This past weekend GTA Rollergirls unveiled a new travel team, the G-sTARs, wearing awesome new black and yellow jerseys at Blood Spill on the Hill, the CWRDA Eastern tournament hosted by Rideau Valley Roller Girls. The G-sTARs captain, Newfie Bullet, played alongside fellow Derby Debutantes teammates Hissy Curlington, Splat Benatar, Lee Way Wreck’em, Dixie Wrecked, Pinky Tuffadero, Canadian Psycho, Gypsy Nose-Bleed and myself, Getcha Kicks. Representing the Chrome Mollys on the G-sTARs were eSkimo Jo, The Krow, Prairie Fire and Beaver Mansbridge. The team was coached by My-Call Buble with the help of the new G-sTARs assistant coach, D. Cluck (seen throughout the tournament under My-Call’s ‘wing’).
G-sTARs’ first game on Saturday was against Ottawa Roller Derby. The Derby Debutantes had played twice against this league in 2009, winning both bouts, but the team that showed up on the track this day had none of the same players. The G-sTARs didn’t need to be worried, though – our blockers controlled the pack efficiently while our jammers racked up the points, and we ended the game with what could be a new Canadian record point differential: 456 – 6. The G-sTARs were off to a good start and advanced to play the newly formed RVRG team, the Vermin, on Sunday at 11 am.
This next game was a different story. GTAR have been 0-2 against RVRG this season, but as RVRG were fielding a slightly different team we knew it would be a different game. This match was still a tough contest, though, and rather high on the penalties for certain members of both teams, myself included (I survived till the end with one major to spare). The G-sTARs’ jammers grabbed the points where they could in some good jams (especially when the RVRG jammers ran into penalty trouble) but RVRG had the run of the points. The Vermin won (final score: 162 – 53) to advance to the final against Forest City, while the G-sTARs would go on to play in the 3rd place bout later that day at 3pm.
The next bout of the day was the fifth place bout between Moncton’s Muddy River Rollers and the Royal City All-Stars (who our Derby Debutantes will be playing next weekend at Downtown Throwdown in Guelph). This proved to be the most exciting game so far in the tournament between two strongly developing new teams in their first season. But with 4 members of the Muddy River team leaving to catch a plane home to Moncton at halftime, and another ejected, they were playing with a bare bones team going into the second half. The Royal City All-Stars played with this advantage and continued to build their lead to win, 116 – 73.
The final G-sTARs bout for 3rd place was against the Hamilton Harlots from Hammer City Roller Girls. There has only been one previous meeting on the track between GTAR and HCRG, and that was during the Derby Debutantes’ first appearance at the Beast of the East tournament in 2009. The Hamilton Harlots had been strong winners in that game. This time, it was a completely new team meeting us on the track. The first half of the bout was close, with both teams playing defensively and sneaking a point in here and there, edging the score up to a nerve wracking 30-29 at the half. In the second, the my team pulled ourselves together and fought hard to get ahead. We slowly stretched our lead while holding back the HCRG jammers. After a tough 30 minutes, the G-sTARs won the game, 128 – 53. (To my relief, I finished the game with only 1 itty-bitty minor tarnishing my board!)
This weekend, I was able to accomplish something I have been dreaming of doing for a while: play three roller derby games on the same weekend. Maybe that seems like a strange kind of dream, but I have watched other teams play their way through tournaments and have always wanted to be the one up there being challenged by different teams, working with my own team to adapt. I think Blood Spill on the Hill was a positive learning experience for all teams involved.