BOUT PREVIEW: Lake Effect Furies take on the Montreal New Skids on the Block

Photo by Rene T. Van Ee
Photo by Rene T. Van Ee

It was February, 2011. The Lake Effect Furies made full membership in the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) and traveled to Maine for their first sanctioned game.

There was a steep learning curve that first season. Maine, Steel City and Montreal introduced the Furies to sanctioned game play with new and unfamiliar strategies. Maine won handily 195-55. Steel City won similarly 282-76.  A couple of games later was the first and last time the Furies played Montreal when the New Skids on the Block, a 2 year old WFTDA team, introduced them to the hard-hitting Canadian style of play with a 302-24 point loss.

Fast forward six years and a lot has changed on both sides of the border.  The two teams meet again on Saturday, March 25 at 7 p.m. at Buffalo Riverworks in the Lake Effect Furies season opener.

Montreal is known for their neon mismatched uniforms, spirited camaraderie and intense, energetic style of play. In their first trip to WFTDA Playoffs in 2011 (in Baltimore, MD) during the last all-skate before the game, Montreal and London circled the track belting out the American classic “Sweet Caroline.” And before one of their games at the 2012 Playoff tournament in Burlington, VT they wiggled and danced with their opponents to LMAO’s “I’m Sexy and I Know it.” Maybe they just like to sing and dance out their pre-game jitters.  We shall see.

Photo by Rene T. Van Ee
Photo by Rene T. Van Ee

They have made WFTDA Playoffs every year since 2011 when London, the 10th seed, swooped in and stole 5th place by 2 points (135-137). In 2016, Montreal’s intensity and hard work paid off in a nail-biter of a game against B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls (166-178) at the D1 Playoffs. The win earned them their first spot at WFTDA Champs and the first ever for a Canadian team out of Division 1.  In the latest WFTDA rankings Montreal sits in 17th place.

The Lake Effect Furies, on the other hand, took their first trip to WFTDA D1 Playoffs to Omaha in 2015. They knocked off Toronto in their first game and then lost to Gotham. After struggling the rest of that tournament, they brought home 8th place. The Furies regrouped and after a 10-0 season in 2016, they placed 6th in the 2016 Vancouver D1 Playoffs. They could see third place, and a berth to Champs, but it was still in the distance.

This year the Furies hosted open tryouts and from that they welcomed two skaters who add much needed depth to their jammer bench. Crazy Squirrel, formerly of Tri-City Roller Derby and current skater for Team

Photo by CK Photographic Systems
Photo by CK Photographic Systems

Canada, and GO from Roc City Roller Derby were offered spots on the Furies roster. Both women travel a significant distance to play with QCRG, coming from outside Guelph Ontario and Rochester, respectively. They both bring intensity and talent to the team and some hot competition for Librawlian and Insinerator.  In addition, Head Huntress, Low-Hits Griffin and Blackrock Bruiser, who were sidelined due to injury for much of the 2016 season are back to full strength. Currently, the Furies are ranked 26 in the WFTDA but that ranking comes from a season without Huntress, Rocky, Griff, Squirrel, and GO. There is no telling what will be our favorite number when rankings come out later in this year.

Furies season:
4/2 at 4 p.m. Furies and Sirens mashup game
4/22 at 7 p.m. Doubleheader Furies vs. Steel City (Pittsburgh) and Sirens vs. Steel Beamers
5/6 at 7 p.m. Doubleheader Furies vs. Boston All Stars and Sirens vs. Boston Common
5/20 at 7 p.m. Doubleheader Furies vs. Ohio All Stars and Sirens vs. Ohio Gang Green
The Furies will play in the first game of the doubleheader. Sirens game will start at approximately 9 p.m.

You can purchase single game tickets and Furies ticket packages at

~Written by Vile LoveIt
~Edited by Sigourney Cleaver