D1C: #3 Denver Mile High Club takes off against #6 Santa Cruz, 314-127

D1C: #3 Denver Mile High Club takes off against #6 Santa Cruz, 314-127 Photo by Tsunami Photography

COLUMBIA, MO – It’s been two years since the Denver Mile High Club flew in to take on the Santa Cruz Derby Girls and much has changed since the last exchange. Santa Cruz came into the Division 1 tournament ranked at 23rd to Denver’s ranking at 10th. Game 3 started off slow and steady as the captain turned off the fastened seatbelt sign allowing Denver to skate about the flat track cabin, staying true to seeding order, beating Santa Cruz 314 to 127.
Santa Cruz initially took the line, but Akers stepped in and as soon as the whistle blew, drove the Santa Cruz blockers up, clearing an easy line for Wilhelm to find. Beans from Santa Cruz was there to block Wilhelm’s advance as Santa Cruz quickly reformed in a 3 wall at the apex. TARAism hopped the apex, earning lead status, but also clearing the inside line for Wilhelm to dodge the wall. After Wilhelm was out in front, TARAism called off the jam: 0-0.

Santa Cruz initially took the line, but Akers stepped in and as soon as the whistle blew, drove the Santa Cruz blockers up, clearing an easy line for Wilhelm to find. Beans from Santa Cruz was there to block Wilhelm’s advance as Santa Cruz quickly reformed in a 3 wall at the apex. TARAism hopped the apex, earning lead status, but also clearing the inside line for Wilhelm to dodge the wall. After Wilhelm was out in front, TARAism called off the jam: 0-0.

Denver formed their 3 braced wall in the front with a lone blocker hanging just a bit back, ready to mix in with Santa Cruz’s wall. CoraZone moved with Denver’s wall to play offense for Santa Cruz’s Skirt Vonna-gut. In the back of the pack, a Santa Cruz 2 wall held up Klein for a bit while one Denver blocker ran offense. While escaping from the pack first, Skirt Vonna-Gut collected the first jammer penalty of the half, a cut track, that opened the door for Denver to take control, 14-0.

Photo by Tsunami Photography

Photo by Tsunami Photography

Power jams blew up the game early in the first half.  Denver earned five major opportunities to haul in over twenty-point jams. Santa Cruz was completely shut out until the fifth jam with over seven minutes expired on the game clock. Kosher Assault did a nice job at the top of the pack for Santa Cruz defensively, with consistent drawbacks and recycling while Santa Cruz jammers struggled in the pack. Santa Cruz showed lots of skill in helmet cover stashes and passes, recording over 6 star maneuvers before the first half concluded. Santa Cruz called their Official Review to use it as a time-out with just 30 seconds left in the half.

After one final jam in the half, and power jams piled up, Denver led 171-42.

The second half began with a “cruz” down the straightaway as Santa Cruz flexed their jammer skills. Unfortunately, the defensive line cannot keep up with Denver’s experience as the track begins to be bombarded by Mile High brace walls.

Sadly, in the fifth jam Denver lost Blackman to an injury, forcing a time-out at 26:34 left in the game. Losing Blackman, one of the leading scorers for the Mile High Club, only made Denver play tighter forcing a lot of penalties onto the Santa Cruz side.

Denver’s tripod plus 1 defense worked wonders against Santa Cruz. The Mile High Club’s defense rotated and covered the track well, often stifling jammers within their tripod while the lone blocker served both as a point for recycling and a road block when Santa Cruz was able to escape the braced wall. Anghel and Berret served as a wrecking crew for the Mile High Club while Akers managed to always be in the right position to give offense and quickly revert to defense.

Santa Cruz relapsed into a steady stream of jammer penalties which coupled with difficulty maintaining their defensive formation to open a wide door for Denver to park in the hanger. With 9:47 remaining in the second half, Denver called and won their official remove to overturn a back block call. Denver called another official review with just 2:47 left to play to contest the insubordination call on Gypin as they headed to the box. The call was overturned, cutting Gypin’s penalty to 30 seconds.

 

Photo by Juan Paden

Photo by Juan Paden

The main points of the game between these two teams were the amount of power jams given to Denver in addition to winning the majority of lead jammer status( 62% ) throughout the game. Jammer Curtis skated away as the lead scorer with 78 points and fellow team-mates Klein earned 67 to Gypin’s 66. Meanwhile on Santa Cruz’s side TARAism earned 47 points for their team. The score definitely did not reflect in the amazing plays and gumption shown by TARAism and Ace Wenchura.

Denver ended the game with 25 penalties to Santa Cruz’s 39 which may be the most reflective stat in understanding the score. Ultimately the number of power jams and expert defense were all that Denver needed to run away with the game, 314 to 127.

Santa Cruz Derby Girls fall to the consolation bracket to play Ann Arbor Derby Dimes on Saturday bright and early at 10am EDT. While Denver Mile High Club advances in the tournament taking Jacksonville RollerGirls at 8pm EDT.

Return to Columbia Central throughout the weekend for scores and recaps and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for pictures and updates as well.

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