This past weekend at The Hangar in the Downsview Park region of Toronto the second annual Quad City Chaos tournament took place, showcasing some of the best roller derby teams Canada has to offer from the east side of the country. Teams from Montreal (New Skids on the Block), Ottawa (Rideau Valley Vixens), Kitchener (Tri-City Thunder) and Toronto (CN Power) played a weekend long tournament style event giving the fans in attendance their money’s worth.
The weekend kicked off in an officially unofficial way. Montreal and Tri-City, both members of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), opened the tournament in a WFTDA sanctioned bout which was not on the program for Quad City Chaos. Unless you arrived early to the show or had an in to the event you missed out on Montreal dominating Tri-City like they have done to most teams all season, with the exception being their only loss to the number two ranked Oly Rollers. Montreal was victorious in the bout 254-52. The 52 points scored by Tri-City would be the most Montreal would allow all weekend long as their dominance of Canada would continue.
For fans without the permission to see the bout between Montreal and Tri-City the tournament officially began at 2:20pm with the hometown CN Power of Toronto battling Ottawa’s Rideau Valley Vixens. CN Power came into the bout with an obvious confidence after a dominating win over the Killamazoo Derby Darlins of Michigan in late February and with a win under their belt over Ottawa in February of 2010.
Although the team from Ottawa was aware that the competition they would face would be stiff they did not show any signs of intimidation as they skated into the tournament’s debut bout. What Ottawa could not have expected was just how prepared Toronto was for their style of play. CN Power flew out of the gates playing an up-tempo style of derby featuring their exciting jamming trio of Defecaitlin aka Dust Bunny, Land Shark and Candy Crossbones. Even with the pack presence of Ottawa’s hard-hitting leader Semi Precious anchoring a squad of brown and gold walls they could not stop Toronto.
CN Power built an early lead and then used a varying array of slow moving walls mixed with outstanding pack control speed to control the pace of the bout. As the trio of CN Power jammers mentioned earlier racked up points for their squad, the CN Power pack work was outstanding which led CN Power to a 156-40 victory over the Vixens.
Toronto blockers Jubilee and Dyna Hurtcha announced their presence with authority slamming hard hits on their opponents, while Rebel Rock-It donned the pivot stripe successfully in customary fashion for Toronto. The win was an excellent way to begin the tournament for CN Power as they had to get off to a good start prior to their main event bout of the evening against Montreal at 7:00pm that same day.
After a tough loss to begin the tournament, Rideau Valley was forced into playing back to back bouts, thanks to the scheduling of the tournament. After a 40 minute break, the Vixens were back out on the track preparing to play the Tri-City Thunder, who were also not as fresh as they could have been, having played the unofficial bout against Montreal earlier in the day.
With both teams coming to the track aching they certainly did not show any signs of backing down against each other. The bout between the two teams turned out to be the most competitive and exciting bout on the day for fans in attendance as Rideau Valley gave Tri-City a serious run for their money. Tri-City obviously had a plan of attack ready for Ottawa’s number one threat from the jamming line Soul Rekker so jammers Sister Disaster and DDT really showcased their jamming potential in the bout picking up steam as the bout went on. Despite a heavy blow to the head late in the bout Ottawa’s ASSASSINista was all over the track making plays for her team while Semi Precious stood out once again against their opponents in grey. But no matter how hard the Vixens tried Tri-City seemed to edge them out for point differential while maintaining their slim lead until the end of the bout. The Thunders Anita Martini and Leigh-zzie Borden were scary good in the pack, throttling their opponents with big hits, while the Thunder jammer contingent of Motorhead Molly and Skate Pastor scored a large sum of points for their team. With the fans in attendance cheering loudly for the underdog Vixens the energy picked up throughout The Hangar. The energy from the crowd sent the Vixens way was not enough as Tri-City held on for the close 109-84 victory.
With three bouts down on the day and fans in attendance witnessing an abundance of roller derby action for hours on end the main event for the evening was about to get under way. CN Power would take on the dominating force known as the New Skids on the Block from Montreal, the favourite to go undefeated on the weekend. The flashy bright coloured uniforms of the Skids clashed against the fuchsia pink uniforms of CN Power as the teams skated side by side in pre-game warm-ups and that ironic scene may have been a precursor of things to come in the bout as the Skids used their experienced, slow derby style of play to literally clash with the Power in a successful manner.
Montreal stepped on the throttle early using jammers Iron Wench, Lil Mama and Georgia W. Tush to earn a quick point differential and then put into play some of the most dominating pack work this writer has ever laid his eyes on. The Skids slowed down the pack and trapped CN Power on every opportunity possible which forced Toronto into numerous out of play penalties. Montreal also brought Toronto’s speed from the jammer line to an abrupt halt. Toronto jammer Land Shark was literally halted by Montreal as she received a huge blow to the head as she skated around turn one on the track. The blow to the head put her out of the game, but she toughed it out, icepack and all, on the teams bench while rooting on her team-mates.
The consistent trapping of the Skids led to frequent trips to the penalty box for their opponents and with the pack literally at a standstill, thanks to Montreal’s pack control, it left the door wide open for their jammers to power jam their way to a huge lead. Toronto fought as hard as they have had to all season but the more experienced Montreal team stuck to their plan. When Toronto seemed to finally figure out Montreal’s plan it was too late due to the large point differential which grew larger and larger as the game crept on, leading to an eventual Montreal victory 284-21.
The bout was not a complete loss for Toronto as it gave some high-level playing experience and track time to first year CN Power players titmouse and Aston Martini. Aston played ferociously in the pack breaking out of numerous traps laid by Montreal while titmouse built confidence out on the track from the jammer line picking up points for Toronto, despite jamming against some of the best jammers in the country. She could have easily buckled under the pressure, but looked poised and the experience will certainly carry over to her play with her Toronto home team the Smoke City Betties.
The bout also showcased some amazing skating skill from CN Power’s Lady Gag-Ya who pulled off a highlight reel maneuver to get out of one of Montreal’s traps. The move involved some excellent backwards skating with a nifty toe-stop hesitation stall that had the fans in awe. One of the most improved, as well as most under-rated players, in Toronto may have got herself some attention with that move as it was worthy of an award.
One other thing that was apparent during the bout was the overall strength of Montreal. Some of Toronto’s heaviest hitters Tara Part, Nasher the Smasher and Dyna Hurtcha all laid their usual heavy hits into numerous players in Montreal’s pack, but it did not seem to faze the neon coloured ladies of Quebec. Seeing them take hits of that nature without even losing a step made me quiver at how outstanding this team will be come the Eastern Regionals of the WFTDA tournament to crown the National champion. With the way Montreal has played in 2011 as well as how they played in the Quad City Chaos they are making the derby world very aware of their presence as a serious contender for the title.
After one day of action Montreal had a record of 2-0 while Toronto and Tri-City were at 1-1 with Rideau Valley going 0-2. The bouts continued into Sunday with Montreal kicking off the day against Rideau Valley in the opener. Rideau Valley were huge underdogs in this bout and certainly had the fan support behind them. The recurring theme of Montreal’s play continued at the beginning of this bout as they jumped out to a quick point scoring start holding Rideau Valley scoreless for a large portion of the first half. Ottawa only managed 10 first half points, as they looked outmatched from every aspect of the game against the more experienced Montreal team. Montreal switched things up from the jammer line using Smack Daddy and Cheese Grater for a large majority of the bout while Trash n Smash and Nameless Whorror were immoveable in the pack. Semi Precious continued her outstanding play for Ottawa while Surgical Strike had a fine game, even stepping into jam at one point and Sister Disaster completed the final game of her tournament on a high note, leaving an impression on Toronto derby fans. Margaret Choke, Drunky Brewster and Big Block all left positive impressions on the crowd in the pack with their never say die attitudes, battling it out during every jam despite the point difference.
Even with all of the effort and continued fan support Rideau Valley was unsuccessful in earning a victory in the tournament losing their final bout to Montreal 320-23. The learning experience for Rideau Valley playing a team like Montreal will most certainly pay dividends in future competition for the “Foxy Ladies” of Canadian roller derby.
Only one bout remained at Quad City Chaos and the setting could not have been more perfect. Toronto and Tri-City, both with tournament records of 1-1 were set to square off. The two teams, who have built a small rivalry of sorts which dated back to last season when Tri-City was successful in defeating Toronto, were eagerly awaiting the beginning of the bout as they sat trackside watching the Montreal/Ottawa bout. With that game out of the way the ladies warmed up and the looks in both teams’ eyes said one thing “WIN”.
The Hangar was full of energy as the majority of fans in attendance were rooting for Toronto screaming out lines such as “#2, #2, #2” in honour of CN Power’s Defecaitlin who wears #2 as well as the customary CN…CN…CN…POWER chant. The energy was obvious and there was just a feeling in the air that this bout was going to be better then good, it was going to be memorable. Memorable is exactly what it was.
The bout was a back and forth contest with each team holding leads over each other at the early stages of the game. With the absence of Land Shark Toronto went with Defecaitlin, Candy Crossbones and Betty Bomber from the jam line and the trio did not let anyone down. Candy went almost perfect from a lead jammer perspective while Defecaitlin looked to jam better in this bout then in any other over the course of the weekend and Betty Bomber did not show any sign of discomfort from the jammer line despite playing as strictly a pack player earlier in the tournament. CN Power captain Brim Stone played in her third consecutive bout looking strong in the pack while Mega Mouth lived up to her reputation as a strong pivot who is only getting better the more she wears the stripe. Hurlin Wall, the face-painted horror of Toronto, who is playing her first season as part of CN Power and only her second season in roller derby, was a menace for her opponents opening up holes for jammers while also playing the role of big hitter for Toronto. She laid down some serious hurt on her opponents which was certainly felt later in the form of bruises for the Thunder.
Tri City matched up against Toronto well using an impressive performance from Motorhead Molly and Lippy Wrongstockings to coincide with strong pack play from captain sin-e-star and Gunmoll Mindy as well as more vicious play from Leigh-zzie Borden, but the back and forth contest swayed in Toronto’s favour more often then not. The game was almost put out of reach in the second half when Dyna Hurtcha stepped in as a jammer and power jammed her way to some important late game points, once again proving she is one of Toronto’s biggest triple threats.
As the bout neared to a close it looked as if Toronto was guaranteed a victory, but those pesky ladies from Tri-City would not let Toronto slam the door shut and made the game very interesting. They closed the point gap to 14 and called a time out to secure one last jam with one second remaining on the clock. This gave Tri-City a punchers chance of winning the bout. With every fan’s hearts in their throats Tri-City had one last shot to win, sending out captain sin-e-star to jam against Toronto’s Defecaitlin. The two players scrapped it out to attain lead jammer status and when sin-e-star came out of the pack with lead it looked like an upset could be near, but the fleet footed Defecaitlin used her speed to whisk by sin-e-star, who knew the bout was over and called the jam to end it all with Toronto victorious 112-98. The finish was an exhilarating way to end the Quad City Chaos tournament and it certainly added another chapter to the Tri-City/CN Power rivalry, which should only get more interesting as time goes on.
Montreal was the clear cut victor of the tournament, as far as records are concerned, but an impressive showing by CN Power has put them on the map in the roller derby world. Tri-City showed that despite the two losses they are one of the toughest teams from the eastern part of Canada and will be a force to be reckoned with in WFTDA play as the year goes on and Rideau Valley has all the talent and leadership that will make them capable of defeating tough teams as they gain more experience.
All in all the second edition of the Quad City Chaos tournament hosted by Toronto Roller Derby was another success and here is hoping that the event continues next season.
For fans itching to attend more roller derby events in the city of Toronto the next scheduled ToRD event will take place Saturday April 9th 2011 as the defending champion Gore-Gore Rollergirls take on stiff competition in the form of Chicks Ahoy!
All details for the event can be found at the ToRD website.
Published by Gear Up for Sports
Published article link: http://5×5.gearupforsports.com/blog/2011/03/2011-quad-city-chaos-a-complete-success/