Rocky Mountain Rollergirls from Denver, Colorado, USA came into their consolation bracket semi-final at the 2016 International WFTDA Division 1 Playoffs Montréal well rested, having not played since yesterday. Boston Roller Derby from Boston, Massachusetts, USA, however, had to play this morning for the chance to compete in this game — besting the Sun State Roller Girls from Brisbane, Australia by one point in the final jam. Both original WFTDA teams are in re-building stages and were hoping to prove that they are on the upswing. Winning this game would mean a chance at improving their ranking from their seeding into this tournament. Boston will get such a chance to do so, playing in the 5th place tomorrow after winning 181-164.
Both teams saw a lot of success in this game with the score going back and forth — several jams ended with the scoreboard reading identical on both sides. The offensive blocking was superb for both teams. Boston played a situational offense strategy using all of their blockers, rather than dedicating one blocker to do it at all times.
Boston hit the ground running, still in game mode from earlier in the day. Maya Mangleyou scored 9 points as Rocky jammer, Havoc, was sent off for a track cut. Rocky came back though, winning the next jam 11-4 as they ran the jam long against Space Invader. The next jam saw a less successful long jam, with Space Invader coming out of the box and passing the star to Sweet Enemy. Boston took the jam 10-7 despite Rocky’s Harper Bizarre having lead. The score gap was only 5 points after five minutes played. Rocky kept chipping away at the lead, but as soon as they were within a handful of points, Boston pulled away again with a big jam. Both teams opened up their jammer rotation compared to previous games, with Sweetie Ramone and She Who Cannot Be Named taking multiple turns with the star for Rocky, and HardCore and Kacie McLean doing the same for Boston. Boston’s risk taking with the jammer star certainly paid off; McLean put up 27 points in the first half. While Rocky was picking up small points on a regular basis, they couldn’t put together a big jam for the majority of the first half. However, when it looked like Boston had finally picked up a comfortable lead at 81-53, Rocky’s Wild E Coyote had a massive 18-0 power jam on Space Invader’s second jammer penalty. The score difference dropped to only 10 points and as the first half ended, Rocky brought it to one point, 86-85.
The start of the second half saw Rocky’s first lead of the game, taking the first jam 4-0. Rocky’s strategy of running a long jam when the opposing team passed the star fell short again in the second jam, ending 9-9 with Boston’s pivot Caitlin Monaghan (formerly Ginger Kid) demonstrating her jamming prowess. Boston would retake the lead the next jam on a 5-0 pass by Space Invader. The lead grew to 127-106 seven minutes later on Space Invader’s next turn with the star. Havoc, Rocky’s jammer, went to the box on a cut track penalty. Offense by Rainbow Crash, Hard Times, and Sweet Enemy assisted Space Invader in lapping the pack without being touched to the tune of 19 points, the highest jam score of the game. The parity of these teams was remarkable though and three jams later, Rocky would have their own 19-0 jam to tie the score 134-134 with just under 15 minutes remaining in the game. Rocky would take the lead once more in the half, 144-138, having finally found offensive success to put up multiple scoring passes with a 10-0 jam by Sweetie Ramone with twelve minutes left in the game. Similar to the first half, whenever Rocky managed to put together a successful run, Boston would respond with a huge jam. Space Invader came out of the box, having cut the track in the previous jam to earn lead jammer status and 14 points, putting Boston ahead on the scoreboard — where they stayed for the rest of the game.
Boston Roller Derby looks to improve their ranking, playing for 5th place at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow against the winner of Detroit Derby Girls versus Dallas Derby Devils. Rocky Mountain will improve on their 10th place seeding no matter what, playing the loser of Detroit versus Dallas tomorrow for seventh at noon.
Boston Roller Derby (#6) 186
Rocky Mountain Rollergirls (#10) 164