VANCOUVER, BC – After lead trades across the game, the final score wound up reflecting the tournament seedings the teams entered with.
AZRD claimed the back but had trouble moving laterally to contain Sacred City’s jammers up the inside and outside lines. While Sacred’s strategy switches through the game seemed to pay off just crucially more than Arizona, so that they ended with a narrow final jam win, 183-181.
Luz Chaos came in so close behind the Sacred City jammer that they forced the call off on the very first jam of the tournament, for a 0-0 jam against Pink Freud. The 4closer then claimed another lead and used it to add in 9 unreplied points for Sacred City, putting them in first game lead.
Arizona was held scoreless for the first two jams before sneaking in 2 points about five minutes into the game, still trailing Sacred, 20-2. Then Erica d’Entremont earned the first lead call for Arizona, followed by Luz Chaos, taking the lead further up, to 26-23.
Sacred City barely reclaimed the lead, 38-37, after a back and forth battle with each team switching lead. The 4closer picked up a forearm penalty and luckily for Sacred, Arizona’s Luz Chaos only got in 1 pass before being called out on a cut, so the dueling power jams ended in Sacred City’s favor with 10-4 points added.
After a star pass, when the pivot-turned-jammer picked up a penalty, AZRD called the jam off to get a power start. There was an official time out at that point, as it turned out the jammer in the box was bleeding. Arizona took the lead back right afterwards, 58-48, with a 14 point jam from Erica d’Entremont. Sacred City responded with a team time out with 8:26 left in the half.
Late in the half, both teams switched their start formation to a braced quad, rather than starting flat and morphing into a brace. Interestingly, these formations rarely lasted into the first scoring pass, when both teams showed a tendency to revert back to a flat wall to receive the jammers.
Occasionally Sacred City would drop one blocker back slightly to sweep before the jammer hit the wall, but AZRD was able to adapt to pick off the trailing blocker, allowing their jammer to engage a 3 wall.
Sacred City’s blockers Gnar Gnar Jinx & Annie Anklebiter especially were responsible for policing the lines and knocking out AZRD. For Arizona Roller Derby, Blok N Dekher served as a one person wrecking crew, often holding up the jammer long enough for the rest of the blockers to reform.
A few late power jams against Sacred City helped Arizona pull ahead to 95-67 at the half.
Arizona built their lead in the second half with 4 straight lead calls. Sacred City’s defense struggled to stay together, particularly just after the whistle. During power jams in their favor, Sacred seemed reluctant to play active offense.
After a run of non-scoring jams for Sacred as Arizona kept claiming jammer lead, The 4closer checked R2 Death2 while they were about 10 feet outside of the pack, taking AZRD completely by surprise. The 4closer finished the jam emphatically, pushing up Sacred City’s score to within 20 points of Arizona.
A little later in the game, The 4closer racked up a huge 26 points while making the most of a pack advantage and then a power jam, taking the lead for Sacred, 117-116.
Another jammer penalty then came up against AZRD, but Arizona’s key defensive player, Blok N Dekher, had an excellent penalty kill and the team reclaimed the lead, 124-121.
The 4closer temporarily pushed Sacred City back in the lead not long after, but a forearm call for wrapping her arm around a blocker while getting her hips around put her off the track. After the penalty Luz Chaos had restored Arizona’s lead, 141-137. In the next jam, another power jam against Sacred City allowed Arizona to stretch their lead to 10.
In a strange turn of events, Pink Freud thought that she lost her helmet cover, and tried to put it on, but it was in fact AZRD’s helmet cover and so Sacred City was assessed a penalty for her actions. With 2 minutes to play AZRD held a narrow lead of 170-163 over Sacred City.
Sacred City called a team time out with just over a minute remaining. And then with 24 seconds left, Sacred City called off the jam, and immediately called a team time out, sending The 4closer back to the line to face off against Luz Chaos.
Sacred City started the last jam with a 4-3 pack advantage, and then after The 4closer earned lead, Luz Chaos cut the track, and The 4closer used that advantage to build 15 points onto Sacred’s score, ending the game 183-181, calling the jam off just after Luz Chaos returned to the track.
Sacred City advances to play Angel City today at 4pm PDT. While Arizona Roller Derby moves to the consolation bracket to face the loser of upcoming game, Philly Roller Derby versus Terminal City Rollergirls, on Saturday at 12pm PDT.