Rat City Rollergirls (#6) vs. Montréal Roller Derby (#5)
The third-place game of the 2017 International WFTDA D1 Playoffs Seattle featured a grudge match between Montréal Roller Derby of Montréal, Quebec, Canada (#5, WFTDA #14) and host league Rat City Rollergirls of Seattle, Washington, U.S (#6, WFTDA #16). Montréal took home the bronze medal with a 257-126 victory, although both teams had already secured spots in November’s 2017 International WFTDA D1 Championships Philadelphia.
The teams have met up twice previously, with Rat City taking the win in 2014 and Montréal earning the W back in 2011.
Only two WFTDA ranking spots apart, it was unsurprising to see such a close game at the outset. Early on it appeared the fans were in for a tight rematch. But a series of unfortunate events impeded the home team’s ability to overcome Montréal..
The first positive power jam came for Rat City ten minutes into the game, but Montréal demonstrated an impenetrable defensive wall and prevented Rat City from scoring any points. Agile Rat City jammer Alyssa Pray picked up a low block penalty herself in the following jam, affording Montréal the opportunity to extend their 10-point lead; Pray responded by busting out of the penalty box and quickly navigated through the pack before Montréal could do any damage.
The most talked about incident from the game will surely be the record-breaking 46-point jam from Montréal’s Falcon Punch, beating out former Rose City Roller jammer Scald Eagle for the highest-scoring jam in WFTDA playoff history. The previous record of 45 points was earned during Rose City’s matchup against Cincinnati Rollergirls at 2013 WFTDA Division 1 Playoffs. Today’s occasion came in the the tenth jam, roughly halfway through the first period, when Rat City mistakenly only fielded one blocker, providing a field day for Falcon Punch to rack up multiple passes relatively untouched. As the sole blocker on the track for Rat City, R. Rickel did her best to slow down Falcon Punch while providing offense for jammer Luna Negra. R. Rickel, a former junior derby skater, maintained her composure during the stressful situation and stayed out of the penalty box. In the end, Montréal extended their lead against Rat City, 94-45.
After trading off jammer penalties throughout the first half, both Rat City’s Evergreen Jean and Montréal’s Miracle Whips were sent to the penalty box at the same time with just four minutes left in the first half. After being released, Miracle Whips went straight back to the box for a track cutting penalty, giving Rat City a chance to make up some points, going 14-4 against Montréal.
Then, with just two minutes left in the first half, Montréal successfully won an official review to have Rat City blocker CeeCee expelled from the game for an egregious clockwise block. This was the second expulsion for Rat City this weekend, with Carmen Getsome being ejected from Saturday’s game against the Angel City Derby Girls.
At the half, Montréal led Rat City 163-72.
Rat City returned from break strong despite the events of the first half, dialing in on a 3-defense, 1-offense blocker formation in an effort to help their jammers put points on the board. Seattle blockers Amythest, R. Rickel, and H. Botts demonstrated tight tripod blocking throughout the game, finding repeated success hammering jammers to the lines and drawing them back, much to the exhaustion of Montréal’s jammers. Montréal continued to demonstrate the stealthy blocking formations they had been displaying all weekend, outlasting their opponents and earning them a spot at WFTDA Championships later this fall.
Falcon Punch was the highest scoring jammer for Montréal, bringing in 137 total points for the Canadians and singlehandedly outscoring the opponent. Teammate Mel E. Juana had 50 points. For Rat City, Renegade Ruthie earned the highest lead jammer percentage at 62.5 percent, while teammate Alyssa Pray racked up a team-high 47 points.
Montréal Roller Derby will make their second appearance at the International WFTDA D1 Championships from Nov. 3-5 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. The season continues for Rat City as well; they will be joining Montréal, the Angel City Derby Girls of Los Angeles, California, U.S. (#2, WFTDA #4), and the Rose City Rollers of Portland, Oregon, U.S. (#1, WFTDA #2) at D1 Championships.
Montréal Roller Derby (Seed #5, WFTDA #14) 257
Rat City Rollergirls (Seed #6, WFTDA #16) 126