D1D: #4 Rat City (#15) Exterminates #5 Stockholm (#17), 204-73

D1D: #4 Rat City (#15) Exterminates #5 Stockholm (#17), 204-73 ©2015 Christopher Cross - Cripple Bypass

DALLAS, TX—Game 3 of Day 1 between the # 4 seed Rat City Rollergirls (#15 in WFTDA) and Stockholm Roller Derby (#17 in WFTDA), who enter the tournament as the 5th seed. The first half of the game resembled the close match-up that the seedings and rankings suggested, but the second half turned into a blowout. The momentum swung between the teams every few jams, often the result of penalties stacking up against one team. After multiple lead changes, Stockholm finished the half ahead, 62-54, but were almost completely shut down in the second half by a refocused and reenergized Rat City. Seattle took the win, 204-73 and will advance to play Rose City on Saturday at 2:00pm CDT. 

Luna Negra, who was being called Lunacorn for the day, was the first to take the star for Rat City. Luna Negra faced off against Stockholm’s Mad Maloony, who after an entire lap of fighting through dueling tripods, finally earned lead status and ended the jam 1-0 in Stockholm’s favor. The second jam of the game moved at a much quicker pace than the first as Xena quickly claimed the lead for Rat City, 2-1. Rat City’s Genevieve Moore was next to earn lead and was able to make quick work of Stockholm’s defense, taking advantage of their short pack. On the scoring pass, however, Moore collected a track cut, leaving Mad Maloony on a power jam. Despite the jammer penalty, Rat City ended the jam still in the lead 12-6.

After the first few jams, Rat City found and quickly lost their rhythm as their blockers left the track as directional calls piled up.

After a team time out, Stockholm came out of the huddle and added a quick 20 points to their score. A track cut against Luna Negra, provided an opportunity for Panika De Hex and Stockholm to continue to close the gap to 27-34. Stockholm held Rat City scoreless for 4 jams and tied the score 35-35 just as Kayla Gaska (formerly Missile America) headed to the box. In the next jam, Mad Maloony took the lead by 1 point.  An impressive jam by Lil Slinky set Stockholm with a larger lead.

A series of track cut calls against Rat City enabled Stockholm to stretch their lead slightly, ending the half, 62-54.

The second half was an entirely different game. Stockholm only brought 11 skaters with them to Dallas and the 3 jammer rotation took its toll as jammer penalties stacked up. Stockholm also developed a problem with multiplayer penalties in the second half.

From the first jam of the half, when Luna Negra retook the lead, 69-62, Rat City completely dominated the game. After a couple of penalties in the first half, Kayla Gaska came out strong and added four more.

Not only did Rat City’s offense pick up, their defensive tripod also locked down the front of the pack, refusing to be pushed out. 15 minutes into the second half, Rat City was up 126-64, holding Stockholm to only 2 points.

Kayla Gaska was extremely effective in the second half, gaining lead in almost every jam she was on the track. Rat City’s jammers were not working alone, well timed offensive help came regularly to ease their path through the pack including set plays right off the line, such as a two blocker screen set up during a power jam for Luna Negra.

Penalties, inexperience in a playoff setting, and fatigue after a very physical game—which Rat City always brings—and playing their second one of the day, contributed to Stockholm’s loss. Stockholm started the game with 11 skaters and finished the game with only 9. Rat City only let Stockholm score 19 points in the second half, winning 204-73. Rat City will face off with their West Coast neighbor, #1 seed Rose City Saturday afternoon.

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