LANSING, MI – The second International WFTDA Division 2 Playoff kicked off with Bear City (8) of Berlin, Germany and Tri-City (9) of Kitchener, Ontario. Bear City had a mixed bag of big wins and losses the MidWest BrewHaHa tournament earlier in the season. With the loss of Master Blaster, many were curious whether they would continue to keep up on the world stage. Tri-City came to the tournament with a season of reasonable wins and losses, mostly against teams close to them in rankings. Bear City’s cohesive play locked out Tri-City, 235-140.
The first jam put Tri-City to a quick 12-0 lead thanks to a penalty by Mia Missile early on. However, the next 3 jams were double digit responses from Berlin, with only 3 points answered by Tri-City. Jam 2 was the last Tri-City lead in the game. Despite Bear City having more penalties on the game, Tri-City was not able to capitalize on opportunities.
Bear City was successful in their cohesion on the track. With only 12 players on the bench, a handful of blockers were relied on for more than 50% of the jams. Being on the track so much, and so much together, no doubt helped Berlin get into a needed rhythm. Their diamonds and braced walls had appropriate rotation to recapture jammers. Catherine Beat-Her Bonez, Lizzy Slaughter, and double-threat Mc kept the defense slow, which kept jammers contained. For Tri-City, Crazy Squirrel and MEGAnTRON were the most successful jammers against the grinding defense, but Bear City was able to draw 5 penalties from Squirrel by the first jam of the second half.
Tri-City would have moments of strong defensive walls, but were not as seamless when shifting from defense to offense. When jammers would get gummed up, Tri-City often looked a bit jumbled. Andi Slamberg did a good job of leading the charge to muck up the works, but often the total offensive effort would simply get in the way of the jammer’s progress. Bear City’s Peanut Butter Panic and Mia Missile were able to bait Tri-City walls into movement, and then were able to take advantage.
What it came down to was a matter of blocker patience. Bear City has obviously solidified and grown confident in each other since BrewHaha. Tri-City looked unsure and combined with late jammer call-offs, Tri-City fell to Bear City, 235-140.
Tri-City will play tomorrow at 10a EST against the loser of today’s noon game. Berlin moves on to play Charm City Roller Girls (1) at 2p EST/8p CEST.
Return to Lansing Central throughout the weekend for scores and recaps and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for pictures and updates as well. You can also find recaps on WFTDA’s tournament page and watch the action onWFTDA.tv.