Category: Timmins


Life in a Northern Town derbywise just became more interesting. Out of the blue came the announcement that Timmins’ “first roller Derby team” The Gold Miners’ Daughters would join forces with the Dark Angels,  “the first team established by the Timmins Roller Derby League.”

ON Thursday, Nick L Bagg [aka Jeff Latham] of Gold Miners’ Daughters announced the two teams would join forces to form the new league. The Gold Miners’ Daughters and the Dark Angels would fall under the auspices of the new creation. Adding to the story, Aimes to Mame [aka Amy Hefferman] says the three suggested names so far come from the membership itself: the possibilities being Gold Rock City Derby, Gold City Rollergirls, or Hardcore Roller Derby. Listeners on the local Timmins Q92 Best Rock radio station and a Facebook poll are helping in the final decision on the name. [It has been pointed out there is a Gold City Rollers extant in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia who at this moment are also recruiting Fresh Meat.]

Coach Nick L Bagg cited the expanding popularity of Derby in Timmmins as one of the reasons for the union. “We had no choice but to pool our resources. We are boasting over 40 skaters now.”

There is enough talent for two interleague house teams at the moment and a larger pool to come next season. A steady stream of new and interested Fresh Meat skaters are coming to the league on a constant basis and “some of them show real promise for next year.”


For now, intentions are to have two house teams and another 2 Fresh type roster. The Dark Angels and Gold Miners’s Daughters would stick to their current rosters with a few exceptions. While some players take the time off, others wishing to continue training through the winter ahead would do so with the Gold Miners’s Daughters. Newbies as soon as they pass their minimum skills requirements would be pooled into the lottery for roster spots on the teams, “unless they have a specific preference.” And out of the talent in the league a more experienced travelling team would emerge.

The constant challenge for leagues is a place to practice. Space in the city is at a premium, so the teams will practice separately on various gym floors through the school systems. They have faced resistance to having wheels on floors, but the Catholic school board has been “generous” in allowing the players to roll.

“Over time the public will see the demand and open their doors to us,” declares Nick L Bagg. “Forty five plus women on roller skates can persuade anyone.”

No kidding. Who would dare refuse a Derby lady?

In the meanwhile, the next bout in Timmins takes place this coming Saturday on September 10 where the Gold Miners’ Daughters take on the visiting Soonami Slammers who are kindly venturing forth from Sault Ste. Marie. And the bout will be announced by none other than Night Train.

It’s a long way to the top, but the Gold Miners’ Daughters have proven they can take on Derby in the south by claiming the first place trophy at 2 Fresh 2 Furious and shocking a lot of Derby people in the process. Furthermore, with all the mutual support for each other by the other teams and leagues such as Nickel City or the Soo or Thunder Bay in the area and their willingness to cover the daunting distances between cities to bout each other, it has become evident there should be a vying for a Northern style Cup for North Ontario Derby Supremacy.


Latest update on the story as of June 2013: The Dark Angels was absorbed by the Gold Miners’ Daughters and the league was renamed the Gold City Roller Girls.

There is another Northern Ontario team preparing for 2 Fresh 2 Furious this year, the Neo-Fights. Also many of the GCRG are skating for the NORD Wildcards.

Laura Devil Zone Houle (left), Mallory Knox UOut (centre)

Preamble: It is always very enlightening and more entertaining to hear about Derby from the inside track and the participants themselves. So here is the story from Mallory Knox UOut who came down from Sudbury to see her first team in action at the Sault Rollerderby’s Black and Blue debut [featuring Soonami and Blackheart Maidens against Timmins Gold Miners’ Daughters and Fort Frances Freak Show] and ending up yelling from the bench itself. Her story starts here.

Life experience #8,769,174, bench-coaching for the Sault’s Soonami Slammers hosting the Timmins Gold Miners’ Daughters, and what an awesome experience it was!!!I arrived shortly before game time and ran to hug my old teammate “Devil Zone” and say hello. She says: “Hey girl! Do you want to help??”

I had no idea what I was in for!! But I loved that they included me as soon as I walked in. That’s what derby love feels like!

My dad with the Timmins Gold Miners' Daughter Lisa Kill'er Princess Tremblay

After seating my dad in a location I thought he would enjoy I set off to find “B CZAR”. Everyone seemed equipped and ready to go, taping up their equipment, et cetera. “Hotass Hell” was doing an interview with CTV. The camera was rolling on all the hustle and bustle of the dressing room, and B CZAR sat with a clipboard in hand doing the line-ups and trying to get her gear on at the same time! I asked what to do. She handed me the board with a quick description. And off we went. Everyone’s nerves are frazzled on a big bout day, and being at the enormous Essar Centre was very impressive and reminded me of the Nationals at the playoffs in Chicago/Windy City last November. The very growth of this sport in 10 years kind of hit me at that moment. We had about 300 in attendance and the fans really got into it. They yelled and cheered. They were very verbal sport lovers!!! They shouted and jumped up in their seats for every victory the Slammers had, big or small!

So I worked with B CZAR’s line-up, there were a limited amount of the girls who could or would play that position. B CZAR, Smasha Yar, and DeaLyn Daisies were my main go-to girls.

The Timmins Jammers were fast as lightning…..and their team as a whole was tight. They also had four players from Fort Frances’ team Fort Freak Show on board and they were some hard hitting girls from my vantage point!!

 

At half time I surveyed the situation. I re-wrote the lines. I tried to balance it the way B CZAR had it but easing up on the jammers, and it worked. I found a good flow within the girls. I commandeered a couple to jam who normally don’t. I think they were a lot more focused in the second half. O, I know I was and I also understood my role better. The Slammers had two very experienced out of town players. DeaLyn Daisies gave us good pointers. She was a great jammer got lead more than a few times. The other out-of-towner Smasher Smore was a very strong positional blocker, but I had to throw her in as jammer a couple times. I used Smasha Yar and Goddess of Destructiona lot more in the second half as jammers. In the second half I am screaming lines to the girls. I had to correct myself a lot. I am not sure how many times but they were patient with me. I would show them the lines on the paper, however, with the sweat running down their faces they said: “We can’t see….yell it at us!!!” So that’s what I did…I started yelling!

I thought it was going swimmingly. Out of nowhere I have two extra people on the track because there are two in the penalty box I haven’t seen whatsoever, and apparently no one else noticed either. So Nick L Bagg [Jeff Latham] the coach from Timmins and I were screaming at the middle refs that I have way too many people on. Jeff is a good sport. I’ll tell you that he just laughed about it after. He knew I had never done that job before!!! So we got penalized for my mistake there, and a couple other mistakes I made about who was lead jammer and who wasn’t!! I think pretty normal mistakes for a first timer.

I had a blast, the Slammers were very appreciative of my help. They were patient with my foul-ups, and I did my best to have them out in 30 seconds.The Timmins girls won 133-89 but the Soo fans were pleased with the first game either way!!!

The after party was at a bar called the Rockstar Bar with a band called Obsession. As always roller girls hit hard on the track and grab asses at the after party. I had a great time seeing old friends….and making new ones…and my dad also had a great time. He kept saying was I can’t wait to see you do that!

So basically, the Sault needs recruits, there needs to be more alternates, more choices for jammer position. Getting people committed with both time and money which are hard things to come by. That’s all the Sault needs are more girls. And refs and coach would be cool, too!!!!

DSC_9977, originally uploaded by Midnight Matinee 24.

The first bout of the day over in Ted Reeve Arena featured the Border City Brawlers from beautiful Windsor against the South Simcoe Rebel Rollers [do we detect some fireworks and rockets here?]

all content copyright © midnight matinee

photo courtesy of 90 Degree Johnson

Don’t Stop Believing was an appropriate song for the fest that was 2 Fresh 2 Furious. Just think Beast of the East all held in one day running in two arenas down at Ted Reeve Arena way down in the east end of Toronto where Main meets Gerrard Street East.

True to the feeling, the Gold Miners’ Daughters, a league of their own from Timmins, won it all in a memorable hard-hitting final over the D-VAS from Toronto Roller Derby.

GTA Rollergirls hosted the 2 Fresh 2 Furious tournament as an even more ambitious sequel to the Fresh and Furious equivalent from last year, expanding from 4 to 16 teams this time around. GTAR seemed to be doing what it does best in promoting and developing Derby amongst the rookies and freshies of the world. So players who had only a year ago donned their skates for the first time found themselves coming in with little or no previous matchplay. The tournament limited the experience of skaters on the teams to approximately five games or less with exhibitions and tournaments not counting. So Royal City from Guelph who had entered the tournament with virtually no games to their credit had been the busiest of beavers locking games into their home and away schedule with abandon.

It was only recently that a small band of nine Chrome Mollys supplemented by some Debs had travelled up to the home turf of South Simcoe and found tough resistance. And this was only a day after the Debs had gone up to Royal City to face the All-Stars. So the expectation for a toughly fought game from South Simcoe against the Brawlers was in the cards.

Thus, 2 Fresh 2 Furious was on. This was the equivalent of Montreal’s Beast of the East weekend tournament condensed into one long Derby day and night. Every forty minutes more or less, the games proceeded apace. The wars on the track in these short 20 minutes of gameplay [supplemented by the proverbial time outs from teams and officials] produced some spectacular falls, races, injuries, collisions and penalties that could be expected from freshie types. Sixteen leagues were represented, some sending two or even three teams [Royal City blended two of their teams Killer Queen and Our Ladies of Pain into the Queens of Pain while the Violet Uprising remained intact]. Belles of the Brawl from Brantford were not allowed to include GTA’s former big hitter Justine Sane on their roster which saddened her.

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Queen City Baby Brawlers (in black and blue) vs. ToRD D-VAS (red)

However, the Northern Exposure to Derby was well-represented with the two different leagues from Timmins: Gold Miners’ Daughters and Dark Angels, the Soonami from Sault Ste. Marie sent those who could travel. There had been some foreshadowing from the inner circle of Sudbury that Timmins were a rookie team in the making. Kingston and Peterborough came in with two teams, Durham was back in action, seen for the first time back in the summer of 2010 at The Hangar against the D-VAS from Toronto Roller Derby. For the first time, Toronto Roller Derby came down to GTA to actually bout and sent in the D-VAS. Last year, Queen City Rollergirls from Buffalo, New York had come to Fresh and Furious with a small group wearing the crown on their pink shirts. Two of the leagues from Ottawa in the form of Capital City and Ottawa Roller Derby sent in teams. This time around, Queen City sent in a full team of Baby Brawlers coached by 90° Johnson, who himself is a full fledged WFTDA referee. At least two of the QCRG may have been seen in Hammer City as part of their Lake Effect Furies all-star travel team who took on the Eh! Team and actually took the MVP.

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Game 1 - Border City Brawlers (in blue) vs. South Simcoe Rebel Rollers (in black)

If their stomachs were churning with first game tournament nerves it did not show up in the players on the track. The stress was more likely to happen with the 22 zebras who came in to oversee the matches, rolling in shifts and trying not to get dizzy from it all. There were many recognized zebras by yours truly from the likes of ToRD, Peterborough, Royal City Rollergettes and GTAR.

All the action started at the stroke of 11 in the morning with the first two games going simultaneously in The Bubble and the main rink of Ted Reeve Arena. While Durham were going head to head with half of the Kingston congregation that had split into Shirts [with the other half called Skins] the contingent from Border City Brawlers of Windsor were going against South Simcoe Rebel Rollers.

Even spectators in the suicide seats have only an inkling of appreciation of what the game is like as seen on the inside.

The view from the inside of the track was not only terrifyingly fast at the start, but quite the rush while trying to stay inside the lines of the box created for the occasion and trying to focus hard on the action through a flurry of zebra legs and arms which were racing in pace with the jammers and pack [or non-pack] of players. The calls came loud and often between whistles as the referees shouted at white boards of the NSOs [non skating officials] or the NSOs types who struggled to keep up as they wrote down the penalties on their clipboards before marking the minors and majors on the large board. Many heated discussions during timeouts ensued with coaches and refs over missed calls and points with even referees talking at each other to make sure they had made the right call. One thing that can be said is a referee’s whistle at the end of a jam is piercingly loud and painful. But the major surprise was how loud was the rumble of skates as players engaged in fast and furious action around and around. And the intensity on the faces seen up close. It was indeed blood and thunder on the track.

There was a large contingent of D-VAS fans, ToRD signs and coaches who made their presence loud and known as they cheered their teams on. Indeed a few of the leagues present were due to the players turned founder, coach or mentor from Toronto Roller Derby.

The temperature outside was a temperate 28 Canadian degrees, or the high 80s or almost 90s outside, but it felt cooler than the swelter that was going inside. The scheduling of winners and losers and double eliminations and then to sudden-death by the quarter finals had teams often playing back to back, just finishing winning one bout over an opponent only to immediately face their next competitors within the next twenty minutes. Cooldown led to more warm-up. There were lots of rebel yells for beer beer beer from teams after they found themselves out of the tourney. Merchandise tables from visiting teams began to disappear as thoughts of returning home or looking forward to the after-party began to arise. The Chrome Mollys shouted “Pizza!” The volunteers and staff and players from GTA Rollergirls lived to setup and lived to serve and barely lived by the end of day. Announcers in the form of Getcha Kicks said cute things about the trophies and remembrances of the first tourney at GTAR which was Virgin Suicides Brawl which was comprised of competing teams: Derby Debutantes, Vicious Dishes and Venus Fly Tramps from Tri-City, Bytown Blackhearts from Ottawa, Death Row Dames from Hammer, and the two Forest City teams: London Thrashers and Thames Fatales. It was there that 76 Getcha Kicks got her first Derby kicks.

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Chrome Mollys Riley Rage on last jam of regulation against South Simcoe trying to pick u 20

The hometeam Chrome Mollys playing with only their freshiest crew got off to a winning start over the Ottawa Dollinquents in the second bout of round one in the arena. Then they had the scare of their lives against South Simcoe, the Mollys behind by 20 with time for last jam on the clock. Riley Rage huffed and puffed her way for the Mollys giving it her best shot. As the last whistle blew, the Mollys piled atop their trooper jammer. Although it looked like 34-33 on the scoreboard an officials meeting was called with GTA coach looking for that one more point that would tie the game. Referees called upon the players to keep their equipment on while they consulted. The Chrome Mollys received the needed point and the overtime was on with Beaver Mansbridge on the line. Although Coach kept shouting to Beaver to call off the jam after getting her points the rule dictated the full two minutes must run out, and on both team raced with the Chrome Mollys the victor by two. However, their win would put them into the sudden-death quarter-finals against Queen City’s Baby Brawlers who came through after a surprising first round loss to the D-VAS, then winning two in a row to reach game 21.

By the semi-finals four teams were left [naturally]: D-VAS again against Queen City’s Baby Brawlers in game 25. In the other half of the draw, the Violet Uprising had been knocked out leaving the Queens of Pain with Hot Cross Guns to represent the royal colours of RCRG facing Gold Miners’ Daughters. The latter two teams had spent the day over in The Bubble with its slippery surface and had to come over into the main rink for the first time, which meant they had eluded our view for the day. We had been warned to look out for 666 Lisa Kill’er Princess and a certain 14 Nasty Nads on GMD.

The Gold Miner’s Daughters had just played Sister Slag on Canada Day and had fallen which may or may not have helped to build up expectations against Queens of Pain, but watching them in action, they certainly did not look like this was any rookie team. Jammers getting a running start at the jam line and huge hits. The D-VAS kept up the momentum and knocked out the Queen City Rollergirls who may have been finally running on empty as Hellbat kept up lead. This saddened the merch table lady of Queen City who had been shouting out to her team all day in support.

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The two teams summoned what was left of their reserves and took to the track for the Battle for third place in Game 27. The Queens of Pain [Royal City version] took out the Queen City Baby Brawlers.

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By 10 p.m. the twenty-eighth and Championship game was preceded by the G27 battle for third place and Queens of Pain – the Queens of Pain proudly prevailing over the black and blue of Queen City Rollergirls Brawlers.

Gold Miners' Daughters from Timmins take first prize

At last, the finals were ready to roll. No mention of rough and tumble here lest we get roughed and tumbled out of here. With only few seconds left on the clock of the finals, the D-VAS called time out. Although the score looked unsurmountable, anything is possible in Derby. Witness the twenty point come from behind jam by the Chrome Mollys to tie up the score with South Simcoe. [Or the Champional with Rocky Mountain Rollergirls]. What ensued was total mayhem with were the D-VAS just asking for it?

In the moments before the Championship game. the ladies from GMD looked at each other and Rachel NightTrain Matthews said: “‘We got this!’ and then, when we won it, there were just lots of tears and ‘OMG!!'” The Northern underdogs took it! A lot of people in the crowd were like ‘What?'” And she laughs.

Coach Nick L Bagg (aka Jeff Latham) rightfully proud of his team says in summation: “We’ve come along way in one short year. At this time last year we had ten girls doing dry land in a school yard. For us to win the 2 Fresh 2 Furious is nothing short of incredible!”

Well done all!

addendum: 2 Fresh 2 Furious from Queen City Baby Brawlers point of view on the way! Followed by on the road again to Tri-City and Royal City. Stay tuned!

-30-


2Fresh2Furious G28 Finals ToRD D-VAS vs Timmins Gold Miners’ Daughters Roller Derby from Layer9 on Vimeo.

Preamble to the Gentle Reader: Previously Laura DevilZone had provided her sunny words here about the bout up in Sudbury facing off against Sister Slag of Nickel City Roller Derby. Part of the roster for the day included the presence of Timmins Roller Derby’s Gold Miners Daughters.
This is the link to the first part of the story that just came out on Monday:
Soonami Strike Gold in Sudbury

Lisa Kill'er Princess / photo by Janet Young

Here is another chapter from Lisa Kill’er Princess of The Gold Miners’ Daughters starting off with some background about Timmins’s first Roller Derby team. Continue reading

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