After Toronto area roller derby fans witnessed the city’s travelling team CN Power dominate Michigan’s Killamazoo Derby Darlins in late February, the demand for more fast-paced roller derby action was needed to warm up the cold and dreary winter in the city. The date for that action is near as the Toronto Roller Derby (ToRD) league returns to The Hangar in Downsview Park this Saturday March 12th as the home teams will once again be on showcase.
Chicks Ahoy! will battle the Smoke City Betties, as both teams are set to make their Toronto season debuts.
The off-season was an interesting one for the two squads as a major revamp was done on both sides of the spectrum. After losing in the championship final to the Gore Gore Rollergirls, Chicks Ahoy! had veteran skaters Fubar Bundy, Fireweed, Marvel S Maven, Kari Mia Beere, Blammo, Crimson Shivers and 2010 team captain Mach Wheels all decide against returning for the 2011 season, so the tides of change were in motion for the ladies in green.
The team handed the captaincy to seasoned veterans Tara Part and Candy Crossbones, added a new bench manager in Flyin’ Bryan Killman and drafted some new blood in the form of skaters Kookie Doe, Bam Bam Hiterlow, Snapp’n Cooter, Bala Reina, Red Light Roxy and Tess D’Urb-Evil. The addition of the fresh faces to the Chicks camp gives the team a complete new look, although the team will certainly continue to play their tough, hard-hitting style of play which has been successful in years past.
Anyone who has ever seen Chicks Ahoy! play a bout know their pack players are a force to be reckoned with. Pivots Rebel Rock-It & Mega Bouche and blockers Tara Part, Nasher the Smasher, Hoff, Dolly Destructo, Marmighty, Robber Blind, Hum Dinger, Cherri Nova, Furious Georgia and jammer turned blocker G-Force!! never back down from a tough battle as they certainly know how to dish out the hits. Candy Crossbones, one of the leagues well-known jammers, will certainly take the star for her team and triple threat candidate Dyna Hurtcha should see jamming time as well. This could leave room for one of the rookies or one of the team’s veteran blockers to step up and take on the role of jammer. If the team can find that third capable jammer and continue to play a brutally tough pack game they may be in line for another trip to the finals.
The Smoke City Betties, who relied heavily on rookies throughout the 2010 season also made over their squad, but decided to go the opposite direction from Chicks Ahoy!. They drafted players with past roller derby experience such as Mia Culprit and Bruiseberry Pie while also bringing aboard the impressive Wolverina who wowed Toronto with her performance for the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad (DVAS) last season. The Betties also grabbed proven leader and former captain of the DVAS Misery Mae and the smooth skating Rug Burn. The advantage of having the highest draft picks in the off-season paid off for the Betties as all five players were highly touted by the teams in ToRD prior to the draft. Similar to the Chicks, the Betties brought on a new coaching staff to aid in the 2011 season. Coach Shaun, Sneaky Teaze and The Count will all take the reigns together on the Betties bench.
Although the team lost every bout last season by a wide margin the talent was certainly there. Sail Her Poon made a name for herself right out of the gates and has now taken on the team captaincy along side Lady Scorcher; one of the league’s under-rated but dangerously effective blockers. From the jam line Tropic Thunder had a terrific rookie campaign, titmouse will bring her new found experience with CN Power to the track, which should elevate her game to a new level, and Memphis Kitty showed that her veteran know-how made her a tough skater to handle on the flat track. Platinum Bomb showed promise and many expect her to jam more often this season. In the pack, veterans Pretty Peeved, Hot Roller, Mouth of the South and Lacy Brawler all return to brutalize the opposition with Diva Zapata, Genuine Risk, P Doddy and Sin D Drop Her who really came out of her shell as an excellent pack presence late last season.
Both squads have one game under their team’s respective belts having played exhibition bouts in Ottawa earlier this year. Chicks Ahoy! played their first bout of the season against the Slaughter Daughters, the #6 ranked home team in Canada (rankings taken from Rollergirl.ca), while the Betties played Ottawa’s Riot Squad (ranked #24 as per Rollergirl.ca). The Chicks put up one heck of a fight against the high-ranked Slaughter Daughters, keeping them off balance for the majority of the bout, but the Daughters ended up victorious with a 131-75 win. As for the Betties, they managed to pull off a thrilling last second victory over the Riot Squad with an 81-79 win on a last jam scoring pass by titmouse. The win was a much needed one for the Betties after a winless 2010.
The two teams are done with out of town oppositions and are ready to battle one another this Saturday as ToRD returns once again. Although uncertainties may lie with these revamped teams, a sure thing is that the bout will be one heck of a performance, as the ladies of ToRD never let down their faithful fans.
Doors to the bout open at 6:30pm EST with the bout scheduled to being at 7:30pm EST.
Tickets can be purchased in advance at the ToRD website, but make sure you get them now as the last two ToRD events were sold out and remember parents, kids under 9 are free (limit of two children).
See you all trackside!
Published by Gear Up for Sports