[this is a story that grows in the telling …] [take five]

A new champion emerges from Beast of the East this year in a clash between two leagues: Toronto Roller Derby and Rideau Valley Rollergirls.


71 to 67 Gores with 3:35 left
Bambi vs Ripper A Part who gets lead
Zeroes on board after Bambi chases Ripper down
Bambi vs DDT
DDT in penalty box
Bambi grand slam
DDT back on the track. Bambi knocked on her back.

Two minutes left.
Surgical Strike out of game. Four majors.
81 to 67 for Gore Gore now with 16 seconds left.
Slaughter Daughters time out.
Score adjusted to 83 to 67.

Soul Rekker lead jammer.
Bambi penalty and sent to box.
Soul Rekker 15 seconds left on jammer clock.
86 to 83 Slaughter Daughters
86 to 85
Slaughter Daughters 87 85 !

— — —


A lead change back and forth victory that was pulled out of the jaws of defeat on the very last jam with the Slaughter Daughters down 83 to 67 for Gore Gore with 16 seconds left. Soul Rekker facing off against Bambi, then Bambi [starting off on the line with two minors to her name and number, then called for a false start minor] sent to the box on a minor backblock [and her fourth minor probably not seen by viewers on the Canuck Derby TV]. Which left Soul Rekker on the powerjam to score one grand slam, then another, and another. 83 to 81 Gores. But it wasn’t over yet. Then another grand slam by DDT. The crowd going crazy.

FInal score 87 to 85. Undefeated Slaughter Daughters tame the Beast.

[This story kept being updated throughout the afternoon as more games came in so as they say in the parlance the lede kept being buried deeper and deeper.]

From the look of the schedule which had been assured to yours truly that it was indeed a blind draw, on first glance it looked liked the powerhouses were being given one-sided matches in their early bouts. However, the one exception was the Game 5 10:40 a.m. match on Saturday morning with Vicious Dishes from Tri-City and Gore Gore Rollergirls, both of whom were within the top 6 of Rollergirl.ca rankings and each at the top of their league. It was predicated that the winner of this match-up would be in the finals, if not indeed both alongside a darkhorse possibility called Rideau Valley Slaughter Daughters. The 50-48 final score on the side of the Vicious Dishes showed how close both teams were. But Beast of the East being a double knockout tournament assured Gore Gore Rollergirls still had a life. [However, we had one other team in the mix for the finals, that being Thames Fatales, one of the hardest practicing teams we know.]

The beauty of the Beast tournament is sixteen teams playing in 20 minute bouts over one for some and two days for others in a test of team togetherness and endurance to overcome all conditions. It would take a minimum of five victories by any of the sixteen teams to make it all the way to the Sunday afternoon final. Tri-City tried to dominate sending in their threesome of teams, Vicious Dishes, Venus Fly Tramps and their new Total Knockouts. Les Duchesses de Quebec made their first foray into boutdom by showing up at Beast. Thames Fatales were representing Forest City Derby Girls without the Lunch Ladies in tow. GTA Rollergirls came in with their two teams: Beast veterans Derby Debutantes looking forward to their bouts, rematches and all, along with the newest Chrome Mollys. There were the four teams of Toronto Roller Derby, the three host teams from MTLRD, and the two from Rideau Valley: the Riot Squad and Slaughter Daughters.

When defending Beast of the East champions from 2010 Les Filles du Roi fell to Slaughter Daughters 71-3, it guaranteed an all-Ontario team presence in the semi-finals. However, the fallen Filles du Roi along with everybody else could still take pride in how all their mates played on the weekend.

On the surface, the weekend answered the floating question, what would Montreal Roller Derby hometeams look and play like without the presence of their former New Skids on the Block mates?  Take away the superstars and what do you have left? Earlier evidence came from an away game La Racaille had played two weeks before Beast in Toronto against GTA Rollergirls Derby Debutantes. La Racaille had fallen behind early. But their smooth packplay and blocking had them catching up and pulling away from the Debutantes 141-80. Just as was expected from a Montreal team.

And just to make double sure, when the two teams met up again at Beast La Racaille woke up early and made sure they were on top of the Derby Debutantes right from the start of their game.

However, in the Beast shortened game format how would the rest of the Montreal teams fare? By the end of Saturday all three Montreal teams were still in the hunt for the big trophy at the finals.

In the winner in loser out format at Beast on the Sunday, anything would be possible. The Ontario teams from ToRD and Rideau Valley shone, making their way deeper towards the playoffs than they had even gone before.

If anything goes, it was Montreal that went. Chicks Ahoy! surprised Vicious Dishes 48-8, the key play being one 20 point power jam with a full penalty box of Dishes that changed the game around and Lippy Wrongstockings contending against the zebras.

Gore Gore Rollergirls looked like their strong selves and clamped down on La Racaille 88-11, but it was a tight tight match as Land Shark and the Death Track Dolls sailed to an early lead but held on for the 58-49 victory over Les Contrabanditas.

Now we have the first semi-final done. Towards the end of the tournament rules changed with the games lengthened to thirty minutes, giving each team a little more time to show off team strengths and not just team sprints.


Gore Gore Rollergirls 51 Death Track Dolls 11. Although the Dolls gave it their best shot  they could not overcome the Gores jamming and veteran blocking. But the Dolls still had one more surprise up their sleeve.

The next semi-finals:

Chicks Ahoy! falling in a nailbiter as close as it could get.

In a tight defensive battle, Slaughter Daughters are up 18-17 with 4 minutes left against Chicks Ahoy! Then Daughters’ DDT takes control.

The score tied at 19-19 with only minutes to go, Chicks Ahoy! Dyna Hurtcha faced Soul Rekker at the pivotal 19-19 tie mark. Soul Rekker steals the show and scores a double grand slam. Chicks Ahoy! call their last time out with seconds to go. Last jam. Daughters get lead and call it off. And it’s game over for Chicks Ahoy!

Obviously, this was the farthest the Slaughter Daughters of RVRG have gone into Beast as has their opposition for the finals: Gore Gore Rollergirls from ToRD their opposition.

With a historic victory in this third vs fourth place match, the Death Track Dolls won 42-31 over the  Chicks Ahoy! for the first time ever the Death Track Dolls have been on the winning side of a bout with their ToRD opponents, Chicks Ahoy!

Can’t wait for the rematch back at The Hangar on May 28th.

There will be much said by others about how this is the deepest Toronto Roller Derby has made it into Beast of the East after a year of frustration and the ascendancy finally for the Rideau Valley Rollergirls after four years of trying, and all deservedly so, emerging undefeated and victorious. Their monikers of dark doom seared into the consciousness: Semi Precious, Sister Disaster, Assassinista, Da Big Block, Soul Rekker, DDT, Ripper A Part, Blackout Susan, Drunky Brewster, Scotch Minx, Screaming Meenie Massacre, Pretty Sketchy.

But for many and most, the story will be what is remembered by all about the excitement of being there and the competition and the atmosphere of Derby when it is played at its fastest and finest. A tournament of endurance and leagues and sixteen teams at varying levels of experience and longevity, trying to transcend expectations and exhaustion which most likely did in many teams playing two or even three games on the first day and even two or three more matches on the second day to get their way to the finals. Teams with shortened rosters because not everybody could travel to Montrèal were forced to find inner resolve and previously unrevealed talents. Hence, Tamahawk who jammed for the first time at last year’s Beast was thrown into deep rotation along with Killson who debuted once upon a time at Beast herself, and Mirambo on spot jam for Thames Fatales who were without CommieKaze; Santilly Lace jammed in public for the first time for the Dolls and acquitted herself well, Chicks Ahoy! employed rookie Balla Reina late in the tournament facing off against Gores then Dolls, the Smoke City Betties could have used Bruise Berry Pie or Sail-Her-Poon. From the viewpoint of another GTA Rollergirls follower, for the present edition of Chrome Mollys whose bout at Beast was their first anywhere made history in their first appearance, being on the wrong end of the second ever shutout at Beast of the East. Although they had hoped for even a single point, the shutout against Contrabanditas was not the total surprise, but ten points against Gore Gore Rollergirls was a major victory. Notable was the shift in power of certain teams, Death Track Dolls [eliminated by the Debutantes 38-29 at Beast last year] and the Gore Gore Rollergirls [defeated the Debs 43-22 in 2010] who both went far.

There were two other rookie teams present with the Total Knockouts of Tri-City and the Duchesses de Quèbec, all of whom were two and out but still of good cheer.

Three matches in a day for any team that lost made things difficult and tiring. Teams like Les Contrabanditas, Slaughter Daughters, La Racaille or Chicks Ahoy! could take their two victories, then call it a day off and rest until Sunday. [Except for any after party activity.] It was a long day for the Debutantes who started the tournament off facing against les Duchesses de Quèbec at 8 in the morning and winning handily, then having to watch another seven games go by until their next bout time at 1:20 in the afternoon against La Racaille who totally turned it around from their first encounter at Ted Reeve, scoring early and decisively.

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Then by nearly 7 p.m. the Debs were done tired against Filles du Roi. Thames Fatales had a tough path that didn’t start until 12:40 on the Saturday against the Smoke City Betties, but then they faced two matches nearly back to back with eventual Championship finalists, Thames Fatales’s fall to Slaughter Daughters at 6 p.m. showed the early signs Slaughter Daughters could adapt to different team styles of play thrown at them and apply their own formidable blocking skills and walls along with jammers who took advantage to a 62-12 Slaughter victory, then only two hours after that match, Thames were back on the track against Gore Gore Rollergirls and sadly Thames were out of Beast after a 49-36 loss. (But once again, Thames had a surprise ending left for Beast.)

Venus Fly Tramps after a narrow 38-28 loss to the Slaughter Daughters at noon, eliminated Smoke City Betties 66-14 at their 6 p.m. match but two hours later were facing their TCRG counterparts Vicious Dishes in an elimination bout. Thunder teammates took no mercy on each other and Lippy cut track? Unfortunately for the Total Knockouts, they were on the other side of the third shutout of Beast, falling 81-0 to Filles du Roi. The other side of Rideau Valley, the Riot Squad were out by the end of Saturday falling 84-8 to the Dolls. Living to see Sunday hence were all three Montreal teams, Filles du Roi, Contrabanditas, La Racaille, Gore Gore Rollergirls, along with three ToRD teams Death Track Dolls, Chicks Ahoy, along with one survivor from RVRG and TCRG: Slaughter Daughters and Vicious Dishes.

By Sunday afternoon, all MTLRD teams had been eliminated and for the first time Filles du Roi were not in the finals at Beast. All three remaining Toronto Roller Derby teams had won, Gore Gore Rollergirls taking out La Racaille 88-11, and Slaughter Daughters taking control of Filles du Roi 71-3. The toughest battle of the afternoon was Death Track Dolls prevailing over Contrabanditas 58-49. It is said any victory or defeat is a power jam away, and that is exactly what happened. Major penalty problems and frustrations with referee calls did the Vicious Dishes in their 48-8 loss against Chicks Ahoy! as well as the prevalence of point hungry Dyna Hurtcha.

The two semi-finals saw another ToRD classic matchup of Gore Gore Rollergirls against Death Track Dolls that had Bambi and Dust Bunny, Lady Gag-Ya going against Land Shark, Slam Wow, Betty Bomber and Santilly In Yo Face. But it was the Gore Gore Rollergirls in a landslide 51-11.

An all ToRD final was not to be, Slaughter Daughters were just that good in a mighty battle against Chicks Ahoy that came down to penalties and power jams again 33-19.

Before the finals, there was one more contest: the third vs. fourth place match for one of the “ugly” prizes and against expectations, the Dolls and in a historic turnaround against Chicks Ahoy saw the red and white win for the first time over the team in green. It was a battle of speed vs. pack control that ended with a happy Land Shark on the floor being mobbed. Death Track Dolls 42 Chicks Ahoy! 31.

The Championships game between Slaughter Daughters and Gore Gore Rollergirls was as thrilling and close as it could get. Slaughter Daughters had suffered no losses coming into the Sunday final, and Gore Gore Rollergirls only once at the hands of the Vicious Dishes in the first round. Once again no lead is safe, calling off a jam too early or late costs games or points would be costly, timeouts are crucial. [As written earlier up top, the last jam was as thrilling a moment as could be seen in Derby. With a 83-67 lead, the Gore Gore Rollergirls seemed to have the hammer against the Slaughter Daughters. With Bambi facing off against DDT, Bambi was called for a false start and hence her third minor. In the crucial race against each other, Bambi was shockingly called for a back block and to the penalty box. The crowd not knowing what was going on cried foul. What happened? Track cut? Back block? That wasn’t a major. DDT had to fight through Gore walls that finally had to release her at the boundary of in play. Time had run out on the game clock but there was time on the jam clock. So with Bambi in the box, DDT finally scored the points that marked the lead change [drink up] and the victory. The scoreboard kept updating itself. 86-83 Slaughter Daughters. 86-85 Slaughter Daughters. Then the final score was in. 87-85! Two points in victory! And the crowd went wild. Thus marked the end of competition at Beast of the East 2011, and yes, there was another end of sorts with plenty of Mirambo on display. All good Derby cheer!

So the Slaughter Daughters endured to the end with a hard hitting style that knocked plenty of players black and blue and two person walls that had to be seen to be believed.

There are battle scars bruises a plenty that all Derby players hold as trophies, and lessons learned after all the excitement and battle in victory or on the short end of a major kick in the butt, and player expectations and drive raised to be even fitter and flightier and more of a fighter within to make themselves the best they can be. And all the camaraderie and spirit of Derby that makes this sport so great.

Victory can not be achieved without sacrifice.

– – more to come – –

Doctor Johnny Capote’s final words:
The tournament is over. Go home. Do something else. Good night.

A totally amazing Derby weekend and congrats to everyone who played and made it run!

All the coverage seen on canuckderbytv.com Good job everyone! Merci à Dr Johnny Capote! Watch and donate!