Angel City Derby Girls (Vancouver #2) vs Montréal Roller Derby (Montréal #3)
The second game of Division 1 play at 2016 WFTDA Championships was a cross-countries, cross-coast battle pitting the Hollywood Scarlets of Angel City Derby Girls from Los Angeles, CA, USA (4th in WFTDA rankings) against Montréal Roller Derby’s New Skids on the Block from Montréal, QC, Canada (19th in WFTDA rankings). The first three games of 2016 WFTDA Championships had already seen two upsets. Montréal was desperate to continue that trend in their first trip to championships while Angel City’s stalwart defense was set to dash any Canadian dreams of winning. The Scarlets had gold in their sights and after a rough first half, took the game 217-116.
The game started with Angel City’s Satan’s Little Helper earning lead jammer after Montréal jammer Miracle Whips had escaped the Californian blockers but was knocked out of bounds by her own team. Montréal’s luck changed with the next two jams going in the Canadians’ favour, with an 11-4 jam for Falcon Punch and a 8-3 jam for The Honey Badger. With just under five minutes gone, Montréal led 19-11 on the scoreboard. Satan’s Little Helper earned her, and Angel City’s, second lead jam but Montréal took that jam on the scoreboard after Satan’s Little Helper cut the track. Montréal’s lead continued to climb, reaching 48-37 with The Honey Badger’s last jam of the game before Satan’s Little Helper earned lead once more and won the jam 5-0 for her team. A follow up 11-0 jam by Darby Dagger took back the lead for Angel City, 53-48 with just under 15 minutes gone in the half. The next three jams saw Montréal earn lead and lose it once more, as Falcon Punch and Miracle Whips put up 14-0 and 3-0 jams for the Canadians before Ghetto Fabu-lez went 13-0 against a struggling TerminateHer. After two close jams, it was Micki Krimmel’s turn to put up big points against TerminateHer with another 13-0 jam, building Angel City’s lead to 81-66. Falcon Punch got Montréal’s only lead jam in the last third of the half on a 0-0 jam. By the end of the half, Angel City was solidly leading 108-74.
“We talked about our energy at half time,” said Laci Knight, Angel City’s captain. “We only need to win by one and we need to play that way. All we have to do is stay together and stay up. That helped us focus a bit more.”
With Montréal having the pivot line bench for the second half and having performed better taking the front at jam starts, the lead was not insurmountable. However, The Honey Badger’s absence from the jammer rotation was heavily missed. Montréal’s blockers, Why So Sirius and KonichiWOW, who had helped consistently with offense in the first half, focussed more on defense, leaving Miracle Whips and Falcon Punch stuck on first passes longer and allowing Angel City’s jammers to rack up multiple scoring passes more often than not when they had lead. While Montréal managed to put together a solid 12-0 run midway through the half when Angel City’s blockers found themselves rotating through the penalty box often leaving Soledad as the only blocker on the track, overall Angel City dominated, leading 151-101 with fifteen minutes left in the game.
“We had to play conservatively and not play with desperation,” explained Laci Knight.
A second Montréal scoring run ended with TerminateHer’s first and only lead of the game, with just over five minutes left as Darby Dagger went to the penalty box on a forearm, taking the jam 5-0 and bringing the score to 179-114. The next jam saw Montréal’s last points, with Falcon Punch earning lead and two points. The game would ultimately finish in a similar manner to most of the second half; Satan’s Little Helper, Micki Krimmel, and Darby Dagger gained multiple scoring passes and upped the final score to 217-116 for Angel City’s win.
Angel City moves on to the quarterfinals tomorrow, facing Gotham Girls Roller Derby (Madison #1) at noon.
Angel City Derby Girls (#4) 217
Montréal Roller Derby (#19) 116