Denver Roller Derby (#2) vs. Stockholm Roller Derby (#7)
The eighth game of the 2017 International WFTDA Division 1 Playoffs Malmö between Denver Roller Derby of Denver, Colorado, U.S. (#2, WFTDA #5) and Stockholm Roller Derby of Stockholm, Sweden (#7, WFTDA #20) was the final game to determine which teams would go on to the 2017 International WFTDA Championships Philadelphia in November. Denver made an overwhelming case for dominance and skated away with a 330–150 win over Stockholm.
Denver immediately powered into the game and caught Stockholm off guard, putting up a quick 41 points in the first three jams. It was five minutes into the period before Stockholm scored their first points in a jam where Denver’s Klein went to the penalty box and Lil Slinky was able to get through on two scoring passes. Klein still scored though, and it turned out to be a 10–9 jam in favor of Stockholm. But they, and the cheering crowd, took it as a win.
It was a theme throughout the game; even when Stockholm won lead jam and controlled the jam, Denver still scored. Stockholm kept the jam going to put more points on the board and catch momentum. But there were only a couple of jams in the entire game when Stockholm was able to shut Denver out of the scoreboard.
Penalties were low in the first period. Denver only had one jammer penalty and nine team penalties. Stockholm had two jammer penalties and 14 team penalties. Denver didn’t need a power jam to score big, however. In jam 14, Scald Eagle scored 35 points while the Denver defensive line of Leah Davidson, S.H. Long, Barrett, and Wierzbinski held tight to Stockholm’s Lil Slinky throughout most of the two minute jam. At the end of that jam Denver held a 116–19 lead.
In the first period Denver’s lead jam status was 57 percent and most of Stockholm’s came in the second half of the period when they caught wind and to the glee of the fans, put up 56 points. During that scoring spree, Denver only put up 37 points. The teams went into halftime with Denver leading 153–75
The second period started out in Stockholm’s favor. Lil Slinky won lead jammer and Denver’s Wilhelm caught a track cut penalty. With offensive blocking assistance, Lil Slinky scored 13 points to Wilhem’s four. It seemed that the tide was shifting in Stockholm’s favor.
But then the Denver defense machine which was skilled at recycling Stockholm’s jammers again and again clamped down. At times Denver seemed to use Stockholm’s own walls in their defensive formations, integrating them into a huge wall that Stockholm’s jammers had great difficulty navigating.
Meanwhile, Denver’s jammers, including top scorer Scald Eagle who scored 110 points in the game, made multiple scoring passes. Sometimes the jam included a 30 second rest in the penalty box. In jam 27 Scald Eagle was assessed a forearm penalty. The Denver blockers killed off the penalty and held Panica De Hex in their endlessly cycling wall while Scald scored 20 points in the two minute jam. Stockholm struggled to utilize effective offense that released their jammer from Denver and they often concentrated too long on that offense and gave Denver’s jammers an unintentionally easy pass.
When Stockholm’s defense was together and ready they were able to hold Denver’s jammers but Denver’s offensive blocking often broke them up. It wasn’t until the end of the first period when Stockholm was able to reform despite Denver’s offense, but they couldn’t carry it through the entire game.
Denver had four jammer penalties in the second period; Stockholm had two. It was lead jammer status that ended Stockholm’s hopes of a trip to WFTDA Champs. Denver earned 70 percent in the second period.
Denver goes on to play the London Rollergirls (#3) tonight at 8 p.m. Central European Time and Stockholm moves into the consolation games and will play Kallio Rolling Rainbow (#9) Sunday at noon CET.
Denver Roller Derby (Seed #2, WFTDA #5) 330
Stockholm Roller Derby (Seed #7, WFTDA #20) 150