DETROIT, MI – Game 10 of this D2 tournament brought together two opponents facing off fresh off a loss and a victory apiece: despite a favorable start with a win over Brewcity on Friday, #8 seed Sac City fell to a 70-point loss to Nashville in their second bout of the weekend in game 5 last night. #5 seed Wasatch finished their first competition of this playoff with a 53-point loss to Naptown yesterday followed by a decisive win over Boulder earlier today. This matchup determined which team advances to play for a shot at an overall 5th place finish, while the loser stands a chance to take home 7th place in the playoff standings. After heavy penalties against Sac City, Wasatch ran away with the game, 212-124.
The bout began in Sac City’s favor; after a quick first jam ended in a 1-1 score, the team managed to pull away with a 16-1 lead against their adversaries using what would prove to be their primary 3-jammer rotation of Aleithal Weapon, Addy Kontrol, and Anomie of the State. Unfortunately for the skaters and fans of Sac City, this would be the last time they saw the scoreboard in their favor for the remainder of this match.
The proverbial writing on the wall began in jam 4, when Sac City jammer Blue Crush could not break through opposing blockers and passed the star to teammate Khan Artist. Just after assuming her new role as jammer, however, Khan Artist committed a track cut and was sent to the box, allowing Wasatch jammer Ole Chole to take the score from 1-16 to 15-16 – still in Sac City’s favor, but not for long. Khan Artist committed another track cut after escaping the penalty box in jam 5, allowing Wasatch’s Animal Krack-Her to eke out a lead at 22-18. Despite a very even distribution of lead jammers called for much of the bout, it was ultimately the greater number of penalties that allowed Wasatch to capitalize on this early lead and continue to increase the differential.
By the 11th jam of the first half, we saw Wasatch jammer Stache Bot proving herself bigtime as a main player in her league’s jammer rotation as she helped open up their lead to 44-27, causing Sac City to call their first time out of the bout. The momentum continued to build in jam 12 as Wasatch’s leading scorer Sookie Slaphouse increased their score to 64 point over Sac City’s 27 (owing partially, again, to a penalty against Sac’s Addy Kontrol).
This jam ended with the first of five official reviews used between both teams over the course of their time on the track, as Sac City asserted a penalty should be called against Sookie Slaphouse for her apex jump which ended in contact with a Sac City blocker, forcing that skater down. The referees ruled in their favor.
Wasatch saw a handful of scoreless jams in the aftermath of their attempted official review, giving Sac City a chance to close the gap from 34-76 to 41-76 before Wasatch took advantage of yet another power jam after a forearm by Sac City jammer Red Tornadho, allowing them to double Sac’s score at 90-45 towards the end of the first half.
The final jam of the half saw Wasatch’s Stache Bot and Sac City’s Addy Kontrol both struggling to break loose from the pack, as blockers on both teams continued to knock their opposition out of bounds and draw them back. After Addy Kontrol committed a track cut, Stache Bot surged forward to bring the overall score to 104-53 in Wasatch’s favor leading into halftime.
The negative impact of penalties against both jammers and blockers on Sac City’s squad cannot be understated: by the half, despite earning lead jammer a nearly equal amount of times, Sac City had double the jammer penalties in each half – this allowed Wasatch to continue surging ahead with the help of those extra power jams.
Despite winning another official review early in the second half, leading to a backblocking call against Stache Bot, Sac just could not turn their own performance around to avoid sending blockers and jammers to the box.
Wasatch kept creeping (and occasionally surging) ahead for the remainder of the second half, at one point holding their opponents scoreless for 5 jams in a row while racking up an additional 34 points of their own. By the time Sac City was able to seemingly calm things down on the jammer penalty front, the damage had already been done.
Wasatch began to call the jams after very quick point pickups, burning more time off the clock between scoring opportunities. Wasatch to emerged victorious at an official final score of 212-124.
With this win, Wasatch will advance to play the winner of Bear City vs. Emerald City for 5th place, while Sac City goes on to face the loser of the same for a chance to claim an overall 7th place win this weekend.
Read more recaps, find scores and brackets at Detroit Central.