The final game of 2016 International WFTDA Division 1 Playoffs Madison determined not only the color of the teams’ medals, but also who would have a first-round bye at November’s 2016 International WFTDA Championships. This benefit allows the First Place team from Madison to watch the competition on the Friday of Championships before having to play them on Saturday.
The Gotham Girls Roller Derby of New York, NY, USA (seed #1) were expected to be in this game, coming into the tournament as the top seed and defeating Tampa Roller Derby of Tampa, FL, USA (seed #4) in the semifinals. The Minnesota RollerGirls of St. Paul, MN, USA (seed #3) upset Arch Rival Roller Derby of St. Louis, MO, USA (seed #2) in the semifinals for a spot in the First Place game. Gotham Girls Roller Derby went home with the gold, taking the game 326-71.
Gotham started with a 14-4 jam when Bonnie Thunders had lead for the New Yorkers and Minnesota’s Brickyard snuck past the pack in the last second of the jam. The next jam was Gotham’s turn to steal the points as Minnesota’s Jacked Pipes grabbed lead and four points but Gotham’s Shortstop snuck through for four as the jam ended. Gotham quickly gained a substantial lead, going up 46-11 after ten minutes.
While Brickyard and Jacked Pipes held their own against blockers such as VanEssa ‘V-Diva’ Sites and Sexy Slaydie for New York, Yekaterina Lapitsky had more trouble. By the end of the half, she had scored no points but had 56 points against her in five jams. The defense of both teams was impressive with multiple jams taking more than a minute for a lead jammer to be declared. Power jams contributed greatly to the remainder of Gotham’s 153-38 halftime lead, with five jammer penalties for Minnesota and none for Gotham in the first half.
The second half saw some new developments. Gotham’s blockers became more proactive in separating Minnesota formations, keeping blockers apart when the New York jammers were hitting the pack. This resulted in faster lead jammer calls and more penalties on the Minnesota blockers. Gotham put up 19 points in less than four minutes as the Minnesota pack was thinned and separated.
Minnesota, however, also got their first power jam of the game putting up a 16-8 jam with Vicious Van GoGo going to the box on a back block penalty. With ten minutes gone and Yekaterina Lapitsky yet to score for Minnesota, the team from the Twin Cities tried a new jammer, Sarin Dipity, on the jam line. Gotham capitalized on the cold jammer and Bonnie Thunders scored 23 points bringing the total to 214-54. Five minutes later, Vicious Van GoGo earned another penalty and Yekaterina Lapitsky put up her first points of the game, but the jam ended 13-7 in Gotham’s favor and the total score was 244-61.
With Minnesota facing serious foul-out concerns for their blockers, their play became more conservative. Gotham jammers started putting up multiple scoring passes and Minnesota used more star passes in order to get past their initial lap. While Brickyard and Jacked Pipes both had multiple scoring pass jams in the first half, they didn’t earn lead jammer status or non-power jam points for the majority of second half. Minnesota’s first lead jammer status of the half came on Vicious Van GoGo’s third penalty with three minutes left in the game. Sarin Dipity earned lead and called it after one point to bring the score to 322-62. Jacked Pipes would follow Sarin Dipity’s performance with a lead jammer status of her own and picked up nine points before calling the jam after the period clock ended. Gotham Girls Roller Derby added four points to their total, bringing the final score to 326-71 in favor of New York.
Gotham Girls Roller Derby (#1) 326
Minnesota RollerGirls (#3) 71