Gotham Girls Roller Derby (#1) vs Denver Roller Derby (#2)
Gotham Girls Roller Derby (#1, WFTDA #3) of New York, New York, U.S., took the gold in a hard-hitting final game of the 2017 International WFTDA Division 1 Playoffs Malmö against Denver Roller Derby (#2, WFTDA #5) of Denver, Colorado, U.S., 176-85. This was the third time Gotham faced off against Denver this season and their third win of those matchups.
The game started with several lead changes as Gotham and Denver skaters all fought relentlessly to control the game. Gotham jammer ShortStop put up the first points of the game with a single point in the second jam before she was forced to call the jam off as Denver jammer Scald Eagle came up close behind her.
When Gotham jammer Miss Tea Maven was sent to the box in the fourth jam with a forearm penalty, Gypin was able to take Denver to their first lead of the game with a nine-point power jam to take the score 12-1 in Denver’s favor.
Between jammers ShortStop and Space Invader for Gotham, and Wilhelm for Denver, the two teams would switch back-and-forth for lead status and slowly tack a few more points onto their scores for the first several jams. A power jam in ShortStop’s favor provided another lead change to Gotham in jam 9 for a 16-15 lead, but Wilheim quickly turned the tables again in jam 10 for a 17-16 score in Denver’s favor.
The momentum of the game changed dramatically in the following jam, however, as Gotham jammer Space Invader managed to fight against a powerful defensive run back from Denver blocker and captain Akers and took lead. Space quickly lapped Denver jammer Klein, who then cut the track while trying to pass the star, and Space continued to dance her way through Denver packs for a total of 16 points on the jam and the final lead change of the game.
Gotham’s walls proved difficult for Denver to combat as skaters like V-Diva, Roxy Dallas and Sexy Slaydie worked to keep Denver’s blockers separate to allow their jammers to slide through the packs and collect points. But Denver blockers like Akers, Brawn Swanson, Watson-Siriboe did plenty of work to shut down Gotham jammers and slow down their passes. Offensive moves from Denver blockers such as Blackman assisted their jammers on scoring passes and allowed them to make use of the few power jam opportunities they were given.
Both teams will advance, along with the London Rollergirls (#3, WFTDA #7) of London, UK and Crime City Rollers (#4, WFTDA #12) of Malmö, Sweden, to the 2017 International WFTDA Championships in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. from Nov. 3-5. The final weekend of Division 1 Playoffs will be Sept. 22-24 in Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Gotham Girls Roller Derby (Seed #1, WFTDA #3) 176
Denver Roller Derby (Seed #2, WFTDA #5) 85