It was a little faster, a little rougher and a little later than usual, but the Rated PG Rollergirls kicked off their season with a win.
The local roller derby team was a poor host to Quesnel's Gold Pain City Derby Girls, as the skaters treated their guests to a 222-147 trouncing Saturday night.
Like the NHL, which also had its season open Jan. 19, Rated PG had a delayed start to their year, due to the cancellation of a planned December bout.
But the January start means spectators who filled the Roll-A-Dome were introduced to new faces with a third of the dressed skaters playing in their first bout after having passed their minimum skills testing and graduating from fresh meat last month.
There were also new strategies in play.
As of Jan. 1, the Women's Flat Track Derby Association updated their rule book. One of the major changes was to get rid of the second whistle signaling the staggered start for blockers and point-scoring jammers. The rules have also been relaxed to allow more contact between opposing players, letting them make more non-penalized hits.
"It made it a little more of a rough game," said Rated PG coach Loki.
That started with Prince George jammer Hippie Chekinya jumping off of the line and through the pack to score the first points of the bout. But Rated PG fell into penalty trouble on the next jam, allowing Quesnel's Cra-z-train to have her run of the track and help put her team in the lead.
Despite P.G. frequently running into penalty trouble, that lead was short-lived, as leadership from veterans skaters like SaraBellum, Ruthless Red and Cruely Sue helped to shut down the impressive offense from frequent Quesnel jammers Cra-z-train and Killswitch.
Though they never regained the lead, Gold Pain City applied constant pressure to Rated PG, even in the dying seconds of the bout. During her last jam, Hippie Checkinya was put through the gauntlet as she tried to make her way past Quesnel blockers, getting knocked off her skates with nearly every opponent she manoeuvred past.
Coach Loki said she likes the way the team was looking at the start of the season.
"Our girls are really stepping it up," she said, adding they're also cross-training as a team and that practices have become more advanced.
The next bout in February will have more familiar faces hitting the oval when Rated PG takes on Rage N Fyre from Grande Prairie. "That's when we're going to field the A-team," said Loki. "It's kind of a grudge match."