D1O: #3 Minnesota Pinches #6 Boston, 201-112

D1O: #3 Minnesota Pinches #6 Boston, 201-112 Photo by Donna Olmstead Photography. facebook.com/donnaOphoto

OMAHA, NE– After a 0-0 initial jam, Minnesota took the lead and held it for the entire game. Boston kept up for the first quarter of play, but began to fall behind because of  jammer penalties. Minnesota’s strong, cohesive defense helped them be successful, while Boston often found themselves working alone, which was productive at times. Minnesota’s 67% overall lead jammer status let them control the game and work towards a 201-112 victory.

After both jammers quickly got out in the first jam, Hard Times got lead for Boston in the second jam but ultimately sat in the box with a cut, letting Jacked Pipes proceed on a power jam. At the end of the two minute jam, Minnesota led 23-10 and after Fannie Tanner picked up 4 more following that, they had a 17 point lead.

Shiver Me Kimbers took the jam line again for Minnesota but also took a track cut after earning lead, allowing Ginger Kid to have a power jam. The “Great Wall of St. Paul” held onto her however while Kimbers slid by once before hitting the penalty box a second time. In the meantime, Boston passed the star to Womanimal. By the jam’s conclusion Kimbers picked up 5 points to Boston’s 10. Boston benefited from a power start, and Maya Mangleyou was able to add 6 points.

After a power jam for each side, which brought MNRG’s lead to just 4 points, Boston put Captain and Amy Rock, who is normally a blocker, on the line. Possibly hoping to have her bust through the Wall of St. Paul, she instead earned a cut giving Minnesota another power jam. Yekaterina Lapitsky was in the star for this opportunity and was able to pick up 3 grand slams, extending their lead to 47-28.

Boston’s lead jammer status was few and far between in the first half. After Maya Mangleyou added 12 points, followed by Hard Times matching 4 of Fannie Tanner’s points, Boston was held to just 44 points for 7 jams. This is where Minnesota was able to gain a large point cushion that kept them at a safe distance for the rest of the game. The Boston Massacre only gave up one more jammer penalty in this time, meaning it was pack dominance that helped MNRG increase their lead.

Boston didn’t let Minnesota get by easy though, as Shark Week, Ginger Kid, and Stevie Nixher made them fight for every point. Shiver Me Kimbers seemed to have been pulled from the jammer lineup after double penalties and then giving up one of Minnesota’s leads. They tightened their rotation to Fannie Tanner, Jacked Pipes, and Yekaterina Lapitsky. Boston on the other-hand kept to Hard Times, Maya Mangleyou, and Space Invader mostly. As Boston struggled to get lead, they tried to use the star pass with varying effects.

At the half Minnesota led 117-47. In the second half, Boston was able to get more lead calls and keep Minnesota to fewer points per jam, but they weren’t able to go on the scoring run they needed to close the gap to a reachable distance.

Minnesota’s solid defense was strengthened by Diamond Rough often at the front of a bracing triangle or 3 wall, and Polly Punchkin who was sly at catching jammers when they thought they had an escape route. Second Hand Smoke is usually a feared face in aqua, but she took 6 trips to the box this game, limiting her time on the track.

Brand new to derby this season, Jacked Pipes tallied the most points for Minnesota, taking 117 before she sat with an ice pack to her face in the final minutes of the game. Hard Times found the most success for Boston, with a 50% lead status and 55 points. She did put up 20 of those points in the second to last jam, but Minnesota finished off Boston with a firm win, 201-112.

Both teams had a strong fan presence in the crowd, although the Aqua Army’s (literal) cheer book was much deeper than Boston’s notable chant. After the conclusion of the game, the Minnesota fans gave Boston a round of applause after reciting their “Pinch” chant. MNRG will face #2 seed Angel City tomorrow at 8pm CDT, while Boston hits the consolation bracket to take on Toronto first thing in the morning.

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