Jocelyn Ingram and Megan Griffiths close the door on a Treasure Valley Jammer. Photo by TJ Chase
Vancouver’s Terminal City All-Stars have developed a ‘Strive for 25’ plan for the 2013 roller derby season. Among their goals, they hope to break the top 25 in the world within the year, and their performance at last weekend’s Wild West Showdown in Bremerton, WA proved that they are serious. With the restructuring of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association’s divisional ranking system, the All-Stars don’t know where they stand at the moment, but that isn’t slowing their continued rise to the top.
On Friday night the All-Stars renewed a rivalry with the Santa Cruz Derby Girls. Last season, they won one and lost one to Santa Cruz, both by very close margins, so the Vancouver team looked forward to the chance to tip the scales to 2-1. Due to some scheduling and injury issues, they seemed to be at a disadvantage, but Head Coach Ian “Mack the Mouth” MacKenzie didn’t see it that way. “We started the Wild West with big adversity; having three of our starting jammers (Kim Janna, Lucy “Luludemon” Croysdill and Evada Perón) not available for the game against Santa Cruz.” Fortunately, Terminal City prides itself on having a deep bench; many of their defensive players are also skilled jammers and they stepped up to the challenge.
Santa Cruz took an early lead, but Terminal City fought back and narrowed the gap to 94-82 at the half. Terminal City kept it close, trading leads back and forth with Santa Cruz throughout the second period. The tug-of-war continued right to end, but Terminal City lost by a nail-biting 138-136. Terminal City Co-Captain and high-scorer (61 pts.) Bobbi Barbarich is looking forward to another tussle with the California team: “Santa Cruz definitely gave us what we were expecting - a really physical game. We skated away from that one already looking forward to the next time we meet.”
In a first-time match up, Terminal City took on Sacramento’s Sac City Rollers on Saturday night. Like the Vancouver team, Sac City has made quick progress up the rankings, and came into this bout as the favorite to win. Terminal City seemed to have added momentum under their wheels, most likely from the disappointing loss to Santa Cruz the day before, coupled with the arrival of jammers Kim Janna and Evada Perón to the tournament. With standout defense by Jocelyn Ingram and Karlene “Buffy Sainte-Fury” Harvey, and the nimble footwork of jammers Evada Peron and Jaime Edgar through Sac City’s defense, Terminal City caught fire and never cooled down. Final score was 207-126 for Vancouver.
Terminal City head coach Ian “Mack the Mouth” MacKenzie saw their last bout of the tournament with Boise, Idaho’s Treasure Valley Roller Girls as the biggest challenge: “I felt Treasure Valley presented the biggest challenge; it's the last game of the weekend, and focus can be a problem.” Most teams would be exhausted by the end of a hard-hitting tournament like Wild West Showdown. Fitness and endurance play key roles in the success of WFTDA teams, as tournament play becomes more prevalent at the upper level. Because of this, another of Terminal City’s ‘Strive for 25’ goals is to “improve key fitness markers by 25%”, and the work paid off against Treasure Valley.
For the first half of the bout, Terminal City caught the eyes of the referees over and over, with a rotating cast of blockers and jammers in the penalty box. Treasure Valley took full advantage whenever they could and cashed in on the power jams.
In the second period however, Treasure Valley racked up penalties of their own, and Terminal City used their signature passive offense strategy to grab some power jam points. In the last minutes of the bout, still looking fit and fast, Terminal City reached into their energy reserves and got control of the penalty situation. They locked down a seemingly-impenetrable defense with great help from blockers Sophie Robinson and Kim MacKenzie (anouncers commented that she reminded them of Sassy from the two-time national champions Oly Rollers), and with the powerhouse jamming of rookie Kotone Frankowski they ran away with the lead, 204-131.
Coming away from the weekend 2-1 is certainly nothing to sneeze at, but Coach Mack the Mouth knows that the team still has room to improve: “We have work to do but we are on track. The track Intelligence of this team is high and and continues to increase. Our special teams are solid; penalty kills and power jams are executing really well. More offensive strategies will be in our plans for March and April, as well as our ability to transition as quickly as possible.” This strategic arsenal will be taken to battle next at The Big O tournament on May 17-19 in Eugene, OR. There, they will take on two more California teams, Silicon Valley and Sacred City, and Melbourne, Austrialia’s Victorian Roller Derby.
Poster photo by Bob Ayers
Season 7 Schedule Announced
Grab a pen and mark your calendars, because we've just announced our Season 7 schedule!
Bout 1 • April 13• Riot Girls vs Public Frenemy | Bad Reputations vs Faster Pussycats • Minoru Arena - Richmond
Bout 2 • May 4• Riot Girls vs Faster Pussycats | Public Frenemy vs Bad Reputations • Minoru Arena - Richmond
Bout 3 • June 1• Terminal City All-Stars vs London Rollergirls • Venue TBC
Bout 4 • July 13• Riot Girls vs Bad Reputations | Faster Pussycats vs Public Frenemy • Minoru Arena - Richmond
Bout 5 • August 10• Semi-Finals • Minoru Arena - Richmond
Bout 6 • September 7• Championships • Kerrisdale Arena - Vancouver
If you watched one bout since September, we hope it was the Terminal City All-Stars vs. the Jet City Bombers.
On February 9th, the teams faced off at Surrey’s Central City Arena. Everett, WA’s Jet City Bombers finished last season ranked 10th in the WFTDA’s Western Region; Terminal City ranked 12th. The two teams look evenly matched on paper, but they differ in styles. Jet City is known for their aggressive, physical game, and Terminal City for their finesse and strategy. With the new WFTDA rule set and the change of several former minor penalties to majors, the ability to capitalize on a power jam is now more crucial than ever. Saturday night was definitely evidence of why.
The Bombers were all in from the first whistle. Veteran jammer Ivana Hercha packed on 13 points while the All-Stars’ jammer served a penalty. The All Stars’ Bobbi Barbarich (fka Beretta Lynch) squeezed two points out of her first jam, and pint-sized powerhouse Evada Péron racked up another 10 while her team’s blockers shut down the Bombers’ jammer in the pack. A 15-point power jam by Kim Janna put the All-Stars in the lead, followed quickly by an even bigger 23-point power jam from Barbarich that pushed the score to a 47-14 advantage for the All-Stars.
Barbarich negotiates with a Jet City blocker.
The All-Stars' momentum seemed to be building, with impressive offensive picks by Sophie Robinson (fka Amazombie), and solid defense by Lisa Suggit (fka Rollergirl) and new member Scarlett Bloodbath. But the Bombers held their own, and kept the All-Stars from building on that lead. The score was 98-68 at halftime, and neither team was showing signs of weakness.
The Bombers kept it tight going into the second period, with strong defensive plays by Marilyn Gun-Hoe and Tabula Rasa playing a key part chipping away at the All-Stars lead. Pippy Longstalker was a huge standout, switching effortlessly from jamming to blocking all night. The All-Stars’ blockers ran into penalty trouble, and the Bombers’ jammers took advantage of having fewer opponents in their way. With 15 minutes left, the All-Stars’ lead had shrunk to 110-101. And with just six minutes on the clock, Nasty Nikki Nightstick rocketed through a sizeable power jam, catapulting the Bombers into the lead 129 to the All-Stars’ 126.
Blocker Megan Griffith slows down the Jet City jammer
The final minutes of the game felt like an eternity to the fans packed into Central City. The Bombers added another 17 points while the All-Stars fought to contain them. The tables turned once again with another power jam for Kim Janna, pushing the All-Stars up to 138 with the Bombers holding on at 146 and just 1:30 left on the period clock. As the last jam started, with no blockers in the box and the entire building holding its breath, Barbarich blasted through the pack securing lead jammer status for the All-Stars. Suggitt, Flower Plow’her, Robinson, and Scarlett held the Bombers jammer back as one impenetrable red wall. When Barbarich finally called off the jam, the score was 146-146. But because Barbarich had lapped the Bombers’ jammer on her first pass, it tipped to 147 in the All-Stars’ favour and they officially won their first sanctioned bout of the year.
The All-Stars don’t have much down time to celebrate after that skin-of-their-teeth victory – they travel to Bremerton, WA for the Wild West Showdown tournament on March 1-3. There, they will play 3 WFTDA-sanctioned bouts against Boise, ID’s Treasure Valley Rollergirls, Sacramento’s Sac City Rollers and the Santa Cruz Derby Girls.
It may be the off-season, but the Terminal City Rollergirls aren’t sitting around playing with our Christmas presents; we’ve been training hard for some excellent pre-season action. Two of our house teams will head south to take on Rat City Rollergirls’ house teams at Seattle’s impressive Key Arena, and our All-Stars have a February bout at home against Everett, WA’s Jet City Bombers. In the middle of all this excitement is the annual Fresh Meat draft, when the four house teams top up their rosters with new blood. Are you ready for Season 7? We are.
On January 19, the Faster Pussycats face off against Derby Liberation Front. Since their inception, Rat City has been one of the top leagues in the world, and once upon a time (in 2006), brand-new, wobbly TCRG skaters appeared as their half time entertainment. Now the Pussycats are going head-to-head with them at their season opener. “The Pussycats have been scrimmaging, running, burpee-ing, and planking our way through the winter months,” says FPC Assistant Captain Andi Struction. “We’re so excited to be playing this fierce team, in front of thousands of rabid derby fans!” The FPC scrimmaged with DLF en route to Alaska last winter, but this will be their first time at a headliner bout.
Faster Pussycats on the bench. Photo by Bob Ayers
A few weeks later, the Bad Reputations will make the trek to face the Sockit Wenches at Rat City’s Season 9 Bout 2 on February 9. If you want to be one of the 5000 fans at these exhilarating bouts, buy tickets now because Rat City events always sell out.
The first date on the All-Stars’ 2013 schedule is February 9, when they will show hometown fans at Surrey’s Central City Arena why they made the greatest rankings jump in Women’s Flat Track Derby Association’s history last season (#23 to #12 in the West Region). This is the All-Stars’ first sanctioned bout of the year, which means it counts toward their divisional ranking, and it’s the first step in their journey toward this year’s playoffs. Jet City, known for their solid players and physical game, finished last season ranked #10 in the West, making this a guaranteed nail-biter. “We lost to them at the Wild West Showdown last year, and are looking forward to another opportunity to play them,” says All-Stars coach Mack the Mouth.
“We’ve set some very ambitious goals for 2013 around the theme ‘Strive for 25’,” says new All-Stars Captain Germaine Koh, formerly known as PLAYER 1. “Shoot for the WFTDA top 25, raise $25,000 to allow us to travel for sanctioned games and divisional playoffs, and improve key fitness markers by 25%.”
Then the All-Stars travel to Wild West Showdown 2013 in Bremerton, WA, March 1-3. There they’ll face Santa Cruz (with whom they are 1-1), Sacramento’s Sac City, and Boise, ID’s Treasure Valley. Tickets for the entire weekend are just $35, and fans can watch heaps of fantastic Northwest derby while supporting the All-Stars. After that, it’s the Big-O tournament in Eugene, OR, May 17-19. And in June, the All-Stars are extremely excited to be hosting the London Rollergirls. This British team shocked the derby world at their Eastern Region playoff debut last year when they upset top Canadian league Montreal Roller Derby, and went on to claim the #4 position. They’re a “strategically smart team,” according to Koh, and a great challenge for the like-minded All-Stars.
All-Stars vs. Vancouver Murder. Photo by Nicolas Charest for Rollergirl.ca
The pre-season games over the next month will be our league’s first bouts under the new WFTDA rules. No more minor penalties? Yes, please! Fans can expect less of the confusing jam-start strategies, such as four blockers taking a knee, and stricter calls on certain penalties such as cutting the track or destroying the pack. Whether you want to master the changes or are new to the game, roller derby rules can be confusing. TCRG All-Star Germaine Koh designed an Intro To Flat-track Roller Derby app, available for free from iTunes. It includes everything from ref signals to rules explanations, and makes a great trackside companion for both skaters and fans.
As always, TCRG’s house team season starts in April. Keep an eye on our Facebook page or sign up for our monthly newsletter (sign up at the top right of this page) to make sure you don’t miss a single moment.