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/
Bout Recap – May the Forth Be With You
By Booty Quake and Optismash Prime
The opening bout of the Terminal City Rollergirls' “May The Fourth Be With You” double-header pitted the underdog Riot Girls (0-1) against 2011 & 2012 league champions Faster Pussycats (1-0). Fans and skaters alike wondered, would the boost from veteran skaters Mick E. Knocks and Justine Timberskate – both absent from the Riot Girls' previous roster against the Public Frenemy in April - be enough to lift them above the Faster Pussycats' tight, strategic play?
Riot Girls looked strong out of the gate, nabbing lead jammer four times in a row, including a monster 27-point power jam by Miss E. Masculator. A few jams later, the Riot Girls' blocking line of Pavel Fury, Mick E. Knocks, Cassandra Pain and Hurt Russell held the FPC jammer in the pack for two natural grand slams by Justine Timberskate, bringing the score to 42-5 and delighting their fans. After a team timeout at the Pussycats’ bench, and a few more jams to get into their groove, the tables began to turn, and NazDroveya Wylde scored her own 10-0 jam for the FPC with the help of some excellent blocking from Schwarzemegger, for a score of 51-18. The Pussycat defense began to wear down the opposing jammers, creating two power jams in a row for Naz and captain Andi Struction late in the first period, as the FPC continued to claw their way back into it with 10-0 and 17-0 jams respectively. Rookie Riot Girls jammer Hyena Koffinkat pocketed her own 10-0 power jam next to end the period at 63-48 for the “Soldiers of Awesome.”
The Riot Girls bore down, gaining lead jammer for three in a row to open the second half. But the Faster Pussycats roared back. Skarlet Karson, Pie Voltage and Schwarzemegger recycled the Riot Girls' jammer endlessly in jam 4, allowing powerhouse NazDroveya Wylde to cruise through another huge 20-0 jam, tying the score at 69-69 and sending the packed house into a frenzy! With more than 23 minutes still to play, the Riot Girls didn't flinch, and answered with a 25-0 jam by Justine Timberskate after the fearsome Mick E. Knocks forced a track cut penalty to send the FPC jammer to the box. The Riot Girls once again held the lead at 94-69.
The bottom of the second half saw both teams playing tight, clean games with very few penalties, and back-and-forth, low scoring jams. Snow Crash and L.A. Gunns played smart defense for the Pussycats while Sim-Mutilator blocked and jammed valiantly, and Schwarzemegger took a few turns wearing the jammer star. The Riot Girls' blockers answered, with veterans Mick E. Knocks, the Skater Formerly Known As Trixi, and Hurt Russell getting a healthy boost from rookie Pavel Fury.
A Faster Pussycat jammer penalty in the second-last jam sealed the deal, allowing Justine Timberskate another 15-0 power jam. With the FPC jammer still in the box, Miss E. Masculator and the Riot Girls skated another 8 points onto the scoreboard, for a final score of 138-90, and the Riot Girls' first home victory in three seasons.
Sim-Mutilator was awarded MVP for the Faster Pussycats for her determined effort both jamming and blocking, while Mick E. Knocks, a veteran and former All-Star who tonight donned the Riot Girls jersey for the very first time, was honoured for her crushing hits and smart, defensive play.
The second bout of the night was a match up between The Bad Reputations (0-1) and Public Frenemy (1-0). Both were hungry for the win, Public Frenemy had lost a very close bout (116-135) to The Bad Reps last August, costing them their chance at last seasons championship. Needless to say, the tension was high.
At the first whistle, The Bad Reputations’ captain Diva La Revolution squared off on the jammer line against Public Frenemy rookie Guardian Paingel. Diva set the pace for her team, scooping up four points and calling off the jam with three of Frenemy’s players already in the penalty box. Bad Reps’ rookie jammer Traumatic Acid was able to put a 10 points on the board during the following power jam with the help of her blockers. Things were just getting started when Public Frenemy answered back with a 14-0 jam from veteran jammer Flamin’ Jane. Deathly Innocent went on dodge her way through the Bad Reps’ defense to get 19 points on a power jam. Public Frenemy turned the bout around with a score of 36-15.
Not long after, Frenemy blockers Alkazar, Funeral Blues, Flamin‘ Jane, and recent league transfer Missy Ascrew kept crowd favorite Lamb Baste’Her pinned down while Guardian Paingel scored an amazing 20 points, stirring up the crowd and bringing the score to 56-15. After a Bad Reps timeout to regroup and focus, jammer Juanna Rawk fought back, picking up two points and making a smart call to end the jam. The girls in teal came back one jam at a time, grabbing a couple of points when possible and shutting down the Frenemy jammers with some solid blocking courtesy of Real Canadian Bacon, Major Assets, Count Rock-U-La and Cherry Bob-ombs Away. Frenemy jammer Deathly Innocent landed herself in the penalty box for low blocking, allowing Bad Reps’ jammer Traumatic Acid a 15 point power jam. Frenemy fought hard to hold on to their big lead, but were only able to attain lead jammer four more times, allowing the Bad Reps to shrink the score difference to 72-64 at the end of the first half.
The Bad Reputations started the second half strong and managed to keep team green scoreless for the opening four jams, tying the game up quickly at 72-72, much to the delight of the vociferous fans. The increased intensity invariably kicked up the physicality on the track, and Frenemy’s Arctic Fox, Cally and captain Aunt Jam Imma held an unbreakable defense. The “calm green ocean” stirred, and the Bad Reps fell prey to wave upon wave of amazing offensive blocking, lead by Missy Ascrew. Frenemy continued deny the teal team any more points for several jams, despite the impressive footwork of Lamb Baste-her and Diva La Revolution, and the score gap had widened again to 123-72 for Public Frenemy.
Traumatic Acid was first to crack the green defense in the last minutes of the second half – she scored a single point with a small hipskip through the inside line, and this was quickly backed up by points from Lamb Baste’Her, Real Canadian Bacon and Diva La Revolution, bringing the reps up to 91 points. Despite the back-and-forth momentum, Frenemy held their lead – and their undefeated status this season – to end the bout in their favour at 155-95.
Missy Ascrew of Public Frenemy received the MVP award for her devastating hits and skills as a Pivot. Juanna Rawk was the MVP for The Bad Reputations for her amazing breakout performance as a jammer.
The next TCRG event is a special one – The Terminal City All-Stars, TCRG’s charter WFTDA team, will be welcoming the London Rollergirls all the way from the UK on June 1 for a rare sanctioned bout on home soil. Event details and tickets can be found at terminalcitytickets.com.
Terminal City Rollergirls' seventh season of roller derby in the Lower Mainland is off to a rip-roaring start! Their season opener on Saturday, April 13 featured all four house teams. In the first bout, veteran team Public Frenemy handily defeated the rookie-heavy Riot Girls 185-90. The second bout saw last year's league champions the Faster Pussycats beat the second-place Bad Reputations 198 to 104. The next event is just around the corner on May 4, so head to www.terminalcitytickets.com for more info.
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.