2019 Championships Game 3: Denver v Arch Rival

Denver Roller Derby (Seattle #1) v Arch Rival Roller Derby (Seed #4)

Denver Roller Derby122

Arch Rival Roller Derby 127

See Game Details on stats.wftda.com

Denver Roller Derby of Denver, Colorado, U.S. (Seattle Playoffs #1, WFTDA #4) and Arch Rival Roller Derby of St. Louis, Missouri, U.S. (Seed #4, WFTDA #5)—two teams with a long and fraught mutual history—faced off once again in Game 3 of the 2019 International WFTDA Championships in Montréal. Over the course of their six previous head-to-head games, the teams had come away with three wins a piece. Fans on social media dubbed Game 3 a matchup between #MileHydra and #MOHydra. In the end, Arch Rival took the win—but their victory did not come easily.

Arch Rival began the game with a solid lead of 21 points before Denver was finally able to score in the fifth jam. Led by Vicious van GoGo and K. Woodward, Arch Rival’s tripods were formidable, often holding the Denver blockers at a standstill. Both teams employed similarly defense-heavy tactics, opting for strong formations over zone play. Despite Denver’s deep roster of talented jammers, the absence of Lady Trample, one of their star jammers, was notable. The deft feet of Arch Rival’s jammers, alongside punishing recycling by their blockers, helped give St. Louis the advantage in both points and lead jams; they ended the half 71-46.

The second half started with a string of fast packs, quick leads, and single pass jams. The closely-matched teams were fighting hard, but clearly having fun. It was not uncommon to see the jam end with both jammers grinning widely. In a game highlight, Denver’s Scald Eagle eked out a lead, pursued closely by Arch Rival’s Bricktator, before blocking Bricktator long enough for her to be re-swallowed by Denver’s defense. The crowd was electric.

Arch Rival’s jammers, led by top-scorers Loki Doki and Annie Swanson, spun down the lines and sparred against the likes of Blackman, CopperTop Crush, and Akers on Denver’s fierce defense. Just as Arch Rival seemed to be pulling away with the lead, however, their blockers began disappearing to the penalty box, allowing Denver to capitalize on their absences. During the last six jams of the game, Denver held Arch Rival scoreless, eating away at their lead. It all came down to the final jam; in the last 42 seconds of the game, Scald Eagle secured lead and 4 points, bringing Denver within 5 points of Arch Rival. But it was too late. The jam clock ran out as Scald Eagle rounded the turn, looking for another pass. Arch Rival won 127-122.

In the post-game interview, Vicious van GoGo spoke to Arch Rival’s unique preparations for Championships with their Playoffs bye: “Not going to Playoffs, we knew we had to prepare extra hard…Our main focus this year and this season was to make sure that we had everything that was out game locked in place.” K. Woodward expanded, “Denver is great at their game, but we are great at Midwest, corn-fed, sticky derby.”

Denver vs Arch Rival in Game 3 of the 2019 International WFTDA Championships
Photo: Ryan Quick

Arch Rival moves on to play the winner of Game 5 on Saturday, while Denver moves onto the consolation bracket where they will play Angel City Derby of Los Angeles, California, U.S. (Winston-Salem Playoffs #1, WFTDA #6) on Saturday.

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