by Jim Almy
In the world of roller derby 24 points is hardly noticeable. Teams can easily combine for 300 to 400 in a bout and a single two minute jam is all some need to pick up that 24.
For the Throttle Rockets, entering this Saturday’s April 12 Championship Bout of the Rat City Rollergirls at KeyArena, those 24 points represent three key losses in their history.
Ten of those 24 came in the Throttle Rockets only loss of the season to the same team they will face for the championship trophy, undefeated 3-0 Derby Liberation Front (DLF). That losing bout entered the final jam tied at 173 all. The other 14 points came in two championship bout losses, both against Grave Danger, in season seven by 8 points and season eight by 6 points.
The Throttle Rockets recognize that important games can be very close games. They are ready.
“The TR’s have passion and have been on a positive upwards roll. I feel like we haven’t reached our full potential thus far and I think that that scares other teams. We are really ready to bring it,” said Throttle Rockets’ Missile America (#321).
Coach Lexi Luthor added that, “We plan to play our game. We have been very strong all year, only losing to DLF by 10 points, so we are confident in our game play. We are feeling great. We work really well as a team and we are ready! ”
This is a team that began the season with a squad half full of strangers.
Before the season started TR Coach Slutnik said that, “This year the Throttle Rockets have the highest turnover I have seen in 10 years. The team lost 8 players last year and has taken on 7 new players with different skating backgrounds. Enurgizer Bunny (#42) is our youngest, having graduated from the Seattle Derby Brat’s All-Star Team last year at the age of 18. Raven Seaward (#53) came to us from the banked track of the LA Derby Dolls. The 2014 incarnation of the Throttle Rockets has been a remarkable mixture of intensity, focus, and strength.”
They are only down one player for the championship bout, blocker and jammer Panda Beer (#330) who is not skating due to a concussion she sustained in the Throttle Rockets vs. Grave Danger bout last month.
Missile America knows what her team will be facing. “DLF is a heavy hitting team. It’s easy to tell that they love to hit whenever possible. The TR’s are combative by being two steps ahead of the opposing blockers. We know they like to hit and we will do our best to avoid being targeted. DLF is pretty strong on their offensive moves.”
But she also says her team will show up ready to play. “We feel strong and confident about what we are going to bring for this final game. The TR’s have passion and have been on a positive upwards roll. I feel like we haven’t reached our full potential thus far and I think that that scares other teams. We are really ready to bring it. It feels really good, I am not trying to come off as over confident but I know how much passion my team has for this game and how much we want it more. It will just be the game of the season for sure.”
Scoring power is a deep asset for the Throttle Rockets. In addition to Enurgizer Bunny, the co-captains, Sintripetal Force (#1618) and Luna Negra (#911) are capable of putting up a hundred points each on a given night.
The other asset the Rockets have quietly built from their group of strangers this season is a solid, well coordinated group of blockers including Khaos Theory (#13), Ella Whirled (#2010), Missile America, Raven Seaward, Parker EyeOut (#070), and Rattleskate (#16).
“I think the TR’s are so strong and I’d like to say ‘kill them with sugar, not spice’ as the TR’s are classy, strong and passionate for the love of the game,” said Missile America.
DLF will track a team equally passionate and strong. Said DLF power jammer The KZA (#6), “Both teams want this win badly, we’ll see who wants it more on Saturday.”
For tickets to Saturday’s bout at KeyArena, click HERE