MONTRÉAL, QC – #1 seed London, ranked #3 overall, dominated the #9 seed Detroit, #35 overall, in a swift victory, 387-77. These two teams met earlier this season at The European Smackdown with similar results where London won 345-79.
Detroit won the first jam when Jilleane Rookard recovered quickly from a run back, and sped out of the pack to attain lead status and then battled the London defense to pick up a single point. Brawling responded with a massive 35-point jam next by recent transfer Master Blaster. This was the highest scoring jam of the game, but unfortunately for Detroit, London had plenty of other multi-pass scoring jams throughout the game.
Rookard also earned the first jammer penalty of the game, and gave London unopposed time to score with AnDracula on the track. As the jam came to a close, Rookard took a low block, and set up Lexi Lightspeed with a power start to follow. With that damage done, Detroit took a timeout with London holding the lead at 72-1, just eight minutes into the game.
A few jams later, Detroit picked up their second lead of the game, which helped Racer McChaseHer add 13 more points, but after that they only scored in two more jams in the first half. London’s ability to recover and find each other quickly, as well as working efficiently in pairs, allowed them to cling to jammers while splitting their focus to help their jammer.
Overall, Detroit and London took the same number of trips to the box, 27 each, but they differed in how those 27 penalties were distributed. London only sent their jammer to the box once in the first half which helped them build such a large lead early on while Detroit gave up five power jams in each half. Brawling did accrue six jammer penalties in the second half, which gave Detroit more opportunity to score, but not enough to overcome their deficit.
AnDracula was a strong scoring force over the weekend for London after only skating one game as a jammer in their regular season. In this game, she scored 112 points in a rotation of four with Master Blaster, Rogue Runner, and Lexi Lightspeed. Their deeper rotation this season has allowed Stefanie Mainey to shine as pivot instead.
By halftime, London was ahead 204-30 in their first game of the day, while Detroit was playing for the second time, and against the #1 seed.
When they stuck together, Detroit played some solid defense in a braced triangle, but London was constantly splitting them up and reducing them to one on one play. Lazer Beam, Freakin’ Rican, and Kelly Genei were solid, immovable forces but were often splitting their focus to try and spring their own jammer.
On the Detroit jamming front, Rookard led scoring with 29 points, even though she had to take some time off in the second half after a hit to the face. Racer McChaseHer, who fills in as either a blocker or jammer for Detroit, took on jamming for this game and added 28 points this game. Normally one of their highest scorers, Feta Sleeze struggled against the London defense and came up with 17 points. With Sarah Hipel unable to make the trip to Playoffs, Cookie Rumble also picked up a couple jams for Detroit.
London’s consistency came through with quick, agile jamming which was made easier with a smart defensive pack. Blockers seemed to unconsciously reconnect with braced hands, and could repeatedly give up a blocker to play offense which was often Shaolyn Scarlett who worked for her jammers.
The second half continued much like the first, although a series of scoring jams helped Detroit go on a 38-point scoring run, but London finished with 384 points to 77 total for Detroit. This first win for London advanced them to a semi-final game against Montréal, while Detroit entered the consolation bracket against Dallas.