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Arch Rival All-Stars Eye Success In The Great White North

by Brian Ledford

St. Louis-based Arch Rival Roller Derby’s primary travel team is set for a competitive Canadian invitational this weekend and the stakes are high for potential playoff placement.

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

The ARCH All-Stars, currently ranked fourth internationally by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), competes at the La Classique Georgia W Tush 2019 beginning Friday. The three-day invitational takes place at Arena- St. Louis in downtown Montreal.

Arch Rival Roller Derby faces #2 Victorian Friday , #3 Gotham Saturday and #19 Helsinki Sunday.

ARCH (2-0) launched their season Memorial Day Weekend in the Peach State and claimed wins over #10 Jacksonville (247-106) and #13 Atlanta (224-67) for a positive push. The Georgia trek was competed in a near-triple digit environment.

“Despite the heat, we walked away with some really great success,” assessed Arch Rival co-captain Bricktator of the sweep. “We had done our homework on those teams and we knew how to utilize our strengths against them and I think the scores showed that.”

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

Now the team converts from one Georgia to another as they embark on the Canadian invitational. The Georgia W Tush event, hosted by Montreal Roller Derby and named after the League’s founder, is in its second year and will host sixteen games over the weekend.

“We’re really excited about going to Montreal,” said Bricktator. “We are playing VRDL and Gotham, who are ranked above us, and Helsinki, who we have never played before. It’ll be fun to play a team that we haven’t met yet in ARCH’s history.”

Joining Bricktator in the jamming rotation this weekend are veterans Annie Swanson, Loki Dokie, The Jukes on You and Jedi Knight-N-Gale. Blockers include co-captain Vicious Van GoGo, Smarty McFly, Shear-Ra Powers, Cloak n’ Dragher, Bolt Action, LuxFurious, Kayla Woodward, Ace, Jamheiser Bush, Thestral, Pop Tart, Mya Pinion, Cruella Belleville and Splatter.

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

A majority of the skaters have been fixtures for the All-Stars for numerous seasons but this weekend could provide ample room for additional growth and depth with perpetual pack re-arrangement.

“it’s always nice to have that feeling of familiarity but this season some of our packs are mixed-up,” Bricktator assessed. “Some skaters are skating with those that haven’t played with as often. I think getting them the opportunity to do that in a real game will help define the gel and rhythm that will help us.”

Second-ranked Victoria from Melbourne, Australia won the WFTDA International Championship in 2017 and finished runner-up last season. This weekend marks their first set of games on the campaign.

Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell

Third-ranked Gotham Roller Derby (New York, NY) is a four-time Hydra Cup winner and finished last season with the bronze medal in the international finale. They have already recorded non-sanctioned wins over #6 Montreal (235-138) and #12 Philly (206-63) but this weekend’s tilt will start sanctioned-play.

#19 Helsinki currently sports a 2-2 record in sanctioned play with wins over #15 London (160-133) and #20 Stockholm (159-143) at the EuroCup held in April.

At weekend’s conclusion, Arch Rival hopes to use the weekend to retain their current fourth position in the international rankings with next month’s listing. If they maintain that Top 4 status, then they automatically receive entry to the WFTDA Championships held in November.

“It’s hard not to think about it, to be honest,” opined Bricktator. “But at the the same time there is this element of that we three really great teams that we are going to play, all of which are beatable teams, particularly with the squad we have this season. We’re focusing on those three games and then letting the numbers fall as they fall.”

For more information on Arch Rival, go to their official website.

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