The Yukon Roller Girls took on the North Coast Nightmares at the Mount McIntyre Recreation Centre on June 9 in the teams’ first home roller derby bout of the season billed as “Scar Wars: The Empire Skates Back.”
Although the visitors from Terrace, B.C., picked up the win, 181-66, the Roller Girls significantly improved the score differential from the last match between the two sides in May at the Tournament on Elm Street in Terrace.
Roller Girls player Christy Huey, known on the track as Christy Crack-Her, said the team was happy the results were closer this time out.
“When we played them back in May, they beat us like 299 to 60, so to keep it under 200 and get 66, we were quite happy with,” said Huey.
The Nightmares are currently ranked 36th in Canada according to Flat Track Stats, while the Roller Girls are 86th.
Huey said the crowd turnout, which filled almost all of the stands, was similar to last year’s bout against Fairbanks.
“We weren’t going to get our hopes up too much, but we were quite happy. We know going into the summer … a lot of people leave town and are busy doing other stuff, so it was good,” said Huey.
The Yukoners usually practice at the Canada Games Centre and in school gyms, so the unpolished concrete floor was something players needed to adjust to quickly.
“I think everyone did really well,” said Huey. “The unpolished concrete is a surface we don’t get to play on ever and it is super different to play on in regards to stopping and how you play.”
Polished wood floors, like those in school gyms, are more slippery, allowing skaters to be more “graceful and controlled” when stopping, explained Huey.
The concrete is a lot “stickier,” meaning stopping happens a lot faster with a lot less pressure and the risk of falling forward because of momentum is increased.
Control during cornering is increased, but momentum is harder to maintain.
“Our jammers had to work a little bit harder than they’re used to,” said Huey.
Jammers are the players — one on each team — who score points by passing other players on the rink.
The Yukon Roller Girls travel to Sitka for a matchup with the Sitka Sound Slayers’ Shee Devils on June 23.
The Roller Girls will also be holding a tryout derby in Whitehorse at the end of the summer for anyone interested in joining the team.
Contact John Hopkins-Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org