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Dollies Pull Off Thrilling Last Jam Win Over the Saucies

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Guest Post By Vile Love It 

The Queen City Roller Girls home season has seen some super tight games and this past Wednesday’s rematch between the Suicidal Saucies and the Devil Dollies didn’t disappoint. With more lead changes than you could keep track of, the Dollies squeaked out a 161-173 win in the exciting last jam.

Dollies jammer McCreadie pulled her team to within 2 points of the Saucies in the second to last jam and then both teams’ clutch jammers:  Rosi for the Saucies and Double Barryl for the Dollies lined up on the track. Unfortunately for the Saucies, Rosi headed to the box early in the jam leaving Double Barryl on the track to calmly gather up the winning points.  She cemented her team’s victory and then hung out in the back until the period clock wound down and the Dollies maintained their 2-0 record against the Saucies this season. 

This was an important game for the Saucies. They lost to the Dollies in the home season opener (179-113) the largest point spread of any home game this season. The Saucies then went on to beat the Alley Kats 174-158 on February 3rd. 

The Dollies, on the other hand, have fallen to the Kats twice. On January 13th they lost by 3 points in another last jam win (164-161) and then again on February 13th 133-115.

In the Saucies mind, it might have been: we beat the Kats, the Kats beat the Dollies, so therefore, we should beat the Dollies. But it just doesn’t always work out like that. First, the Saucies were down several players.  Maggie de Sade is out with an ankle injury. TeKill’ya Sunrise is also injured.  Fresh Slaughter Pearl, Poisonous Peaches and Chet UpStandUp sat out Wednesday’s game due to a variety of issues. The Saucies did pull up Veggy Cowgirl and Emma Dilemma from the Queens Court to fill in and they both made quite a difference.

Veggy Cowgirl is the first Queen City Junior Roller Girl graduate to skate in the adult league and she has made an immediate splash. She has skated games with the Queens Court and recently made the Subzero Sirens travel team. Veggy skated with the junior league for four years and is the eldest daughter of QCRG co- founder Sissy Fit (who herself used to play for the Saucies) so suffice it to say, she’s been skating since before she could walk. She also played on the Junior World Cup Select Team in 2014.  She is a versatile player and was effective as blocker (sometimes pivot) and jammer. 

Emma Dilemma also filled in as a Saucie on Wednesday night. She is a recent transfer from Toronto Roller Derby where she played with the Gore Gore Girls for 5 seasons including 2014 when that team won the prestigious Canadian Beast of the East Tournament.  She was quite effective as a blocker and looked at home in her hastily made red t-shirt.

The Dollies remain under the strong coaching of Senor Wiener assisted by Assistant Coaches and Lake Effect Furies players Ivana LeiHerOut and LiBrawlian (who is also co-coach of the Subzero Sirens). Senor Wiener crafted a team of a select few of anchor veteran blockers including Chickadeemolish, Lip Service, LaBatt Bruise and Bully Holiday and then packed in a solid group of rookies and second year skaters. His rookies, however, aren’t all “technically” rookies.  Double Barryl played for Watertown before she took a year off for knee surgery and a baby. McCreadie and May Bringdowndahaus were with Niagara Roller Girls before they came south.

The Saucies relied heavily on Rosi, Flame Throw-Her, Sigourney Cleaver, and Veggy Cowgirl as jammers (with both Rosi and Veggy playing double duty as blockers). 

The Dollies were down regular jammer Jules Burns and so spread the jammer love around to SlamUwell Jackson, Erin Go Braless, Nic Nugget along with regulars Double Barryl, McCreadie and Raspoutine. 

The games started out a defensive battle with “hit it and quit it” jams where few points were scored. Eight minutes into the game the score was only 13-10 with the Saucies in the lead. Although there were jams where one team was ahead by 10 or 15 points, neither team dominated for more than a jam. At the half the score was Saucies 60, Dollies 59.

When a game is this close it is difficult to point to a statistic that won or lost the game for either team.  The Saucies had a total of 8 penalties in the first half but then doubled it for a total of 24 penalties. The Dollies had 16 penalties in the first period and 15 in the second. Dollies caught lead jam slightly more often than the Saucies, but they couldn’t always capitalize on it.

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Chris Kalisiak (CK Photographic Systems). Shot at 1/8th Second.  

One fan said the score board resembled a basketball game, back and forth, back and forth but in the end, the Dollies were able to keep their winning record against the Saucies. Fans can see the full bout footage from the game here on QCRG’s youtube channel

The home teams are taking a break during March as the Lake Effect Furies and Subzero Sirens take center stage at Riverworks. The Lake Effect Furies open their home season against neighboring Roc City All Stars with the Subzero Sirens playing against Roc’s B Sides on March 6th and follow that with a Subzero Sirens + Lake Effect Furies Mash up Expo bout on Friday April 11th. You can always find ticket at qcrg.net/tickets.  

 

 

 


Devil Dollies Roll to Victory in Front of Sell Out Crowd to Open QCRG’s 10th Season

Cred: Chris Kalisiak (CK Photographic Systems)

Cred: Chris Kalisiak (CK Photographic Systems)

The Queen City Roller Girls kicked off their official 2016 season at Buffalo Riverworks on Saturday afternoon in front of a sell out crowd – shattering all previous league attendance records with over 1,300 fans. The crowd, which included hundreds of first time fans, were treated to a close bout between the “scrambled” 2016 Devil Dollies and Saucies teams with the Dollies pulling out a 179-113 win. 

With two Saucies jammers sidelined with injuries, TeKill’ya Sunrise and Flame Thrower, a jammer battle quickly developed between rookies; Rosi for the Saucies and Double Barryl for the Dollies. Those two rookie jammers faced off at least 7 times in the first half alone. The Dollies walls, anchored by veterans Lip Service, Chickadeemolish and Labatt Bruise, were too much for the Saucies and Double Barryl’s aggressive jammer style kept the Saucies blockers in disarray. Although lead % was close in the first half, the Saucies took more jammer penalties and entered the half down 70-58.

The 2nd half started with that Rosi v Double Barryl match up, but the Devil Dollies pulled away in the 2nd half off the strength of the full jammer rotation – fellow rookie jammers Raspoutine, McCreadie and 2nd year jammer Jules Burn. The Dollies immediately started the half on a 36-4 run stretching their lead out to 44 points. The Saucies managed to end Double Barryl’s lead streak and draw some jammer penalties on the Dollies, but they would only pull that deficit down to 39 before the Dollies finished on another run. 

Not knowing what to expect going into this bout with 14 rookies and teams scrambled from last year, fans got a very close and calculated game that saw lots of strategy. The Saucies executed multiple star passes, the Dollies were holding braced walls throughout and both teams focused on short and quick jams to keep the other off the board. This is a testament to the Queen’s Court program and also a good indication of the promise that exists moving forward in the league. Fans might have expected a drop off with so many veteran skaters retiring or moving to travel teams only, instead they got treated to a very skilled and competitive bout that featured lots of up and coming skaters taking direction from solid veterans. 

Both teams should leave the bout feeling good about their upcoming season. The Saucies were down two jammers and kept the bout close. That run to start the 2nd half is where they need to focus their attention and if they can bring down the level of panic and penalties they should be fine. Maggie, Sigourney Cleaveher, Peaches, Chet and Crimes all made lemonade out of lemons, and gave their team a shot with a short jammer rotation. Rosi is clearly developing as a force within the league and the feared “red wall” had it’s moments. 

The Dollies played a solid team game and have the luxury of alternating Lips Service and Chickadeemolish to punish opposing jammers. They could go even deeper in their jammer rotation if they have to and already they look like the league front runner for top jammer rotation even though it only includes 1 skater with a year under their belt. Double Barryl, who looked solid through the Expo bouts and made the B Team “Subzero Sirens” looks impressive and draws obvious Lo Hits Griffin comparisons with her style. Raspoutine is consistently building off of a great start and proving to be hard to knock down. The Dollies did however let the Saucies go on small runs and stay in the game by giving up some jammer penalties at inopportune times and a fully healthy Saucies roster might have added some more pressure to their calm and collected blocking core. 

The Dollies now shift their focus to their bout against the Alley Kats on Wednesday night. The season opener for the Alley Kats, the Kats have the upper hand after watching the Dollies on Saturday. We will see if they will be able to capitalize on that and grab their first win in years. 

The bout became a media event in Buffalo and the league has been very busy in the last few days shooting a commercial with Towne Automotive and releasing their 10th anniversary league photo. They have a long bout schedule ahead of them and keeping this momentum up will be the next challenge. 


Queen City Roller Girls 2016 Week 1 Preview

Photo Cred: Chris Kalisiak (CK Photographic Systems)

Photo Cred: Chris Kalisiak (CK Photographic Systems)

10 seasons. That is a huge deal for a grassroots sport like roller derby. Lots of people along the way would not have thought this sport was going to stick around – either in Western New York or anywhere else. Watching footage of what women’s flat track roller derby looked like 10 years ago it is almost unrecognizable. WFTDA, the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, has institutionalized the sport and brought it to its present day form – where it is played globally with over 300 leagues and over a handful of continents represented. This is a huge accomplishment for the sport, for WFTDA and also for the Queen City Roller Girls who are entering their 10th season, and their second at Buffalo Riverworks which hosts the world’s first purpose built derby track. 

As QCRG enters its 10th season the home leagues look radically different. With skater retirements and some skaters choosing to go travel team only, QCRG was forced to slim down to 3 home teams for the first time since 2008 (before the Alley Kats). The league voted to retire the Nickel City Knockouts for the year, the 4 time reigning Champions, and now for the first time since 2011 the league will have a Champion other than the “bloooo.” On top of this, the league also redrafted (“scrambled”) the remaining skaters in the home leagues – which means only 14 skaters will be skating with the team they were on last year. Throw in 15 rookies into the mix and this year in the home leagues is wide open. Anyone who definitively tells you how this will play out is a liar. How these teams will mesh is anyone’s guess, but for the sake of a preview here are some things I will be looking for in Week 1. 

Devil Dollies v Suicidal Saucies – Season Opener –  Saturday January 9th 2pm @ Riverworks 

The Dollies will take the track on Saturday with only one rostered skater from last year – Chickadeemolish. They will also roll out with a league best 9 rookies and only 4 skaters who have more than 3 years experience (Bully Holiday, Chick, Lip Service and Labatt Bruise). Those veterans will anchor this team, especially former Lake Effect Furie and long time league member Lip Service, but it will be up to their coach Señor Wiener and bench manager Ivana LeiHerOut (Lake Effect Furies) to turn this roster into a contender. The former Knockouts coach, Wiener is a long time league member, a highly certified WFTDA Ref and a skater for Toronto Men’s Roller Derby. Wiener knows the game, and the league, inside and out. He coaches to win and he has an experience advantage over rookie coach Roxanne Debris (Saucies) and Shock-Her (Alley Kats). Not having Librawlian to rely upon will make things more challenging though and how the Dollies coaches adjust in game and keep this team motivated will be the key.

Coaches? You really want me to get excited about watching Coaches? Ok, ok, you want to hear about skaters too I get it! 

The Dollies bring on two Canadians out of their pool of rookies, jammer McCreadie and blocker May Bringdowndahaus. Former Niagara Roller Girls, these skaters are like rookies+. Their Queen’s Court teammates last year all had impressive years and many had stand out performances in the Expo bouts in December – I can specifically remember flashes of greatness from Raspoutine, Megalo-MEINia and Double Barryl. 4 of these rookies are also on the B Travel Team – Double Barryl, McCreadie, May Bringdowndahaus and Molly Malign – another sign of their promise. The obstacle with so many rookies though is that they lack bout experience and typically run, or don’t run, on confidence. Derby is a game of high high’s and low low’s and it is going to be up to the entire team to keep everyone focused, calm and on an even keel. 

With lots of potential jammers on the roster it will be up to Wiener and Ivana to manage the star and how deep they want to go. The Dollies give up a bit of size to the Saucies on the blocking line, so they are going to have to find an answer for that and make holes. This will not be an easy first test for this Dollies squad, however, all signs point to this class of rookies being ready for the challenge. If they skate out with this win I expect it to be because their jammers stayed aggressive the entire bout and their veterans and coaches kept everyone on the same page. 

The Saucies bring back four skaters – Joyride, Beatrix Boom, Wailing Wench and Cuban Mistress Crisis. They also welcome back Flame Throwher after a year off. Former Saucie Roxanne Debris moves to the bench to coach alongside former league ref Trip Ur Mama, and the Saucies also snagged up 5 rookies – Rosi, Sigourney Cleaver, Tekill’ya Sunrise, Chet UpStandUp and Skarpinski. Those rookies are matched with 8 skaters with 3 or more years of experience. The most interesting element of this mix will be if this roster can carry over the things that made the Saucies great – they blocked tight and skated as a team, played with discipline and grinded out bouts. The core is still there and the “culture” of the Saucies is still strong. This team has been looking to reclaim greatness, and has come very close in the last two Championships, so the expectation will be there from current and former Saucies and also fans. After not drafting any skaters in the 2015 season though, this influx of new skaters and a new coach may upset that balance. 

If the Saucies are going to reclaim former glory this year they will need a big year from their rookies and also from Flame Throwher. The Saucies don’t have the jammer rotation depth that a team like the Dollies do, and they will need Flame Throwher and Rosi to contribute right away. Both looked very strong in expo bouts, and Rosi was also named to the Furies – one of only two Furies skating in the home leagues – so all signs point to them being up to the challenge. How much inexperience and rust will play into this bout, and the season, will be key though. 

The blocking core for the Saucies looks very solid and stacked with veterans. Wailing Wench, Her Heiny Granger and Chet UpStandUp have been picked for the Travel B Team and every skater will feel unease lining up against Beatrix Boom. Those Saucies that are still around know that solid positional blocking is the key and I expect this group to carry on the tradition left by skaters like Head Huntress and B’kini Whacks if they want to win. 

Alley Kats vs Devil Dollies – Wednesday January 13th 7pm @ Riverworks

The Kats bring back the most skaters from last year with 9, and also are the only home team returning with the same coach with Shock-Her. Their one rookie, Ana Killingspree, is one of the home leagues biggest wild cards this year. Transferring from Mad Rollin’ Derby in Madison, WI, AK is also credited with playing a central role in spreading roller derby to Denmark. She looked very solid in the Expo bouts she played in and the Kats will have to rely on her and also Ashes t’ Ashes – the other Furies home league skater – if they want to get into the win column in 2016. 

The Kats looked poised to win in 2015 but came up short. The continuity of their roster may turn out to be an advantage, especially at the beginning of this season, since so many skaters are familiar with the team, the coach and the style of play. Like the Saucies they have a shorter jammer rotation, so they will have to get creative if at any point they start to struggle. You get the feeling that this same crew will struggle with penalties like they did last year, but this might be less of an issue as other teams struggle to catch up and find their own rhythm. Winning earlier in the season will be a priority for this team as they look to shake off a couple winless years. 

The Kats also get the advantage of a Dollies team that will be playing two bouts in a week and if they are doing their homework right they should be able to get a good read on the teams strengths and weaknesses this Saturday. Mama Chops will be torn, but the Kats also have the advantage in every game as fans have always rallied to try and push them on to a win. New year, New Alley Kats? Time will tell.