MALMO, SWEDEN – After a solid win over Charm City (#12) earlier in the day, Helsinki were looking to make it a double in their fight against the higher seed (#4) Crime City Rollers and advance them one step closer to a stop at the WFTDA championships. A well rested Crime City were primed, and ready for battle.
These two teams have met 3 times previous to the Malmo WFTDA Division 1 Playoffs, each time with Crime City taking the win. Helsinki seemed committed to changing all that, as each pairing saw them minimize the point spread from a 106 point loss to a mere 16 point miss in their most recent game.
With both teams utilizing solid triangle blocking and lightening quick recycling, this matchup was set to be one of the closest and most exciting of the day. In the end, Crime City won out, taking a victory of 215-170, but not before multiple lead switches and some close calls left the audience breathless.
Crime City opened the game up with double leads in the first two jams. With #3 Prince Sofia putting up 10 points and an additional 9 by #7 King K, Crime City were up 19-0 within the first few minutes.
Helsinki rallied back by sending #100 Curly Haar to the penalty box in back to back jams, giving #156 Mia and #39 Rinne opportunity to claw back points. #22 Malou was set up to pounce and produced the first lead change with a 16 point jam, which left Helsinki in the lead, 25-29.
Not long after, some heavy lifting by Prince Sofia net a 27 point jam and once again the lead over the Ninja Turtles.
A small run of lead jammers near the end of the first closed the gap between the two teams. But after a 65 point run, posting a 90-76 lead, Crime City never gave up lead again.
Crime City seemed invigorated coming out of the half, and snagged 7 of 8 leads to widen the point spread.
In what seemed like a replay of end the first half Helsinki pulled out a number of leads and created multiple powerjam opportunities as the clock wound down.
Excellent triangle blocking, at the front, anchored by #1 Below Me, #53 Dykestalker and #1337 Tjutet were too much for the unorganized offense coming from Helsinki and the team’s power jam hopes were dashed.
#101 Taru Saxelin, who jammed once in the first half, was called upon and delivered in the waning minutes of the game. They took 3 leads for 3 jams in the second half, and scored 18 points. An excellent coaching maneuver for Helsinki, but a little too late.
In the end, Crime City Rollers squashed the valiant efforts of Helsinki Roller, defeating them 215-170.
Crime City advances and goes on to play Gotham Roller Derby, Saturday at 6PM. While Helsinki fall to the consolation bracket and go on to play Calgary Roller Derby Association at 2PM.
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