November 2, 2014
By The Oxford Commakaze
The Detroit Derby Girls swept to a 100-plus-point win over the Rideau Valley Roller Girls in the first-ever WFTDA Division 2 Championship game to feature an international team. The stars of the game were double-threat jammer-blockers Cookie Rumble and Racer McChaseHer for Detroit and Soul Rekker and Shania Pain for Rideau, as capable of dancing delicately through tiny gaps in the pack as they were laying devastating hits on opposing jammers in a game dominated by heavy defense, but punctuated with brief offensive punches. Detroit’s win came on the heels of a nail-biting D2 third-place game, in which the Berlin Bombshells overtook the Fabulous Sin City Roller Girls for a 1-point win in the first finals game at a WFTDA championship tournament to feature an international team.
“They were obviously the hardest team we’ve played since we got back from RollerCon, so we had to make some adjustments at halftime because their jammers were hitting walls pretty aggressively and our jammers were not as successful as we would have liked them to have been,” said Detroit’s Lazer Beam, another blocker-jammer double threat. “Overall we stayed together, tried to play our game, tried to stay calm. A huge thing was we tried to stay out of the box as much as possible, which really helped us pull away from them.”
Detroit took control of the game from the very first jam, a quick 4-0 jam in which Detroit’s Feta Sleeze earned lead and spun quickly through the pack to call the jam before Rideau’s Soul Rekker could catch up to her. Rideau was on the board within the first three minutes thanks to a rocketing start sending AustinTatious out for lead jammer almost immediately, but she also earned three penalties in the course of the jam, opening the door for Detroit to rack up a 35-11 lead within the first five minutes of the game despite the efforts of a Rideau two-wall made up of Murphy and Shania Pain.
Those points on AustinTatious’ brief time on the track would be the only points Detroit allowed Rideau to earn in eight jams, sidelined by a series of blocker penalties and effective offense by Detroit’s Cookie Crumble, putting up a 70-11 lead halfway through the period. A 17-point power jam for AustinTatious put Rideau back on the board and started a slow but steady point run, holding Detroit for three jams while narrowing the gap to a more manageable 41 points, but a series of lead jam calls for Detroit’s jammers and ferocious recycling by its blockers prevented a major comeback. By halftime, the gap had spread to 71 points with a score of 117-46.
Rideau came back raring to go, forcing a fast call-off for Detroit’s Feta Sleeze in the first jam and commanding three of the next four lead jam calls to hold Detroit scoreless. Rideau’s blockers were more successful at forming flexible walls in front of Detroit’s jammers and blockers alike, recycling to keep jammers in the pack and pushing on teammates to carry jammers all the way out of bounds, pushing the score to 120-66. Chaos reigned in the next two minutes, though, with penalties going to both teams’ jammers and forcing a two-minute jam that ended in Detroit’s favor and allowed the team to add its first points in five jams.
“They’re really good at picking you apart,” Rideau’s Sister Disaster said of Detroit. “They’re high-energy without trying to be so – they’re scrappy. We like a slow, steady game, so we had to keep saying go out there and play our way, and every time we did, we slowed them down and our jammers got lead. It was just actively resetting that kept going through our minds.”
Rideau continued its slow point gain, holding Detroit to just two points in the next five jams, but couldn’t put up enough points of its own to make a significant difference in the point spread. With slightly more than half the period left, Detroit jammer Racer McChaseHer earned lead by finding a half-inch gap on the inside of the track from which to spring herself across the apex, and then racked up a 17-point power jam, fending off powerful hits from Rideau’s blockers that would have carried anyone else far out of bounds. It was the momentum change Detroit needed to see them through, putting points on the board in almost every jam from that point to the end of the game even when Rideau’s jammers earned lead. Despite Rideau’s surge at the beginning of the period, a string of blocker penalties and foul-outs, including to third-highest-scoring jammer AustinTatious, kept the team from making a full comeback. By the final whistle, Detroit had built a comfortable 244-125 lead to claim the Division 2 Champion title.
Rideau’s Sister Disaster said that although the team would obviously have loved to win, they’re proud to have made it this far and represented Canada as the first non-U.S. team in a WFTDA championship game.
“We did it before Montreal!” Sister Disaster cheered. “Montreal always does everything first in Canada. I love Montreal – they’re like our big sisters, but we did it before them!”
The significance of the increasingly international derby of the WFTDA Championships was not lost on Detroit, which played an early-morning game against Berlin on Saturday morning, too.
“We’ve been really lucky to play top teams in the country, the world this year,” reflected Lazer Beam. “During opening ceremonies, we looked around and realized we played five of the teams that were here this year. We just tried to learn from those games and bring everything that we learned from those teams to this game today.”
Detroit Derby Girls (Duluth #1) 244
Rideau Valley Roller Girls (Kitchener-Waterloo #1) 125
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