PHILADELPHIA, PA – After narrowly advancing to the quarterfinals, Montréal fell to Victoria 253-99 in a defensively tough but exciting match up. Victoria controlled the game from the outset but Montréal had their own shining moments. Victoria remained disciplined and cohesive throughout the game, relying on their signature defense and trusted their jammers to navigate the pack with little assistance.
Montréal struggled to adapt to a different style of play than they faced in their previous game. They were often slow to change from offense to defense, or from regular pack play to a power jam–hesitations that hindered them from fully taking advantage of the few situations where Victoria was vulnerable.
Montréal was held scoreless for the first four jams while Victoria racked up points, including a 22-point power jam by Christy Demons. With their jammer on the track though, the New Skids passed the star and was able to keep some of Victoria’s jams to single passes.
Five minutes into the game, Falcon Punch finally earned the first lead status for Montréal and was able to lap Demons once before adding another four-point pass. However, Victoria answered with a 14-point jam by Sarah Chambers, bringing their lead to 46-13. Miracle Whips earned lead over Ivy K’nivey but had to call it off after just two points. Victoria picked up control of the game again and over the next nine jams they broke the century mark while Montréal was held at 16 points.
After a failed official review requesting a cut on VRDL’s jammer, Sarah Chambers was sent to the box in the next jam which helped Falcon Punch add a 17-4 jam. When Montréal reacted quickly they could pull off successful power jam plays, however, more often than not they seemed to hesitate in what appeared to stem from a lack of communication on the track and took too long to recognize the scenario they were in to respond accordingly. Just two jams later, Montréal was granted another power jam as Christy Demons picked up a penalty, this time with Ptite Pouliche wearing the star. Montréal did not respond with a set play that worked so well for them before and Victoria killed the penalty, keeping Ptite Pouliche trapped in the pack and instead took a 17-0 jam in their favor.
Victoria extended their lead to 140-37 at the half with 75% lead status in the first 30 minutes but was already accruing twice the number of penalties as the New Skids. Montréal has shown that they typically grow stronger in the second half and was able to put the pressure on Victoria in the second period of this game. Falcon Punch and Miracle Whips were most successful for the New Skids, but they were without Mel E Juana for this game and had Ptite Pouliche in the mix instead.
The second half opened with a quick lead status to Victoria’s Lady Trample who was trailed by Miracle Whips, resulting in just two points being added to VRDL’s tally. These two jammers often lined up together and Whips was able to help neutralize Victoria’s leading scorer, keeping Trample to just 24 points in the game. As Montréal’s top scorer for this game, Miracle Whips put up 54, which was more than three of VRDL’s jammers.
Most of the second half followed the same patterns by both teams that were established in the first. Victoria’s defense swarmed and trapped Montréal jammers and expertly finished all hits to the edge of the track. Victoria continued to favor their power quad but also broke off in pairs to separate Montréal’s wall. Montréal, in turn, had trouble responding to VRDLs defensive pairs.
With one minute left to go, Sarah Chambers took herself out of play and forced the jam to be called after a particularly hard landing in the previous lap. Christy Demons wrapped up the game with an 8-point jam which put her at 101 points in the game, more than Montréal scored altogether.
Victoria’s 253-99 victory puts them in a semifinal game against #5 Denver Roller Derby at 6PM EDT on Saturday while Montréal will get a consolation game at 2PM against #8 London.
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