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Kannibelles no match for Terminal City girls as Vancouver squad captures Western Canadian title

Terminal City jammer Kim Janna sneaks past this Kannibelles blocker during action in the final of the Klash of the Kootenays Sunday at the NDCC Arena. — Bruce Fuhr photo

In the end heart and desire was no match for experience.

The Terminal City Roller Girls scored early and often en route to a convincing 159-75 victory over the Kootenay Kannibelles in the final of the Klash In The Kootenays Western Canadian Women’s Roller Derby Championships Sunday at the NDCC Arena in Nelson.

Despite losing in the final, the Kannibelles had a soft landing as both teams advance to the Canadian Championships in January 2012 at the site yet to be determined.

“I was really hoping this would be the final because we knew the Kootenays have worked so hard . . . and have exponentially taken their game to another level,” said Terminal City skipper Ian McKenzie, AKA Coach McEnroe.

“Physically and the stamina they have is far and above all the other teams here at the tournament.”

“So we were really happy to play them in the final and really happy with the result,” McKenzie added.

From the start of the tournament Friday Terminal City, seeded at the top of the eight-team pool, toyed with the opposition.

The Vancouver-based squad first got past Deathbridge of Lethbridge on opening day before advancing to the final with a lopsided decision over E-Ville of Edmonton Saturday.

And Sunday Terminal City kept on steamrolling the opposition, this time the Kannibelles, an all-star team from the West Kootenay Women’s Roller Derby League.

Working the transition from offence to defense in what seemed like a blink of an eye to the Kannibelles, Terminal City took the lead minutes into the game and never looked back.

“In Vancouver we’re part of the WFTA, which is the American affiliation for all of flat track (roller) derby . . . and you have to be a member to be ranked,” McKenzie explained.

“We’re ranked 16th in the West Division (of the WFTA) but being ranked means we get to play American teams which are using all different types of strategies.”

Playing against the top teams — the Vancouver side has played 16 games against American teams — has allowed Terminal City to learn the inner workings of the game.

“(Terminal City) have five more years of experience in the sport so to be able to come up against them in the second Western Canadian Regional Championships, we’re really happy,” said Beretta Lynch of the Kannibelles, who just happen to be named tournament Most Valuable Player.

“We’re super fit and very strong, but it’s just a matter of (Terminal City) having that much more practice,” Lynch added.

Kootenay defeated Okanagan/Shuswap Raggedy Rollers Friday before outlasting Red Deer Belladonnas Saturday in semi final action.

The tournament is only the second time, and first as Westerns, the tournament has been held.

The success of the Kannibelles made it obvious which association would host the 2012 Championships.

Last year in Kelowna Terminal City did not attend.

E-Ville of Edmonton defeated Red Deer Belladonnas to capture third place.

Luludemon was named Team MVP for the Terminal City while Scarlet Bloodbath AK47 earned top marks for the Kannibelles.

However, maybe the surprise announcement of the tournament was Lynch earning top individual marks.

“As captain I push my teammates very hard and to get tournament MVP I take this award as a team award and a representative of our team and the girls on our team deserved it,” Lynch said.

The Westerns concludes much of the all-star season for the Kannibelles.

The Kannibelles next action is July 21 in Castlegar against the Spokannibals of Spokane. First jam is 6 p.m.

Before that match the Kannibelles players have some league commitments to fulfill and now head back to their respective clubs in the seven-team league — Gnarlies Angels of Rossland, Kill Joys and Lumber Jackies of Nelson, Salmo’s Babes of Brutality, the Valley Vendettas of the Slocan Valley, Castlegar’s Dam City Rollers and the Bad News Betties of Trail.

For more information about the West Kootenay Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby League check out the website at http://www.kootenayrollerderby.com/