Gotham Girls Roller Derby (#1) vs. Detroit Roller Derby (#8)
While the Gotham Girls Roller Derby squad of New York, New York, U.S. (#1, WFTDA #3) has changed this year, they remained a cohesive unit on track as Detroit Roller Derby of Detroit, Michigan, U.S. (#8, WFTDA #22) took to their second physical game of the day at the 2017 International WFTDA Playoffs in Malmö. Having last faced each other in 2009, Gotham’s performance throughout the game was a reflection on the dominance that the New York legends have had in the game over the past few years. Detroit encountered penalty issues which often left their jammers without assistance against the formidable blocking capabilities of Gotham.
Sarah Hipel took the first lead of the game with Detroit scoring three unanswered points. ShortStop retaliated in the next jam but was called for a track cut, allowing Racer McChaseHer to pick up 5 points before the Gotham jammer was back out on track. Roxy Dallas, Violet Knockout, and Brazilian Nut held Racer back as Gotham picked up a further 13 points.
Sarah Hipel took her second lead of the game but received a low block giving ShortStop a 10-point advantage, edging the score to 41–21 in Gotham’s favor. Impressive walls from McDonald, Terror Ettes, and Perish-Her held Space Invader and forced a star pass to Nut.
Miss Tea Maven took 29 points as Detroit suffered further penalties leaving them starting with two blockers and a jammer in the box as the next jam began. ShortStop was able to fly through the pack as the Gotham blockers pinched the Detroit walls to dominate space. Another power jam against Detroit and the score sat at 103–34 to Gotham with 13 minutes of the first half remaining.
A third jammer penalty for Detroit in as many jams was issued to Racer McChaseHer as crowd favorite VanEssa “V-Diva” Sites picked up a 25-point jam. Further jammer penalties for Detroit led to an unsuccessful official review to appeal a track cut call on Sarah Hipel. The first half concluded with a power jam to ShortStop as Jilleanne Rookard was called for a cut track. ShortStop surfed around the Detroit walls adding another 28 points to the board, while Rookard returned to track and fought hard as the Gotham wall rapidly recycled, leaving the score 218–38.
With both Miss Tea Maven and Sarah Hipel hitting the box in the first jam, the initial two minutes of the second half allowed Detroit to pick up their first points in 10 jams, bringing their score up by four. Feta Sleeze and Lollypops Em Hard had success in limiting the points scored by Space Invader to 15 but their own jammer remained trapped in the pack without scoring.
Racer McChaseHer got one of the few lead statuses for Detroit but former Victorian Roller Derby League jammer Giles still managed to pick up points as Detroit ran the clock and gained three points for Gotham’s 19. With 18 minutes left on the clock, Gotham hit the 300 points mark with Miss Tea Maven making seven full scoring passes leaving the score at 314–45. After being stuck in the pack, Swift Justice removed her star and delivered a solid hit to ShortStop allowing the Gotham jammer to be run back twice in quick succession. Rookard received an enormous cheer from the crowd as she broke through the pack but as a no pass/no penalty was called Gotham quickly called the jam, once again leaving Detroit with a zero-point jam. A star pass saw Sarah Hipel deliver some punishing offence for Terror Ettes but the Gotham wall remained resilient.
As the game drew to a close, Lazer Beam shut down Miss Tea Maven allowing only 15 points to hit the board as Gotham rolled over the 400 mark. In the closing moments, Rookard took lead against Space Invader to move the Detroit score up to a neat 50, before a stop off in the penalty box cut her scoring potential short. Capturing four final points, Detroit finished with a cheer. ShortStop took home 150 points during the game and Gotham now go on to play either Helsinki or Crime City who play the final game of the day.
Gotham Girls Roller Derby (Seed #1, WFTDA #3) 457
Detroit Roller Derby (Seed #8, WFTDA #22) 54