The North Coast Nightmares knocked out a victory against the higher ranked Chilliwack NWO Wolfpack at a recent roller derby tournament in Prince George.
“Chilliwack is a pretty good team, so we’ve been building up to play them for quite a while,” said coach Chris Thomas after the Northern Exposure tournament April 22-23.
The bout was intense and close, with both the Nightmares and Wolfpack battling the score back and forth right into the final minutes.
But the Nightmares overcame with a narrow 131-127 victory, a result which Thomas says will boost their national rankings.
National rankings haven’t been updated yet this week, but prior to event, the Nightmares were ranked 72 in Canada, compared to the Chilliwack Wolfpack who was ranked at 55.
Altogether the Nightmares battled through three bouts at the Northern Exposure tournament, winning two and losing the last.
They dominated over the Alberta Grim Reapers 314-42 in their second bout.
Thomas says the Nightmares were driven by a goal to beat the Grimshaw team by a ratio of at least 6:1, a ratio the Nightmares needed in order to maintain their national rankings.
Grimshaw has a lot of players more new to the sport and thus it’s ranked quite low, explained Thomas, adding that because of that, the Nightmares needed to beat Grimshaw by a certain ratio in order to keep their standing — which they did.
“It was good game, fun for us. We were able to stay very strong,” he said.
In their final game of the weekend, the Nightmares were soundly beat by the Fort St. John Killbillies, losing 86-222 to the team ranked 40th in Canada.
Thomas says the Nightmares have rivaled Fort St. John in the past, beating them by three points at the same tournament last year and losing by 40 points to them in a game earlier this season — both close games for roller derby.
“That was a tough game,” said Thomas. “Unfortunately, we had a couple of injuries close to the start of the game, and then we struggled for the duration. So they beat us pretty significantly.”
With eight players on the team, compared to the average 14, the Nightmares have been practicing hard three times a week this season. The team has really developed in the last number of years, now ranked 61 compared to being 170th two years ago. The rankings include 195 teams in Canada.
A contingent of the Nightmares team is travelling to Fort St. John this Saturday, picking up a few regional players to fill the gaps of the players injured last weekend.
The team is also gearing up to host their first tournament on May 20, with four out-of-town teams including one form Yukon.