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By Tiki TimeBomb
Jammer Luludemon speeds out of the pack. photo by Bob Ayers
Minoru Arena was packed like never before on June 1, with excited fans eager to watch Western Canada’s first ever inter-continental roller derby bout. The London Rollergirls’ London Brawling crossed the pond to take on the Terminal City All-Stars in the first bout of their North American Tour, and there was barely standing room in the building. The 43rd-ranked All-Stars were fresh off two solid wins and a pair of close losses at The Big O tournament in Eugene, OR, and in top fighting form. London is currently ranked 23rd in the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), and most of the 2011 Team England World Cup roster hailed from that team.
London raised the bar right from the first whistle, drawing two consecutive penalties on the red jammers and racking up 40 power jam points by vice-captain Kamikaze Kitten and the seemingly unstoppable Rogue Runner. Despite the quick-footed agility of jammers Evada Peron and Bobbi Barbarich, London shut the All-Stars out until the 9th jam, when ironically it was Englander expat Luludemon who put the first home points on the board, 4 to London’s 69. The All-Stars’ combined strategies of active offense and quick star passes couldn’t quite break down the intense recycling walls of London blockers like Shaolynn Scarlett and Raw Heidi. The visitors’ sharply executed bridging repeatedly forced the Vancouver jammers too far behind the pack to receive offensive help. All-Star Scarlett Bloodbath gave some great assists that led to another handful of points, but the spread continued to grow. The first period ended on a positive note for home fans when All-Star Evada grabbed a quick 4 points, leaving the score at an incredible 133-13 for London.
Solid wall of TCRG All-Stars guard the inside line from London Jammer. photo by Bob Ayers
The All-Stars came back with significantly tighter defense, and London barely squeezed points out of the first jams of the second period. Blockers Kim Mackenzie, Lisa Suggit and Buffy Sainte Fury stuck to the visiting jammers like glue. In an explosion of energy felt through the entire building, Barbarich packed on an impressive 9 points while her pack held the London jammer back. Luludemon built on the momentum with another 10 points and some exceptional pack work by Jaime Edgar and Jocelyn Ingram, bringing the score up to 148-32. But the All-Stars ran into more penalty trouble, and the London jammers were able to make quick work of the few red blockers on the track. Another power jam by Kamikaze added 23 points for London, and it felt like London was gaining steam until All-Star Kim Janna capitalized on a rare London jammer penalty. The All-Stars’ jammers took the lead the next three jams in a row, and London started suffering blocker penalties. The final five minutes of the game saw some of the All-Stars best ever team work on home turf, with tight plays that allowed them to pack on a few last points with another three lead jams in a row. To the viewers’ delight, the final jam saw reputable jamming powerhouses Kim Janna and Kamikaze Kitten square off.
London Brawling walked away with the win at 202-69, but the All-Stars definitely showed their tenacious versatility in the face of some incredibly talented opponents. London plays a tight, clean game, and have already gone on to further wow the derby world with a 270-75 win over the 30th-ranked Jet City Bombers (Everett, WA) on Monday June 3, and a shockingly close 198-150 loss against the 12th-ranked Rose City Rollers’ (Portland, OR) Wheels of Justice on Wednesday June 5.
Here we go! On June 1, the Terminal City Rollergirls will host what is sure to be Vancouver's most unforgettable night of derby: a WFTDA-sanctioned (Women's Flat Track Derby Association), intercontinental bout that's sure to rock your stripy knee socks right off right from the very first whistle.
London calling? Nope. It's London Brawling, London (UK) Rollergirls' All-Star travel team, here to play the first WFTDA-sanctioned bout of their nine-day Pacific Northwest tour.
Following their bout in Vancouver, London Brawling will head south of the border to go up against Jet City Rollergirls (Everett), Rose City Rollers (Portland), Rat City Rollergirls (Seattle), and the Oly Rollers (Olympia). Currently ranked 23rd in WFTDA overall rankings, London Brawling represents the highest level of UK roller derby.
But the Terminal City All-Stars, TCRG's highly competitive travel team, are ready. The All-Stars have shot up the rankings in leaps and bounds over the past year. Currently ranked 39th, the All-Stars hope to fight their way into the WFTDA's top 25 by the end of the 2013. Leading up to the London bout, the All-Stars are playing four games at the Big O tournament, May 17-19, in Eugene, OR. One thing is for sure: with all that derby action, the All-Stars are sure to be at the top of their game when London comes to town.
As usual, there will be a DJ and a beer garden upstairs. Merch will be available, including limited edition TCRG vs. London T-shirts and tanks. Stylish and comfortable, these shirts make the perfect souvenir for an intercontinental showdown.
Doors open at 7:30 p.m. at Minoru Arena in Richmond (just a few blocks from Brighouse SkyTrain Station on the Canada Line) and the whistle blows at 8 p.m. sharp. Adult tickets are $15 in advance online, or $20 at the door. Children's tickets are $10, and kids 5 and under are free!
The Terminal City All-Stars don't play too many games on home turf, so seats are sure to fill up fast. Get your tickets now, because you won't want to miss all the flat-track action!
Vancouver's TERMINAL CITY ALL-STARS
LONDON ROLLERGIRLS, FROM LONDON, ENGLAND
When: June 1, 2013 Doors @ 7:30pm First Whistle 8:00pm
Where: Minoru Arena, Richmond (just a block from Brighouse Station on the Canada Line)
Tickets: Adults $15 in advance and $20 at the door, children $10, kids 5 and under free!
available online @ https://terminalcitytickets.com/
INVITE YOUR FRIENDS
Share the love on twitter! #TCRG2013
by Andi Struction, photos by Bob Ayers
Terminal City Rollergirls' WFTDA charter team, the Terminal City All-Stars, saw some of the toughest sanctioned competition they’ve ever faced this past weekend at The Big O tournament in Eugene, OR, and came home with a respectable two wins and two losses.
Luludemon feeds the Silicon Valley jammer to her hungry blocker
Terminal City, ranked 39th in the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), had their first match up against San Jose, CA’s Silicon Valley Roller Girls (WFTDA 62nd). Despite a strong start by Silicon and multiple lead changes in the first half, Terminal City eventually found their stride and took control of the scoreboard with 104-62 at halftime. While Silicon was able to shrink the score gap somewhat in the second half, they never regained the lead and the bout ended 200-162 in Terminal City’s favour.
Evada Perón bolts through the tough wall of Victorian blockers
The Vancouver team played two very tough games on Saturday. First up was Melbourne, Australia’s Victorian Roller Derby (WFTDA 38th), who, despite the close ranking to Terminal City’s, was a bit of a wild card coming into this tournament. Obviously, Victorian plays most of their bouts in their native Australia, but when they have made the trip across the Pacific in the past, they have taken more than a few surprise wins. Victorian once again made a huge impression, building impenetrable defense and trapping Terminal City’s usually unstoppable jammers over and over. Terminal City adapted well and increased their offensive play in the second half, but struggled with jammer penalties, allowing Victorian to cash in while the Vancouver jammers sat in the box. Terminal City made a strong scoring push in the last minutes of the bout, but it wasn’t enough and Victorian took the win 256–221.
Jocelyn Ingram (fka Sundown) blocks an Emerald City jammer to the inside line
Hometown Eugene fans came out in droves to see their Emerald City Rollergirls (WFTDA 67th) play Terminal City on Saturday night. These teams have a friendly history, and always look forward to their next meeting on the track, but this game came out of the gate hard, intense and penalty-heavy. Terminal City controlled most of the first half, ending it 94-48. Not much changed in the second, and despite the loud support from the fans, Emerald City struggled, mostly due to penalty trouble. Terminal City continued to pull ahead and bested Emerald City 205-84.
Lisa Suggitt (Rollergirl) goes in for hit on the Sacred City jammer
Four full bouts in three days seems like a lot of work, but the Vancouver team was more than ready to take on Sacramento, CA’s Sacred City Derby Girls (WFTDA 29th) on Sunday. Sacred came on strong at the start of the game, piling on the points while Terminal City’s jammers had trouble getting anywhere. Terminal City suddenly turned the tables and managed to shut down Sacred’s scoring run, holding them scoreless for eight jams in a row and taking the lead 95-73 at the end of the first half. Sacred answered back early in the second half and confidently regained the lead. Terminal City kept it close for most of the second half until they took some unfortunate penalties towards the end of the bout, and Sacred clinched it 166-132.
Next on the calendar for the Terminal City All-Stars is the highly anticipated visit from the London Rollergirls (WFTDA 23rd), coming all the way from the United Kingdom to play at Minoru Arena in Richmond on June 1st. Event information and tickets can be found at https://terminalcitytickets.com/
All contents are copyright ©2011 Terminal City Roller Girls, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.
Promotional photography courtesy of Nicolas Charest for Rollergirl Roller Skates and Bob Ayers, unless otherwise noted.