D1M: 1st Place, #1 Gotham outdoes #2 Denver, 176-85

D1M: 1st Place, #1 Gotham outdoes #2 Denver, 176-85 Photo credit Marko Niemelä

MALMO, SWEDEN – When Gotham strides into a game, it usually seems like an inevitability who’s likely to come out on top – people tend to just cheer for the underdog and keep an interested eye on what points spreads say about each team’s relative rankings. But in this game, with two players on the roster who have experience beating Gotham, there was always going to be a little extra tension around the game conclusion. Certainly, no one was about to speak with absolute certainty what the outcome might be.

Going into this game, both teams were liable to have been relaxed since both of the final games for the day are between teams that have already confirmed their places at Champs in Philly this year. And it’s always an interesting unfolding, when teams have nothing but next year’s rankings on their mind when they enter a game in playoffs: some respond with joy by playing up, with no nerves to contend with, while others seem to have a more lax entry and a slightly sloppier play than their usual.

Either way, Gotham vs Denver was going to be some excellent roller derby, and so when Gotham finally won with a score of 176-85, the audience was satisfied that they’d had an opportunity to watch some stellar play.

D1M: 3rd Place, #3 London claims bronze over #4 Crime City, 181-138

D1M: 3rd Place, #3 London claims bronze over  #4 Crime City, 181-138 Photo credit Marko Niemelä

MALMO, SWEDEN – The battle for bronze between the host league #4 Crime City Rollers and #3 London Roller Girls saw the momentum swing back and forth in the first half, including multiple lead changes.

The second half looked a bit different for both teams and, despite a valiant effort from Crime City, the team were not able to reclaim momentum for more than a few jams at a time. Whereas London was able to take charge of the second half and come away with the win, 181-138.

D1M: #6 Rainy City slays #12 Charm City, 258-78

D1M: #6 Rainy City slays #12 Charm City, 258-78 Photo Credit Marko Niemelä

MALMO, SWEDEN – After a nail-biting tournament-entry game against London that left many people marveling at the upwards trajectory of Rainy City, the quality of play for this game looked like it might belie the exit placing the two teams were aiming for. Charm City has had less luck at this tournament, but similar game history with a loss to Helsinki.

In the end, as has been the trend with this tournament, the seedings won out. Rainy City claimed an emphatic win against Charm City with a score of 258-78.

D1M: #7 Stockholm rolls past #9 Kallio, 184-166

D1M: #7 Stockholm rolls past #9 Kallio, 184-166 Photo Credit Marko Niemelä

MALMÖ, SWEDEN – If you had only watched the first quarter of the game, it would have seemed #20-ranked Stockholm had firm control of scoring and was going to run away with the game. Over an initial 13 jams, #29-ranked Kallio was only able to gather ten points to 48 by Stockholm. But then Kallio surged forward and, after holding a brief lead, were down by just 12 points going into the halftime break.

Kallio actually ended up with a slight lead status advantage in each half and did better with total penalties overall. However, they were never able to get those advantages to pay off with points, to take the game lead back from Stockholm – while they did close the gap, they fell short by the time the clock ran out. Inevitably, Stockholm took their second win of their weekend of three games, beating Kallio 184-166.

D1M: #2 Denver surpasses #3 London, 214-102

D1M: #2 Denver surpasses #3 London, 214-102 Photo Credit Marko Niemelä

MALMÖ, SWEDEN – #3 London Rollergirls had two of the most anticipated games of the weekend. Saturday morning, London barely edged past a hungry #6 Rainy City team, to earn their spot to play against #2 Denver Roller Derby that evening. Meanwhile, Denver handled #7 Stockholm Saturday morning to punch their ticket to Champs and get a shot at a number one seed in Philadelphia.

What eventuated was far closer and more of a battle than the final score of 214-102 might imply, with Scald Eagle taking on the most points jamming for her new Colorado team against the London slow grinding churning tripods of London. What some people have overlooked is that Scald Eagle is not the only Rose City transplant on the Denver team and that last year’s Champs MVP, Brawn Swanson, is a bonus to the Denver defensive line and was part of the closer for London’s fate.