VANCOUVER, CA – In a classic East vs West shoot out, the #4 seed Philly Roller Derby Liberty Belles (13th in WFTDA) clashed with locals, #5 seed Terminal City All Stars (20th in WFTDA). This was the first match up of these teams, so going in there was little to base predictions on apart from seedings.
Both squads had seen star jammers leave since last playoff season, with V-Diva leaving Philly for Gotham and Evada Peron retiring. While both teams played a similar defensive style, of strong but somewhat dispersed braced walls and quick recycles, Philly just kept coming out ahead – even with the strong showing made by Terminal’s core jammer, Maiden Sane.
The first half started out slow, with Philly’s Kilmartin taking lead with Maiden Sane close on her heels in the first jam, forcing the call off with only a single point placed on the board. Philly’s Herrmann Monster followed up with a second Philly lead and eight more points on the board, 9-0, with Terminal still shut out of scoring.
Jamming for Terminal City, Kim Janna would answer back in the third jam with a solid 19-4 jam. She was assisted by some impressive hits by Terminal blocker Palmer, who hit out and recycled Philly’s jammer Wolf and kept her mostly on lockdown. Terminal was then able to force the lead change to 19-13 in their favor by the end of that jam.
Killmartin, who had taken some time off early in the season before coming back at ECDX, would counter punch immediately with a 12-0 jam to take the lead back, 32-13, for Philly. This started a run on points for the team, so that Philly then took a clean 2-1 points advantage over Terminal City by the halfway mark with a 60-30 spread.
At the half time break Philly’s three jammer rotation was led by Herrmann Monster with a solid 58 points, while Terminal’s deeper rotation of five jammers showed that a numbers game wasn’t the answer.
While Terminal’s Maiden Sane led with 41 points up in seven jams skated, Mulan Bruise was simply shut down by Philly and wasn’t able to post any points in four jams wearing the star. Even with Philly sitting on 22 box trips to Terminal’s 16 trips, the half ended with Philly up, 96-80.
Philly would come back to the game hard, with a quick lead by Herrmann Monster right out of the gate driving home a 4-0 jam. And then the team would chase it in immediately with 14 unreplied points put up by Wolf to broaden the differential to 114-80.
Terminal blocker Sundown would put on a clinic of strong hits on Philly’s jammer wolf in jam five back into the second period, and help to get her jammer, Kim Janna, out and scoring. While the result was only a 3 point jam, the hits were spectacular at the back of the pack, holding back the opposing jammer in style.
The solid braced walls of both teams continued to show similar styles of both offense and defense, leaving the jammers to stand out as the real contrast between the teams. Philly continued their three jammer rotations, while Terminal shifted from five to four jammers but one of their jammers, Bazinga, was left scoreless again in the second half.
Philly would continue to make incremental and persistent increases to their lead throughout the second half, but Terminal’s Maiden Sane would rally with two big jams (18 and 21 pointers), to fight Terminal back into close contention on the scoreboard.
A strong power jam by Terminal’s Drago the penultimate jam would bring the score to within one point, 163-162, leaving Philly with a tiny margin and just under a minute left in the game.
With the crowd stamping their feet on the bleachers to a raucous cacophony of noise, it would take nearly a minute for Philly’s Herrmann Monster to break away from the pack with lead jammer status in the final jam of the game. After putting up only a single point, she would respond to her coach’s instructions to call the jam just after the game clock expired, to close the game out at 164-162, in favor of Philly.
The strong second half push meant that the game’s high scorer went to Maiden Sane, though her 82 points for Terminal City over Philly’s Herrmann Monster, who put up 81 points, just ultimately wasn’t enough to earn the win.
Philly will move on to Game 9, where they will face off against Victorian Roller Derby at 2 pm PDT, today, Saturday. This win means a shot at going to Champs, win or lose against Victoria. Terminal City will play Arizona Roller Derby’s Tent City Terrors at 12 pm PDT.