By Peter Cozine
The Rat City Roller Girls helped celebrate St. Patrick’s Day weekend with their fourth bout of the season. Even with all of the Irish loving activities downtown last weekend, the most exciting event was inside KeyArena, as the Derby Liberation Front faced off against Grave Danger, and the Throttle Rockets played host to this month’s visitors, the Port Scandalous Brawl Stars.
Grave Danger 230, Derby Liberation Front 122
In the first bout of the evening, the Derby Liberation Front was looking for another win, this time against the still undefeated Grave Danger. DLF looked fired up when they first hit the track, but seemed to deflate quickly as Danger grabbed lead jammer in the first 5 jams, leveraging that to put up a quick 25-1 lead. This assault was powered by very strong jamming from Carmen Getsome, Nehi Nightmare, and D’evil’D Meggs. Danger would continue to pass the star cap around, but the big threesome of Getsome, Nightmare, and Meggs looked to be extremely strong, and are going to be very hard to stop moving into championships.
Despite Grave Danger’s early lead and brilliant jamming, the veteran leadership of Kamikaze Kim and Full Nelson dug in and rallied back, grabbing a combined 10 points to try and shift momentum in the other direction. Though she only lined up on the jammer line 5 times during the evening, Kamikaze Kim showed just how talented she is, scoring 21 pts and winning lead jammer in 60% of her jams.
By the 15 minute mark of the first half it looked like Grave Danger was going to run away, as they managed to keep their skaters out of the penalty box, and keep their jammers scoring. Nehi Nightmare in particular was impressive, and would finish the night with a league high 88% lead jammer percentage, and 78 total points. But DLF was able to to push, putting some much needed points on the scoreboard. They finished up the half by demonstrating skilled and gutsy blocking, containing the Danger jammers sufficiently to allow them to take lead on each of the last 4 jams. This strong effort allowed DLF to head to the locker room having closed the gap to 43 points, 108-65.
The second half started with some very aggressive back-and-forth play between both teams. DLF continued to claw their way back into the game, as they built on the momentum from before the half, allowing them to close the gap to 111-93. Then, midway through the second half, Grave Danger’s game plan really began to assert itself, and they caught fire on the track. With dominant blocking from Jerrica Kallio and Trouble Dutch, Danger’s skaters continued to open holes for their jammers. The ladies in red proceeded to win 9 lead jams in a row, bringing the score to 189-101.
DLF tried to fight back throughout the remainder of the second half, but were unable to put the brakes on Grave Danger’s strong play, and were outscored 41 to 21 in the remainder of the half. With the win, Grave Danger have guaranteed themselves a place in May’s championship bout. DLF’s championship hopes are still alive; they will be playing the Sockit Wenches next month, with the winner from that match-up also heading to the championship bout.
|Derby Liberation Front
|#2 Carmen Getsome
|#9 Rumble Fist
|#48 Nehi Nightmare
|#16 Fatal Attacktion
|#187 Kutta Betch
|#123 Full Nelson
Throttle Rockets 196, Port Scandalous Brawl Stars 135
The second bout of the night was between RCRG’s Throttle Rockets and the visitors, the Port Scandalous Brawl Stars, coming to KeyArena from over in Port Angeles, WA. The Brawl Stars would make this bout interesting by demonstrating effective blocking, and the ability to make key adaptations through the evening. They also were coming into this bout with a short roster, dressing only 10 skaters instead of the typical fourteen.
With the Throttle Rockets missing one of their top jammers, Missile America, they would spend most of the bout relying on a 2-jammer rotation of Sintripetal Force, and Luna Negra, who would start the scoring for the Rockets. Luna began the run with a quick 4 points, and it didn’t stop, as the Rockets just poured it on, racking up points in each the first 12 jams. By midway through the first half, the TR Machine was in full motion, reflected in the 103-21 score, and fueled in part by great blocking from Sirius Smack, who would end the night having played in more jams than any other Rocket.
With 4 fewer skaters, the Port Scandalous Brawl Stars had to rely on critical blocking from skaters such as WickedSlam and Stone cold StunHer, who were both on the track for nearly 75% of the jams. As the first half came to a close the Brawl Stars were stepping it up, clearly skating with purpose, and having closed the lead slightly, finishing 139-65 at the half.
Coming back from intermission, Port Scandalous demonstrated some great adjustments, allowing them to start creeping back into the game. They cleaned up their play to keep their skaters to stay out of the penalty box, and tightened up blocking significantly, so that with all four blockers on the track, the Throttle Rockets were having a hard time finding any holes to skate through. The jammers for the Brawl Stars beganheating up in the second half as well, allowing both Scarlet O’Tearya and Scuttlebutt Jibber Jabber to end the night with over 50 points each. By the midpoint of the second half, the Brawl Stars were clearly gaining on the Throttle Rockets, and Rat City home fans were getting a little nervous.
The Throttle Rockets continued forward with their jammer rotation of Luna Negra and Sintripetal Force for the majority of the second half, although Parker Eyeout made a few appearances at the jammer line to put up some crucial points. The quick, clean, and agile playing style of the Throttle Rockets seemed to struggle a little bit against the physical, pounding style of play used by the Brawl Stars. However, with the great effort from both Luna Negra, finishing with 107 points, and Sintripetal Force, with 64 of her own, the Rockets were able to hold on against a much improved second half Brawl Stars, coming out on top at the end, 196-135.
|Port Scandalous Brawl Stars
|#911 Luna Negra
|#33 Scarlet O’Tearya
|#1618 Sintripetal Force
|#222 Scuttlebutt Jibber Jabber
|#070 Parker Eyeout
|#45 Amberetta Pistol