D1 Champs: Angel City Exterminates Rat City, 169-101

D1 Champs: Angel City Exterminates Rat City, 169-101 Photo by Danforth Johnson. facebook.com/danforth.johnson

ST. PAUL, MN –  Angel City utilised a deep jammer line, with four of their top jammers holding almost equivalent amounts of track time, leaving each of them fresh and ready to juke and move their way through a Rat City blocking team that just couldn’t quite contain them. Ultimately, it was that part of the Angel City recipe that pushed them through with points additions, although the final third of the game was dominated by an epic scoring shut-down on Rat City by Angel’s blockers – lead by the Captaining and blocking force that is Laci Knight. The final score of 169-101 gave Angel City the win to meet London tomorrow in the first game at 10am CST.

The first jam into the game saw Luna Negra take first lead status and penalty, which allowed Satan’s Little Helper to start adding points. Then she got trapped in the pack as Luna Negra returned from the box and went on to add in points of her own, taking the scoring neck and neck to 13-11, with ACDG just barely in the lead off the whistle.

The next jam saw Micki Krimmel up on the jam line next to Rat City’s Kayla Gaska (aka Missile America), which came to a spectacular end with a huge hit between Kayla and Cheker, which saw both players on the ground in visible pain, and the jam called as each skated off visibly bruised and sore. At this point a time-out was called, and both of the skaters’ roles in the hit were reviewed, with each position ending in the box. The players directly involved were substituted by other players – Booty Ninja from ACDG and Luna Negra taking the jammer star to the box for Rat City.

Even with the occasional firm reply from Rat, Angel City wasn’t about to be talked out of their upward momentum. When a low block was called on a falling tumble with Satan, just as she was emerging from the pack on a scoring pass, the penalty call on her was greeted with loudly vocal boos from the whole crowd in the arena.

In the final 6 mins of the first period, Luna Negra was boxed on a track cut that might not have happened had she realized that she’d just recycled after being knocked off the track by Laci Knight who herself had partially track-exited prior to run-back. Play was generally characterised at this point by dense walls with run-backs, and speeding wall-breaks before solid re-forms by both teams.

As Kayla was about to emerge from the pack with only a few minutes remaining, Octane Jane shot back solidly into Kayla with a sweet and chunky move that flipped her off Jane’s butt, mimicking the epic Beyonslay / Rice Rocket hit from 2008 ECDX many will remember from historical derby legend. That block temporarily landed Octane Jane in the box until she was cleared when it was confirmed that what she had done was a hefty, but clean, hit.

In the last jam of the half, Micki Krimmel was jamming against Xena, and Micki took lead but was stuck behind a solid flat wall. After already scoring 8 points and foiled from moving forwards despite juking and pushing at the back of the pack, she called it off, taking the game into the half at a close 83-70.

At the start of the second half, Satan did a spin out of the pack that confirmed her jam lead but took a solid bodily hit that could be heard from the stands. It came from a quickly self-satisfied K. Beezy as Satan tried to make it through to the next scoring pass, but was forced into a more rapid call-off than might have otherwise been expected.

When Rat City then chose to take the pivot line, they gave Sintrepedal Force the run-up and the jam lead, while the move did not work for Chica as Angel City held the back line. The team didn’t choose to repeat that move, however, working mostly to break down Angel City’s solid defensive lines, albeit unsuccessfully.

Ultimately, as jamming tactics went, the more jukey and narrow jamming style of Luna Negra was ultimately more successful for Rat City, as Kayla’s more bodily, physical jamming style attracted hefty hits and solid knock-down replies from ACDG’s blockers. Although later her impressive, and fully legal hit on an Angel City duo wall which leveled Hunnie Brasco, equalized her effect on game play.

By the final third of the game, Angel City’s defense had worked out how best to clamp down on Rat City’s scoring capabilities, keeping the team unscoring for 5 jams in a row at 70 points, and then allowed only one 5 point addition and a 4 pointer in the following 9 jams. Rat City took the first of their time-outs, seemingly in response to their slim points addition at one point, possibly revisiting their tactics and taking the time to assess how they had finally managed to break out.

With only a few short game minutes remaining, Kayla punched in a 20-0 addition for Rat City, which concluded with her previously mentioned epic hits. And so by the final three minutes, when Satan lined up next to Luna Negra, Luna didn’t know that she wouldn’t be allowed off the track again.  First she took advantage of a penalty call on Satan, but then, unscoring, wound up in the box herself on a track cut. When she returned and was called on a low block, the final jam for the game started with a powerjam start for Mick Krimmel, who took an easy lead. 

By the final seconds, Micki was free-skating into the back of the back, twirling and running seconds off the clock as Luna tried for her initial pass re-entry from the box. The final score went to Angel City, 169-101 and they will face London tomorrow at 10am CST.

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