By: Peter Cozine
It was a wet and wild evening last Saturday night, as the Rat City Rollergirls played their last bouts of the regular season. The first bout of the night featured home team action, as both the Sockit Wenches and the Derby Liberation Front were attempting to earn their way into May’s championship game. The second bout brought in a neighboring team, the Bombers, from Everett’s Jet City Rollergirls, as the final visiting team for the regular season.
Sockit Wenches 193, Derby Liberation Front 170
With both the Derby Liberation Front and the Sockit Wenches coming into the night with 1-1 records, action was assured, as the winner would be going on to take on Grave Danger in the championships. The intensity was clear from the first whistle, with DLF taking an early lead, scoring 13 unanswered points in the first few jams. The Sockit Wenches were not dismayed however; they rallied behind the veteran leadership of Anya Heels and Sami Automatic, allowing them to push forward and take the lead. The action continued to build, with the Wenches sending jammers to the box in both the 7th and 11th jams, offering opportunities for DLF jammer Full Nelson to put up 37 points, and putting DLF back in the lead, 57-50.
Both teams pushed back and forth, resulting in eight lead changes in the first half. Late in the first half, DLF’s jammer took a trip to the penalty box, and gave Penny Racer a power jam situation, allowing the Sockit Wenches to retake the lead, and setting the stage for SW jammer Sami Automatic to rack up a fist full of points two jams later. After putting 25 points up on the board, the Wenches led 77-53. DLF continued to battle behind great blocking from Lucinda Pack and Rumble Fist in the last few jams of the half, as they chipped away at the SW lead, but didn’t catch up, going into the locker room down 86-68.
The second half opened with back-to-back jammer penalties to DLF’s Full Nelson. The Sockit Wenches took advantage of the opportunities presented to them by DLF’s penalties, extending their lead to 128-84 in the first 6 minutes of the second half. The Derby Liberation Front put out jammer Jukestapose, a recent transfer from the Denver Roller Dolls, taking advantage of a jammer penalty to the Wenches’ Raquel Squelch to cut into the lead. Jukestapose demonstrated some of her Rocky Mountain know-how, skating solidly and racking up some crucial points throughout the jam.
With 10 minutes gone in the second half the Sockit Wenches landed a blow that nearly knocked DLF out of the fight, after the jammer in green headed to the box. The Sockit Wenches gave Penny Racer the star, and extended their lead to 50, bringing the score to 151-101. DLF continued to fight on, as inspired jamming from Jukestapose and great blocking from Rumble Fist and Yoko Onoudi’nt allowing them to close on the Sockit Wench lead. With only 5 minutes left on the clock, the score had tightened to 164-146. DLF was catching fire, and the Wenches were looking a little intimidated after a series of monstrous hits from DLF’s Kamikaze Kim. Wench jammer Belle Tolls took a penalty, and DLF was able to close the lead to only 11 points, 167-156. The next jam, both jammers took penalties, and as the jam went the full two minutes, Belle Tolls was able to outscore DLF’s jammer. This gave the Wenches a little breathing room for what was likely to be the final jam – and Sami Automatic was able to break through to take lead jammer, calling off the jam when the clock hit zero. The Sockit Wenches played together as a team, earning themselves a much-deserved place in next month’s championship game.
|Derby Liberation Front
|#357 Sami Automatic
|#123 Full Nelson
|#2 Penny Racer
|#4 Belle Tolls
|#25 Kimball Machine
Jet City Bombers 177, Grave Danger 161
For the second bout, Rat City’s Grave Danger played host to the Jet City Bombers, from neighboring Everett, WA. Jet City brought more than just their skaters, as a massive cheering section wearing Jet City blue spent the evening filling KeyArena with their raucous cheers.
Jet City wasted no time, building an early lead, winning lead jammer in the first jam and executing a star pass in the second. By the end of the 3rd jam, the score was 28-12 in favor of the bombers. Grave Danger responded by putting fan favorite Nehi Nightmare on the jammer line, and she delivered. Scoring 20 points in 5 passes, Nehi led Danger to tie the game at 32-32. Great defensive blocking for Grave Danger neutralized Jet City’s jammers, and Danger was able to build a solid lead throughout the first 15 minutes, building up a 70-47 lead by the beginning of the 9th jam. Jet City wasn’t finished, though, as jammers Grr Rawr Rawr, Ivana Hercha, and Beelzababe each won lead in the following jams, scoring crucial points for their team and closing Danger’s lead. As the first half wore on the Jet City blockers managed to find some footing and take control of the track, as Grave Danger found it harder and harder to score. Meanwhile, Jet City’s offense came on strong, outscoring Danger by almost 50 points in the final 15 minutes of the first half, allowing them to enjoy a 98-88 lead going into the half.
Grave Danger sent Nehi Nightmare to the jammer line to start the second half. With Carmen Getsome not in the line-up, Nehi Nightmare looked to be Danger’s most reliable jammer. Down by 10, Nehi was able to score some crucial points, and closing the Jet City lead. Once again Jet City was able to answer. Jet City’s Eva Derci and Ivana Hercha were consistent throughout the beginning of the second half, staying out of the penalty box, and scoring points a few at a time. Great blocking from Danger’s blockers, including Jerrica Kallio, opened up some offensive holes for Nehi Nightmare, allowing them to push back with 15 points to retake the lead, 128-122. From there, Grave Danger’s offense stalled out. Jet City managed to execute another star pass, scoring 25 points in the following jam. Both teams continued to battle, and the tension had mounted in the stands, with the home crowd willing their team to come back. Danger was able to push back to tie the game at 161-161, just in time for the final jam of the night. Jet City sent their star Pippy Longstalker to the jammer line, facing Grave Danger’s Dee Cap Attack. Both teams skated well, but Pippy Longstalker proved to be too much for the Grave Danger defense, scoring 16 and giving her team the victory in a very close bout.
|Jet City Bombers
|#48 Nehi Nightmare
|#36 Pippy Longstalker
|#187 Kutta Betch
|#13 Evi Derci
|#1 Dee Cap Attack
|#5 Ivana Hercha