Philly Roller Derby (Seattle #3) v Montréal Roller Derby (Seattle #2)
The final consolation game at the 2019 International WFTDA Championships featured tournament host Montréal Roller Derby of Montréal, Québec, Canada (Seattle Playoffs #2, WFTDA #8) facing off against Philly Roller Derby of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. (Seattle Playoffs #3, WFTDA #9). These two teams last met at the 2019 International WFTDA Playoffs Seattle, with Montréal capturing the 181-147 win. While Philly came out hungry for revenge, in the end it was Montréal, in front of their home crowd, who outlasted their opponents and took the win with the score of 135-115.
— Artoo, Derby Junkie (@rdjunkies) November 17, 2019
The game started with lead jammer status for Phily’s Reptar, though her blocking with the head penalty gave Scar2-BeatU a very brief power jam which ended via Scar2’s cut track penalty shortly thereafter. Reptar scored 4 points on her return. Philly then requested, and was granted, an insubordination penalty on Scar2 for skating through Philly’s bench on her way to the box, setting Philly up with a power start for the next jam. Rousey earned lead and 6 more points. The next jam saw yet another jammer penalty for Montréal, with Miracle Whips taking a low block. Persephone added 3 more points for Philly, bringing the score to 9-0 in favor of Philly.
Manager goals: asking for and winning an OR after jam 1. #DerbyTwitter
— Andrew Ross (@smackard) November 17, 2019
A big story for Philly was the dominant play of blocker and jammer VanEssa “V-Diva” Sites. With a key piece of Philly’s jamming rotation, Courtney Herrmann, out for the game, V-Diva stepped in for regular jamming reps. Though no stranger to the star in her long derby career, V-Diva focused on blocking this season for Philly. Showing she still had the magic, she put up a 7-0 run in her first turn at the jam line.
V-diva jamming 2 in a row and 100% lead jammer status. Oof, what a powerhouse! #DerbyTwitter
— Chem Fatale – now PCL free! 😭 (@leakyhell) November 17, 2019
JAM V DIVA ALL DAY I AM HERE FOR ITT YAAAASSSSSSSSS 😍😍😍😍 #DerbyTwitter
— merritt mclaughlin // lt. jan (@merrittmcl) November 17, 2019
Philly built a 23-0 lead, but Badger seized the chance to earn Montréal’s first points on a Reptar track cut. With a bit of momentum in their favor, Montréal put up 8-0 runs on the next two jams, cutting Philly’s lead to 7 at 31-24. Philly held the lead until some penalty trouble for their jammer Rousey gave Montréal the upper hand. Though Philly’s formidable penalty kill kept Badger from scoring on Rousey’s initial trip to the box, Falcon Punch and Miracle Whips combined to put up 10-0 and 11-4 jams, respectively, flipping the edge to Montréal at 52-51 with just over 4 minutes left in the first.
That lead would be short-lived, as V-Diva and Reptar each added points in the next 2 jams, and Philly went ahead 52-59. Not to be outdone, Montréal’s Miracle Whips spun and zipped around the track to pick up 11 and retake the lead 63-59, with 1:30 remaining. And yet again, V-Diva and Reptar combined for lead and points on the next two jams, taking the teams into halftime with the score tied at 64.
— AshSlay Champs Edition (@AshSlay422) November 17, 2019
Though Philly came back from halftime with a renewed sense of purpose, breaking the tie and extending their lead to 74-68 in the first three jams, Montréal would not be denied. Miracle Whips, in the midst of an incredibly strong performance, took lead jammer status over Persephone. Determined blocking from Biggley Smallz kept Persephone locked in the pack until she could pass the star to Ginger Vitis. A 6-0 jam for Whips put Montréal ahead 82-78, a lead that would be often challenged but never relinquished.
— Diana Sprints (@DianaSprints) November 17, 2019
Over the next several jams, Montréal held the advantage though Philly was never far behind. An 11-0 jam for Miracle Whips gave Montréal a bit of breathing room at 105-84, but they ran into some blocker penalty trouble, ending up with only one blocker on the track. However, that blocker was the inimitable Mange Moi El Cul, who limited Philly to a one point jam win.
Philly began to rely heavily on V-Diva, with her sparkling 100 percent lead jammer status rate for the vast majority of the game, to close the gap. With under 4 minutes to go, V-Diva took the star three times in a row, but Montréal had figured her out at a critical time, holding her to a 2-2, 4-0, and then finally, forcing a penalty in the second-to-last jam. Falcon Punch put up a 8-0 jam and Miracle Whips followed up with lead jammer status and 4 more points, calling the jam as time ran out for a hard-fought Montréal victory, 135-115.
what a great game! really well played and a great win by the skids
— 🇨🇦 Thrust the Process regarde les championnates (@aBagorn) November 17, 2019
In the postgame interview, Montréal’s Miracle Whips and Cheese Grater spoke about their team’s preparation for this game. Whips said, “We studied but mostly focused on ourselves. I think we had several options to choose from, but we figured out quickly what was working and what we needed to put emphasis on. And we just held our mental game high, I think that made the difference for us.”
Cheese Grater added, “We knew this would be a tough game, we played them at Playoffs. We needed to want this game really bad to win and we weren’t underestimating them at all.”