MADISON, WI – The final game Saturday night in Madison essentially came down to a jammer duel between #2 Arch Rival Roller Derby and #3 Minnesota RollerGirls. The well-matched teams spent much of the game within striking distance from one another, and despite a scare late in the first period that saw Arch Rival leading for three jams, Minnesota kept victory just out of reach for Arch Rival with a final score of 174-155.
Minnesota held the first three jammer leads, using the first two of those to add conservative 4-0 points, before pulling out an almost show-stopping 23-0, to take their early game lead to 31-0.
Minnesota’s Brickyard picked up that 23 on the powerjam from a Bricktator track cut, followed a few jams later by Annie Swanson returning the favor picking up 25 while Yekaterina Lapitsky struggled in the pack, eventually passing the star to Shiver Me Kimbers. In between, the points inching was again the name of the game.
With 19 minutes left to go in the half, Minnesota’s Jacked Pipes took a quick lead prompting Harmony Killerbruise to pass the star to K. Woodward, each jammer running up the score blow for blow until the jam reached its natural conclusion.
Annie Swanson found a little more ground through the chaos created by an offensive maneuver from Jamheiser Bush. But a back block from Jacked Pipes gave Harmony Killerbruise the opening she needed to make multiple passes against Minnesota, giving Arch Rival a lead of 78-71, with 12 minutes to go in the period.
A defensive brace from Arch Rival’s Shimmy Hoffa gave Harmony Killerbruise the chance she needed to pick up lead, but after Minnesota’s Shiver Me Kimbers accepted a star pass and pulled off a big apex jump, Harmony picked up a back block. Kimbers picked up 10 points and reclaimed the game lead for Minnesota.
Despite picking up a high block, Brickyard then went on a 14-3 run while Hurtrude Stein and Polly Punchkin delivered blows to Harmony in the penultimate jam of the half.
Jacked Pipes picked up a penalty in closing out the half, and a defensive brace from Second Hand Smoke, Diamond Rough and Shiver Me Kimbers dragged Annie Swanson to the ground. Recovering with her offense gave her the advantage 7-4, putting the score at 109-102 in favor of Minnesota entering halftime.
Minnesota started the second half inching forward, trapping Annie Swanson behind a three-person brace secured by Madrad. Brickyard evaded Shimmy Hoffa’s efforts to scoot her horizontally, eventually plowing through an opposing brace and picking up another 14 points for Minnesota.
Minnesota resisted an offensive move from Shimmy Hoffa, giving Arch Rival another 5 and bringing Minnesota’s lead to 132-107 with 22 minutes to go.
The remainder of the game was a low-scoring affair, full of quick lead designations and equally quick call-offs.
Arch Rival’s Smarty McFly and K. Woodward contained Lapitsky long enough to force her to pass the star to Shiver Me Kimbers, who held Swanson to an 8-8 tie. Then a subsequent Shear-Ra Powers hit to Brickyard resulted in an impressive run down the outside line that held Harmony Killerbruise to a one point net gain, bringing the score to a narrowing 148-133, with 12 minutes left on the game clock.
Shear-Ra remained Arch Rival’s most effective defensive weapon in the last ten minutes of the game, maneuvering Lapitsky from left to right until Lapitsky found an opportunity to pass her helmet cover to Second Hand Smoke.
One jam later a sudden hit from Hurtrude Stein caught Swanson by surprise on her way out of the pack, but Hurtrude was stymied at the front of the pack by Shear-Ra after taking the star for Minnesota, allowing Arch Rival to pick up twelve more. With four minutes left, the score sat at 164-150 in Minnesota’s favor.
Another nine point extension from Minnesota was muted a jam later as a high block from Jacked Pipes provided a power jam that Arch Rival attempted to capitalize on, seizing on one opposing blocker and picking up five points before calling the jam before the period clock ran out. The team, out of time outs, called an official review that functioned as one, stopping the game clock from expiring.
Smart defense from Hurtrude Stein put Bricktator at the back of the pack, as Jacked emerged from the box to spin around a cluster of Arch Rival defense and call the final jam in the thick of the pack, to end the game with a final score of 174-155, assuring Minnesota a place at Championships.
Minnesota, with that confirmed spot at WFTDA Championships in Portland, goes on to play Gotham at 6pm CDT. And Arch Rival plays Tampa at 4pm CDT for third place and the final spot for Champs.