PORTLAND, OR – Jacksonville and Minnesota took each other on earlier this year, and New Jax City came away from that game with a 23-point win at home. In this Championship tournament game, it was a close battle with seven lead changes and two tied scores, but a strong push in the final ten minutes helped Jacksonville to victory.
With strong blocking on both sides, it almost seemed like the teams’ jammers were going for an apex jumping contest, with big air by both MNRG’s Brickyard and Jacksonville’s Jamsterella. Jacksonville’s stronger jammer rotation pulled them through, however. Eventually, after backing Minnesota in a corner with penalties, Jacksonville took the win, 207-158.
Starting at the back, Minnesota began with a flat “great wall of St. Paul” while Jacksonville used a braced three wall. Brickyard was able to tip toe around the wall for lead status, but after getting sucked back into the pack, she escaped and was able to just grab one point before calling off the jam.
In the second jam, Jamsterella gave MNRG the first power jam with a track cut, and Jacked Pipes worked on a grand slam while her pack tried to trap a stray blocker. On the next scoring pass, Pipes tried for a big apex jump but instead took someone out with a low block, subsequently trading places with Jamsterella in the box. By the end, the first lead change put Jacksonville ahead, 10-7.
Jacksonville fielded Snot Rocket Science as the third jammer in their rotation, but Brickyard returned to the line for MNRG, and added two points. Yekaterina Lapitsky jammed for MNRG next, and while Krispy Kreme-Her earned lead and began to score, Lapitsky got stuck in the pack and was forced to pass the star to Rhea Volt. With another star pass in the jam following, and nine points in each for Jacksonville, the team stretched their game lead to 28-9.
With solid defense in both packs, the game continued to change momentum with jammer penalties and lead status grabs. While Jamsterella took another track cut, Brickyard was able to add 19 points, tying the game at 28 points each with 20 minutes left in the half. Despite Snot taking a penalty a two minute jam gave her 12 points to Lapitsky’s seven, and Jacksonville regained the lead at 40-35. Two lead statuses and a power jam later, and Minnesota added 26 points and pushed ahead 61-40.
With an emphasis on Brickyard and Jacked Pipes in the star for Minnesota, the team fielded Sarin Dipity to break it up. Against a power pack of Legs R Us, Eirrinn Go Brawl, Kat Von, and Stephanie Gentz, she got held up and was forced to pass the star. Jacksonville pinpointed the weaker spots in MNRG’s rotation and let jams run long to wear them out. With seven minutes left in the first half, Minnesota continued to lead 69-61, but Jacksonville narrowed in with their braced triangle defense.
Minnesota took 18 total penalties in the first half, but compared to just 11 by Jacksonville, the difference between the two numbers was becoming a noticeable problem. By the close of the half, triple threat Second Hand Smoke had already gained five penalties, as well as Shiver Me Kimbers. Jacksonville gave up seven power jams however – something Brickyard was sure to take advantage of. By the halftime break, Jacksonville held a four point lead, 88-84.
In the second half Brickyard jammed nearly every other jam, and with 16 points to kick off that run she put Minnesota up to 100 points over Jacksonville’s 88. MNRG blockers Hurtrude Stein and Crust Almighty were paying careful attention to the edges of the track to ensure the quick footed Erin Jackson couldn’t sneak by, and Madrad was quick on the run-backs to keep jammers in the pack.
The second half continued to build for Minnesota, but then a power jam for Jamsterella while her blockers split up the pack yielded 24 points and put Jacksonville within one point. Four more points by Erin Jackson put them ahead 124-121, with 18 minutes left in the game.
Jacksonville took seven jammer penalties in the first half, but bad luck switched hands and Minnesota struggled with them in the second half. Along with that, Second Hand Smoke fouled out and left a hole in the MNRG blocking pack. Brickyard continued to rally for them and with 15 minutes left, Minnesota took the lead one last time 136-129.
Minnesota rode that momentum for a few more jams until a 23-point jam by Jamsterella gave Jacksonville the game lead for the final time. Erin Jackson brought their game lead home with a 14-point jam after that, and Minnesota was forced to manage the clock with the remaining time to try and pull out some big points.
MNRG could only manage three more points before the game end, and Jacksonville’s excitement grew with their rising point tally. In Jamsterella’s final 24-point jam, she stopped and hugged her pack as the period clock ran out, but then realized the game was still continuing and tried to score a few more points before calling off both the jam and the game. Jacksonville took their second ever Championship win, 207-158, and will face Victoria Saturday at 2pm PDT/8am AEDT.
— Roller Derby Junkies (@rdjunkies) November 5, 2016