In Game 11 of the 2016 International WFTDA Division 1 Playoffs Montréal, the hosting league, Montréal Roller Derby from Montréal, QC, Canada, played against London Rollergirls from London, UK in this first game of the day between two non-U.S. teams. The game determined who will fight for first place on Sunday, leaving the winners with an automatic place for the 2016 International WFTDA Championships in Portland, Oregon. London had taken the win when the two teams played each other earlier this year in May in Helsinki, Finland, with a score of 208-78.
The first half of the game set the tone for what would happen during the next hour of gameplay. Starting with a slow-moving pack, Master Blaster from London opened the game with a 24-point jam, leaving Montréal scoreless. Lexi Lightspeed continued the momentum in the second jam with a 30-point jam, blasting through the Montréal wall. Montréal Jammer Miracle Whips scored the first 3 points after getting Montreal their first lead jam of the period at jam 5. AnDracula scored a 38-point jam after Whips got a penalty, leaving London with a power jam. The dynamic of the game shifted a bit after Montréal’s TerminateHer stole 1 point, as London lead jammer Lexi scored 2. Montréal started adjusting, getting their jammers out of the pack soon after London jammers, forcing London to call off the jams quickly after making it to the pack. Miracle Whips secured lead jammer against AnDracula, resulting in a start pass to Stefanie Mainey, who shortly received a penalty sending her to the box. Whips called the jam off after getting 5 points, starting the following jam with a power start for Montréal. Both walls were strong and slow as Stefanie Mainey exited the penalty box in the following jam, entering a very slow pack going into turn 4, calling off the jam immediately after securing lead jammer status. The tension and excitement from the Montréal spectators was palpable during this great demonstration of roller derby, a few seconds before the end of the first period.
The second period started a bit slower than the first period for London as Montréal’s blockers really got in the game. London’s blockers were presenting strong walls to Montréal jammers, limiting the points scored by their opponents. Montréal blockers Al K Traz and Jess Bandit succeeded keeping AnDracula in the pack, as the game became more strategic for both teams, and it took a good 30 seconds for Rogue Runner to get lead before scoring 22 points to 0 against Ptite Pouliche. TerminateHer found success in forcing opposing jammers call off the jam quickly after completing their first scoring pass, by being explosive going out of the pack shortly after them. A high jammer penalty jam ended 15-15, as Master Blaster went to the penalty box twice and Falcon Punch once. During the following jam, both Master Blaster and Miracle Whips jumped the apex, ending this very tight scoring jam 17-13 for London. It was a higher scoring period for Montréal as well — Miracle Whips and Falcon Punch both had 13-point jams against London; however, London dominated the game from beginning to end. Rogue Runner ended the game in style, attaining lead jammer status after landing a straightaway jump, ending the game with an 8-point jam.
London proved their #1 seed — Brawling was explosive, strong, calm, and there for each other on the track. They came here “to play the beautiful game,” as expressed by bench coach Ballistic Whistle. Montréal became stronger as the game went on and ended on a positive note, with a “very good mentality going into the game and going out” said New Skids’ captain KonichiWOW. Montréal will face Bay Area Derby at 4:00 p.m. EDT tomorrow to determine who will be moving on to the 2016 International WFTDA Championships as the third place team. London will take on Texas Rollergirls at 6:00 p.m. EDT; both teams are guaranteed a chance to play at the Division 2 Championships, but tomorrow’s game will determine which team will go in as top seed in November.
London Rollergirls (#1) 325
Montréal Roller Derby (#4) 58