D1O: #6 Boston Beans #7 Helsinki, 187-165

D1O: #6 Boston Beans #7 Helsinki, 187-165 Photo credit Danforth Johnson
OMAHA, NE — Game  of Omaha’s D1 playoffs brought contenders from Boston and Helsinki to the track to face off in their first rematch since The Big O, back in May, in which game  Boston emerged victoriously, 160-148. Today’s matchup saw a similar result, as the Boston Derby Dames again took the win away from their overseas adversaries.

Boston started off very strongly, shutting out Helsinki’s All-Star Ninja Turtles in the first 4 jams at a total of 11-0. Boston’s main jammer rotation of Maya Mangleyou, Space Invader, Hard Times, and Flyin’ King smartly grabbed what points they could after gaining lead before calling it off. This helped the team establishing themselves early and setting up a pattern that would plague Helsinki for the remainder of the game.

Helsinki’s Taru Saxelin was finally able to bring first points for the team to the scoreboard in jam 5 by taking lead and putting up 14 points. But then she committed a back block penalty, allowing Boston’s Maya Mangelyou to answer with her own 18 points in a power jam that predicated what was to follow.

In the subsequent jam, Helsinki jammer Varpu Knuuttila committed a track cut, and although Boston’s Space Invader was unable to get lead she still piled on to the increasing damage, bringing Boston’s total score up to 43-27. Helsinki called an official review requesting that a track cut be called on Space Invader, but their efforts were for naught as officials stuck to their ruling and Helsinki lost their review for the first half.

Photo credit Donna Olmstead

Photo credit Donna Olmstead

The next jam continued as Maiju Rinne was called on an early track cut, allowing Boston another power jam. Rinne re-entered the track from the box only to be called out again immediately, this time for a back block, and in the meantime Boston’s Hard Times took the score up to 61-27 in Boston’s favor.

Flyin’ King returned to the line next for Boston, to put up another 2 points for her team before Helsinki started to adapt and shut their opponents down for 2 subsequent jams, closing the differential by 8 points.

Helsinki’s blockers can really be a force to be reckoned with when all present on the track and out of the box. But Helsinki’s team members earned a total of 15 more penalties than Boston today, and the difference was increasingly more apparent as the clock ticked down.

After Boston held Helsinki scoreless for 4 jams about halfway through the first half, when Helsinki’s blockers returned 4-strong to the pack, they were able to rally and answer by holding Boston scoreless for 8 jams in a row while attempting to chip away at their opponents’ lead. At one point, despite a team timeout called by Boston to try and break Helsinki’s scoring streak, and thanks to a track cut penalty by Flyin’ King, the Ninja Turtles came within just 7 points of a tie. Unfortunately for the Finnish team, their run wouldn’t last long, as Boston surged back and left the score at 109-82 going into halftime.

Boston reached into their roster to field two relief jammers in the second half (understandably, as they already had played against Toronto earlier in the day), bringing Ginger Kid and Womanimal into the scoring action. Despite a handful of very tight jams to kick off the second half by their regular jammer rotation, these two were able to contribute substantially towards the team’s climbing score.

While Helsinki continued their fight with just 13 skaters on the track and a fairly close (only short by about 11%) lead jammer percentage, but penalties again proved to be their downfall, as they served a significant 11 jammer penalties to Boston’s 4.

Helsinki and Boston continued to trade lead jams and hold one another scoreless up until about 9 minutes remaining in the second half. At that point, Ginger Kid took the star and scored 10 points for Boston in a power jam, after Maiju Rinne got called on another back blocking penalty. However, Ginger’s teammates were able to help her continue her run to bring the score to 182-142 just before the last 3 jams of the game.

Helsinki took lead in 2 out of the last 3 jams, but Boston’s continued fight and another back block by Varpu Knuuttila in the final jam of this bout ended in a final official score of 187-165.

Photo credit Donna Olmstead

Photo credit Donna Olmstead

Boston advances now to play for a chance at 5th place, while Helsinki will continue on to play against Queen City for a possible overall finish at 7th.

Stay up on all the scores, recaps, and more at Omaha Central.

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