OMAHA, NE– With Toronto ranked #32 in WFTDA and Queen City #33, this game stayed fairly tight for the entire 60 minutes, but was ran by penalties since each team earned almost 50 apiece. Many jams were long and tiring for jammers as Toronto ended the game with 16 jammer penalties, Queen City earning 17. Despite their penalty troubles and getting fewer lead status calls, Queen City ultimately proved why they got a D1 invite this year and won the game in the final minutes, 232-229.
Queen City put what turned out to be their lead scorer, LiBRAWLian, on the jam line first, and she kicked off her 158 points with the first four game points. It was Toronto’s turn to score next, and MadMegz picked up four for CN Power as well. LiBRAWLian returned to the line and after 20 seconds she picked up lead another four points for the Lake Effect Furies.
It seemed like the score would just continue to bounce back and forth between the teams, but then Murphy sat in the box with a forearm penalty, letting MadMegz, a transfer this year from Renegade Derby, scored 14 points on a power jam. That put Toronto in the lead 23-8, but at the end of the jam MadMegz also picked up a backblock, giving Queen City a power start. LiBRAWLian, who took the track nearly every other jam, skated to a quick lead with the help of her blockers. She ducked and jumped to pick up 18 points and retake the lead by two points.
Despite that being the last lead for Queen City for the next five jams, they were able to keep up with Toronto with 2 power jams. While CN Power scored 49 points over that time, it was converted to just a seven point increase as Queen City also put up 42.
The advantage started for Toronto as Bala-Reina benefited from a power jam and her blockers worked meticulously to split up the opposing blockers. They were less concerned with attacking the blocker on their jammer, but instead deferred to isolating blockers as to hopefully not get in their jammer’s way. LiBRAWLian returned and had nearly snuck out of the pack but with Bala-Reina right behind her, so she paused to ensure she didn’t follow her out. Instead, Bala-Reina got a cut, and now LiBRAWLian was on a power jam.
At this point, it seemed that Toronto mostly relied on MadMegz and Bala-Reina, while alternating Beaver Mansbridge and Lexi Con in the third spot. Queen City’s mainstay was LiBRAWLian, with InSINerator playing most of the game and Murphy and Low Hits Griffin taking the star as well.
MadMegz got the next lead for Toronto, prompting Queen City to try No Coast’s star pass strategy but it resulted with B’kini Whacks stuck in the pack instead. The 20-point jam put Toronto back in the lead, 52-41. Beaver Mansbridge earned the lead next, but slipped on the line while trying to sneak by and picked up a cut. With the power jam, Queen City utilized strong offense and quick recycling to help LiBRAWLian win the jam 23-8, causing another lead change. It didn’t last long however, and after a fast and chaotic jam, Murphy picked up 4 points to Bala-Reina’s 13, putting CN Power back in the lead at 73-68.
InSINerator returned to the jam line after she stopped a jam earlier with injury, and she quickly grabbed lead status, but while scoring also grabbed a track cut, and Toronto continued to separate Queen City blockers. Lexi Con was working on a scoring pass when InSINerator returned, and when they both got knocked out, InSINerator accidentally knocked Lexi Con back down, resulting in a misconduct for hitting a down skater, giving them another 30 seconds to pick up points with ten minutes left in the half.
MadMegz also got a power jam next after LiBRAWLian sat in the box, and 12 more points helped get them to an even 100 points while Queen City had 71. The remaining 6 minutes of the half was a more successful run for Toronto, despite a few more jammer penalties. MadMegz tried to let a jam run long as the period was concluding, but her plan turned sour when she got a cut. Murphy handed the power back to her though, and the jam ended 19-12 in Toronto’s favor.
At the half Toronto led 133-97 with Murphy just entering the penalty box, setting them up for a power start in the next half.
The first jam ended up being a double power jam for Bala-Reina when Murphy sat down for another penalty. She had to fight hard for her first 5 points, but when Murphy returned, Queen City’s focus split between offense and defense and Bala-Reina found 3 more scoring passes to make it a 19-point jam, and the score 152-97.
Queen City wasn’t done yet, and for the rest of the half they worked on Toronto’s lead and with the added benefit of jammer penalties by CN power, they regained the lead with seven minutes left in the half. Only ten minutes into the half, Toronto’s Misery Mae fouled out, leveling out the rosters since the Furies were playing with 13 skaters.
InSINerator and LiBRAWLian were the only ones to score in the second half for Queen City, and went every other for most of it. To supplement their hard work, Pepper Stix was a strong enemy for CN Power jammers, with help by Tabrina Schreier and Blackrock Bruiser. Toronto is without Santa Muerte this weekend, but Renny Rumble and Onyeka Igwe made sure their blocking didn’t miss a beat.
While Beaver Mansbridge picked up a cut and an insubordination, 24 points were scored by LiBRAWLian, finally putting Queen City back in the lead, 205-194. With seven minutes left, Toronto took a timeout.
It almost seemed like it was a good reset for them, but in the end, both jammers hit the penalty box twice in the following jam, but Bala-Reina managed to get 8 points to InSINerator’s 0. This put Toronto within 3 points with 5 minutes left.
MadMegz earned a backblock in the next jam, and unfortunately for Toronto LiBRAWLian was on the track, so she went on to score 22 points. Perhaps in an effort to waste the clock, Queen City did let Toronto score eight points, making the score 227-210, Furies leading. With a power start to follow, Low Hits Griffin took the star since InSINerator was on her fifth penalty, but couldn’t get out of the pack before MadMegz returned and earned lead instead. In the end, Griffin battled until she got a cut and when she didn’t leave the track quick enough, she sat for a full minute and MadMegz added 19 points, taking the lead for Toronto by two points.
With enough time for one more jam, the Queen City coach called a timeout with seconds left on the clock to let Queen City settle down and prepare for one more jam. Despite her big jam, MadMegz picked up her seventh penalty, meaning Bala-Reina was starting in the box for her. The LiBRAWLian calmly picked up lead and after one scoring pass the clock had expired and she called off the jam. The game ended with Queen City in the lead, 232-229, giving them a chance to take on Gotham in Game five.
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