MALMO, SWEDEN – #6 Rainy City Roller Derby has big shoes to fill. In the Seattle Division 1 playoff, the 6 Seed was Rat City Rollergirls who captured a spot to Championships against all odds.
Rainy City has a changing of the guard on their mind. Last year, Rainy had a quick rise to glory. They made their North American debut at Beach Brawl and decimated all who stood before them, landing them in the Columbia Division 1 playoff. This year, their playoff seeding could give them a shot at #3 London Rollergirls, whom they lost to at Anarchy in the UK earlier this year by only 38 points.
In the end, that rise was unstoppable, as Calgary was bested by Rainy City, 324-81.
#11 Calgary Roller Derby Association broke into Division 1 playoffs this year after an extremely successful D2 playoff that earned them Bronze at Championships in Portland. They came with fire and with something to prove: that they deserve to be there and they can fight their way through a bracket weighed against them.
This was a game of control. Watching pack play, you saw a continuous swirl of purple around green, Rainy City always being the ones deciding where the action was going. On the jam start, the Calgary blockers would try to hold back #12 Wilde, but she and the other Rainy jammers would simply push the blockers out of play, or would lead to a side, allowing offense from #6 Missy Rascal.
The pack speed was completely up to Rainy City in the first half. Calgary baited easily into a fast game, preferring that strategy themselves. Rainy was better at catching the jammers in their grasp when at the top of the pack and running. Rainy was better at eliminating blockers coming to play offense at speed at, as well. #1349 Razor Wrecked-It and #42 Norwegian Blue put in work to overwhelm Rainy City packs, but the recycling and fluidity of the Manchester women was just too effective.
#31 Hillary Boswell gave Rainy some trouble: one of the few able to get Rainy to string out their pack now and again. When Rainy was down a blocker is when they were most vulnerable. Calgary led some excellent coordinated offense against Rainy to aid the agility of #1116 Kris Myass and #302 Easy Break Oven.
Calgary just could not take advantage of the four power jam opportunities, and only put points up seven times in the first half (and two of those jams were not complete passes). At the half, Rainy City led 167-40.
Calgary could not answer Rainy City’s domination, despite an intense effort. Knox Hersoxoff did several times to Rainy blockers and jammers, while Shark Bait was a neon green gnat, always in the way of the Rainy City efforts.
The triangles of Liz Yeatman, Dana Scurry, and Fay Roberts were downright frightening. And their pivot, Ruthless Philly would satellite from the pack, playing offense and plugging holes where needed.
Weeble especially did tremendously, getting lead 75% of the time through the kind of wibble-wobble split-the-middle kind of fearless jamming you would expect from someone of that name, they were personally able to put up 97 points. And that points addition was the final clincher in helping Rainy City gain their victory, 324-81.
Calgary Roller Derby Association falls to the consolation bracket where they can take out their frustration and use the lessons learned against #5 Helsinki Roller Derby on Saturday at 2pm(8am EDT/5am PDT). While Rainy City moves onto the giants of #3 London Rollergirls, where they will face off to see if UK derby will have a changing of the guard, and a new representative at Champs. These two have their Anarchy in the UK re-match on Saturday at 10am (4am EDT/1am PDT).