PORTLAND, OR – The 2016 D2 Championship featured a rematch from Playoffs of #43 Blue Ridge against #50 Brandywine, in a game that would be decided by penalties, and result in an eventual strong win by the hands of Blue Ridge. Despite a strong start by Brandywine, Blue Ridge asserted control after several power jams in the first half of the initial period to open the door for multiple-scoring pass jams to take and keep the lead.
The turning point of the period was a 16-0 jam posted by D2 tournament MVP Dr. Octopushy for Blue Ridge, on a boxed Lurz Lemon from Brandywine to take the lead by one point and not relinquish it for the duration of the contest. While Brandywine demonstrated a staunch defense, ultimately they had to dig deep into their jamming rotation after primary jammer Lurz Lemon was ejected after an egregious low block 20 minutes into the game.
The first seven jams of the game were in Brandywine’s favor – the game began with Raggedy Aneurysm on a power jam after a low block was assessed to Blue Ridge’s Dr. Octopushy. After back-to-back 15-4 jams, Blue Ridge grabbed their first lead designation in jam 3 with Skull Candi wearing the star, but Brandywine’s Buenos D. A$$ gained the positive differential as she stole a single point as the jam was called late. Candi transferred to Blue Ridge after Playoffs and primarily blocked for them on Friday, but she entered the jamming rotation today after Hurrycane Jackie suffered an injury in the semifinal game.
Things changed soon thereafter when Brandywine’s Lurz Lemon was boxed on a low block and Dr. Octopushy scored 16-0, pushing Blue Ridge into their first lead of the game, 36-35. The momentum continued in the Asheville team’s favor as Skull Candi added 12-0 after a star pass from Buenos D.A$$ to pivot Slamshine Allie netted zero points for Brandywine.
With the score still in reach, an unfortunate jammer ejection in jam 14 (as a result of an egregious low block of Brandywine’s Lurz Lemon) put them in the position of digging deep into their jamming core. Utilizing usual pivot Slamshine Allie proved effective as she was able to post a 16-0 in jam 16, with the help of solid defensive work by ThumpHer and Rapid ArrhythMia, but Blue Ridge continued to run away with the score, ending the period 125-78.
As the game progressed, Blue Ridge settled into calm defensive formations, led by Ashevillain and Boot Scootin’ Bully, as Brandywine started to rely more on individual hits rather than the tight, effective slow walls seen on Friday. Despite stand-out (though penalty heavy) play by KickAsh and ThumpHer, Brandywine found themselves losing lead calls and transitioning late to stop multiple-scoring runs by the Blue Ridge jammers.
Both teams relied on braced two-walls and delayed offense, but Blue Ridge was able to capitalize more as they kept more skaters on the track more regularly, as Brandywine found themselves less able to play offense to spring their stuck jammers. The score was explainable with Blue Ridge gaining lead 14 times over Brandywine’s 6, and Brandywine accruing 5 more penalties in total.
The second period started similarly to the first, with Brandywine’s Raggedy Anuerysm grabbing a 5-0 on the power start against a boxed Skull Candi, who cut in the final jam of the first half. Ultimately this momentum didn’t mount fully as Blue Ridge answered back with lead status calls over the next three jams, though Rags was able to add 19-0 (their biggest jam of the game) on a stuck, then boxed, Lady Rider.
While there were bright spots for Brandywine along the way – including an 18-4 jam for Slamshine Allie and a 14-4 for Rags – they were unable to control Blue Ridge who continued to pick up lead calls and accrue multiple-scoring pass jams. The game ended fairly quietly with a decisive win for Blue Ridge, who secured their first D2 Championship title. It isn’t their first Champs medal however, they took 3rd place in D2 Champs in 2013.
Brandywine’s scoring efforts were led by Raggedy Aneurysm with 93 points over 14 jams and Buenos D. A$$ with 27 points over nine jams. Dr. Octopushy added 129 points over 14 jams (and the biggest single-scoring jam of the game with a 29-0), with Lady Rider bringing in 81 over 12 jams for Blue Ridge. Neither team lost skaters to fouls, though again, Brandywine’s Lurz Lemon was ejected for an egregious low block early in the game, and KickAsh came perilously close with six.