SEATTLE, WA – These two west coast teams have met six times in the past with a 3-3 split result. The last time they played was at Division 1 Playoffs last year in Vancouver where Angel City beat Rat City 256-64. This weekend, Rat City had the benefit of being the home team and showed some firepower already this weekend when they took down #3 seed Jacksonville by 16 points.
This was an aggressive, well-matched game with both teams playing explosive offense and blockers who had key knockouts at the right moment. Despite picking up 15 more total penalties, their ability to reform and quickly change from offense to defense gave Angel City the edge they needed to defeat Rat City 224-142.
Both Angel City and Rat City started each jam with their pivot poised and ready to play offense whenever they had a full four on the track. With Angel City typically at the back line, they could easily stymie the Rat City jammers who often used speed and space to their advantage. With the help of a couple power jams, ACD’s strong control from the jam start set them up for a strong lead in the first five jams and led 38-5.
Luna Negra earned the first lead status for Rat City and on her scoring pass seemed to not use her wheels at all as she stepped back and forth on her toe stops before sneaking by along the outside of the apex. She kept the jam going, despite letting Pearl Jam score, likely to get more points with their lead and to get her blockers out of the box. A few jams later Angel City had only two blockers on the track and Evergreen Jean slipped by on the outside line and added four more points. With about 15 minutes left in the half, Angel City led 51-22.
The teams traded leads for a few jams, but Angel’s control of pack speed kept one jam to zero points, and in the next Gemini and Carmen Getsome locked onto Satan’s Little Helper and kept her to only three points. During her fight, Satan ended the jam with high block, which set up Rat City for a power start next. With two grand slams added to their score, Rat City trailed by 22 points.
A string of leads for Angel City by Darby Dagger, Whiskey Von-Sweets, and Catch Mikachu pushed their lead, but then Luna Negra stopped that momentum with lead and 12 points, forcing Pearl Jam to pass the star. Angel City just picked back up where they left off, however, and another series of jams pushed them up 41 more points, making the score 115-56.
Laci Knight was the ultimate multitasker for Angel City, and could just pop (pop) up to cause a bit of chaos in the opposing formation before turning around to assess the defensive situation behind her. She would also break off and stop a run back and turn around and start blocking again. For Rat City that was Carmen Getsome and both were very penalty heavy, although Carmen also had to deal with jamming after taking star passes during this game as well.
Rat City picked up the two last lead statuses of the half, but Angel City still had a somewhat comfortable lead and the break at 115-70. Satan led scoring for Angel City at this point with 41 points, and they filled out their main rotation with Darby Dagger and Catch Mikachu. Chica Go Lightning only took two jams as jammer the day before and wasn’t playing this game at all. Luna Negra was most effective against Angel City with 30 points so far, followed by Renegade Ruthie and Evergreen Jean. Alyssa Pray was having a harder time with the aggressive Angel City defense in this game, and only have four points after scoring 60 against Jacksonville the night before.
Back into the second half, Angel City laid on the points and went on a 56-0 scoring spree in the first six jams, which took their lead to just over 100 points at 171-70. Since Rat City often started at the front, they were constantly having to fall back to play offense, not always having enough time to do so against the solid, slow moving Angel City defense. Rat City would pass the star to try and help end the jam, but it wasn’t always their first instinct.
Another blow to Rat City came in the third jam of the second half when Carmen Getsome was ejected from the game due to unavoidable contact with a referee. In this instance, a star pass was completed to Carmen from Renegade Ruthie, and after getting knocked to the inside, Carmen slammed into Harry Spot’er, the jam ref, on her way to re-enter behind the pack. Picking up a track cut at the time, she sat in the box. It was after the jam and a lengthy official timeout when Head Ref Wernher Von Bombed relay to the teams that Carmen would be removed. This was the third time so far this tournament season that a skater has been taken out of the game for this reason.
The second half continued much like the first, and after Rat City was held scoreless, they were able to slow Angel City’s scoring and get some things to happen for their own jammers. A particularly productive power jam for Alyssa Pray allowed her to show her talents with a 17-point jam, although not without some blows from Angel. Rat City kept Angel from any more big jams for awhile, but they couldn’t make much of their next four lead statuses, not even able to pick up a full four points in any of them.
Rat City made some adjustments, and put their pivot right in the middle of the Angel City tripod from the jam start, ready to detonate at the whistle. CeeCee also played keeper of the line and was sure to knock out any jammers trying to pass, meanwhile, the slow, controlled one on one blocking of H. Botts could contain Satan for almost 20 feet before knocking her to the inside.
One more big jam for Angel City, a 23-point power jam scored by Satan, put them over 200 points. Luna Negra had the highest scoring jam of the game next when they got their own power jam, but it was the kind of points they needed earlier and more consistently throughout the game.
Angel City won 224-142, putting them in the final game of the weekend against #1 seed Rose City at 6pm PDT. Rat City will face Montréal at 4pm PDT to decide who will skate away with a medal this weekend. All four will be headed to Champs this November.