OMAHA, NE– After having their highest-ever sanctioned point total yesterday against #33 Queen City, #16 Montréal kept Gotham to their 2nd lowest total today. The New Skids on the Block gave them a hassle in the pack, but the New Skids jammers struggled to put up points, and ended up accruing less than Queen City did yesterday. With their 259-21 loss, they still get a chance tomorrow at a trip to Champs, while Gotham is guaranteed a spot with their qualification for the final game this weekend.
Both Gotham and Montréal put their highest scoring jammers from their previous games on the jam line first. Bonnie Thunders had scored a little more than half of their 590 points yesterday, and Mel E Juana scored 108 of their 288. It looked like Mel’s strong game would continue as she picked up the first lead and just 2 points. Vicious Van GoGo took the star next for Gotham and picked up a grand slam making the score 5-2 just a couple minutes in.
Gotham lost a couple blockers to the box, and with a 4:2 Montréal pack advantage, Falcon Punch got lead before getting knocked to the ground, so she followed Bonnie out and was forced to call of the jam. Mel E Juana returned to the line against ShortStop, and this time had a harder time getting out with all four for Gotham on the floor and Violet Knockout staying glued to her. After a star pass to Toronto transfer Dyna Hurtcha, the Gotham pack swarmed her and ShortStop earned 15 points, making the score 20-2 over 5 minutes in.
Another 0-0 jam happened after Miracle Whips picked up lead but had Bonnie Thunders chasing her down. Vicious van GoGo earned the next lead, prompting a star pass by the New Skids to Ohi, but she cut the track and sat in the box as jammer instead. After just 5 points, the jam was called setting Miss Tea Maven up for a power jam in her first jam of the game.
After sitting on just 2 points for 6 jams, Montréal earned 2 more points that would last them 5 more jams before scoring again. Gotham often utilized a very solid 3 wall, with one skater turned around to brace or bridge. Skaters like Caf Fiend, Roxy Dallas, and Flo It All were sure to have their hands out and used all of their back and sides to hold jammers back. It worked well for them as they only had 2 multiplayer blocks and 0 forearms. Fisher Price again proved her solid blocking skills as pivot to the delight of the Minnesota crowd, her former team.
The pack came to a slow crawl at times, as Gotham jammers had to fight hard against the Montréal defensive triangle. Montréal picked up twice as many penalties as Gotham in the first half (14:7 ratio), meaning they had a smaller pack more often. Montréal often used the star stash or pass to try and help their jammer, but many times utilized it too late in the jam when everyone was tired from battling in the pack.
Miracle Whips earned the next lead status call for the New Skids, and a bit of chaos ensued as she came into the pack too hot. Her jam referee conferred with the outside ref while Bonnie Thunders asked for an official review. Loren Order, the only female tournament head ref this playoff season, tended to the score issue first and then Gotham. At the end of the extended timeout it was decided that Miracle Whips had only scored 1 point and was due to sit in the box with a misconduct.
Gotham stayed passive to let Bonnie fight, and they actually used offense sparingly throughout the game, focusing on defense. After Miracle Whips returned, Gotham kept recycling to keep her in the pack, and she resigned herself to playing defense before trying to pass the star, resulting in a 25-point jam for Bonnie (the highest-scoring jam of the game).
In the last jam of the half, Falcon Punch showed off her deft jammer footwork, almost getting out of the pack, but getting recycled to the back instead. ShortStop was lead in the meantime, and while wedged into a non-moving Montréal defense, Mange Moi El Cul quickly ran her out of bounds and skated back. Meanwhile, as Sexy Slaydie was returning from the box, she laid a big hit on Mange which knocked her and her pivot panty to the ground. Gameplay stopped for this, but she got up on her own and did play in the second half.
At halftime, Gotham led 120-5, and while Montréal had tallied fewer points on Gotham than Queen City did, they were keeping the 5-time champs to a lower score.
Mel E Juana struggled a bit more this game, but Falcon Punch was more successful across the board. She was able to get 30% lead jammer calls out of her 10 jams, scored 10 total points of their 21, and was often able to get out of the pack quickly to help force Gotham call offs. She was the next to get lead and score for Montréal after Bonnie got a back block. She was able to finish 2 grand slams before Bonnie returned to score, and with the crowd helping her call it off, the score stood at 159-16 with 23 minutes left in the game.
SwingLa Bacaisse earned lead for the New Skids after that and with Miss Tea Maven out behind her the pack sped away and after both jammers crashed into the pack, they both took a seat in the box. Tight defense by Jess Bandit, KonichiWOW, and Surgical Strike kept Maven to just one grand slam after their return, and Swing was able to score a total of 5, which were the the last Montréal points of the game.
By the end, Gotham totaled 259 points to Montréal’s 21, securing their place in the final game tomorrow at 6pm CDT, as well as their trip to Champs in St. Paul. The New Skids still have a chance at Champs with the 3rd place game tomorrow against the losing team of Angel City and Minnesota’s game.
Check out all the scores, recaps, and more from this weekend on our Omaha Central.