2017 D2 Playoffs Game 8: Boston vs. Pirate City

Boston Roller Derby (#7) vs. Pirate City Rollers (#10)

Kia ora! Game 8 of the 2017 International Division 2 Playoffs and Championships Pittsburgh featured the first-ever appearance by a New Zealand team in the WFTDA playoffs. The Pirate City Rollers of Auckland, NZ, (#10) made a statement in the team’s first showing, losing by a mere 10 points to Boston Roller Derby from Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. (#7). The game was a hard-fought and closely matched contest from beginning to end, with a first half marked by six nail-biting lead changes.

Boston took an early lead, capitalizing on a minute-long power jam while Pirate City jammer Ballistic Button sat in the penalty box for a full minute thanks to a cut track call and additional insubordination penalty. Veteran Boston jammer Maya Mangleyou swiftly put up 20 unmatched points in the first jam, but over the next two jams, Pirate City successfully capitalized on back-to-back Boston jammer penalties, resulting in the first of many lead changes to come with the score at 29-32 in Pirate City’s favor.

Both teams utilized strong tripod defensive walls while dedicating an offensive blocker to assist their jammers throughout the first half. The game remained tightly matched throughout first quarter, with Pirate City staying within 15 points of the WFTDA playoff veterans from Boston. Although Boston regained the lead after Pirate City’s brief moment on top of the scoreboard, with nine minutes left in the first half, Pirate City fought to take back the lead as top-scoring jammer Shan posted a 14-0 run. Mangle responded with a massive 20-point jam of her own, taking advantage of a penalty on Pirate City’s jammer C-3P-Owned. With three more lead changes before the period clock wound down, Boston reclaimed the lead before the break, leading to a halftime score of 98-93.

2017 D2 Playoffs Game 8: Boston vs. Pirate City
Raymond F. Durkin

The second half largely belonged to Boston, though Pirate City continued to claw its way back into contention each time Boston tried to pull away. In the third jam of the second half, neither jammer was able to exit the pack for the full two minutes, demonstrating each team’s dynamic pack work and strong defensive walls. With 22 minutes left in the game, Pirate City wisely called a team time-out to put an end to Boston’s most recent scoring run, which gave Boston a 41-point lead over Pirate City — by far the biggest lead either team took during the game. Pirate City continued to implement its strategy of running jams when the team earned lead jammer designation, taking advantage of the status and allowing Pirate City jammers to rack up as many points as possible while controlling the jam.

At the halfway mark of the second period, Boston jammer Betty Swoop was sent to the penalty box, but Boston’s well-constructed defensive wall was able to kill the power jam, never allowing Pirate City’s jammer to exit the pack and score. With the finish almost in sight, Pirate City’s Shan went 25-11 against Boston, managing to narrow the gap to a score of 165-144, Boston in the lead.

That high-intensity point-trading continued for the remainder of the game, making it anyone’s game. A series of penalty calls on Boston jammer Mangle gave some hope back to Pirate City, allowing the Kiwis to come within one point of Boston with just five minutes left on the game clock. Both Boston and Pirate City traded additional jammer penalties as the seconds counted down, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats. Despite the penalties on Boston’s side, Pirate City was unable to best Boston, and the game concluded with a final score of 194-184 in Boston’s favor.

Boston will next play Tucson Roller Derby of Tucson, Arizona, U.S., (#2) on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Pirate City will take on Bear City of Berlin, Germany, (#14) on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time.


Boston Roller Derby (Seed #7, WFTDA #47) 194
Pirate City Rollers (Seed #10, WFTDA #51) 184