Derby season kicks off with new faces and new opponents

Matthew Gourlie
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Change comes with every new season.

That was particularly true with the start of the new roller derby season Saturday night at Mosaic Place.

All of the city's derby girls are united once again under the Lil Chicago Roller Derby banner. The LCRD Jawbreakers faced off against a new team — the Rotten Angels, coached by Ron Gall (aka Coach Rotten), who coached the Jawbreakers last year.

The Angels, who feature players from a number of centres in Saskatchewan and Alberta, beat Lil Chicago 177-153.

A new season also brings new players. Despite the loss, Danielle "Danarchy" Broen couldn't stop smiling after her first derby bout with the LCRD.

"I strapped on skates in December for the first time and I've been coming to every practice and this is my first official bout with Lil Chicago and I absolutely loved it," said Broen. "It's like nothing I've ever done in my life."

Broen had some friends in her hometown of Red Deer who had fallen in love with the sport, so when she moved to Moose Jaw from Comox, B.C. in the fall she was excited to get the chance to try the sport.

"This is kicking my butt back into shape. You don't really realize how out of shape you are until you start going around the track a few times," said Broen. "In the beginning I was scared to hit and get hit. Now I look forward to it. The feeling you get when you knock someone down or out of bounds is just surreal."

It was also the first senior game for Mackenzy Vida from the Rotten Angels. The skater known as Q-Tee McWhiskers was nominated as the Sask. Junior Skater of the Year. She skated with the Lil Chicago juniors last year.

"The coach of the Rotten Angels was my first coach, so when he asked me to play I said yes," said Vida who had plenty of her former Moose Jaw junior teammates there to watch her play.

The Regina product capped her senior debut by being named the Angels' player of the game.

"It wasn't that big of a difference," said Vida. "There was a higher skill level. They hit harder, but I have played against teams that hit as hard as them, so it wasn't a big shock."

Not only was it the first time that the Angels had played together but it was the first time they had all met each other. Despite that, they came together quickly.

The Jawbreakers trailed by 30 at the break, but led had a 14-point power jam from Alpha Ginger to cut the lead to 16. Unfortunately for the locals, the Angels got the lead back over 30 one jam later and LCRD wouldn't get any closer.

"We played good. We had strategies that we successfully implemented and they worked for us — mostly. We got into a little bit of penalty trouble. I think that's the only thing we need to work on," said Milissa Lawson who skates as Mystique 'N' Destroy for LCRD. "Lots of their girls are from the all-star teams in Alberta, so they have some pretty strong girls. It was still pretty close as far as derby scores go. We're still proud of what we did for our first game."

Lawson was skating with Moose Jaw Roller Derby a year ago after being Lil Chicago's first captain. She said she's happy that the Moose Jaw derby family is back together and is excited about what this upcoming season has in store.

"Our strategies are the best they've ever been," said Lawson. "We have coach Sentinel Prime back. We have a new coach and new strategies and it's going great."

Moose Jaw's player of the game was Fast Guns Falasca.

Organizations: Lil Chicago Roller Derby

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Alberta Red Deer Comox

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