It has been a hot and sunny summer around Western New York. Most years the majority of QCRG takes the summer off from derby and heads to the beaches and woods of Western New York. But this summer the rink has been filled with teams getting ready to head on the road. Like July, this August has been packed with roller derby goodness.
On August 11th, the Icies participated in a junior roller derby tournament and the Suicidal Saucies played Enchanted Mountain Roller Derby in their summer road game. Enchanted Mountain had invited the Icies, Toronto Junior Roller Derby and Ithaca Junior Roller Derby for an all-day tournament.
The junior roller derby tournament was a fun-filled day. The Icies brought enough girls to split into two teams (green and pink) so there were a total of four junior teams. In the first round teams all played each other in 30 minute bouts. All of the bouts were played with level 2 contact which means there were quite a few good hits during these games.
The Icies were formed in November 2011 and have played Toronto twice before this tournament. Toronto is in its third year and are clearly a more seasoned and strategic team. They frequently start jams on their knees in a scrum start or lined up the side. They have nimble and fearless jammers and blockers that transition from offense to defense quickly.
Ithaca is in its second season but has not had the opportunity for consistent training. This was their first time playing another team. They were also a strategic team and obviously benefited from their senior league’s knowledge of the game.
The first round scores were:
Game 1 – Icies Pink vs. Toronto: 70 – 97
Game 2 – Icies Green vs Ithaca: 67 – 58
Game 3 – Icies Pink vs Ithaca: 55 – 78
Game 4 – Icies Green vs Toronto: 52 – 82
Game 5 – Toronto vs Ithaca: 59 – 60
Game 6 – Icies Pink vs Icies Green: 61 – 86
The first round games put Ithaca in third place and Icies Pink in fourth place and so they played prior to the senior game in a 20 minute bout. Toronto was in first place and the Icies Green in second place and they played their final 20 minute bout at half-time.
The final round scores were:
Icies Pink vs Ithaca (for 3rd place): 41 – 53
Icies Green vs Toronto (for 1st place): 25 – 65
In the senior game of the evening the Suicidal Saucies played the Enchanted Mountain Roller Derby’s Hellbilly Heartbreakers in a typical heavy-hitting, fast-paced, high-scoring game. The Heartbreakers struggled with penalty issues much of the game giving the Saucies many power jams. By mid-way through the first half the Saucies had taken a significant lead (76-39) but then had their own penalty trouble and the Heartbreakers were able to catch up and over take them. At the half, the score was in the Heartbreakers’ favor: 92-88. In the second half, the Heartbreaker’s jammers spent a significant time in the penalty box and the Saucies were able to rack up the points during their power jams. But it wasn’t easy. The Saucie jammers had to fight hard for every single point and when the Heartbreaker’s jammers weren’t in the box the Saucies blockers struggled to contain them at times. But the Saucies held their focus and were rewarded with the team’s first win in two years: Suicidal Saucies 217 Hellbilly Heartbreakers 178.
The next day, Sunday, August 12, saw a very different type of bout when the Furies played the Harrisburg Nuclear Knockouts. The Furies struck first and they struck with tremendous force. They took command of the track from the first whistle and held it to the last. Towards the end of the first half the penalty box began to fill up with Furies but the team members pulled themselves together and found their focus again. The second half said it all when they held the Knockouts to 4 points. The final score was a resounding 409-32 in favor of the Furies.
On Saturday, August 25, the Nickel City Knockouts headed up to Toronto to play one of their home teams: the Death Track Dolls. They were unable to fill their roster with enough Knockouts so had to borrow some players from the Saucies, the Queens Court and Forest City Roller Girls in London, Ontario. “It was a hard hitting, fast paced game, with a huge point differential going into the second half,” said Knockout Captain Lamb Chop. “We went into the second half determined to get as many points as possible but fell short despite the efforts of the team, including the seven road Knockouts that helped us out.” The final score of the game was 282-102 in favor of the Death Track Dolls. “
The next Furies game, on August 25, against the CNY All Stars was a bit different. The Furies held the lead for most of the game but it was not a commanding one and CNY did over take them at times. The Furies struggled with jammer penalties and spent at least 10 minutes in the box. But CNY wasn’t able to take full advantage of those power jams, the Furies defense held strong and minimized the damage. But it did make it a much closer game than the Furies were hoping for.
“We had really great walls,” Pepper Stix, who switches roles and played as a blocker for the entire game. “We worked as a team and although it’s a simple concept, it’s not always easy to do.”
CNY struggled with their own penalties as well as one of their blockers, Lethal Lavendar, was ejected from the game mid-way through the first period. The fierce play often started even before the first whistle blew as evidenced by the stare-down Librawlian described that she had with CNY blocker Pied Viper on the line during a seemingly lengthy official time out. Neither skater flinched as the time ticked away. But once the jammer whistle blew, Librawlian zipped past Viper in her initial pass. The blocker got her revenge though with a huge hit on Librawlian on one of her subsequent passes.
Addy Rawl, Librawlian and B’kini Whacks were able to grab some 20+ point power jams of their own. Final score was in the Furies favor: 276-225. However, with the crazy math that makes up rankings, the Furies did not beat CNY decisively enough and, according to Flat Track Stats, lost points in their ranking.
Team QCRG is buckling down now for the month of September and all hands are on deck to welcome the teams from the WFTDA North Central region for the playoffs. The action begins Friday, September 14 at the Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls at 101 Old Falls Street, Niagara Falls, New York. Tickets are still available at wftda.ticketleap.com/2012-wftda-north-central/.
Photos by RWC Photography, Jon McCann and Joe Mac.