Picture above: Pearl Jammer signs an autograph for an adoring fan.
On Saturday night the crowds came in huge numbers to this year’s 2008/2009 CT Roller Girl Demolition Exhibition at the CT Sports Center in Woodbridge. The venue was new for the roller girls. The sport center’s proximity to New Haven and the I-91 corridor certainly didn’t hurt, nor did the fact that the sport center served beer. Despite the cold rain that poured outside, the crowd inside the sports center was completely enthusiastic; excited to see their favorite players after the lengthy off season.
Shortly after 7pm, Hitman Hank addressed the crowd, his black suit perfectly juxtaposed by a bright pink tie. “Are you ready for some Roller Derby!?” he shouted and the crowd cheered back. The night’s exhibition would be made up from players of all three regular season teams squished into two extreme teams: The Honor Rollers and The Jock Stars.
Our group had come with 5 roller derby virgins. They paid close attention as the players were introduced and the rules were reviewed. And then? The action got under way.
Victoria Deck’em waves her field hockey stick during the introduction of the Jock Stars
The bout began with Luciana Pulverotti of the Honor Rollers jamming against Jock Stars player Pam Terror. When the whistles blew the girls took off sprinting towards the pack. Right from the beginning we knew that this bout would not be one of jammers, so much as pivots and blockers. The formidable defensive wall of Derby girls was made even more imposing by the different floor texture of the CT sports Center which slowed the furious drives of the jammers. The Jock Stars started off strong with 4 consecutive unanswered jams. Honor Roller Revengela was the first on her team to break the streak. Normally positioned as a blocker, Revengela came out strong and took advantage of a key opportunity as the Jock Stars’ jammer was sent to the penalty box. In just a few short jams the Honor Rollers had narrowed the gap from a 12 to a 4 point difference.
While the jamming is always exciting, the first half saw some fantastic action in the depths of the pack. Victoria Deck’em, Miz Con SepJen, and Violet Riot each had pretty strategic hits on the opposing jammer. In fact, there were plenty of great blocks from many of the newer roller girls as well.
Let’s break from the action to take a look at some of the newer names that were skating Saturday night
Lemmy Atter (#695)
Eve Coli (#0157)*
Flora Goodthyme (#1-900)
Paula G. Imnaughty (#NC-17)
C. Mya Rage (#86′d)
Ramona Rotten (#77)
Lemmy and Flora will skate with the Widowmakers in the regular season, Eve, C. Mya, and Ramona will skate with the Elm City Bone Crushers, and Paula G. Imnaughty will skate with the Iron Angels.
*fun fact! The 0157 strain of ecoli is extremely dangerous as it is resistant to antibiotics. I love it when roller girls have subtle academic and scientific references within their names and numbers.
The new recruits were doing great! Eve had some fantastic blocks in the later half of the first period, Flora was consistently scoring points as jammer, and Ramona’s skating looked effortless. The new girls had enthusiasm on their side but the experience of some of the roller derby powerhouses proved nearly overwhelming.
Milla Lowlife (pivot) tries to stay out front as the pack fumbles around a turn
In the thirteenth jam of the evening Doomcake came up to the jamming line. She had jammed once earlier in the night and had barely sneaked past Ramona Rotten to steal lead jammer status and a single point for the Honor Rollers. This time, when the whistle sounded Doom kicked it into gear and pulled some extremely skillful maneuvers to weave through the wall of opponents. She circled once while the powerful Honor Rollers’ pack held opposing jammer Ramona captive. Doom knew she had an opportunity: her team was down 10 points but their defense was holding strong. She gained speed and circled once more effortlessly winding through her opponents. When her hands finally touched her hips, Doom had brought the Honor Rollers ten more points. The score was tied!!
The tide had turned for the Honor Rollers and Revengela added her own punctuation to their statement when, just three jams later, she plowed through an swath of opposing players taking down three jock straps in the action. The first half ended with the Honor Rollers having just edged past the Jock Stars: 36 to 34.
The band Kiss Kiss came out to entertain at half time. This isn’t the first time they’ve played at a CT Roller Derby intermission, though I think that this time around they did an especially good job. I’m not sure how to best classify their music, but it was pretty rocking.
A young fan roots for her mom
After the intermission, the girls took to the floor. The first five jams of the second half were brutally tight. Jam after jam came up with few points scored, though the strategy was impressive. First Eleanor Bruisevelt skated hard against Violet Riot, but only pulled a single point. Jam 2 saw Honor Roller Paula G. Imnaughty steal lead jammer status from IV Drop, a visiting roller girl from Suburbia Roller Derbyâ€“Westchester County NY (Thanks Ro – see comments). Despite the steal, IV pulled ahead and Paula smartly ended the jam. Jam 3 saw the roles reverse. This time Violet Riot with the Jock Stars stole the lead from Honor Roller Pearl Jammer and was forced to end the jam in the same manner.
And then, it happened AGAIN.
C. Mya Rage, skated hard and got lead jammer status only to see her lead erode. Like the previous two jams, C. Mya smartly ended the jam just before her opponent scored. The fifth jam of the second half put Luciana against Pam Terror. Luciana got a great start through the pack. Pam Terror was dropped early on and was virtually out of the picture. Miz Con SepJen and Victoria Deck’em loomed in front of Luciana. Luciana swerved and tried to dart in front of her imposing opponents, but Miz and Victoria were skating strongly. Luciana couldn’t get through. She struggled behind her opponents for a full lap and then – out of nowhere! – Pam Terror screamed through the pack and grabbed lead jammer status. It was a remarkable showing of defense by the Jock Star team.
As the jams added up and the time ticked down the Milla Lowlife, Doom, and Pearl continued to chip away at the Jock Stars. Flora Goodthyme had a phenomenal 10 point jam recovering some lost ground for her team, but it was answered by a second double digit jam by Doomcake.
The bout ended with some beautiful blocks by Doom and Miz. When the final horn sounded the score stood at Honor Rollers 72 and Jock Stars 51. Weird Al’s “White and Nerdy” boomed over the speakers as the Honor Rollers took their victory lap. The crowd was ecstatic.
Doomcake secured M.V.P. for the Honor Rollers, Flora Goodthyme took M.V.P. for the Jock Stars.
Let’s look at some stats!
Doomcake 29 points in 6 jams.
Milla Lowlife 14 points
Revengela 12 points
Eleanor Bruisevelt 10 points
Flora Goodthyme 17 points in 6 jams
Pam Terror 16 points
Violet Riot and IV Drop 8 points
Great job Roller Girls! CT is glad to have you skating again. The next bout will be on December 13th as CT’s Stepford Sabotage take on the Maine Port Authorities. Last time these two teams met Stepford fell to the fury of Maine. But the two teams are closely ranked and I know our Connecticut girls will fight hard. Come check them out at the CT Sports Center on December 13th.
As for our group? Our Roller Derby virgins were pretty captivated by the action. One unique thing about Roller Derby is that it really doesn’t take much before you find yourself cheering wildly with the rest of the crowd and wincing at the brutal hits that send skaters off spinning. I have high hopes for the new venue and hope that it helps bring more crowds to Derby. Connecticut is a more exciting state in Roller Derby season and the more people who can appreciate it, the better.
Get all the info on upcoming bouts and your favorite teams by going to the newly redesigned CT Roller Derby website.
Connecticut stormed into Holyoke, Massachusetts on Saturday to fiercely battle the Pioneer Vally Roller Derby (PVRD) teams. The Connecticut Roller Girls (CTRG) would face the Western Mass Destruction and CT’s men, the Death Quads, would face the Dirty Dozen. This particular bout was organized so that the men’s and women’s teams would alternate playing each period.
The men stepped up to the line first.
CT’s Johnny Holeshot (#30 in red&yellow) at the line against PVRD’s Dr. Spankenstein (#113v in green)
Photo by Dead End Allie
Right from the start, our Death Quads felt the heat and speed of Massachusetts’ jammers. Dr. Spankenstein, Jurasskick Park, and Davy Jones were the first three jammers for the Dirty Dozen. Their speed was absurd. Death Quads Johnny Holeshot, Cirkle Jerk, and A Boy named Rob, were doing whatever they could to keep up, but the team was still vastly overpowered by the speed and agility of the Dirty Dozen.
CT’s Jacques Strap works to try and catch up to Western Mass’s Jurasskick Park.
Photo by Dead End Allie
The Dirty Dozen were hitting hard and skating fast, and their points soared. When the buzzer blared, the men of Massachusetts had a powerful lead with a score of 47 to Connecticut’s 11.
The Roller Girls were up.
The Connecticut Roller Girls came out in new uniforms: Predominantly black outfits with purple helmets. C. Mya Rage (#86′d), Paula G. Imnaughty (#913), and Ramona Rotten (#1977) were the newest recruits skating (for the first time!) on Saturday for CTRG. As the team took their warm-up laps, the girls practiced whipping their teammates forward and putting on the pressure around the turns.
Black Cherry started the show for CTRG against Western Mass Destruction’s Nora Morse – a pairing that was repeated throughout the night.
Black Cherry and Nora Morse at the jammer starting line
Black Cherry pulled lead jammer status and started the team off with a great momentum. She was followed by Pam Terror, Violet Riot, Nelly Knuckles, Pearl Jammer, and Girl Fawkes all who helped pull Connecticut into a 10 to 2 lead half way early in the first period. Especially noteworthy was a clutch block by C. Mya Rage who barreled forward in the 5th jam to knock down a Pioneer Valley Roller Girl and clear the way for Pearl Jammer to sneak through the pack. The team was really skating well, but Western Mass Destruction wasn’t going to let this one come easy; PVRD’s Big Vinny’s Kid, Pixie Scabs, and Chickadee Struction, were fighting back – and they were fighting hard.
The match was intensely defensive. Check out this video showing just one moment of the defensive power. Brutal!
Yes, the girls were hitting very hard Saturday night.
By the end of the first half, Western Mass Destruction had narrowed the gap in points to 4. The score stood at CTRG 20 – Mass Destruction 16.
Meanwhile… the men returned.
When we last left the Death Quads, they were struggling 36 points behind the home team in Holyoke. Sadly, the second half saw no mercy from the Pioneer Valley Team. They fought aggressively to keep the points rolling. Jurasskick Park, Davy Jones, and Dr. Spankenstein continued to wreak havoc on our CT heroes.
Dr. Spankenstein races towards Cirkle Jerk.
Photo by Dead End Allie
At one point Jurasskick Park was jamming against Cirkle Jerk. I have never seen such speed from a jammer as I did from #1993. Jurasskick Park soared around the ring weaving through the Death Quad blockers. While it was a bummer to see CT falling further behind, it was impressive to see the skating prowess of the Dirty Dozen.
As the men’s bout came to a close the score put the Dirty Dozen on top 123 to 35.
The Roller Girls’ Return
The girls came back and started right in where they had left off. But this time Western Mass Destruction’s Ballistic Miss L, Pittstop, and Nora Morse were ready. They skated hard, and despite the hits from Miz Con SepJen and Victoria Deck’em, they pulled off 10 quick points to steal the lead away from the CTRG. At this point, each team’s strategy became paramount. The teams were trading the lead back and forth. The blockers were fighting to control the front of the pack and the jammers were fighting to break through.
CT’s Pam Terror slows slightly to try and prevent MA’s Blood Bath and Beyond from hitting Black Cherry
At one point the CTRG were down nine. Girl Fawkes came up to face Pittstop as jammer. The whistle blew and the girls were off! Girl Fawkes broke through first and snagged lead jammer status. As she flew around the ring, she lapped Pittstop… but not before pulling off a sick tactical take down and knocking Pittstop to the floor. The hit gave Fawkes enough time to break through the pack again… pulling in nine points and tying the score.
There were only a few minutes left.
The girls signal one another to help make the team aware of advancing jammers.
The last few minutes were extremely intense. Unfortunately the Connecticut girls suffered a serious set back as jamming Nelly Knuckles was sent out on a penalty. This gave Western Mass Destruction a key chance to try and take the lead. They capitalized on the opportunity and grabbed a critical few points. As the time ticked down, all the while the crowd roaring with excitement, the CTRG fell behind 43 to 47.
It was a great night for roller derby. Great job to all the players!
Top Scoring Dudes
The Death Quads
10 – Circkle Jerk
9 — Johnny Holeshot
9 — A Boy Named Rob
The Dirty Dozen
42 – Jurasskick Park
38 – Davy Jones
27 – Dr. Spankenstein
Top Scoring Ladies
15 – Black Cherry
11 – Girl Fawkes
Western Mass Destruction
14 – Nora Morse
12 – Kookie Kutteroff
I had an opportunity to chat with Pam Terror before the bout started up. Apparently the girls did really well at the East Coast Derby Extravaganza in Philadelphia last month. This particular bout was the last one for this season so they will be going on break for the duration of the summer, returning to the rink in the fall. Until then, feel free to check the CT roller girl website for additional information on upcoming events.
On Friday the thirteenth, three Connecticut roller girl teams entered the Roller Magic arena in Waterbury, each trying to exit as the sole champion. The regular season had come and gone leaving all three teams tied. The Elm City Bone Crushers, the Iron Angels, and the Widowmakers arrived to play each other in 30 minute mini bouts. At the end of the night, if a single team won both its bouts, she would go on as champion. If again, all teams tied, then the team with the greatest point differential would be deemed champion.
Letâ€™s take a closer look at the three teams.
The Elm City Bone Crushers
ECBC, as their adoring fans refer to them, came into the 2008 season worn and beaten from their losses the previous year. But Doomcake (#13), their willful and powerful captain, wasnâ€™t going to let history dictate this yearâ€™s success. After a heartbreaking loss to the Widowmakers early in the season, the team came together for a well-earned victory over the Iron Angels. Their roster* includes:
Doomcake (#13 captain)
Vixen Vega (#80085 asst. captain)
ChaCha LaRue (#xoxo)
Chelsea Grin (#T-4)
Ether Bunny (#ZZZ)
Jenghis Kahn (#1162)
Murderface Maully (#82)
Susan Bea Anarchy (#79)
Smith & Wendly (#357)
Syd Rock (#2)
Victoria Deckâ€™em (#8)
The Iron Angels
The 2007 Connecticut Rollergirl reigning champions have a strong roster. Last yearâ€™s victory was testimony of the phenomenal power and leadership of the teamâ€™s captain and assistant captain: Tina Colada (#B-52) and Pearl Jammer (#GO) respectively**. The compassion and camaraderie of the Iron Angels is unparalleled. Their roster* includes:
Tina Colada (#B-52 captain)
Pearl Jammer (#GO asst. captain)
Girl Fawkes (#V)
Mount Saint Helen (#1980)
Nelly Nuckles (#2-KO)
Niki Nos Nitrous (#N20)
Pam Terror (#9)
Slaughterhouse Sadie (#70)
Violet Riot (#911)
Virginia Woolferine (#168)
These rollergirls have a passion and a professionalism that make them quite a menace in the ring. The Windowmakers have been a consistent contender in the Connecticut scene. The 2008 season began with a fantastic comeback for the Widowmakers as they pushed past the Bone Crushers in a tight 86 to 83 overtime victory. Under the power of their teamâ€™s seasoned captain Revengela (#1-2-3-4), the Widowmakers were out to try and take their first championship. Their roster* includes:
Revengela (#1-2-3-4 captain)
Black Cherry (#C-4 asst. captain)
Barbie Q (#2-3 team manager)
Eleanor Bruisevelt (#1933)
Luciana PULVERotti (#110R)
Milla Lowlife (#40)
Miz Con SepJen (#7)
Parker Poison (#As33)
Pepper Grind-Her (#10+)
Ruby Wreckingball (#TNT)
Slick Shoes (#85)
Huge crowds gathered to watch the Championship showdown.
The first bout on Friday saw a competition for the ages between Elm City Bone Crushers and the Widowmakers. As the whistle blew, the girls took off in formation; the jammerâ€™s driving forward with fiery intensity. Doomcake showed her prowess as she maneuvered through her opponents and quickly took the first lead jammer status. With it, the Bone Crushers drew first blood with a 5 point lead. Syd Rock came out next against Luciana PULVERotti. Despite Lucianaâ€™s aggressive drive, the ECBC defense kept her down and Syd Rock, with impressive maneuvering, sneaked through to win the jam. Right from the beginning, ECBC was showing some notable muscle and strategy on their skates. After ten jams, they had an impressive lead and were consistently scoring lead jamming status.
And then came the single most violent jam of the night. Syd Rock came out as the Bone Crusher jammer following a striking 5 point jam led by Chelsea Grin. Opposite her, at the starting line, was Eleanor Brusivelt, who earlier had led a successful jam under some remarkable defense work of her teammates. The whistle blew and the girls took off. As the jammers stormed around the track, they came face-to-face with a pack that held like a wall. Careening around the corner, the aggressive shoulders of the blockers dropped the jammers, and the trip up brought seven rollergirls tumbling to the ground. The girls got up and Syd promptly slammed into Milla, Ether Bunny clocked Eleanor Bruisevelt, and after getting up Eleanor bashed MurderFace Maully. More roller girls hit the floor in this one jam than in any jam I have seen to date. As testimony to the strength of these two teams amazing defensive players, at the end of this violent jam neither team had been able to successfully navigate through the pack to score any points.
The Bone Crushers were successful in their drive putting down the Widowmakers in a 50 to 17 victory.
After a short intermission where we were entertained by the Creepin Cadavers, the girls got right back into action. Since the Bone Crushers won the first round, they were able to relax until the third bout. This second bout put Iron Angels up against the Widowmakers. Tina Colada started at the line with Eleanor Bruisevelt. The teams were trading lead jamming status pretty consistently. Right away this looked like a bout of defense versus a bout of offense. The Widowmakers were pushing hard on Pearl Jammer, last yearâ€™s MVP, and were effectively holding her back. Parker Poison, Revengela, and Slick Shoes were in rare form consistently laying down the Iron Angelsâ€™ jammers. Angel Violet Riot seemed to be coming out a bit more as the Iron Angels tried to combat the Widowmakersâ€™ hard-hitting defense, but to no avail. The points kept coming for the Widowmakers and they closed out with a 36 â€“ 26 victory.
The Deciding Bout.
Despite losing the previous round, the Iron Angels were not out of the contest. If they could win against the Bone Crushers with a 21 point victory, they would take the championship.
The Bone Crushers, however, were truly intent on crushing their opponents. Doom, Syd, Ether, and Chelsea Grin traded the jammer position for the first eight jams over which they took every single lead jammer title. Pearl was the first to break the Bone Crushers run. Pearl, Pam, and Nelly Knuckles came up with a short rally, but were kept honest by the devastating drive of the ECBC. Jam after Jam the girls in red were pushing their points skyward. As the clock ticked the final seconds away, the Elm City Bone Crushers threw their hands in the air, they had defeated the Angels 42 to 11.
The girls gathered ringside to collect their trophy.
ECBC pose with their trophy.
Syd Rock and Doomcake were the highest scorings players of the evening. Syd with 47 points and Doom with 31. These women alone showed Connecticut that the Bone Crusher’s weren’t fooling around. Eleanor Bruisevelt and Luciana PULVERotti took home 18 and 11 points respectively for the Widowmakers. Pearl was the leading scorer for the Angels with 10.
Congratulations to all the Roller Girls for an amazing season and endlessly entertaining bouts! The next big event will have the travel team, the Stepford Sabotage, against a bunch of east coast teams at the EAST COAST EXTRAVAGANZA on June 21st in Philadelphia, PA and then against some of Western Massachusetts’ finest on July 12th in Holyoke, MA. For more information check out the CT Roller Girls Website.
*The rosters listed here were not the exact rosters for this particular bout.
** UPDATE: A Roller Girl kindly pointed out in the comments that last year’s Iron Angels captain and asst. captain were Nelly Knuckles and Dead End Allie. Tina Colada and Pearl are the captain and asst. captain for this season.
On Sunday night the crowds gathered once again to witness the aggressive roller derby girls in action. This bout had the Elm City BoneCrushers taking on the reigning champions, the Iron Angels. Both teams have some considerable strength to them. The Iron Angels were coming in with a 1-0 record after defeating the Widowmakers in February. The BoneCrushers were coming in vengeful and furious with a record of 0-1 after barely losing their bout with the Widowmakers in January.
Amidst the cheers of their loving crowd, the RollerGirls came onto the flat track for the first jam. Jamming for the Iron Angels was Assistant Captain Pearl Jammer (#GO), and opposing her for the BoneCrushers was captain Doomcake (#13). Striking quickly before the BoneCrushers could organize their defenses, Pearl grabbed lead jammer status and pulled in a quick 5 points. The early lead for the Iron Angels was short lived however as BoneCrusher Syd Rock (#2) came up next against Girl Fawkes (#V). Syd has a furious ability to navigate through the menacing shoulders of the opposing blockers and responded to Pearl’s grand slam with 9 points of her own. No, the BoneCrushers were not going to let the Angels’ title as champion intimidate them, they had their own agenda and it was proving aggressive and effective.
BoneCrusher Chelsea Grin (#T-4) jammed next against Angels captain Tina Colada (#B-52) and showed the strength of her shoulder in a sick take down. One after another, the BoneCrushers were coming out in force. Doomcake added 4, and Syd 5 more. Sadly, the bout’s momentum faltered when ChaCha LaRue (#XOXO) took a bad fall in an early jam.
The bond between the girls became more than apparent as Iron Angels and BoneCrushers alike tended to the fallen RollerGirl. Pearl Jammer and the EMTs helped ChaCha get to a stretcher. Despite the pain, ChaCha looked to be in good spirits as she was carted off to the ambulance. While always unfortunate, injuries do shine some light on the strong camaraderie of the CT RollerGirls.
ChaCha LaRue gets some attention
After the injury, the score stood 18 to 6. The Angels weren’t making it easy for the BoneCrushers. Fawkes pulled in 9 more points bringing the score a bit closer after a few jams. Yet still, the BoneCrusher defense was dominating. Ether Bunny (#ZZZ) had a wicked hit on Angel substitute Token (#X) and Susan B Anarchy (#79) successfully dominated Pearl late in the first half to keep Syd Rock screaming around the ring pulling in points.
The first half ended with the BoneCrushers holding a significant lead over the Angels. Would the Elm City BoneCrushers be vindicated after their last frustrating loss?
Beaver Knievel (#97) re-establishes the pack after Doomcake soars through
The second half was just as furious as the first. Girl Fawkes held the relentless Syd Rock at 11 points in the early part of the second half with a hit that knocked Syd into the air. It was clear that the girls were getting tired. With 11 minutes left the Angels were down over 20 points… but then they began to rally behind the blocking of Slaughterhouse Saide (#70) and Mount St. Helen (#1980). First Tina Colada pulled 4, then Pearl took 3, Violet Riot (#911) snagged four, Token 3, and Pearl 7 more. Could the BoneCrushers keep the advancing Angels far enough back to claim victory?
Yes! The BoneCrusher defense closed the door on the Angels through the last 5 jams securing a critical victory and bringing about a unique situation entering into the championship. Each team is now tied with a record of 1-1. While the format for the championship in not yet certain, you can be sure that it will be furious.
Top Scorer was BoneCrusher Syd rock with 44 points over 15 jams.
Next up was Iron Angel Pearl Jammer with 26 points over 13 jams.
This is especially impressive when you realize that there were only 36 jams total. These two jammers were pushed to their limits.
Chelsea Grin had the most trips to the penalty box with a grand total of 5. Susan B. Anarchy was right behind her at 4.
I talked to Syd Rock briefly after the bout. Tonight was, she believed, her top performance as a jammer. She comes from Tuscon, but did mostly blocking there. When asked which she preferred, being a blocker or jammer, Syd replied “Blocker. I like to hit people.”
The next stop for the RollerGirls is coming this Saturday (April 12th) in Philidelphia where the Stepford Sabotage will take on a local team the Philthy Britches. After that there will be a quick bout against Gotham’s Bteam in Brooklyn on the 19th. Finally, on May 17th the Stepford Sabotage will be taking on the Maine Roller Derby Port Authority in Maine. Get all the details at the CT Roller Girl website here.
Great job to all the players! We’ll see you in Maine!
It’s in the works! You should see it by the end of today.
The crowds turned up in great numbers on Sunday night to witness the aggressive meeting between CT’s Stepford Sabotage and the Rhode Island Riveters. The Riveters are a seasoned team with some great experience and a national ranking (14th!). Stepford, while still young and anxious for a rating, is decidedly feisty. We showed up knowing we’d be in for some great competition.
But on this Sunday the girls didn’t start the show, no, it was the men’s turn to debut. Three men’s derby teams showed up to welcome Connecticut’s first men’s derby team, the CT Death Quads, to the derby scene: The New York Shock Exchange, Western Mass’s Dirty Dozen, and Baltimore’s Harm City Homicide. The four teams mixed players into two squads for a fast and furious single period bout. It was extremely fun. The guys were brutally hitting one another, and what a mix of player skills! From Feelgood Marshall to Davy Jones the men were really throwing it all down.
Fans for a change, CT’s Stepford Sabotage (Ether Bunny, Revengela, Tina Colada, Violet Riot, and Black Cherry) watch the men do their thing.
With the crowd all riled up, the girls came out welcomed with cheers of anticipation. As they warmed up by skating a few laps, Miz ConSepJen and Luciana Pulverotti walked around selling cupcakes to support the traveling team.
MC Hitman Hank was joined by Rhode Island’s Al Mighty. They introduced the players on each team and we started right in on the action.
The first jam put CT’s Powerhouse Pearl Jammer (#GO) up against Rhode Island’s Hysterica (#42). Hysterica, speed skater turned roller girl, was fast. She whipped through the pack quickly, snagged lead jammer status, circled once, and strategically ended the jam. Black Cherry (#C-4) came up next as jammer against Craisy Dukes (#high 5). Craisy repeated the process for the Riveters. If Stepford was caught off guard, they didn’t show it. The slow start didn’t deter the girls. Syd Rock (#2) snagged the first lead jammer status for Connecticut followed by Black Cherry and Tina Colada (#B-52). Despite grabbing these leads, the girls in green were coming up short on points.
Jetta Von Diesel (#VR6) and Hysterica plan their attack
As the bout progressed it became clear that the Riveters’ defense is staggering! Jean Harlot (#1937), Burnin’ Helen (#73), and Sass E. McNasty (#8ball) were just some of the Riveters who were working to stop The Sabotage in their tracks. But as the first half came to a close Stepford seemed to strengthen… really landing their hits. Two consecutive jams in the final minutes of that first period saw Violet Riot (#911) plow into Bunnicula (#***), and Syd Rock savagely slam Jailbird Jenny (#111). Pearl and Doomcake (#13) concluded the half with critical strategic wins of lead jammer status.
Pearl, Ether Bunny, and Syd talk strategy during the intermission.
After a quick break they were back at it. The second half saw great strategy by Riveters Craisy Dukes and Rhode Kill (#90mph). Rhode Kill was especially effective at taking a broad corner and driving the opposing jammer out of the ring in that first turn. It was brutal, but effective. Cleo Patronize (#10) had amazing stride and raised her team’s score even further. As the time ticked away CT had one final surge pulling in 23 points to the Riveters 12 in the last 8 jams.
It wasn’t quite enough. The Riveters secured a strong victory 107-47.
Craisy Dukes and Rhode Kill on their victory lap
“It’s a hell of a start,” Girl Fawkes (#V) commented. And indeed it was. Stepford is working to get a rating in the national association, but to do so they have to play two ranked teams. Hopefully they will get a rating by the summer. Both teams skated their hearts out on Sunday. Great job Roller Girls!
Black Cherry: 17
Pearl Jammer: 9
The R.I. Riveters
Cleo Patronize: 18
Trips to the penalty box were, more or less, evenly distributed between the teams. Pearl with 3, Cleo with 4.
Both teams have bouts fast approaching. The Riveters will be up in Maine on April 12th, and Connecticut will see a battle between the Elm City Bone Crushers and the Iron Angels on April 6th. The Stepford Sabotage will be back on the road in Philly on April 12th and against Gotham’s B-team on April 19th. It’s a hectic schedule so for all the details check out ctrollerderby.com.
What a bout! On Sunday February 24th the Widowmakers and Iron Angels donned their skates in an epic match-up that we were all expecting to be extremely exciting. The girls did not disappoint.
The night started with the Iron Angels skating off their bench to the wailing riffs of AC/DC’s Thunderstruck. Led by captain Tina Colada (#B-52), the Angels were starting their season off after clinching the win at last year’s championship bout against the Widowmakers. And now the Widowmakers were back. After the Angels introduction concluded, the Widowmakers screamed off their bench to Billy Idol’s White Wedding… they were skating with a vengeance. Unlike last December, this time the Widowmakers had come with Luciana PULVERotti (#110R) and Milla LowLife (#40 oz. “The Champaign of Roller Girls”).
The Angels, however, aren’t a team to be caught unawares; they too had new players in their ranks. Mount Saint Helen (#1980), Beaver Knievel (#97), and Virginia Woolferine (#168) had joined the team and were ready for action. Yes, the crowd was expecting excitement but nothing could prepare us for the two 30 minute periods that followed.
The bout started with Angel Pearl Jammer (#GO) up against Eleanor Bruisevelt (#1933). The ref’s whistle screeched once and the pack was off… it screeched again and the jammers took off. Using their skate’s toe-break as a pushing point, the Jammers propelled themselves forward on their toes accelerating quickly to overtake the looming pack.
Right from the start, the match-up showed promise. The blockers were defiant. Pearl, who has the incredible skill of finding openings between even the most vicious opponents was held back by the Widowmaker defense. Eleanor broke through first and snagged lead jammer status. But Pearl is not one to give up easily. She wove through the pack behind Eleanor. The two derby girls met stiff resistance as they circled around to reach the pack again. Pearl snaked through quickly and snagged two quick points before Eleanor could end the jam. Yes, it was clear from the first jam that the bout would depend heavily on the defensive strategies of each team.
The Widowmakers drive was ferocious. After Eleanor’s efforts Luciana, Black Cherry (#C-4), and Milla consecutively took lead jammer status away from the fighting Angels. What was remarkable is that despite the Widowmaker’s early dominance at breaking through the pack, Pearl, Pam Terror (#9), and Girl Fawkes (#V) were able to slowly chip away at the score. One point here, two points there. After six jams the score stood tied at 9-9.
And Then Began a Remarkable Defensive Struggle.
Revengela (#1-2-3-4), the authoritative Captain of the Widowmakers, took the jamming spot across Pam Terror. The whistle blew and the two jammers raced up towards a very formidable pack. Miz Con SepJen (#7), Parker Poison (#A33), Pearl, and Mount Saint Helen were among those who were intent on cutting short their competitor’s drive. One jam… two jams… three jams… four jams went by scoreless. The Widowmakers were making a break for points, but the Angels kept cutting them off by strategically ending the jams. Acting as pivot Black Cherry, perhaps the single most charismatic roller girl to grace a derby ring, successfully crushed the Angel’s jammer again and again… all the while blowing kisses to the adoring crowd. The Widowmakers were making big hits.
But the tide had turned. The Angels started taking the critical lead jammer status away from the Widowmakers. Violet Riot (#911) made a huge contribution as she earned 7 crucial points for the Iron Angels. Girl Fawkes came out next and, backed up by Mount Saint Helen’s aggressive drop of Widowmaker Milla LowLife, widened the gap with 2 points and then 8 more points for the Angels. Tina Colada and Milla LowLife skated opposite each other to end the first half with a score of 34 to 19. The Iron Angels had taken a healthy lead.
The 2nd Half
The second half saw some incredible strategy. Occasionally a blocker would reach back and grab the hand of her jamming teammate. She would then swing her arm furiously around her body and whip her team’s jammer forward. The jammer could take this sudden burst of speed and work to pull ahead or make up lost ground. Lord those girls can skate.
Black Cherry used another unique strategy when she skated as jammer. Numerous times she would find herself blocked by one or two defensive Angels. Motioning back to her blocking teammates she would encourage them to slow down… thus pulling the pack away from the her and the wall that prevented her escape.
What could this possibly do? Well, there’s a rule in Roller Derby that says that the pack must remain reasonably tight. Roller girls can’t stray too far away before the refs raise their hands and the girls have to stop blocking any opposing jammers. In pushing the pack back, Black Cherry could get the ref to call out the loose pack. The Iron Angel blockers would then have to let Black Cherry skate through unopposed scoring an extra point or two.
The angels were using strategy as well. As time ticked away Violet Riot skated twice as jammer against Black Cherry. Both times she barely squeezed lead jammer status away from the fearsome Widowmaker. As the pair raced back towards the pack, Violet theatrically tapped her hips ending the jam with a 0 -0 score and pushing the clock further and further down.
When the final buzzer sounded the Iron Angels took the victory: 60 to 48.
Black Cherry: 27 points in 9 jams (lead 4)
Tina Colada: 22 points in 11 jams (lead 4)
Girl Fawkes: 16 points in 4 jams (lead 3)
Trips to the Penalty Box?
Iron Angels: 11
Players with the most trips to the penalty box:
Miz Con SepJen: 6
Tina Colada: 4
After the match we headed over to the afterparty at The Brass House. There Keller and I had some beverages and witnessed the ceremonial inauguration of two new roller girls. They were handed birth certificates with their roller girl nicknames. Cake was served and the bar welcomed the two new recruits.
The CT roller girls will put these new girls to work. Especially since next month will see the CT All-Star team, the Stepford Sabotage, up against the Rhode Island Riveters. Rhode Island’s team is older and more experienced with brutal players like ‘Da Silva Bullet’ and ‘Jetta Von Diesel’. The Stepford Sabotage will have their work cut out for them on March 16th, but the fans have faith! For more information on the upcoming bout, check out the CT roller girl’s website here:
Sunday’s bout was amazing. Great job Roller Girls! We’ll see you March 16th!!
Last night the RollerMagic Roller Rink in Waterbury hosted the first bout in this second season of Connecticut Roller Derby. The night had the Elm City Bone Crushers (ECBC) up against the Widowmakers. When these teams met last season the Widowmakers came home with the victory, but last night there were new players wearing skates and both teams were anxious to start the season off with a win.
I brought a bunch of first-timers with me to this particular bout. The sport was introduced to the new comers with a demonstration, narrated by the MC’s. As Hitman Hank and David Coppafeel explained the means by which the jammers score points, my friend Celina shuddered in awe: “Oh my God. They have to go THROUGH THE PACK?!?”
Yes, the Pack was formidable last night. The only thing more intimidating than the pack of six blockers and two pivots was the EMT’s stretcher which ominously stood at the ready just outside the roller rink. Adding to the excitement was a new rule; instead of the three 20 minute periods that we witnessed last year, this year’s bout would be made up of two 30 minute periods. I can only imagine what those last 10 minutes must feel like when you’re wearing skates and dodging the menacing shoulder of an opponent.
The Bout Begins
The bout started with ECBC’s captain Doomcake (#13) up against Eleanor Bruisevelt (#1933). Right from the onset the ECBC showed great defense. They kept the Widowmakers at arms length with an early lead and great consistency. As the evening progressed it was clear that a few new players were playing major roles in the action. Syd Rock (#2 Bells) jammed seven times for the Bone Crushers and she was Fast. Apparently Syd recently moved to CT from Arizona where she skated with The Copper Queens, a derby team out of Tucson AZ.*
Also new were Milla Low Life (#40oz), and Luciana PULVERotti (#110R) for the Widowmakers and Murderface Maully (#M82) and Smith & Wendy (#357) for the Bone Crushers. The first half saw some killer hits from these girls. In fact, in those first 30 minutes there were 38 personal fouls. Thirty Eight! There were Elbows being thrown everywhere.
What was especially fun to watch in this bout was the strategy. There was some extremely good skating by the defense. In one of the final jams of the first half Bone Crusher Chelsea Grin (#T-4) was skating opposite Eleanor Bruisevelt. Eleanor broke through the pack early on, but didn’t take lead jammer status. The widowmaker’s defense was keeping Chelsea back. As Eleanor gained on her rivals Chelsea furiously darted forward… getting to the front of the line just in time. The ref declared her Lead Jammer and she manically tapped her hips ending the jam. Both teams were left scoreless for the jam and the Bone Crushers maintained their lead.
As the girls caught their breath, the crowd was entertained with some SICK dancing by the CT based group ‘Poetry in Motion.’ There were 5 guys who came out and Flared, popped, and freestyled to the cheers of the CTRG crowd. The Roller Derby intermissions are typically pretty good, but this one stood out as one of the best. The fifteen minutes flew by and before we knew it the girls were back on the track and the refs were blowing the starting whistle.
The Second Half
That first Jam put Syd Rock against Revengela (#1-2-3-4). Syd got a killer start but was NAILED by Widowmaker Peekaboom (#718). The bout was close. Really close. At the start of the eighth Jam the score stood 64 points for the Bone Crushers, 63 points for the Widowmakers. We were getting anxious. Half our crowd was rooting for the ECBC the other half for the Widowmakers. The Widowmaker fans got a jolt of energy in the ninth jam when Bone Crusher Syd Rock was slammed so hard she skidded 10 feet across the floor into the penalty bench. The hits were getting harder.
Time was ticking down. And the defense was getting tough. in those last few minutes few seconds would pass without an aggressive exchange of shoulders in the ring. ECBC Susan B. Anarchy took down Milla Low Life in one particularly memorable slam.
It was ECBC 75 to WM 71.
And there was time for one Jam left. The Bone Crusher fans amongst us started chanting “DEFENSE!” the Widowmaker fans were screaming for Widowmaker jammer Black Cherry (#C-4).
The Jam started. And the crowd was electrified… and the bone crushers had a lot of team members in the penalty box. Black Cherry broke ahead in the sprint from the starting line. She skated hard and forced her way to the front of the pack!! Lead Jammer status was called. She whipped around again and broke through the pack AGAIN. Upon doing so, she immediately ended the jam.
She’d pulled in 4 points! The time expired! It was 75 to 75!!
I’ve never seen an overtime before, so I was quite thankful when the MC’s explained what happens in OT.
Overtime in Derby is accomplished by a two minute jam. What makes it different from regular play is that the jammers immediately start getting points and it’s impossible to get lead jammer status. If the results of that jam were another tie… they do another jam. It will keep going like that until one team pulls ahead of the other.
And now, after a full game of being behind the Elm City Bone Crusher’s the Widowmakers had a chance to take it all. Black Cherry was up against Chelsea Grin… The whistles blew.
In just seconds Chelsea Grin was sent to the penalty box. Was it over for the Bone Crushers?!?! Black Cherry was flying around the rink like it was child’s play. Just when we’d thought the game was over, Chelsea stormed back into the ring. We were on our feet with excitement.
Chelsea skated around once… twice… and the bell sounded. Would it be enough?
There was a lull that seemed to last a lifetime. The refs wanted to make certain they got the points right.
the first score announced was the Bone Crushers. 8 points! Chelsea did great!
another lull as the scores were calculated… and the results!
Black Cherry got 11 points! THE WIDOWMAKERS WON IN OVERTIME!
What a bout! It was a joy to watch. The end statistics show how closely these two teams were matched:
***UPDATE! Chelsea Grin informed me that in fact the scorekeepers made a mistake with the numbers and, in fact, Chelsea scored 35 points!!! (35 is a lot.) Rock on Chelsea!***
There were a grand total of 59 personal foul penalties given out in the bout. FIFTY NINE! That’s practically one a minute!
What a show. Great job to all the players and people behind the scenes. From the fans, thanks.
If you’d like to come to the next bout, check out the next bout on February 24th. For more information go here! There are also a handful of inter-league bouts this year. Check back on the roller girl website or here for updates!
* Tucson is actually one of the oldest leagues in the US. The Texas Rollergirls (in Austin) were first.