It wasn’t yet 5 p.m. but the line at the front door of the Archie Browning Arena stretched back to the entrance of Esquimalt Plaza as the Eves of Destruction roller derby league opened its season with a double header Saturday night.
The Belles of the Brawl came out in full force, facing the Sea to Sky Sirens, of the Squamish Women’s Roller Derby league in game 1, before an energetic packed house.
Ill-matched, the Belles consistently out-jammed the Sirens and kept a hefty lead throughout both halves of derby action.
Kariac Arrest, who in her first game with the Belles was named MVP, credited her team for keeping its focus.
“I feel like our team played really well, we had a lot of cohesion, there’s some new players, and we haven’t played together a lot, so I’m just really proud of everyone for how well we played today,” she said.
Going forward, the goal for the Belles will be to work on keeping a calm bench, something Kariac said can be tough when the energy is heightened, often from loyal fans.
“There’s a lot of support for roller derby here in Victoria,” she said. “All of us love the sport so much so it’s nice when other people love it, too.”
Sirens’ MVP Va Va Voom La Boom, a lightning fast jammer, kept Squamish on the board, but the Belles would deliver a crushing blow with a final score of 295-100.
The Harbour City Rollers from Nanaimo provided the Margarita Villains with some stiff competition, locking wheels in more head to head battle. But, the Villains were able to keep a safe lead heading into the second half, where both teams fought hard, until they pulled ahead with a 50-point lead that helped them coast to a 158-88 win.
Nichola Kach, in her first game coaching her teammates after nursing a broken ankle, was pleased with the Villains’ ability to blend rookies with veteran skaters.
“Half the Villains right now are new, some of them have been recently drafted,” she explained. “And, we quickly developed some on-track chemistry.”
“It’s a good game if you set goals, and you achieve them,” said Kach, who directed her team to contain the jammer, communicate with one another, and congregate and stick together physically.
Fat Bottom Hurls, and Felix the Brat of the Villains clinched MVP status in game 2.
Next month, The Rotten Apples will take on The Tempest from Saltspring Island and The Hard Cores will battle Washington’s Aftershocks Roller Rebels.
Skaters hit the track May 9, at 5:30 p.m. For tickets visit evesofdestruction.com.