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Subzero Sirens Keep Up Winning Ways, Subdue Greenbelt Riot

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Following up on their debut win 230-160 against the Hammer City Harlots in January, the Subzero Sirens put up another win this past Wednesday against the Greenbelt Riot, the travel team of the Niagara Roller Girls beating them 253-86. Grabbing these wins against close Canadian rivals is helping this team establish an identity after the league made reviving the B travel team a priority for 2016. 
 
Just as they did in the bout against the Harlots, the Sirens jumped out to massive early lead and capitalized on opposing jammer penalties. This time they were able to draw that momentum out across the entire half, skating to a huge half time lead of 166-14. Lead by 5 powerjams to none, the Sirens jammers overwhelmed the Riot blockers in the 1st half – going 19/22 on lead jams. Every Sirens jammer was at least +35 in the half, with Double Barryl perfect on leads 5/5, McCreadie putting up the most points with 47, and Celery STALK Her and Double Barryl both holding their opponents on the jam line scoreless (Celery 43/0, Double Barryl 35/0). 

The second half held up similar to the Harlots game as well though as the Sirens let the Riot creep back in. The Sirens finished on a 29-1 in the final 5 jams to win the half, 87 to 72, but throughout the 2nd half the Riot’s adjustments disrupted and frustrated the Sirens blockers and most of their jammers. Lead jams swung the other way in the second half going 13/24 for the Riot, and the jammer penalty differential closed tighter with 3 for the Sirens and 4 for the Riot. 

Playing awe struck in the first half it seemed like the Riot needed to bottom out before they could focus and play their game in the 2nd. As soon as they did, they looked like a team that belonged and overall in that 2nd half they were able to minimize the damage caused by Sirens jammers not named Celery STALK Her. Tightening their jammer rotation in the 2nd half, playing with a bit more discipline, and focusing on controlling lead jam percentage were all successful moves and they will walk away from this bout hopefully remembering and focusing in on those positive in game adjustments. 

For the Sirens, the two first half leads they have built in their first two games show the promise of this revived B team. They have the ability to dominate the opposition with a solid 1-4 jammer rotation that generally plays clean and smart. The only glaring problem is that they let their foot off of the gas. This is typical for skaters who play in win/loss environments, but for the skaters on this team who wish to play for the Travel A Team – The Lake Effect Furies – this kind of drop off is unacceptable. Weights and ratios demand that every jam counts. It can be tough for skaters to develop that cut throat attitude towards opponents, but it is something this B Team will have to work on. Riot jammer Homewrecken Holly was also able to exploit the outside lines against the Sirens blockers in the 2nd half by taking hits and spinning out while staying in bounds. It happened enough times that the Sirens blockers should focus on communication and lateral movement to close those lines off in the future. 

Unsurprisingly, the skater who had the best complete game for the Sirens is one with the most experience as a Furie, Celery STALK Her. Skating with the Furies from 2010-2015, Celery is now Co-Captain of the B Team. In the jammer rotation for this game, although typically a pivot, Celery was dominant –  going 65/4 overall for a +61 rating, 70% lead percentage, 0 penalties and also a 28-0 jam in the first half to break the spirit of the Greenbelt Riot. The Riot were able to put up double digits against all Sirens jammers in that 2nd half except for Celery.

The Sirens now have a short break before heading back out on the track at Riverworks in the double header, and Furies Season Opener, against Rochester (Roc City) on March 6th. Tickets are already going fast for that bout, so fans should order ahead if they want to beat lines at the box office or secure front row or VIP tables. 

When the Sirens do the hit the track again they may look a bit different as the team has added two new skaters to their roster – Erin Go Braless (Dollies/Queen’s Court) and the leagues first graduated Jr. skater Veggy Cowgirl (Queen’s Court). Look out for them, and for their new badass logo designed by Gelia (below). 

sirens_final


Furies Reach New Highs, Crush New Hampshire 518-29

Photo: Chris Kalisiak (CK Photographic Systems)

Photo: Chris Kalisiak (CK Photographic Systems)

In their last bout of the season before playoffs, and the last bout of the QCRG season at Riverworks, the Lake Effect Furies rolled like an avalanche over the New Hampshire Roller Derby All Stars with a 518-29 win. Playing an opponent rapidly dropping in the WFTDA rankings, the Furies did what they needed to do by burying this team early and never letting up. 

The Furies led 275-6 at half and only gave up one lead jam in that half (3 for the entire bout). Every Furies jammer had a dominant game – all of them averaged over a 10+ spread per jam – but InSINerator’s 108-0 first half with 5/5 on leads and no penalties was extremely impressive. Sin ended the full bout 159-0 and 11/11 on leads. Only in her second year on the team, and almost a year to date since the first time she was actually chartered, Sin’s progression is a major theme this year as the Furies reach new heights; their first Division 1 playoff appearance, their most scored points ever (previous record was Harrisburg in 2012 with 409) and their largest point spread ever (previous was +377 against Harrisburg). 

It wasn’t just the jammers who had a dominant bout though as the Furies blockers frustrated and exhausted the New Hampshire jammers all bout long. Taking only 17 penalties for the bout as a team (2 jammer penalties – 1 each for Brawl and Murphy), the Furies blockers ran tight three walls and did an amazing job with that fourth blocker floating and transitioning from defense to offense. Bricks had a great game and got in the head of the New Hampshire jammers. Huntress also had a great bout opening up lots of holes and assists for the Furies jammers. The team as a whole lived up to the “Five Strong” motto that Huntress had written on the back of her calves. 

Photo: Chris Kalisiak (CK Photographic Systems)

Photo: Chris Kalisiak (CK Photographic Systems)

New Hampshire is clearly in the middle of a rebuild. Ranked 30th at this time last year, the team that took the track yesterday only had one skater from the previous year, new captains and a new coach. To their credit they never quit during this bout and managed 23 points in the second half, after just 6 in the first and held the Furies to 243 points in the second, down from 275 in the first. Their jammers Ellison and Knock battled for the entire bout and did a better job in that second half of getting through their initial passes and limiting grand slams. 

The inexperience of the team showed throughout the bout though. New Hampshire took multiple procedure penalties off of failed star passes, jammers and blockers would freeze and give up large jams, and for some unknown reason the few times New Hampshire did grab lead their coach would get jammers to call off jams before the Furies could score instead of utilizing those jams to tighten the spread. Working on remaining calm, transitioning blockers and hammering down star passes will go along way for this team that gave up four 30+ point jams and thirteen 20+ point jams. If they can stop the bleeding they can start to bring these scores down. 

The Furies now wait to hear where they will be slotted into Division 1 playoffs and what city they will be playing in. Fans looking to support them as they gear up should make sure to buy a ticket to their Beer Blast Happy Hour fundraiser at Brunners Tavern on July 25th

Crowd Assists:  Murphy attacks the New Hampshire blockers at turn 2.

Jill Carl also got a nice video of Vajenna leading NH jammer Ellison to the line and rolling her back while a teal blur (Brawl?) laps. 

#QCRG #buffalo #RollerDerby

A video posted by Jill Carl (@pinkelephants82) on

 

Gif of the Game: All Game Long. #1Team #5strong 


Lake Effect Furies Host New Hampshire in Tune Up Before Playoffs

Photo Cred: Joe Mac

Photo Cred: Joe Mac

The New Hampshire Roller Derby All Stars will be making the trek down the I-90 W for a bout against the Lake Effect Furies at Riverworks in Buffalo on Saturday. The bout will be the final sanctioned bout of the season for the Furies who are hoping to make their first ever Division 1 WFTDA playoff appearance.

New Hampshire, on the other hand, is just one recent example of how fleeting success can be in competitive women’s flat track roller derby. New Hampshire made Division 1 playoffs last year, but retiring skaters and skaters leaving for larger markets has seen their ranking drop all the way down to 107 (they were 30th this time last year).

Scheduling bouts is an art and after a year of solid scheduling that saw the Furies play a good mix of competition that all saw their rating climb, they will be in tough in this game to crush New Hampshire as the rankings will expect them to.

The sanctioned bout is still a good lead up to playoffs though, as teams like New Hampshire force a killer instinct to develop and can be a good reminder that every jam counts. New Hampshire is also a cautionary tale for the Furies who have fought for years to reach a goal that they are now so close to. What is next? What are the future plans and what contingency is in place to retain skaters and develop others behind them. 

New Hampshire will be dangerous as they will be getting close to their basement in the rankings and ready to turn that anger and frustration into moving back up. They have nothing to lose in this bout – they will be watching Division 1 and 2 playoffs from home this year – and a strong showing against the Furies would be a positive end that they could build off of. The Furies will have to keep their focus, play disciplined and play a team game for a full 60 minutes. 

Doors open at 5:30pm on Saturday. For those who haven’t seen Riverworks lately (or at all), there are lots of great new upgrades to check out as well. You can find tickets here – http://www.qcrg.net/event/new-hampshire-vs-lake-effect-furies/


Knockouts 4 Peat in QCRG Championship Thriller

Credit: Chris Kalisiak (CK Photography)

Credit: Chris Kalisiak (CK Photography)

Fans at Riverworks were treated to one of the best QCRG bouts ever on Friday night as the Nickel City Knockouts held on to beat the Saucies 143-140 and win their fourth straight Championship. Up 1 with one jam left the Knockouts gave up lead jam to Saucies, but the Saucies blockers couldn’t grab and hold the KO’s blockers in order to gain those final two points to pull off the upset.

The Knockouts took a 78-74 lead into half with them and started the second half on a run to pull away to 116-83. The Saucies fought up hill from that point on but closed the gap thanks to a 20 point power jam from Miss Fire, back to back penalties by KO jammers and a KO blocker fouling out. The Saucies regained the lead 139-138 with a minute left, but were outscored 1-5 in the last minute to come up short.

For the Saucies, the bout was a great display of teamwork and consistency. They never panicked and instead focused on chipping away at the lead and taking advantage of Knockouts mistakes and penalties. This was the closest challenge the Knockouts have faced since their dynasty run began (in 2012) and also the least amount of points the KO’s have scored in a bout over that span. Team blocking and the transitioning from defense to offense of the Saucies blockers made it possible for veteran jammers like Miss Fire and Bikini Whacks to capitalize on any KO errors. Hot Damnsel was also able to weather the storm enough to keep Miss Fire and Bikini fresher than the KO’s jammmers as the KO rotation got tighter. The inability to grab a goat in that final jam, or that they actually sped the pack up when they shouldn’t have, will haunt the Saucies – as will the multiple times jammers called off jams early and left points on the track. However, the game was a perfect illustration of all of the strengths of this team – great coaching, tight blocking, team play, and focus. They had earned it, and deserved to win this game, but the KO’s were not going to give it to them.

For the Knockouts, the bout showed that complacency has crept into their camp. The most skilled and dominant team in the league, it took extreme effort to pull out this win. Co-Captain Abercrombie and Fists most likely broke her nose to end that first half. With blood all over the track and her nose stuffed, Fisty continued to play in the second half and that decision and toughness made this win possible. As the Saucies crept back into the bout in the second half the Knockouts relied heavily on Librawlian – the leagues best skater – to hold on. Jamming sometimes three times in a row, Brawl’s endurance made it possible for the KO’s to bend but not break. While the Saucies left points on the track with early jam calls, the KO’s and coach Señor Wiener utilized track time perfectly making sure to free blockers from the penalty box before calling jams and not calling any jams while the Saucie jammers were still on their initial passes. Without these efforts this game ends differently.

These two teams both now have 4 QCRG Championships and although the KO’s won, it is getting tougher each year. Ironically, it is the Saucies that the KO’s should be looking to for inspiration to restore their complete dominance. The focus, team play and discipline of the Saucies should be what the Knockouts aspire to in the off season and into next year. For the Saucies, if they keep their core and develop younger skaters like they did this year they are well on their way to taking this Championship back. This begins the race for that 5th Championship.

Gifs of the Game: Broken Nosed Fisty in the 2nd Half

Crowd Assist: There are lots of great videos of the bout on #qcrg tags and on the @qcrg account – but this half time video taken by NY Fortitude is too cute not to share.

People Losing Their Minds On Twitter

Although the Furies season is still ongoing, and I will still be writing about that, I would like to give some special shot outs to people who have been supportive and helpful this year.

First, a huge thank you to Jamie and the Artvoice staff for providing a space to write about the Queen City Roller Girls. Researchers at USC and Purdue University have studied the percentage of TV time given to women’s sport and found that it has actually declined since 1989. I feel really blessed to be able to write about women’s flat track roller derby as sport and am happy that Artvoice has always been on board.

I owe a debt to Chris Kalisiak for letting me use his great photos this year. As a derby parent and as a supporter of the league, Chris is also a really great role model for me and other men on how to use the skills you have to advance and support a sport and space for women.

I also owe a huge debt to Mama Chops for going out of her way to make me feel welcome this year and for providing me with some of the league history and important feedback.

Thank you to my partner Crista (Murphy) for editing these write ups and pushing me to balance the need for a narrative up against the responsibility of having access to spaces that are not made for you.

Last but not least, thank you to all of the skaters, fans, NSO’s, volunteers and coaches who supported these articles and got what I was trying to accomplish. QCRG is a great roller derby league and I hope my gratitude for all of the effort that goes into each bout was evident in everything I wrote.


Saucies and Knockouts Advance to 2015 QCRG Championship

Credit: Chris Kalisiak (CK Photographic Systems)

Credit: Chris Kalisiak (CK Photographic Systems)

QCRG’s first doubleheader of the year saw the Nickel City Knockouts and the Saucies advance to the QCRG Championship with victories against the Alley Kats (200-145) and the Dollies (199-134). For the second straight year the Saucies and KO’s will meet in the Championship and the KO’s will also be looking for their fourth straight QCRG Championship. 

The Alley Kats put up a good fight against the KO’s in the first bout of the night – closing the gap to 40 in the 2nd half before the KO’s pulled away. Falling by 55, the Kats almost halved my prediction of a 109 point spread. Immediately after the end of the bout the Kats bench reminded me of this in the crowd. I was happy to serve as motivation for the Kats – who blocked well, held goats, and kept the penalties down.

Although they didn’t win a game all season, the Kats provided fans with lots of great moments. The final was no different. Down by 60 in the second half Kats jammer Bang GRRang was forced to sit for the rest of the game by the Refs and Medics after two scary hits to the head. An emotional Bang wanted to keep playing. The heart of this team made them fun to watch. They never quit. The bench also seemed to tighten up and become a “team” more as the season progressed. Moves in the final game, like shifting Evil Lyn to pivot, also looked brilliant as her jamming experience increased the Kats ability to open up assists for Kats jammers. Hopefully all of this can carry over to the next year. 

For the KO’s, their blocking ensured that the Kats jammers struggled to gain any momentum. Although they struggled with penalties, the breathing room created by frustrating Kats jammers also allowed for the KO’s to broaden their jammer rotation – featuring rookie Jules Burn for much of the second half. Although you would expect for the KO’s to win by more, they controlled the pace from beginning to end and still should be positioned well going into the Championship. In the long term, if they can develop that 4-5 jammer spot with a rookie jammer like Jules Burn, that will just mean more chances that teams will never see a jam where Brawl, Ivana or Fisty are not on the track. For opposing teams, that is intimidating. 

In the second bout of the doubleheader the Saucies pulled away and dominated in the second half after just a 6 point halftime lead. Penalties and a momentum swing that the Dollies just could not stop broke the bout wide open and saw what was expected to be the closer bout of the night end up with a 65 point spread (I predicted a 13 point win for the Saucies). Missing veteran blockers Heiny and Celery, the Dollies struggled with communication and team blocking in that second half. The Saucies tight jammer rotation and discipline stretched out the lead while jammer penalties handcuffed the Dollies as they tried to get back into the bout with aggressiveness. Dollies jammer Murphy had a big game and helped keep the bout close, but penalties and the Saucies blocking ensured that the Dollies couldn’t build off of it. 

Murphy makes lead jam look so easy!!!!! #RollerDerby #DevilDollies

A video posted by Queen City Roller Girls (@qcrg) on

The Saucies head into the Championship with a tight 1-4 jammer rotation, a blocking core that blocks as a team, and with a roster of experienced coaches and skaters. It will be very hard for the Saucies to upset the reigning champion KO’s, but they are the best positioned to not get rattled and be a threat. They also should have some extra motivation in the form of bragging rights. In the history of QCRG the Saucies won the first four straight championships. After the Dollies won their only championship in 2011, the KO’s have won three straight and will be fighting for their fourth. The Saucies claim to the most home league championships is on the line. 

Championship Prediction 

KO’s v Saucies – 178 / 145

*Superfans – send me your predictions! dylanjamespowell@gmail.com

Doors open at 7pm at Riverworks on Friday and you can find tickets here – http://www.qcrg.net/event/2015-qcrg-cup-championship/

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QCRG 2015 Playoff Preview

Cred

The Queen City Roller Girls 2015 playoffs kick off on Friday night at Riverworks with a double header. The Nickel City Knockouts will take on the Alley Kats in the first game, the Saucies and the Dollies in the second. The fun kicks off at 6pm. Before things kick off I wanted to get out a quick review and get some predictions down. 

Team Reviews and Playoff Predictions

Nickel City Knockouts (5-1) – With only two new skaters this year it was expected that the KO dynasty would continue. Brawl gonna Brawl. Outside of LiBrawlian’s other worldly/not human skills, other KO players have had solid years as well- namely Ivana who has progressed as a jammer/pivot hybrid. These two lead the league in +/-  with Brawl at (+514) and Ivana (+300). Their biggest scares this year, outside of their forfeited bout, were their bouts against the Saucies. They start playoffs against the Kats, but could end up facing the Saucies again in the Finals. The loss of coach Supernova and the length of the season seems to have knocked the KO’s off balance a bit and in games this year the KO’s have hit auto pilot many times only to see penalties build up and opposing teams get back into games. The clear favourites to win the Championship again this year, I also wouldn’t be surprised if they got upset. 

Saucies (4-2) – The Saucies drafted no new players this year and did a great job of internally developing skaters. Moving June Cleaveher to jammer and the emergence of Hot Damnsel has been great and allowed the Saucies to stack the deck by moving Bikini Whacks to split time between jamming and blocking. Bikiki, Gibby S’More, Huntress and Beatrix Boom make a very intimidating blocker line up and this team has the continuity and familiarity to block strategically and keep their blocking core tight. Injuries saw them give up more points this year than they would like, and for some reason they struggle matched up against the Alley Kats, but this team is still very well coached and a “team.” Their ability to close out bouts and play disciplined derby should always keep them competitive. Miss Fire is also still a powerhouse in this league and finishes with the second most jammer points behind only Brawl. The Saucies face the Dollies in the first round and although the Dollies have more depth in their jammer rotation, the Saucies experience, coaching and blocking should get them back to the final if they can stay healthy. 

Devil Dollies (3-3) – With the most amount of new skaters in the league, a new coach, and a new captain, the Dollies were a blank slate this year. Integrating everyone into this roster has been tough – especially when the Dollies have so many jammers in their rotation. However, the Dollies have closed the gap between themselves and the Saucies over the span of this year and could seriously threaten to get into the Finals. With the most amount of Furies on their roster, the team has the talent to pull together an upset. Blockers Chick, Celery and Heiny have also tightened the teams blocking core by playing more disciplined and positional derby and using more face up blocking and three walls. The Dollies give up size in their blocking core, but they are agile and if they can continue to raise their on track IQ and improve their communication they will find harmony between their jammers and blockers. One carry over from previous years is the mental block that seems to come in close games. The Dollies will need to kill that if they are going to pull off a close victory against the Saucies. Look to Vanilla Creamz – ultimate badass aka Imperator Furiosa – to lead the way.

Alley Kats (0-6) – The Kats gave fans two of the most exciting bouts this season with close loses to the Saucies. The underdogs stay the underdogs though with another winless season. Discipline, individual blocking and a thin jammer rotation make it hard for the Kats to stay competitive over the span of a full bout. They are developing skaters though – Karsmashian, NicNugget, Buenas Nalgas and more have all progressed this year. This fun to watch team will eventually get back into the win column, but it will take a miracle to do it in this years playoffs. Maybe as a consolation Sin can give us another unreal apex jump like the one below?

Credit: Chris Kalisiak (CK Photographic Systems)

Credit: Chris Kalisiak (CK Photographic Systems)

Predictions

Saucies v Dollies – 181 / 168

KO’s v Kats – 211 / 102

KO’s v Saucies – 178 / 145

*Superfans – send me your predictions! dylanjamespowell@gmail.com

Into the Future

I hope to see a return of the B travel team – another avenue for skaters to develop and also a middle place of commitment for skilled skaters who may need to take a year or two to focus on life.

The Queen’s Court skaters from this year look like a great bunch, and the Jr’s are cycling up their first ever skater with Veggy Cowgirl. I’d keep my eyes peeled for Mae, McCreadie and Rosie from Queen’s Court.

Next year a completed Riverworks will see a return of the fan base. The leaky roof, the birds, the cold – will all be a distant memory. Something hardcore fans will tell newbies about – how they have it so much better these days. (FYI: I will be giving these lectures from the mezzanine next year).

I would love to see the home league move to a double knockout format after the first six home bouts of the year. This keeps the schedule longer, but ensures that every single bout counts. Make it so!

Last but not least, I see the Lake Effect Furies beating Ohio at Riverworks next year. Book it.


QCRG Weekend Recap: Saucies Survive Scare From Dollies, Furies Go 2-1 at Beaver Fever

Credit: Chris Kalisiak (CK Photographic Systems)

Credit: Chris Kalisiak (CK Photographic Systems)

QCRG fans spent Friday night following twitter feeds and sending text messages trying to keep track of the Dollies and Saucies home league game at Riverworks while also following the Lake Effect Furies bout against Tri City at the Beaver Fever tournament in Kitchener-Waterloo. Dollies fans at Riverworks saw the team build a nice lead against the Saucies only to have the Saucies finish the bout on a run and skate away with a 179-156 win, while Furies fans sunk in their seats in disbelief as Tri City managed a 175-163 upset. 

For the Dollies and Saucies the game is a lead up to their playoff matchup on June 12th. The closeness of the bout illustrates that the Dollies have closed the gap from last year and if the Saucies needed a wake up call this was it. The Dollies will look to build off of this momentum and work on closing out the game against a well-coached and experienced Saucies team. 

As for wake up calls, the Furies got theirs on Friday night in their opening bout of the Beaver Fever tournament. The Furies built up a nice lead to start the game only to fall back into bad habits that we saw in their previous losses to Steel City and Ohio – penalties, slow transition between defensive and offensive blocking, and panic. The team settled down a bit in the second half, but still couldn’t pull off a win. Tri City’s physical and fast recycling, alongside their top jammers who work with little space on the outside lines, make them a tough match for the Furies. Still, more than being beat by Tri City, the Furies beat themselves in this bout by not correcting those bad habits. For Tri City, the Furies were their highest ranked opponents for the weekend and they threw everything they had at pulling out this game. They were successful, but it cost them for the rest of the tournament as they fell to Rideau and struggled in their win against Green Mt. 

The Furies rebounded on Saturday with a dominant win against a depleted Green Mt. squad that was playing its second bout of the day. They led from the first jam and never looked back. Librawlian had 30-0 and 23-0 jams in the bout to put it out of reach, rookie jammer Murphy rebounded with a strong and penalty free bout and overall the team played more disciplined and inspired. They lost their focus for 2 of the final 3 jams of the bout – taking back to back jammer penalties and giving up 19-0 and 23-0 – but still managed a 227-108 win. 

Playing the final bout of the tournament on Sunday against Rideau Valley, everyone left in the crowd was expecting a very close bout. Rideau had beaten Green Mt. by a larger spread and also beaten Tri City in a game they controlled. Both teams had skaters out with injuries, and before the bout a broken skate almost kept InSINerator out of the game. If the Furies were nervous it didn’t show. They started the bout on a massive run that stretched to 155-64 at half. As both teams left the track at half the wear and tear of the tournament was noticeable – everyone had a bag of ice, a limp or were holding a shoulder or an arm. For Rideau, this was their 3rd bout in two days. They never gave up in the bout, but they didn’t have the energy to climb back into the game. The Furies struggled with some jammer penalties in that second half but the blocking core played their best game of the year and shut the door on any hope Rideau might have had, closing out the game 233-132. The handshake line to finish the game featured a Rideau skater in a wheelchair – a sign of just how banged up both of these teams were. 

For her solid play throughout the tournament Brawl was awarded MVP Jammer for the tournament and the strong finish by the Furies should keep them in position for their first ever Division 1 Playoff appearance later this summer. The weekend played out eerily similar to the teams Division 2 playoff appearance in the same building last year where they were upset in their first game against Gold Coast only to rebound and finish strong at 2-1. A 3-0 weekend would have been nice, but more importantly the Furies managed to correct and lessen many of the issues they have been struggling with for while in the span of a weekend. The addition of the “5 strong” motto alongside “1 team” seems to be helping keep skaters on the track and out of the penalty box and that is the key to this team’s success more than anything. 

Stat of the Weekend: The Furies came out of Beaver Fever 2-1, with a point differential of +208 and a +31.8 rating on flat track stats. Tri City finished 2-1, +37, +9.1 FTS, Rideau 2-1, +67, -24.2 FTS and Green Mt. 0-3, -312, -16.7 FTS. Although they lost in an upset on Friday night, the Furies rebounded and made the most of the tournament. That is a testament to their coaching staff and also their professional approach and preparation. They made lemonade. 

Crowd Assist: Tri City captured an awesome hit from Vajenna Warrior in the first half of the Rideau game. Vajenna tracks the Rideau jammer around the turn and meets her just as she breaks through on the outside to knock her out and keep herself in bounds. Vajenna had been goated up front, but used it as an opportunity to surprise the jammer. The Furies blockers don’t even need to cycle her back because she has the wind knocked right out of her and the hit scrambles Rideau’s defense so Brawl can easily skate through. It was beautiful and if you listen closely you can hear your humble narrator cheer her on. 

 

Vixens 12 Furies 48 #beaverfever2015 #tcrdlive #wftda

A video posted by TriCity RollerDerby (@tricityrollerderby) on


Weekend Preview: The Furies Hit the Road for “Beaver Fever” and the Dollies Take on the Saucies

Credit: Chris Kalisiak (CK Photographic Systems)

Credit: Chris Kalisiak (CK Photographic Systems)

Another busy weekend for the Queen City Roller Girls will see one home league game on Friday night at Riverworks and three tournament games on the road for the Furies. At home, the Dollies will take on the Saucies on Friday night at Riverworks in a rematch of “Hell on Wheels.” These two teams are set to meet down the road in the playoffs, and even though both teams will be without skaters who also play for the Furies, you can expect a tight bout. The Saucies beat the Dollies 238-163 earlier in the season, but with similar 2-2 records in home league play, the Dollies actually have a better point differential for the season than the Saucies. 

As the Dollies and Saucies battle it out at Riverworks, the Lake Effect Furies will be taking on the Tri City Thunder in Waterloo, Ontario (Canada) to kick off the Beaver Fever tournament. With a game each day of the tournament, the Furies will also take on Green Mt. on Saturday and Rideau Valley on Sunday. The Furies are ranked higher than all of these teams in WFTDA, but historically games have been close against Tri City and Rideau. The Furies will need a solid weekend to cement a position in their first ever Division 1 playoff and all of these teams will be hungry for an upset. 

Action kicks off at Riverworks (359 Ganson St. Buffalo) on Friday at 7pm and the bout starts at 7:30. Front row seating is $20, general admission is $15 and kids under 12 are $10 (at the door only). You can purchase tickets at http://www.qcrg.net/event/devil-dollies-vs-suicidal-saucies-2/

For hardcore Furies fans who want to make the trek across the border you can find info about Beaver Fever and schedules at https://www.facebook.com/events/855069974550781/. There is talk that the Friday night bout may be live streamed, but with or without that be sure to follow @qcrg  and the #qcrg tag on twitter for updates. 

Storylines to Watch

No Furies, No Problem: Without Furies skaters the Dollies coaches will have adjustments to make at the jammer position, while the Saucies will have a gapping hole in their blocking core. Both of these teams are deeper at these positions than other home teams, but how their coaches manage their absence will decide who wins this bout. 

Marathon, Not a Sprint: The Furies have struggled in the second half of their last two games with penalties and fatigue. They have had some time off to rest and prepare for this weekend and three games in three days will be another mental and physical test for this team. Last year in Division 2 tournament playoff play the Furies dropped their first game to Gold Coast in a major upset. They regrouped for the rest of the playoff, but they need to make sure things like this don’t repeat in tournament play this year. 

 




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