Victorian Roller Derby League (#1) vs. Montréal Roller Derby (#3)
Fresh off their nail-biter of a win over the Crime City Rollers of Malmö, Sweden, Montréal Roller Derby of Montréal, Québec, Canada, (Seed #3, WFTDA #9) faced the juggernaut that is the Victorian Roller Derby League of Melbourne, Australia (Seed #1, WFTDA #1). VRDL skated away with the victory many expected given the team’s first-ranked status, but a strong second half for Montréal kept things competitive when facing the world’s current No. 1 team.
The game started with a jammer matchup that would soon become familiar: VRDL’s Lady Trample against Montréal’s Miracle Whips. While Trample shot out of the pack with startling speed, Whips followed right behind, forcing Trample to call the jam with two points. VRDL’s Christy Demons next took on Falcon Punch with more fruitful results. Taking advantage of a Montréal jammer penalty, Demons cruised around the track for 22 points. Ivy K’Nivey and Trample earned lead jammer statuses in subsequent jams, extending VRDL’s lead to 32-0 with 5 minutes gone.
Punch took Montréal’s first lead jammer status in Jam 5 to the cheers of an appreciative crowd, earning 9 points to VRDL’s 0. In the next jam, VRDL’s Sarah Chambers took lead over The Honey Badger, but VRDL lost several blockers to the penalty box and allowed Montréal to pick up some points over two jams, bringing the score to 46-15.
VRDL snagged lead jammer status in the next 6 jams, extending its lead out to 93-16, before Miracle Whips interrupted their streak. Unfortunately, Montréal’s blockers were stuck behind VRDL’s, enabling Trample to sneak through the pack for 3 points while Whips was held to 0.
VRDL continued to dominate lead jam status with 10 minutes left in the first half, but also suffered some jammer penalties. Punch capitalized on a forearm penalty to Chambers, scoring 17 points to VRDL’s 4. In the next jam, Demons went to the box for a back-blocking penalty, but VRDL’s blockers were able to kill the penalty entirely. With the help of some quick offense from captain Screw Barrymore, Demons made quick work of Montréal’s pack upon her return from the box, putting up 17 points. Montréal was the cleaner team in the first half with only nine penalties (one of which was a jammer penalty) to VRDL’s 17 (three of which were jammer penalties), but clean skating couldn’t change the halftime score of 140-37 in VRDL’s favor.
The first jam of the second half mirrored the first, with Trample taking a quick lead over Miracle Whips but forced to call it, 2-0, as Whips followed closely behind. Notably, that was one of only two times Whips failed to secure lead jammer status after the halftime break, going five for seven in lead jammer calls and putting an impressive 48 points on the board for the New Skids in the second half. For VRDL, Demons continued to enjoy a great deal of jamming success, including a 25-0 jam early in the second half and finishing the game as the top-scoring jammer with 101 points.
VRDL continued to pull away through the first ten minutes of the second half, extending its lead to 187-46 after the aforementioned 25-0 Demons jam. Undeterred in the following jam, Whips put up 10 points to none; a few jams later, a 21-12 jam for her brought the score to 223-77 as Montréal continued to inch closer to the century mark. With five minutes left in the game, Whips put up a 4-point jam to bring the score to 235-95, and a final 4points from Ptite Pouliche nearly brought Montréal into triple digits, but time was not on Montréal’s side. Demons began the last jam of the game on a power start and took lead, earning 8 more points to bring the final score to 253-99.
Although able to maintain a formidable lead through the second half, VRDL’s penalty trouble continued as the team suffered another 20, including six jammer penalties. Montreal continued to keep it relatively clean, with 13 additional box trips, just three of which were for jammers.
VRDL advances to face the winner of the game between Angel City Derby of Los Angeles, California, U.S. (Seed #2, WFTDA #4), and Denver Roller Derby of Denver, Colorado, U.S. (Seed #2, WFTDA #5), on Saturday at 6 p.m. Eastern Time. Montréal will play the London Rollergirls of London, England (Seed #3, WFTDA #8), in the consolation bracket on Saturday at 2 p.m. Eastern Time.
Victorian Roller Derby League (Seed #1, WFTDA #1) 253
Montréal Roller Derby (Seed #3, WFTDA #9) 99