OMAHA, NE– In Game 12 of the WFTDA D1 Playoffs, Angel City and Minnesota faced off for the second time in 2015. The first half showed a very even, extraordinarily hard-hitting match of both jammer skill and defensive might, and the game looking like it belonged to either team at the half. The second half proved to be a much different game, however, with Angel City dominating the Minnesota Rollergirls. Angel City took the win 192-83.
The first half of this game was arguably one of the most exciting matches of the playoff season thus far. The first jam set the stage for many trends of this game in many ways, with Angel City quickly getting lead and both team’s jammers taking trips to the penalty box. A medical stop for Minnesota’s Shiver Me Kimbers ended the jam prematurely, the score 5-0 in Angel City’s favor.
Angel City took lead in the first five jams, a trend that continued throughout much of the game. By the fourth jam, it was clear this game was going to be extremely physical, with hits so hard they were literally echoing through the arena at times. Minnesota was able to put points on the board in this jam, tying the score 14-14 with Second Hand Smoke jamming. With 24 minutes left, both teams were very clearly in this game to win.
Ten minutes into the game, both teams were already struggling with jammer penalties, which would remain consistent throughout the game as well. ACDG’s jammers would go on to pick up 11 penalties in this game while MNRG’s earned 13. With strong jamming by Minnesota’s Jacked Pipes and Angel City’s Satan’s Little Helper and Ghetto Fabu-lez, the score was tied 24-24. With just under 20 minutes left in the half, Angel City then took advantage of a jammer penalty on Minnesota, asserting dominance and bringing the score 38-29.
At this point, the game looked to be a potential mix of the last two times these teams met. Earlier this season, Angel beat Minnesota by 86 points, but only held a lead of two points at the half. In 2014, Minnesota took a three-point win over Angel. The first half of this game showed a very tight match of skill between Angel City and Minnesota and while Angel City did maintain a point lead over Minnesota for the first half, they never quite reached a comfortable lead, and it seemed Minnesota was poised to overtake Angel City at any point.
With both teams utilizing remarkably calm, cohesive, grinding defense, the score stood at 62-45 with 9 minutes left in the half. Further penalty trouble kept both teams from putting many points on the board for the remainder of the half. Angel City took lead jammer status 70% of the time in the first half, but Minnesota capitalized on Angel’s weaknesses quite well to make up for this disadvantage. With just over two minutes left in the half, the score was 71-57 in Angel City’s favor.
In the last jam of the half, Angel City’s defense suddenly looked significantly stronger than Minnesota’s. Angel had quickly taken lead jammer, while Minnesota’s top-scoring jammer Jacked Pipes was stuck in Angel’s tough defense. At the half, the score stood 83-59.
The second half began much like the first half ended, with Angel City’s Laci Knight, Hunnie Brasco, and Ima BlowBya locking onto Minnesota in a way they hadn’t for much of the first half. ACDG was nearly effortlessly getting lead jammer while Minnesota’s jammers looked to struggle against Angel’s newly strengthened defense. By the end of the second jam, the score was 101-59 in Angel’s favor, in spite of Minnesota’s best efforts to find their footing.
Penalty trouble for Minnesota allowed Angel City to continue to increase their lead, with both Hurtrude Stein and Jacked Pipes going to the box in consecutive jams. The score stood 159-65 with 18:35 left to play. The next several minutes continued much the same, though Minnesota was able to hold Angel City nearly scoreless for a few jams. With 14:20 left to play, the score was 164-70.
While Minnesota was not able to make much headway in scoring points of their own, they continued to hold Angel City to fewer points per jam, which helped stop the bleeding of Angel City’s frequent lead jammer status and relentless defense. Sampson, Diamond Rough, and Madrad helped MNRG hold a strong wall that would rotate to swarm and capture ACDG jammers. They just needed to close the point gap, but Angel City was able to hold Minnesota scoreless for six consecutive jams, and the score stood 167-70 with about 9 minutes left to play.
A power jam in Minnesota’s favor allowed Kimbers to score 8 points, breaking their scoreless jam streak. This small run was not enough to gain any ground on Angel City, however. By this point, the game was very clearly heading toward a swift Angel City victory.
Continued strong blocking by Angel City allowed them to hold back Minnesota’s Second Hand Smoke and put more points up over Minnesota. With five minutes left to play, the score was 181-78. In spite of getting lead a few times in the remaining jams, Minnesota struggled to make any headway for the remainder of the game, but still held Angel City relatively scoreless. The final score was 192-83.