The fifth installment of “Skate to Thrill,” an officially recognized invitational by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, is set to take place in St. Charles this Saturday and Sunday.
The eight-league, 12-game roller derby event takes place at Lamborghini Gold Coast Athletic Centre in downtown St. Charles (49 Lawrence Street). Saturday’s seven-game docket launches at 8 a.m. while Sunday’s five-game flight begins at 10 a.m.
What’s different compared to years’ past is that the weekend hostesses, the St. Chux Derby Chix, have elected not compete at the two-day event and instead focus on the operational aspects of production.
However, the amount of quality match-ups involving comparably-ranked leagues is still a fixture of “Skate to Thrill” and the impending outcomes will affect the next set of WFTDA international rankings when they are released next month.
Plenty of returnees are slated to appear and a few hard-charging newcomers are in the mix.
Single day passes are $15 while a weekend pass is $20. Children 12 and under get in free. Groups of eight or more can get single day passes for $10 or weekend passes for $15 by visiting THIS ONLINE LINK.
Here is the octet of leagues competing this weekend (in order of current WFTDA rank):
#37 HOUSTON ROLLER DERBY (Houston, TX) As the highest-ranked this weekend, the Texans aim on finishing the weekend undefeated. This marks the third consecutive year for Houston, who utilized a three-game sweep at the 2017 installment en route to an appearance at the WFTDA Division 1 playoffs later that September. The veteran squad (1-2) has already put in invitational work this season at the annual Clover Cup, where they dealt close losses to #30 Rocky Mountain and #38 Sacramento. Saturday morning’s showdown with No Coast will e of great importance.
#50 NO COAST ROLLER DERBY (Lincoln, NE) It’s the fourth appearance for the Mad Maxines (0-0) at Skate to Thrill. Last season, the Nebraskans finished 3-9 in sanctioned play but almost half of their losses were determined by under 20 points. After four straight appearances in the WFTDA Division 1 playoffs, No Coast found themselves in the Division 2 playoff bracket last August. Competitive games for the launch of the season with higher-ranked Houston, closely-ranked Happy Valley and surging Orangeville on the docket. Dropping four positions in the latest rankings, need to finish 2-1 decisively if they wish to retain current rank.
#58 HAPPY VALLEY DERBY DARLINS (Salem, UT) For a team named the “Molly Morbids,” Happy Valley certainly don’t give the impression of derby downers. In fact, the high-scoring Utahns (1-2) jumped nine positions in the latest rankings. A journey to the Dust Devil invitational three weekends ago resulted in a win over Rage City and competitive setbacks to #45 E-ville and #49 Jet City. Squad can easily score 200 points at will but can conversely surrender just as many. Sunday is a tough challenge with higher-ranked Houston and No Coast on the agenda. On paper, they should be able to easily top considerably lower-ranked Connecticut on Saturday.
#79 ORANGEVILLE ROLLER GIRLS (Orangeville, ON, Canada) Riding momentum with a 14-point jump in the rankings, the lone Canadian entrant this year already have a 2-0 record in 2018 and have yet to lose a WFTDA-sanctioned game since they began sanctioned play in June 2017. February’s narrow win over #81 Grand Raggidy was followed by a 283-point shakedown of #151 Fort Wayne in March. The Misfit Militia toughest test will be against #50 No Coast Saturday night and if the high-scoring squad plays clean, they could realistically pull off the upset of the weekend.
#93 TWIN CITY DERBY GIRLS (Champaign/Urbana, IL) It’s the third appearance overall for the Evil Twins and the Illinoisans’ second visit to St. Charles County in as many months. Twin City posted a three-point come-from-behind victory on the final jam against #171 St. Chux in early March. That provided quite a scare so the incentive is not to be put into that late-game scenario again. That will be an overwhelming challenge for their games against Houston and Orangeville, so the key this weekend is to top Akron Sunday afternoon.
#126 CONNECTICUT ROLLER DERBY (Waterbury, CT) It’s the first appearance to the Midwest for CRD since Spring Roll 2014. Connecticut (1-0) posted a 283-157 win over against #163 Lehigh Valley three weeks ago so they’re looking to keep their record spotless. Toughest opponent is projected to be #58 Happy Valley Saturday afternoon. A 2-1 finish this weekend is not far-fetched and will make the 1,060 drive well worth it.
#141 AKRON ROLLER DERBY (Akron, OH) From the “Rubber Capital of the World” comes a collective that is looking for a rankings rebound as a 26-point dip was recently recorded. The season started out fine for the Akronites (1-1) with their 251-78 February intrastate victory over #147 Burning River but a 331-71 loss to#114 Roc City a few weeks ago resulted in a tailspin. This is the weekend to get things back on track and with contest against Twin City, Connecticut and Dark River on the docket, there’s a glimmer of hope of a sweep if they play like they did in February. Hope spring eternal.
#145 DARK RIVER DERBY COALITION (Quincy, IL) As the lowest-ranked team in the mix, DRDC (0-0) have the opportunity to make huge strides with their first three games of season. In 2017, the DRDC finished with a 4-3 sanctioned mark against comparable opponents. The same template might be found here, as contests against Connecticut and Akron might be extremely close and a challenge against #79 Orangeville might provide a boost if the differentials tight. They gained eight positions in the recent rankings. A 2-1 record this weekend should jettison them higher.
For more information on the St. Chux Derby Chix, who continue their home campaign at Lamborghini Gold Coast on May 12 vs. Nashville, visit their official website.
2018 SKATE TO THRILL LINE-UP
8 AM – Connecticut vs. Akron
10 AM – Houston vs. No Coast
12 PM – Twin City vs. Orangeville
2 PM– Akron vs. Dark River
4 PM– Connecticut vs. Happy Valley
6 PM – Houston vs. Twin City
8 PM– No Coast vs. Orangeville
10 AM – No Coast vs. Happy Valley
12 PM – Dark River vs. Orangeville
2 PM – Akron vs. Twin City
4 PM – Houston vs. Happy Valley
6 PM – Connecticut vs. Dark River