The Queen City Roller Girls presents "Happy Days" roller derby bout on Saturday, March 30, at 7:30 p.m., at Rainbow Rink in North Tonawanda. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the Queen City Junior Roller Derby playing an expo bout at 7 p.m. to benefit Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
QCRG fans can tune in to see which team - the Alley Kats or Nickel City Knockouts - will kick-start the jukebox and spin a victory tune. Will last year's champions the KOs continue its winning streak, or has its time for victory jumped the shark?
Perhaps the biggest disparity between the two teams is the amount of turnover. While the Knockouts' lineup is comparable to last year, Kats captain Knockin' Das Boots has seen a 50 percent change in team members this season.
"The girls are newer, but we have 20 healthy skaters," Boots said. "The KO bout will be the most challenging yet, but it will be valuable experience for our rookie skaters."
The Kats' last match, against the Suicidal Saucies, helped the team re-evaluate its strategy.
"Penalties destroyed any momentum we may have had," Boots said. "We need to start playing conservatively."
Knockouts captain Lamb Chop said she believes "every team in this league had been stepping up their game this season, and I don't think anyone stands heads above any other. The Knockouts have been fortunate the past couple of years in not having major roster changes, and our leadership and coaching crews have also remained the same."
Chops said the focus has changed slightly in the Knockouts' training this year, with a concentration on skating as "one force with a high level of controlled aggression and awareness." She said she is also excited about implementing certain line changes.
"New skaters have been added and removed from our roster, so there will be some slight changes, but overall we have to find something that works well for us and we are sticking to that formula with small tweaks," she said.
Tickets are $15 general admission, $20 front row. Front row tickets are available at www.qcrg.net. General admission can be purchased online and directly from any QCRG league member, at Rainbow Rink, or at Terrapin Station.