SALT LAKE CITY, UT – The first quarter of the game stayed very close as Angel City and Rocky Mountain traded lead jammer status and points for the first seven jams. Despite Rocky’s 287-92 win over Wasatch yesterday, they suffered quite a few penalties in that game. With a closer match up today, penalties became a larger issue as they gave Angel City five power jams in a row in the first half to let the Los Angelenos earn a more comfortable lead. At the half Angel City had a 31 point lead, and maintained about the same distance throughout the second half. While Rocky worked hard to adapt in the second half, they were ultimately overwhelmed by penalties, losing 193-137.
The beginning of the bout indicated a close match up as Alpha Q Up got the first lead and two points, followed immediately by a lead and two points by Micki Krimmel (Mickispeedia) for Angel City in the following jam. Phantom Menace picked up the next lead, but also a low block as she collided with a blocker, and Rocky played the powerjam against them strong, recycling defense to hold onto Cris Dobbin and kill the penalty. With a full two-minute jam, Menace returned and ended up with 16 points and after Dobbins passed the star to Laci Knight, they picked up 4, putting Rocky ahead 18-6.
Angel City evened out the score with strong defense and effective offense, keeping their packs dynamic. They favored the back wall off the line, which worked for Rocky who seemed comfortable out front. Despite Angel getting the lead, Rocky used star passes or offense to help keep Angel City’s scoring to a minimum.
A forearm penalty for Sweet Mary Pain combined with an insubordination started a string of jammer penalties for Rocky, and power jams for Angel at halfway through the period. Active offense by ACDG got them 14 points by Raquel Davila (aka Satan’s Little Helper) and a further 12 points by Cris Dobbins to push their lead to 30 points, 56-26. Both team’s jammers got penalties in the next jam, however Rocky’s Alpha came out on top with a 10-3 jam over Chica Go Lightning. Then one penalty by She Who Cannot Be Named spanned two jams and the resultant powerjam for Angel City brought the score to 72-36. Rocky Mountain had a few power jams of their own before the half was over, but couldn’t tighten the gap substantially enough to as close as it was in the first ten minutes. Angel City went into the half with the lead, 95-64.
In the first jam back, Rocky utilized a power jam to put up 19 points and bring it back to a 12 point game, but a back block by Phantom Menace let Angel City run for first a 9 and then a 25 point jam, giving them some breathing room, with the score now at 129-97.
Tight, chaotic packs continued through this half with well timed hits and effective recycling on both sides making the jammers work hard. Minus the jammer penalties for Rocky, it was a well matched game, but Angel had enough of a lead to carry them well through the second half.
Rocky didn’t let power jams get too out of control, though, as their blockers worked well one-on-one or in pairs to hang onto Angel City jammers as long as possible. They kept using star passes or “star stashes”– taking off the star to get out of the pack and putting it back on– to keep the point spread low. With penalties affecting both sides heavily at times, neither team had a skater foul out, but just barely.
Dropping She Who from their jammer rotation by the end of the game, Rocky’s Alpha scored the most at 66 points with a differential of 13, followed by Menace with 50 points but a negative differential. Angel’s four jammer rotation was a little more even, but Davila stuck out as a star scorer with 73 points, followed by 49 for Chica Go Lightning.
With that 193-137 win, Angel City will play Bay Area tomorrow for first place at 6pm MDT, while Rocky Mountain fights for a trip to Champs against Charm City at 4pm MDT.