011.
Death Track Dolls ToRD 6 – 7 Quarterfinals in 2009. 3rd place in 2011
Smoke City Betties ToRD 3 – 7 Semi-final 2009.
Gore-Gore Rollergirls ToRD 10 – 4 Forfeit 2009 at 3-0. 4th 2010. Runners-up 2011
Vicious Dishes TCRG 5 – 6 Fourth appearance. Quarterfinals in 2010, 2011
Motor City Madames DRRD  – First appearance
Babes of Thunder TBRD  – First appearance
Reines of Terror MRR  – First appearance
NOT APPEARING in 2012
Death Row Dames HCRG 3 – 5 2008-2010. Quarterfinals in 2010.
Steel Town Tanks Girls HCRG 1 – 1 2008
Bay Street Bruisers ToRD 1 – 3 2008, 2009
D-VAS ToRD 0 – 1 2008
London Thrashers FCDG 0 – 1 2008
Bytown Blackhearts ORD 0 – 1 2008
Capital Carnage ORD 0 – 2 2009
Devil Dollies QCRG 1 – 1 1st US team (2008)
Derby Dames Grn Mtn 2 – 1 2nd US team. Quarterfinals in 2010
Chrome Mollys GTAR 0 – 2 2011
Riot Squad RVRG 1 – 4 2010, 2011
Total Knock-Outs TCRG 0 – 2 2011
Venus Fly Tramps TCRG 2 – 6 2009-2011

PAST CHAMPIONS

Hamilton Harlots won the first Beast of the East in 2008. (Photo by Derek Lang)

2008: Hamilton Harlots (HCRG)

2009: La Racaille (MTLRD)

2010: Les Filles du Roi (MTLRD)

2011: Slaughter Daughters (RVRG)

RECORDS

Wins: 14 (La Racaille [MTLRD] 2008-2011); Win%: 78% (La Racaille [MTLRD] 2008-2011)

Points Per Game (tournament): 80 (Les Filles du Roi, 2010) Points Against (tournament): 9 (Les Filles du Roi, 2010)

Most Points (Bout): 148 (Les Contrabanditas [MTLRD], 2011) Combined/Differential: 148 (Les Contrabanditas 148 vs. Chrome Mollys [GTAR] 0, 2011) [*The Gore-Gore Rollergirls [ToRD] were the first team to score 100 points in a bout–a 103-11 victory over Capital Carnage in 2009; Les Filles du Roi did it against the Vicious Dishes in 2010; four different teams accomplished it in 2011].

YEAR-BY-YEAR RESULTS

(Generally, all games 20 minutes until final, which is 30)

Beast of the East 1: 2008

First Round

POOL A

Steel Town Tank Girls 40 vs Smoke City Betties 18
La Racaille 65 vs The Bytown Blackhearts 29
Death Row Dames 17 vs Devil Dollies 54
D-VAS 27 vs Les Contrabanditas 50

POOL B

Gore Gore Rollergirls 13 vs Hamilton Harlots 52
Bay Street Brusies 45 vs Thames Fatales 38
London Thrashers 13 vs Chicks Ahoy 65
Death Track Dolls 23 vs Les Filles du Roi 37

Quarter Finals

Steel Town Tank Girls 30 vs La Racaille 32
Devil Dollies 16 vs. Les Contrabanditas 42
Chicks Ahoy 30 vs Les Filles du Roi 38
Hamilton Harlots 53 vs Bay Street Bruisers 15

Semi Finals

Hamilton Harlots 58 vs Les Filles du Roi 29
Les Contrabanditas 32 vs La Racaille 39

Final

Hamilton Harlots 55 vs. La Racaille 18

* Read the Derby Nerd’s reflections on a tournament he didn’t see.

Beast of the East 2: 2009

First Round (Double Elimination)

Capital Carnage 11 Gore-Gore Rollergirls 103
Death Row Dames 23 Thames Fatales 19
Les Contrabanditas 59 Venus Fly Tramps 26
Slaughter Daughters 24 Smoke City Betties 32
La Racaille 67 Bay Street Bruisers 10
Chicks Ahoy! 48 Vicious Dishes 32
Les Filles du Roi 77 Death Track Dolls 6
Derby Debutantes 6 Hamilton Harlots 69
Gore-Gore Rollergirls 32 Death Row Dames 5
Capital Carnage 20 (eliminated) Thames Fatales 67
Les Contrabanditas 34 Smoke City Betties 20
Venus Fly Tramps 14 (eliminated) Slaughter Daughters 48
La Racaille 36 Chicks Ahoy! 35
Bay Street Bruisers 16 (eliminated) Vicious Dishes 21
Les Filles du Roi 34 Hamilton Harlots 25
Death Track Dolls 61 Debutantes 20 (elimin.)
Gore-Gore Rollergirls 35 Les Contrabanditas 26
Death Row Dames 15 (eliminated) Smoke City Betties 24
Thames Fatales 28 (eliminated) Slaughter Daughters 68
La Racaille 35 Les Filles du Roi 43
Chicks Ahoy! 21 (eliminated) Hamilton Harlots 38
Vicious Dishes 27 (eliminated) Death Track Dolls 32
 

Quarter Finals

Gores (forfeit) Smoke City Betties
Les Contrabanditas 28 Slaughter Daughters 25
Les Filles du Roi 24 Hamilton Harlots 11
La Racaille 77 Death Track Dolls 17
 

Semi Finals

Smoke City Betties 23

 

 

Les Contrabanditas 33

La Racaille 38 Les Filles du Roi 20
 

Third Place (Cancelled)

Smoke City Betties

 

 

Les Filles du Roi

 

Final

Les Contrabanditas 34

 

 

La Racaille 49

* Read the Derby Nerd’s commentary.

* Read a bout-by-bout recap by DNN’s Justice Feelgood Marshall .

Beast of the East 3: 2010

First Round (Double Elimination)
Thames Fatales 38 vs. Smoke City Betties 11
La Racaille 81 vs. Chicks Ahoy!12
Green Mountain Derby Dames 40
vs. Riot Squad 17
Death Row Dames 63 vs. Venus Fly Tramps 6
Les Contrabanditas 72 vs. Death Track Dolls 9
Gore-Gore Rollergirls 43 vs. GTA Derby Debutantes 20
Vicious Dishes 37 vs. Slaughter Daughters 20
Les Filles du Roi 92 vs. Harlots 6
La Racaille 91 vs. Thames Fatales 0
Chicks Ahoy! 89 vs. Betties 15 (eliminated)
Green Mountain Derby Dames 29 vs. Death Row Dames 15
Venus Fly Tramps 43 vs. Riot Squad 14 (eliminated)
Les Contrabanditas 63 vs. Gore-Gore Rollergirls 17

Derby Debutantes 38 vs. Death Track Dolls 29 (eliminated)
Les Filles du Roi 115 vs. Vicious Dishes 7
Harlots 28 vs. Slaughter Daughters 24 (eliminated)
Thames Fatales 24 vs. Venus Fly Tramps 15 (eliminated)
Death Row Dames 42 vs. Chicks Ahoy! 34 (eliminated)
Gore-Gore Rollergirls 45 vs. Harlots 20 (eliminated)
Vicious Dishes 52 vs. Derby Debutantes 24 (eliminated)

Quarter Finals
La Racaille 57 vs. Vicious Dishes 4
Les Contrabanditas 64 vs. Death Row Dames 11
Gore-Gore Rollergirls 45 vs. Green Mountain Derby Dames 22
Les Filles du Roi 91 vs. Thames Fatales 12

Semi Finals
La Racaille 69 vs. Les Contrabanditas 46
Les Filles du Roi 65 vs. Gore-Gore Roller Girls 1

Third Place
Les Contrabanditas 91 vs. Gores 21

Final
Les Filles du Roi 36 vs. La Racaille 20

* Read the Derby Nerd’s preview and recap.

* Watch the archived bouts.

Beast of the East 4: 2011

First Round (Double Elimination)

Duchesses de Quebec 4 vs. Derby Debutantes 124
La Racaille 55 vs. Riot Squad 7
Chicks Ahoy! 63 vs. Total Knockouts (TKOs) 7
Filles du Roi vs. Death Track Dolls 47
Vicious Dishes 50 vs. Gore-Gore Rollergirls 48
Contrabanditas 148 vs. Chrome Mollys 0
Slaughter Daughters 38 vs. Venus Fly Tramps 28
Thames Fatales 75 vs. Smoke City Betties 12
Derby Debutants 8 vs. La Racaille 100
Duchesses du Quebec 4 vs. Riot Squad 97 (Duchesses eliminated)
Chicks Ahoy! 40 vs. Death Track Dolls 21
TKOs 0 vs. Filles du Roi 81 (TKOs eliminated)
Vicious Dishes 21 vs. Contrabanditas 27
Gore-Gore Rollergirls 131 vs. Chrome Mollys 10 (Mollys eliminated)
Slaughter Daughters 62 vs. Thames Fatales 12
Venus Fly Tramps 66 vs. Smoke City Betties 14 (Betties eliminated)
Derby Debutants 29 vs. Filles du Roi 62 (Debutantes eliminated)
Death Track Dolls 84 vs. Riot Squad 8 (Riot Squad elimanted)
Vicious Dishes 49 vs. Venus Fly Tramps 3 (Tramps eliminated)
Thames Fatales 36 vs. Gore-Gore Rollergirls 49 (Thames eliminated)

Quarter Finals
 La Racaille 11 vs. Gore-Gore Rollergirls 88
Contrabanditas 49 vs. Death Track Dolls 58
Chicks Ahoy! 48 vs. Vicious Dishes 8
Slaughter Daughters 81 vs. Filles du Roi 3

Semi Finals
Gore-Gore Rollergirls 51 vs. Death Track Dolls 11
Chicks Ahoy! 19 vs. Slaughter Daughters 33

Third Place
Death Track Dolls 42 vs. Chicks Ahoy! 31

Final
Gore-Gore Rollergirls 85 vs. Slaughter Daughters 87
 

* Read the Derby Nerd’s preview and recap.

* Watch the archived bouts

* The thrilling final jam of the 2011 Beast of the East:

Quad City Chaos Recap (Part 2): The Commentary

THE RESULTS

TEAM WINS LOSSES +/-
CN Power (ToRD) 3 0 500
Tri-City Thunder (TCRG) 2 1 361
Rideau Valley Vixens (RVRG) 1 2 26
Hammer City Eh! Team (HCRG) 0 3 -887

CN Power finished atop the standings at the third Quad City Chaos for the first time in the tournament’s brief history, and after two years of Montreal dominance (they had an average margin of victory of 250 points at last year’s tournament), things were much tighter this year: For the first time more than one team finished with a positive plus minus (only Montreal has done so in the past). Although the competitive level was closer, there was still an element of competitive separation between the clubs, with the Eh! Team falling to a -887 point differential (though comparatively, they had the least experienced lineup and as such, showed immense real-time progress all weekend).

The participants of the 2012 Quad City Chaos. (Photo by Joe Mac)

But this tournament has never fully been about the competition (although this year’s addition showed that the event is certainly moving that way), and instead has provided an opportunity for some of Canada’s top travel teams to get together early in the year to help push each other forward. This year, the Vixens seemed to be the team that gained the most, showing huge strides over last year’s showing (and almost pulling off a big upset over Tri-City). They showed that they are clearly a team that should be followed, and proved that they are not that far from the top. And while in the end the battle of Ontario predictably came down to the Thunder and CN Power  (with CN Power improving to 2-1 against them in the battle for provincial supremacy), it’s not hard to imagine a QCC in the not-too-distant future where all the teams are on the same competitive level.

THE PLAYERS

Defecaitlin helped anchor the explosive CN Power offense (she recorded a 39 point jam against Hammer City). (Photo by Neil Gunner)

THE USUAL SUSPECTS

One thing that has paced CN Power ahead of the crowd is its explosive offense, anchored by the depth of its jammer rotation. With an impressive (and diverse) core rotation of Defecaitlin, Bambi and Candy Crossbones, CN Power was hard to keep off the board with any regularity; in the pack Tara Part and Nasher the Smasher continue to provide solid leadership and consistent play.  For the second place Thunder, Bareleigh Legal and sin-e-star continue to offer a frighteningly efficient and consistent blocking duo; they are intense competitors (Bareleigh sometimes lets that intensity get the best of her) with a ferocious desire to win that drives the Thunder. The offense remains anchored by Motorhead Molly who has been a pillar of stability as the Tri-City rotation has gone through some changes over the past year.

The Vixens Semi Precious was dominant as usual (laying a hit on the Thunder’s Konky). (Photo by Greg Russell)

The Vixens continue to be led on the track by the extraordinary Semi Precious; she is a smart player who plays a simple, no nonsense brand of flat track roller derby: strong positionally, accurate and efficient with hits, and a recycling machine, Semi Precious (a member of team Canada) remains one of this country’s premier players of the sport. The Vixens have faced many changes over the years, but having Soul Rekker and Dee Dee Tee wearing the star remains the same. Dee Dee Tee especially stepped it up this weekend, showing a tenacity and fight that only seems to grow with time. Finally, on an Eh! Team full of fresh faces, Bitchslap Barbie and Mean Little Mama remain at the centre of it all. Versatile players both, Mama leads on the track with her ferocity while Barbie, the team captain, remains the motivator, seemingly unfazed in the face of great deficits.

THE STEPPIN-IT UPPERS

Vixens pivot Margaret Choke has emerged as a solid on-track leader. (Photo by Greg Russell)

While it would be easy to say that the whole Vixens team stepped up its game, that charge is clearly being led by Margaret Choke. Always a reliable presence, Choke has elevated her game to a new level in 2012 playing with a confidence that is making her another on-track leader for this team. Offensively and defensively, her timely hits and strong positional play make her an all-around pack threat. The Eh! Team, so short on experience, is another teams full of skaters who have no choice but to step it up. But in terms of reliability and consistency, Lorazeslam  and Whacks Poetic, really stepped it up this weekend. Lorazeslam is a scrappy jammer who has that key jammer ability to just keep going and going (and brings that fire to blocking as well), while Whacks Poetic has become a calm and stabilizing pivot. They will both be vital to the redevelopment of this team.

Thunder’s Sofanda Beatin’ holds back Defecaitlin. (Photo by Joe Mac)

Tri-City Thunder’s Sofanda Beatin’ has upped her game in a big way this year as well. A lack of pack depth (or drop off between lines) has been an issue with the Thunder in the past, but Sofanda has shown that these gaps can be filled from within. Always a strong hitter and threat on her line, her athleticism and track sense have both leapt to a new level this year and she was an intimidating presence on the track all weekend. Similarly, CN Power’s Aston Martini has always been a strong skater and solid blocker, but she brought her A-game to the QCC  and was a game changer in many ways. A quiet but consistent blocker (a big part of her effectiveness is drawn from her footwork),  Aston showed a certain fire and swagger this weekend that has been lacking from her game at this level, and that now awoken could make her a frightening new piece of the CN Power puzzle.

THE BREAKOUT PLAYERS

Thunder rookie Ova’Kill jammed like a veteran all weekend. (Photo by Greg Russell)

The biggest individual story of the weekend may have been the revelation of rookie Thunder jammer Ova’Kill. In her first half of play ever, she put 50 points on the board against the Eh! Team, and rode that confidence-building debut all the way through the tournament. With a couple key jammers having retired over the past year, she will undoubtedly become an essential piece of the Thunder offense (and seems ready for that role already). The Vixens had breakout players all over the track, but two that consistently stood out were Mudblood and Tarantulove. While Tarantulove is a newer skater who, like Ova’Kill, has immediately taken to jamming, Mudblood has been evolving into a triple threat with the Riot Squad for a while now. Starring with the Rideau Valley Vermin at last year’s CWRDA (now RDAC) Eastern Championship, Mudblood has brought her game up a notch with the Vixens.

Hammer City’s Zoe Disco (right) and Lorazeslam form a two wall to hold back Vixen’s Dee Dee Tee. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The Eh! Team is full of potential, with a whole roster of exciting young skaters. Two players who really stepped up their games this weekend though were Zoe Disco and Oh Henry. Both have a year of experience under their belts now and have begun to mature into reliable players (though track awareness  takes time and experience). Although the Eh! Team had a rough weekend, competitively, they have a good, young stable of skaters around which to build this team. They all gained invaluable experience this weekend.

***All the WFTDA action was streamed live on Canuck Derby TV. Check the archives if you missed it. The non-sanctioned games will be available on Layer 9.

***Next up for the CN Power is an April 14th home date with Queen City’s Lake Effect Furies (Buffalo); the Vixens will be visiting New Hampshire Roller Derby on the same night; The Eh! Team will kick off its home season on May 12th against Roc City, while the Thunder will head to Grand Rapids on the same night.

Quad City Chaos 2012 Recap (Part One): The Games

Despite big changes to the lineup, the Vixens continue to progress. (Photo by Greg Russell)

DAY ONE

Vixens (Rideau Valley Roller Girls) 84 vs. CN Power (Toronto Roller Derby) 197

The Rideau Valley Vixens came into this tournament in the midst of a mini-rebuild as the first true generational shift in the travel team occurs. With the loss or absence of key pack players and jammers,  the team could easily have crumbled under the pressure of playing their big sisters to the south: but instead, what has emerged from the Vixens’ minor overhaul is the emergence of a solid team with a ton of potential. As a travel team, the Vixens have always been defined by outstanding individual play, so it was a CN Power squad that was caught off guard. Tight walls controlled CN Power jammers on opening passes and allowed the impressive and growing number of Vixens’ jammers to get a significant amount of leads (Soul Rekker and Dee Dee Tee lead the rotation that also included Mudblood, Tarantulove, and Pix E Cutz). This kept things close, with CN Power holding on 83-48 at the half.

CN Power seemed to reel things in to kick off the second half and went on a 30-9 run in the first ten minutes to pad their lead and pull ahead of the upstart Vixens; a Soul Rekker 15-point pick up briefly brought Rideau Valley back into it, but a Betty Bomber 30-point power jam with only 13 minutes remaining increased the lead to 73 points and provided the padding that CN Power needed. Strong recycling from the Brim Stone/Panty Hoser duo, and continued impressive play from Aston Martini ensured the 113 point victory for CN Power, the narrowest margin in four meetings with the Vixens, a good sign for the Ottawa team.

Eh! Team (Hammer City Roller Girls) 31 vs. Thunder (Tri-City Roller Girls) 392

Freudian Whip has taken on a larger jamming role with the Thunder; Hammer City vet Miss Carriage returned to the track before re-injuring her collarbone. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

The second bout of the opening day of the 2012 Quad City Chaos was a display of textbook dominance from the Tri-City Thunder. Controlling every aspect of the bout over a majority of the first half, smothering pack defence, unstoppabably agile jamming (including a monster game from rookie Ova’ Kill—who was playing her first game and recorded 50 points in the first half alone), and overall track awareness saw the Thunder hold the Eh! Team off the board for the first 23 minutes (they lead 145-0 at that time). For the most part, Hammer tried to stem the flow by keeping their core of veterans in the key jammer-pivot roles. It was vet Bitchslap Barbie who finally pulled the first lead jammer and points for her team, and the insatiable Mean Little Mamma kept the momentum going. Down but not demoralized, the Eh! Team was looking at a 180-11 deficit at half.

One thing about this Hammer City team, they never stop fighting even in the face of major odds (they entered the tournament on a 16 game WFTDA losing streak). Lead by the unceasing play of Barbie, Mama and Miss Carriage, the new generation of Hammer City skaters slowly began to mark their presence, and led by a similarly unceasing Lorazeslam and a smart on-track leader in Whacks Poetic, the likes of Zoe Disco, Oh! Henry, Peppermental and Skarla provide a solid group around which to build.  In the end they had no answers for the Thunder who skated away with an impressive 361 point victory.

 *Watch the archived boutcast.

Breakout Vixens jammer Tarantulove mixes it up with Whacks Poetic, one of the key members of the next generation of Hammer City skaters. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Eh! Team (HCRG) 75 vs. Vixens (RVRG) 248

The Rideau Valley Vixens continued their exceptional play. Hammer City, who seemed to be learning and adapting on the fly all weekend, came out with a grinding defensive start that had the Vixens on the defensive as well, and their walls were up for the challenge. While Hammer’s defense was tightening up, they still struggled to generate offense (they were lacking a little toughness in on the track with Judge Jodie and Mama taking this one off). New Vixens’ jammer Tarantulove –who was out there for RVRG’s opening jam—would have a big game for the Vixens who would dominate the first five minutes before Eh! Team vet JJ Bladez finally nabbed a lead and picked up four points to make it 26-4, five minutes in. Once on the scoreboard, the Eh! Team stepped it up, and a Miss Carriage power jam had them clawing back into it. Despite being pulled into Hammer’s hard-hitting, high risk style, fantastic blocking in this one from Screaming Meanie Massacre (who has stepped into a bigger role on the team) and the vastly improved Margaret Choke (who was reliable defensively all weekend), kept the Vixens in control, and they eventually began to slowly pull ahead, leading 147-41 at half.

In the second half, Rideau Valley tightened things up and with less penalties were able to pull away (they took a lot of counter-clockwise blocking penalties in the first). Frostbite Me continued her excellent play in the pack while Tarantulove continued with her best game of the tournament closing out the game with a big jam to end an impressive, one-sided Vixens’ 173 point victory. Nonetheless, the Eh! Team had to be content with their 75 point offensive output in the game.

Brim Stone leads a CN Power wall to hold off Ova' Kill (who had a very impressive rookie debut). (Photo by Greg Russell)

Thunder (TCRG) 107 vs. CN Power (ToRD) 141

The marquee matchup of the 2012 Quad City Chaos was at prime time on Saturday night, and with these two ranked 16th (Thunder) and 17th (CN Power) in the WFTDA’s North Central Region, this one was about much more than a potential QCC tournament victory.  This was the third meeting in the last 15 months, and a tie breaker as they split the previous meetings. While this matchup is no longer as much about differing styles as it once was, Thunder still prefers a much slower, deliberate game than CN Power who still doesn’t seem to mind getting involved in a faster shoot out. Nonetheless it was a complete stalemate in the opening jams as both teams proceeded cautiously, almost respectfully. They traded leads throughout the first five minutes until a CN Power power jam (skated by Bambi, who’d never faced Thunder before) with a 4-3 pack advantage gave them a lead (21-3) that they would never relinquish. They settled in to this one and at one point increased the lead to 60-9 with only 12 minutes left. But the Thunder fought back hard at the end of the first and wrestled momentum away, outscoring CN Power 37-3 in the final 12 minutes to pull close, 63-46 at the half.

Super Thunder blocker Bareleigh Legal attempts to hunt down CN Power's Defecaitlin. (Photo by Greg Russell)

This bout was typified by wide swings in momentum, and CN Power came out calm and collected to start the second and was able to quickly get back into it. Penalties played a big role in this one: while Toronto had a steady stream of blockers heading to the pack giving Thunder dangerous pack advantages, Toronto’s jammers managed to remain clean, and the power jams made a big difference. But CN Power also showed their depth in all positions. Experienced jammer Candy Crossbones seemed to revel in the physical game played by the Thunder, and Betty Bomber and Aston Martini both had strong games in the pack. For the Thunder, sin-e-star and BareLeigh Legal were their usual lethal selves but Sofanda Beatin has really stepped up her game and was a huge presence all weekend for Tri-City. Rookie Ova Kill also continued to impress against experienced opponents. Defecaitlin closed out the bout with an important lead jam on the final jam, as CN Power held on for the very important victory.

*Watch the archived boutcast.

DAY TWO

Despite leading for much of the game, in the end the experience of players like sin-e-star and Sofanda Beatin was too much for the Vixens. (Photo by Greg Russell)

Vixens (RVRG) 168 vs. Thunder (TCRG) 202

In what was the second-place game at the tournament, Thunder came in as huge favourites, but as they did all weekend, the Vixens impressed with their steady team play. From the very opening jam, this one was a thriller. Tri City controlled things early as Sofanda Beatin was a one-women wall constantly recycling the Vixens’ jammers. They quickly built an 18 point lead before the very athletic Mudblood, who has emerged as a key player on the Vixens whether in the pack or jamming, finally got her team on the board, but the Thunder were still in control, 18-4 five minutes in. Potentially still suffering from the previous night’s emotional bout against CN Power, Thunder was not their usual dominant selves and seemed easily distracted as an excited Rideau Valley team kept pushing. Some strong offensive blocking from transfer Eh-Nihlator helped Soul Rekker pick up 18 and begin a thrilling run that saw RVRG inch ever closer, down two, 32-30 halfway through the first.  They took their first lead 46-44 with 10 left in the half. Mudblood and Ova’ Kill had some fantastic battles in the half, but the Vixens completely took over (leading to some desperate, undisciplined play from the Thunder) and only a big final-jam pick up from Konky had Tri-City still in it, down 74-63 at half.

The Vixens managed to hold on to the lead for the first fifteen minutes of the second, but as the tension rose, the experience of the Thunder shone through, and small errors plagued the Vixens. The power jams started going Thunder’s way and when they took a 132-125 lead halfway through the second, it was clear that momentum had firmly shifted. Leigh-zzie Borden (who had a breakout tournament at QCC ’11) closed out the game with a power jam with only 3 minutes left that put it out of reach and guaranteed the Thunder a second place finish at the Quad City Chaos.

CN Power's Aston Martini was dominant at times during the tournament. (Photo by Neil Gunner)

Eh! Team (HCRG) 55 vs. CN Power (ToRD) 408

CN Power closed out the tournament with one of their greatest offensive performances ever, breaking the 400-point barrier for the first time and building up their largest margin of victory ever.  But no one would have guessed that score after the first five minutes of the bout when Hammer City put forward their best sustained effort of the tournament. Catching the hosts completely off guard, the Eh! Team took their first lead on a Lorazeslam jam (8-7) four minutes in. (It took them 20 minutes to score against the Thunder the day before.) It was a slightly different look from the CN Power offense (Rebel Rock-It played big minutes with the star and looked great in the scrum starts) and Eh! Team had their top roster who are playing very well together (*tragically, veteran leader Miss Carriage rebroke her collar bone the day before and was unable to play). It was only a Defecaitlain power jam 8 minutes that gave CN Power a definitive lead (44-12). Led by strong pack play from Whacks Poetic and Oh! Henry, consistent jamming from JJ Bladez, Lorazelslam and Mean Little Mama kept Hammer on the board, but CN Power comfortably increased their lead to 208-31 at the half.

The second half brought much the same from both teams; increasingly good play from the young, inexperienced Eh! Team skaters, and a relentless push forward from CN Power who never once took their foot off the gas ( Defecaitlin recorded a rare 39 point jam on a remarkable 8 scoring passes at one point). Mean Little Mama ran into some more undisciplined play as jammer for the Eh! Team, which truly sealed the deal for the hosts who did everything right in the second half on their way to the 353 point victory and top spot at the 2012 Quad City Chaos.

* Watch the archived boutcast.

***All the WFTDA action was streamed live on Canuck Derby TV. Check the archives if you missed it. The non-sanctioned games will be available on Layer 9.

***On Thursday the recap continues with The Commentary.

2012 Quad City Chaos Preview: Part One (The Tournament)

The third annual QCC will be held on March 31st and April 1st, 2012, at ToRD's Bunker.

THE HISTORY

In 2010, the first Quad City Chaos featured the top four teams in Canada at the time (Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton and Vancouver), and, therefore, came to be seen as somewhat of an unofficial Canadian Championship. In a major coming-out party, Montreal dominated the round-robin tournament, exhibiting the knowledge gained on their long WFTDA road trips earlier that year. While the New Skids on the Block showed Canada what the competitive level of flat track roller derby was quickly rising too (the sport was only months removed from “The Great Leap Forward”), the three other combatants were very evenly matched and provided some thrilling roller derby (including Toronto’s first ever win over Hamilton, an 89-87 heart stopper). This year, Toronto Roller Derby’s CN Power will host the third Quad City Chaos in their Bunker in Downsview Park.

Montreal and Toronto play in the 2010 QCC. (photo by Derek Lang)

In the two years since the inaugural version of this four-team invitational, so much has changed. Flat track roller derby has evolved far beyond the simplicity of the earlier incarnations of the sport and although Montreal still continues to pace the pack in Canadian roller derby, they are at the very least, no longer playing a different game from their nearest competitors; Montreal may have dominated the tournament again last year, but it was a far different kind of dominance. After a disappointing 2010, CN Power grew in leaps and bounds in 2011, the first year that ToRD’s top travel team played with a set roster. Finishing second in the tournament for the second year in a row (including a thrilling 14-point victory over rivals Thunder from Tri-City), they used the success of the Quad City Chaos as a springboard for their first season playing in the WFTDA’s North Central Region (they’d close out the year ranked a more-than-respectable 17th in the Region). The Thunder themselves made an impressive Quad City Chaos debut, defeating other first timers the Rideau Valley Vixens to ensure a third-place finish (they would go on to complete 2011 ranked 16th in the North Central). The Quad City Chaos has become an important early season tournament for Canada’s top travel teams, and in 2012, this is no different.

Full 2010 QCC results.

2011 QCC recap: Part 1 (Games); Part 2 (Commentary)

Hammer City's Eh! Team (seen here in the 2010 QCC) return to the tournament in 2012. (Photo by Derek Lang)

THE TOURNAMENT

While the inaugural QCC was an unofficial Canadian Championship, the 2012 version may well be looked at as an unofficial Ontario championship. Two-time defending QCC champions Montreal’s New Skids on the Block are out this year meaning that there will be a new QCC champ crowned. Along with host team CN Power, the Tri-City Thunder and Rideau Valley Vixens will be returning to the tournament, while 2010 participants Hammer City’s Eh Team! returns after a one-year hiatus. These four teams represent Ontario’s (and right now four out of five of Eastern Canada’s) full contingent of WFTDA participants. The WFTDA has changed the face of competitive roller derby in North America (and increasingly the world), and Canadian teams are currently making a charge up the rankings. With Vancouver’s Terminal City All Stars turning heads out west and Montreal remaining one of the top teams in the east, Ontario’s four-team WFTDA cohort is set to enter the picture in a big way in 2012.

The Thunder vs. CN Power game at QCC '11 was the hilight of the tournament. They face off on Saturday night. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

The 2012 QCC will feature sanctioned bouts between all three full WFTDA members, and each team will play a bout against the Rideau Valley Vixens who (like CN Power at last year’s tournament) are on the verge of completing their WFTDA Apprenticeship and will once again be the biggest beneficiaries of this experience. With Hammer City being a year into a major rebuild and Rideau Valley dealing with a significant roster shakeup of their own, the tournament looks like CN Power’s or the Thunder’s to win. With CN Power ranked 17th in the WFTDA’s North Central Region and the Thunder ranked 16th (not to mention that the two teams have split their previous two meetings), their Saturday night prime-time matchup (7:00 PM) has all the makings of a phenomenal showdown and could be the bout of the weekend (and with rankings on the line, has ramifications outside of this tournament).

SCHEDULE

DAY ONE: SATURDAY MARCH 31st:

12:00 PM: CN Power (ToRD) vs. Vixens (RVRG)

2:00 PM:  Eh Team! (HCRG, 25th in North Central) vs. Thunder (TCRG, 16th NC) (WFTDA Sanctioned: tune in to Canuck Derby TV for live streaming)

5:00 PM: Vixens vs. Eh Team!

7:00 PM:  CN Power (17th) vs. Thunder (16th) (WFTDA Sanctioned: tune in to Canuck Derby TV for live streaming)

DAY TWO: SUNDAY APRIL 1st:

2:00 PM: Vixens vs.  Thunder

4:00 PM: CN Power vs. Eh! Team (WFTDA Sanctioned: tune in to Canuck Derby TV for live streaming)

**Tickets for the 2012 QCC are now available.
**Tune in to Canuck Derby TV for live streaming of all the WFTDA sanctioned action.

**Thursday: 2012 Quad City Chaos Preview: Part Two (The Teams).

Beast of the East 2012 Update: Participants Named

It’s official! The 2012 Beast of the East draw has been complete and all 16 teams have been named. The Beast of the East is hosted by Montreal Roller Derby and will take place April 21st and 22nd, 2012 at Arena St. Louis.

PARTICIPATING TEAMS

Representing Montreal Roller Derby (MTLRD)

Les Contrabanditas

Les Filles du Roi (Beast Champs 2010)

La Racaille (Beast Champs 2009)

Representing Toronto Roller Derby (ToRD)

Chicks Ahoy!

Death Track Dolls

Gore-Gore Rollergirls

Smoke City Betties)

Representing Forest City Derby Girls (FCDG)

Thames Fatales)

Representing Rideau Valley Roller Girls (RVRG)

Slaughter Daughters (Beast Champs 2011)

Representing the Hammer City Roller Girls (HCRG)

Hamilton Harlots (Beast Champs 2008)

Representing the Tri-City Roller Girls (TCRG)
Vicious Dishes

Representing the Greater Toronto Area Rollergirls (GTAR)
Derby Debutantes

Representing Roller Derby Quebec (RDQ)

Les Duchesses

Representing Durham Region Roller Derby (DRRD)

Motor City Madames

Representing the Muddy River Rollers

Reines of Terror

Representing Thunder Bay Roller Derby

Babes of Thunder

Tri-City closes out home season with double-header dominance.

The Tri-City Roller Girls hosted teams from Montreal and Toronto on Saturday night in the finale of their hometeam season. It’s been a fantastic season for the skaters from Tri-City, with the Venus Fly Tramps rounding into a deep and well-rounded team, the TKOs emerging from fresh meat status to become a full-fledged competitive team and the Vicious Dishes proving that they belong near the top in the discussion of top Canadian hometeams. Of course, all of this has filtered down from the success of the Thunder, TCRG’s WFTDA travel team (who will continue their season with a bout against Killamazoo on October 15th). And in the most fitting of conclusions, both Tri-City teams were victorious in their bouts.

Game 1: D-VAS (ToRD) 41 vs. TKOs 140

Tiny Dancer (TKOs) was the dominant jammer on the night, while triple threat Renny Rumble has proven to be the most game ready of the D-VAS.

Coming off of a big loss two weeks ago to Guelph’s All Stars, the D-VAS continued their all-important fall season. With ToRD’s hometeam entry draft only weeks away, this would be the last chance for these skaters to make a big impression. There were variations to the lineup for the D-VAS as Scarcasm and Babushkill made their on-track debuts. The TKOs were concluding a season of learning and development where they stood up to stiff competition at their first Beast of the East, scored a big victory over a Royal City team and played in a fantastically competitive bout against the Luscious Lunch Ladies, their fresh-team counterparts from Forest City. They were determined to come out hard in the final bout of the season and did so in front of a loud, supportive audience.

In the face of excellent TKO pack work, D-VAS Roadside Bombshell ran into some early penalty trouble.

As it did in their last bout against Royal City, penalties proved debilitating for the D-VAS in the early going. Early jammer penalties to Roadside Bombshell and Laya Beaton allowed the TKOs to take advantage of power jams to pull ahead 25-5 only 7 minutes into the game. Booty Two Shoes, Ruby Shrew (who was also excellent in the pack) and Tiny Dancers paced the offense for the home team in the early going and took advantage of loose Toronto packs as well. With the score 38-5 nearing the halfway point of the opening frame, Ames to Kill (in her first action with the star) and Roadside Bombshell finally pulled off two lead jams in a row to begin a little bit of a push back for the Toronto team. Renny Rumble continued her excellent play leading up to the draft (adding jammer to her already impressive resume) and was the most effective D-VAS one-on-one. But physical play from TKOs’ Annaslaysia Killsemov  and Scorcheon kept things in check, allowing them to go into the half with a 68-26 lead.

TKO pivot Fox Smoulder continued her excellent pack work.

Nonetheless, with Chicks Ahoy! bench manager Flyin’ Bryan Killman and Raunchy Hextall running the bench, it was a much more focused D-VAS team that took to the track on this night, with clearer strategies and much tighter pack work in play. But the difference in experience was evident in the later stages of the bout. Very quietly, Fox Smoulder continues to develop into a serious pack presence in Tri-City and it was only in the later stages of the game when things got looser and packs were stretched that her excellent pack work became more obvious, directing formations and frustrating D-VAS one-on-one. With penalties adding up  Laya Beaton took off the star and headed into the pack where she did some of her best work of the night, setting the tone early in the half with a sold jammer take out on Booty Two Shoes (though Laya would end up ejected late in the game). But Tiny Dancer, especially, led the jammer dominance for the TKOs on this night, often forcing calls when she didn’t get lead, and using a well-played power jam with ten minutes left in the bout to rack up 20 points and put the game away. The D-VAS stayed with it to the end and crossed the 40 point threshold on the final jam of the night when solid blocking from Mean Streak allowed Bombshell through the pack to put up the final points of the game and guaranteed that this would not be a triple-digit loss.

Game 2: Les Contrabanditas (MTLRD) 80 vs. Vicious Dishes 113

Montreal champs, Les Contrabinditas sent a roster that included replacement skaters from La Racaille and Hammer City.

The lineup of Les Contrabanditas was barely recognizable from the one that won its first Montreal championship this past season, but with borrowed skaters from leaguemates La Racaille and a few last-minute imports from Hammer City, they were able to track a competitive roster that gave the talented Vicious Dishes a solid, competitive bout to end an impressive season that saw them play top eastern hometeams (their only full-bout loss came to Rideau Valley’s Slaughter Daughters), and have an impressive run at the Beast of the East. This victory actually gave them some measure of revenge over their Montreal opponents, who’d scored a victory over them at the aforementioned annual tournament.

Dishes jammer Motorhead Molly breaks through a Ditas wall.

It took a while for the slap-dash Ditas to get things going and the Dishes certainly took advantage of their early organization problems. With Sexpos/La Racaille jammer Greta Bobo in the box, Team Canada’s Motorhead Molly tore up the track on the power jam to help the Dishes roar out of the gates, up 28-0 very quickly. With usual pivot Jill Standing off skates, solid blocker Stacie Jones took up extra shifts with the stripe and helped orchestrate the patented pack work of the Dishes. Actually, solid pack work from both sides was the story in the early going, as halfway through the opening period the score was a defensively sound 36-3. sin-e-star was a force once again dominating in the pack whether positionally or physically, while pivot/blocker Bareleigh Legal keeps making a case for herself as one of eastern Canada’s top one-on-one blockers. But it was a well-paced and consistent offense led by Motorhead Molly, Skate Pastor and Lippy Wrongstockings that was able to counteract a Ditas offense led by outstanding first-year skater Greta Bobo and Ti-Loup (fresh from an impressive performance for the New Skids on the Block at WFTDA’s Eastern Regional Championships last weekend). But with Hustle Rose, Mange-Moi El Cul and Beats Per Minute not dressed, the Montreal champs did not have the depth to compete offensively and found themselves staring up at an 85-14 disadvantage at the half.

Led by jammer Ti-Loup, the Ditas started to push back in the second half.

But Montreal skaters and teams are known for their resiliency and ability to bounce back , so it was never worth counting them out. There was a noticeable difference when all-Ditas lineups were out, and late in the bout the Dame of Doom – Bikini Skills – Ninja Simone trio proved up to any challenge that the Dishes threw their way. And when the Ditas started to come together late, they began to push back in a big way. Sofanda Beatin and Meg N’ Plead also donned the stripe to lead the packs for the Dishes who had to weather a storm that brewed slowly. With the score 91-41, two Dishes’ blockers in the box and the Ditas pressing, captain sin-e-star jammed in a pivotal defensive, time-wasting jam that sprung the penalized skaters and kept the Ditas at bay at an important moment in the bout. Suzy Slam had a smart game too, and the subtle forward-hip strikes from Anita Martini kept frustrating the Ditas blockers. The visitors from Montreal did end hard though, and narrowed the score considerably in the last five minutes, but when Ti-Loup lined up against Dishes’ popular blocker Stacie Jones (giving the assistant captain the opportunity to close out the game for her team), the outcome was sealed, and while the Montreal team made a big pick up to close out the game (and win the second half 66-33), it was another impressive home track victory for the Vicious Dishes to close out another impressive season.

2011 Beast of the East: Preview

This is the fourth edition of the important tournament.

Although the role of the Beast of the East tournament has shifted over the years, its value, and its importance in the development of a stable, sustainable Canadian roller derby community is undeniable. More and more the shift in focus in roller derby in general is toward the travel teams: the teams striving to compete at WFTDA’s highest level. All over North America the growing trend is for more travel-team based tournaments as a way in which to get a handful of sanctioned bouts done in a short period of time (necessitated by the realities of travel expenses, scheduling and the other trivialities that get in the way of a rollergirl’s derby life). So to have a tournament devoted solely to hometeams is becoming an increasing rarity; it also casts an aura of levity around the event: it becomes as much about a celebration of the sport than anything else. But that’s not to imply that teams don’t want to win (they do), and certainly there is a particular expectation in the air this year, as the recalibration of the Montreal Roller Derby League means that its new-look hometeams will not be as formidable a juggernaut as they have been in the history of this tournament, and certainly were last year.

In the beginning the Beast was an opportunity to learn the sport, both on and off the track. On the Friday before the inaugural 2008 tournament, the participants gathered for a viewing of Hell on Wheels, the documentary that tracks roller derby’s revival at the turn of the millennium, and inadvertently the birth of the flat track version of the sport. By 2010, when all three of Montreal’s hometeams completely dominated the tournament, the Beast had become an opportunity for Montreal to introduce the ever-evolving strategies of the sport that they’d learned toiling at the front lines of roller derby’s highest competitive levels. There was a distinct culture shift last year: it became evident that to remain competitive at flat track roller derby, it was necessary to reach for a higher level of physical training and strategic consideration.

One year later, it will be fascinating to see how the teams have adapted; which teams accepted the formidable challenge and have stepped up their games.

THE COMPETITION

Hammer City's absence will be felt (The Death Row Dames were quarterfinalists in 2010). (Photo by Derek Lang)

The noticeable absence this year is Hammer City. Three HCRG teams have played in the Beast of the East, with the Harlots winning the first BOE in 2008, and even last year they were a serious presence as the Death Row Dames went on a spirited run to the quarterfinals. The league has refocused, and reshaped with a clearer focus on travel teams (word on the track is that the historic Harlots will be retained as a B-Team). Nevertheless, 13 teams will be returning from last year including six of the eight teams from the quarterfinals (Vermont’s Green Mountain Derby Dames are the other absent quarterfinalists). Three new teams will be debuting including fresh league additions in GTA (The Chrome Mollys) and Tri-City (The Total Knock Outs), while the newly formed Les Duchesses de Quebec will be making their bouting debut.

ToRD's Gore-Gore Rollergirls have been the top non-Montreal team for the last two years; this could be their opportunity. (Photo by Kevin Konnyu)

The biggest change in competition comes through Montreal’s realignment. All three of Montreal’s teams have qualified for the semifinals in every tournament (a run that has included all-Montreal finals in the last two tournaments, won by La Racaille and Les Filles du Roi respectively), but this year with the top fourteen players being lifted from their hometeams to play exclusively with the New Skids in the Block, there will obviously be some growing pains for the Montreal teams (only one team, La Racaille, has played with its new roster, scoring a 60 point victory over the GTA’s Derby Debutantes). This opens the window for a handful of teams who have the experience and depth to do very well in 2011 including ToRD’s Gore-Gore Rollergirls, Tri-City’s Vicious Dishes, and Rideau Valley’s Slaughter Daughters. While the Montreal teams remain largely mysterious, they have all retained an important core and shouldn’t be counted out; on paper anyway, Les Contrabanditas look to be most dangerous as they retain seven skaters from last season’s impressive team and picked up two more vets in the off season (Beats Per Minute from Les Filles du Roi, and Low Dive Jenny from La Racaille).

Death Track Dolls and Les Filles du Roi will meet in the opening round; they last met in the opening round of the 2009 BOE. (photo by Derek Lang)

EXPECTATIONS

The timing and nature of this tournament make predicting what will happen tricky. A team could potentially play up to six bouts over the course of the weekend which means that energy conservation and roster juggling become important aspects of the game. Also, the 20 minute mini-bouts mean that often anything can happen: a good power-jam could be the difference, and teams that take longer to warm up could be at an obvious disadvantage. On top of this, there are also differences in the amount of track time these teams have had as well, with the ToRD teams potentially already rounding into mid-season form.

Only the opening match ups in the double elimination round are set, with paths getting complicated after that. While it doesn’t appear that there will be any major upsets, there are a few intriguing pairings. At the top of the list is the Gore-Gore Rollergirls vs. Vicious Dishes bout. Either of these teams are capable of winning this tournament, and if all goes as predicted may even cross paths again in the semi-finals (regardless of who wins this one). The Smoke City Betties and Thames Fatales game could also be an entertaining one, with both teams already having some bouts under their belts this year (and the Betties improving quickly). Finally the Death Track Dolls vs. Les Filles du Roi bout could be surprising. Les Filles (the defending champs) lost a lot of skaters to the Skids realignment and look like they will be tracking a very inexperienced team: because of that, there could be an upset up the Dolls’ sleeve. The harsh reality is, is that one win is not enough and half of the teams will be done by Saturday night.

This could finally be the year Les Contrabanditas rise to the top in MTLRD.

While Montreal may not have the dominant squads they once did, I still think all three teams will make it through to the quarterfinals, joined by three ToRD teams (The Gores, Chicks Ahoy! and Death Track Dolls), the Vicious Dishes and the Slaughter Daughters. Unfortunately for the hosts, I think the round of 8 will mark the end of the road for two-time finalists and ’09 champs La Racaille and the defending champion Les Filles du Roi, with the final four being the Dishes, Gores, Ditas and Daughters. I honestly think anything could happen between these four teams, but it would be nice to see the Gores (or Dishes) and Daughters meet in the final to truly bring an end to Montreal’s dominance. In both 2009 and 2010, the Gores were clearly the top team outside of MTLRD, and this could finally be the opportunity they need. The Ditas, though, who always seemed a step behind one of their Montreal counterparts will be extremely motivated to finally break through and win this.

Whoever manages to prevail, to be capable of pulling it off nothing less than a monumental effort will be required.

***The Beast of the East 2011 gets under way at 8:00 am on Saturday, April 30 at Arena St. Louis. If you’re not going to be in Montreal on the weekend, no need to worry! For the second-year in a row, all of the action will be boutcast live on Canuck Derby TV beginning at 8:00 AM (eastern) and running straight through until a champion is crowned on Sunday.

Beast of the East: History by the Numbers

Beast of the East: By the Numbers

In the first part of a 2011 Beast of the East preview, a look at how we got here…

PARTICIPANT HISTORY (BOE 2011 participants first)

Team League BOE Record Notes
Les Duchesses de Quebec RDQC First appearance.
Thames Fatales FCDG 3 – 5 First round in 08, 09. Quarter final in2010
Chrome Mollys GTAR First appearance.
Derby Debutantes GTAR 1 – 4 3rd appearance. First victory in 2010.
La Racaille MTLRD 12 – 3 Runners-up in 08, 10. Champs in 2009.
Les Contrabanditas MTLRD 10 – 4 2nd place in 2009. 3rd in 2010.
Les Filles du Roi MTLRD 11 – 2 Semi-final losses in 08, 09. Champs in 2010
Riot Squad RVRG 0 – 2 2nd Appearance.
Slaughter Daughters RVRG 2 – 4 3rd Appearance. Quarterfinals in 2009.
Chicks Ahoy! ToRD 3 – 5 First round in all three tournaments.
Death Track Dolls ToRD 2 – 5 Quarterfinals in 2009.
Smoke City Betties ToRD 3 – 5 Semi-final 2009.
Gore-Gore Rollergirls ToRD 6 – 3 Forfeit in 2009 after 3-0 start. 4th place in 2010.
Total Knock-Outs TCRG First Appearance.
Venus Fly Tramps TCRG 1 – 4 3rd appearance. First victory in 2009.
Vicious Dishes TCRG 3 – 4 3rd appearance. Quarterfinals in 2010.
NOT APPEARING in 2011
Hamilton Harlots HCRG 7 – 4 2008-2010. Quarterfinals in 09. Champs in 08.
Death Row Dames HCRG 3 – 5 2008-2010. Quarterfinals in 2010.
Steel Town Tanks Girls HCRG 1 – 1 2008
Bay Street Bruisers ToRD 1-3 2008, 2009
D-VAS ToRD 0-1 2008
London Thrashers FCDG 0 – 1 2008
Bytown Blackhearts ORD 0 – 1 2008
Capital Carnage ORD 0 – 2 2009
Devil Dollies QCRG 1 – 1 1st US team (2008)
Derby Dames Grn Mtn 2 – 1 2nd US team, 1st to reach quarterfinals (2010)

PAST CHAMPIONS

2008: Hamilton Harlots (HCRG)

2009: La Racaille (MTLRD)

2010: Les Filles du Roi (MTLRD)

RECORDS

Wins: 12 (La Racaille [MTLRD]); Win%: 85% (Les Filles du Roi [MTLRD])

Points Per Game (tournament): 80 (Les Filles du Roi, 2010) Points Against (tournament): 9 (Les Filles du Roi, 2010)

Most Points (Bout): 115 (Les Filles du Roi, 2010) Combined/Differential: 122/108 (Les Filles du Roi vs. Vicious Dishes [TCRG], 2010) [*The Gore-Gore Rollergirls [ToRD] were the first, and only other team, to score 100 points in a bout–a 103-11 victory over Capital Carnage in 2009]

YEAR-BY-YEAR RESULTS

Beast of the East 1: 2008

First Round

POOL A

Steel Town Tank Girls 40 vs Smoke City Betties 18
La Racaille 65 vs The Bytown Blackhearts 29
Death Row Dames 17 vs Devil Dollies 54
D-VAS 27 vs Les Contrabanditas 50

POOL B

Bay Street Brusies 45 vs Thames Fatales 38
London Thrashers 13 vs Chicks Ahoy 65
Death Track Dolls 23 vs Les Filles du Roi 37

Quarter Finals

Hamilton Harlots win the 2008 Beast. (photo by Derek Lang)

Steel Town Tank Girls 30 vs La Racaille 32

Devil Dollies 16 vs. Les Contrabanditas 42

Chicks Ahoy 30 vs Les Filles du Roi 38
Hamilton Harlots 53 vs Bay Street Bruisers 15

Semi Finals

Hamilton Harlots 58 vs Les Filles du Roi 29

Les Contrabanditas 32 vs La Racaille 39

Final

Hamilton Harlots 55 vs. La Racaille 18

Read the Derby Nerd’s reflections on a tournament he didn’t see.

Beast of the East 2: 2009

First Round (Double Elimination)

Capital Carnage 11 Gore-Gore Rollergirls 103
Death Row Dames 23 Thames Fatales 19
Les Contrabanditas 59 Venus Fly Tramps 26
Slaughter Daughters 24 Smoke City Betties 32
La Racaille 67 Bay Street Bruisers 10
Chicks Ahoy! 48 Vicious Dishes 32
Les Filles du Roi 77 Death Track Dolls 6
Derby Debutantes 6 Hamilton Harlots 69
Gore-Gore Rollergirls 32 Death Row Dames 5
Capital Carnage 20 (eliminated) Thames Fatales 67
Les Contrabanditas 34 Smoke City Betties 20
Venus Fly Tramps 14 (eliminated) Slaughter Daughters 48
La Racaille 36 Chicks Ahoy! 35
Bay Street Bruisers 16 (eliminated) Vicious Dishes 21
Les Filles du Roi 34 Hamilton Harlots 25
Death Track Dolls 61 Debutantes 20 (elimin.)
Gore-Gore Rollergirls 35 Les Contrabanditas 26
Death Row Dames 15 (eliminated) Smoke City Betties 24
. Thames Fatales 28 (eliminated) Slaughter Daughters 68
. La Racaille 35 Les Filles du Roi 43
. Chicks Ahoy! 21 (eliminated) Hamilton Harlots 38
. Vicious Dishes 27 (eliminated) Death Track Dolls 32
. Quarter Finals
. Gores (forfeit) Smoke City Betties
. Les Contrabanditas 28 Slaughter Daughters 25
. Les Filles du Roi 24 Hamilton Harlots 11
. La Racaille 77 Death Track Dolls 17
. Semi FinalsSmoke City Betties 23 Les Contrabanditas 33
La Racaille 38 Les Filles du Roi 20
. Third Place (Cancelled)Smoke City Betties Les Filles du Roi
FinalLes Contrabanditas 34 La Racaille 49
.

Read the Derby Nerd’s commentary.

Read a bout-by-bout recap by DNN’s Justice Feelgood Marshall .

Beast of the East 3: 2010

First Round (Double Elimination)
Thames Fatales 38 vs. Smoke City Betties 11
La Racaille 81 vs. Chicks Ahoy!12
Green Mountain Derby Dames 40
vs. Riot Squad 17
Death Row Dames 63 vs. Venus Fly Tramps 6
Les Contrabanditas 72 vs. Death Track Dolls 9
Gore-Gore Rollergirls 43 vs. GTA Derby Debutantes 20
Vicious Dishes 37 vs. Slaughter Daughters 20
Les Filles du Roi 92 vs. Harlots 6
La Racaille 91 vs. Thames Fatales 0
Chicks Ahoy! 89 vs. Betties 15 (eliminated)
Green Mountain Derby Dames 29 vs. Death Row Dames 15
Venus Fly Tramps 43 vs. Riot Squad 14 (eliminated)
Les Contrabanditas 63 vs. Gore-Gore Rollergirls 17

Derby Debutantes 38 vs. Death Track Dolls 29 (eliminated)
Les Filles du Roi 115 vs. Vicious Dishes 7
Harlots 28 vs. Slaughter Daughters 24 (eliminated)
Thames Fatales 24 vs. Venus Fly Tramps 15 (eliminated)
Death Row Dames 42 vs. Chicks Ahoy! 34 (eliminated)
Gore-Gore Rollergirls 45 vs. Harlots 20 (eliminated)
Vicious Dishes 52 vs. Derby Debutantes 24 (eliminated)

Quarter Finals
La Racaille 57 vs. Vicious Dishes 4
Les Contrabanditas 64 vs. Death Row Dames 11
Gore-Gore Rollergirls 45 vs. Green Mountain Derby Dames 22
Les Filles du Roi 91 vs. Thames Fatales 12

Semi Finals
La Racaille 69 vs. Les Contrabanditas 46
Les Filles du Roi 65 vs. Gore-Gore Roller Girls 1

Third Place
Les Contrabanditas 91 vs. Gores 21

Final
Les Filles du Roi 36 vs. La Racaille 20

Read the Derby Nerd’s preview and recap.

Watch the archived bouts.

Quad City Chaos Recap (Part 2): The Commentary

THE RESULTS

TEAM WINS LOSSES +/-
New Skids on the Block (Montreal)

3

0

+764
CN Power (Toronto)

2

1

-133
Tri-City Thunder (Kitchener)

1

2

-193
Vixens (Rideau Valley)

0

3

-438

Montreal’s New Skids on the Block won their second straight QCC. (photo by Todd Burgess)

It must be hard to head into a tournament knowing that at some point on the weekend you will have to play in a bout that will amount to a one-sided shellacking, but that is the current state of Canadian roller derby where Montreal’s New Skids on the Block are playing on a competitive level that is unmatched in this country. But all credit goes to CN Power, Tri-City Thunder and Rideau Valley’s Vixens who entered their bouts against the defending Quad City Chaos title holders looking like nothing less than teams hungry for a victory. Despite how determined and confident the opposition may have been, for the second year in a row the Skids raised the bar on the competitive level of Canadian roller derby and cruised through their three games with an average margin of victory of 250 points (scoring a remarkable 860 total points) to win their second straight Quad City Chaos.

THE PLAYERS

Thunder’s Motorhead Molly and Vixens’ Semi Precious continued to lead their teams at the QCC. (photo by Chrissie Wu)

The Usual Suspects

The Skids have such a strong team that it is becoming increasingly more difficult to distinguish individual players; nonetheless, it is hard to argue that Jess Bandit and the Iron Wench are not the top players in their positions at this tournament, or in the country for that matter. In the same vein as the Oly Rollers’ pivot Sassy, Jess Bandit is the kind of player that you need to really study (and watch live) to see how dominant she can be, so simply effective that she almost slips under the radar. The Iron Wench’s brilliance may be easier to see, but it is no less impressive. For CN Power, team captain and on-track leader Brim Stone has emerged as a more-than-capable pivot in her own right and is a key in the resurgence of ToRD’s all stars. Somehow, just when you think that Defecaitlin (AKA: Dust Bunny) has achieved the pinnacle of her abilities, she steps it up another notch, this weekend having the best jammer battles with the Wench and dominating in her other bouts. Sin-e-star continues to be a solid, reliable presence in the Thunder pack, and even added “big-moment jammer” to her already impressive resume this weekend, providing an emotional spark to her team and an offensive boost when needed.

 Defecaitlin vs. Iron Wench. (photo by Laine White)

But the offense is getting a real boost from the ever-improving Motorhead Molly, a reliable, unshakeable presence on offense. Finally, the Vixens’ Semi Precious wouldn’t look out of place on any of the rosters at the QCC. A phenomenal talent in the pack (whether pivoting or acting as a rogue striker), the fortunes of this team will revolve around her play on the track. And while Rideau Valley’s offense continues to add depth, it is still anchored by the impressive Soul Rekker who was key for her team all weekend, especially leading the push back late in the bout against the Thunder.

Jubilee has really stepped it up for CN Power in 2011. (photo by Todd Burgess)

The Steppin-It-Uppers

For the well-rounded Skids, the importance of both Cheese Grater and Lil’ Mama to the continued development of this team was obvious this weekend. Cheese Grater is the prototypical triple threat, and her increasing role with the stripe speaks to her importance on a team that defines itself by pack control. And while Lil’ Mama’s toughness has never been a question, with Ewan Wotarmy sidelined with an injury, her importance as jammer was highlighted, and she brought that same sort of toughness to jamming, often skating through opposing blockers. CN Power has improved so much that it’s difficult not to cite every member of the team for steppin’ it up. Dyna Hurthca continues to show an increased poise and discipline in the pack, while a suddenly squeaky clean Nasher the Smasher needs to be commended for her willingness and ability to go one-on-one with the Iron Wench. Finally, Jubilee, who once briefly retired from the sport, has not only come full circle in her return, but has surpassed herself. Her pack work has

Ripper A. Part (Vixens). (photo by Neil Gunner)

gotten increasingly tighter and her ability to take opposing players out of jams—whether it be with sniper-like jammer take outs or strong positional blocking—has noticeably improved. Finally, for the Vixens, the offense as whole stepped it up. Soul Rekker is no longer the sole weapon on this team, as Dee Dee Tee looks fearless and Ripper A. Part is so much more effective now than she was a year ago that she actually looks physically bigger on the track. In the pack, the role of Surgical Strike (who stepped it up at the recent Blood and Thunder All Star bout at the Hangar) cannot be denied; she was one of the most capable Vixens’ blockers all weekend.

 

The Breakout Players

You have to look at the younger Skids to find a breakout player here, and with Mange Moi-El Cul and Hustle Rose playing up to high expectations, Hymen Danger was the surprising Skid this weekend, looking very strong in the bout against CN Power on Saturday night, and not looking at all out of place on the roster. For CN Power, the story of travel-team rookie Hurlin’ Wall is becoming an increasingly interesting narrative in Toronto Roller Derby. An absolutely unintimidated blocker, Hurlin’ does not know the word quit; already an impressive striker and one-on-one blocker, as her pack awareness increases, she will just become more and more of an important cog in the CN Power machine. For the Thunder, with the already important Freudian Whip taking on an increasingly foundational role for the team, it was Leigh-zzie Borden who was the real breakout story of the weekend. A force in the pack, Leigh-zzie also showed a proficiency with the star as well and provides yet another well-rounded skater to Tri-City’s already impressive roster. If you caught any of the Vixens’ bouts this weekend, it was impossible not to notice Assassinista. Whether leading her pack with the star, or blocking within it, AK-47 left it all on the track every time she was out there. An energetic, seemingly tireless player for Rideau Valley, she will be a big part of this team’s future.

 

THE WRAP

Assassinista had a breakout tournament for the Vixens. (photo by Chrissie Wu)

 

While these tournaments don’t generate the same kind of fan-energy at the Hangar as regular bouts (they are long and often feature one-sided results) they are a necessary part of the growth of the sport in Canada, allowing eastern Canada’s three up-and-coming hometeams the ability to collect valuable track time against excellent competition. And the value of getting to play a team of the calibre of Montreal’s New Skids on the Block cannot be denied. It was their play at last year’s QCC that kicked off the strategic development of teams all across Canada (last year’s participant Vancouver has since begun to play in WFTDA’s Western Region), and it will certainly have the same effect this year, easing ToRD and Tri-City into WFTDA competition. For Rideau Valley, this marked the highest level of competition that they have faced and was certainly an excellent experience to kick off their WFTDA Apprenticeship. And of course for anyone who follows Canadian roller derby (whether you were at the Hangar or watching on the boutcast), it was an extraordinary display of the some of the finest roller derby this country has to offer.

** Canuck Derby TV came to town to boutcast the QCC in its entirety. You can watch the archived bouts here.  Stay tuned to ToRD.TV for interviews and layer9’s trackside boutcast.