Game 3 of the 2016 International WFTDA Division 2 Playoffs Lansing brought together the Wasatch Roller Derby Midnight Terror (seed #3, WFTDA #45) of Salt Lake City, UT USA and the Nidaros Roller Derby Allstars (seed #6, WFTDA #52) of Trondheim, Norway. While both teams had similar trap-and-control styles of play, the faster switches from defense to offense and back gave Wasatch the edge to take away a 238 to 143 victory over Nidaros.
“We knew it would be a really tough game or a really close one,” said head coach Varla Vendetta.
Wasatch was able to grab an early lead, to the excitement of their fans in the audience of the Summit Sports and Ice Complex. They took control in the first seven jams and quickly brought the score to 43-13. But a power start for Nidaros gave Nancy Nosebleed the opportunity to close the gap, and she did so with a 24-0 jam that brought the score to a mere seven-point differential. Nidaros continued to gain ground and eventually snatched a short-lived 51-46 lead over Wasatch.
Wasatch rallied with three successive double-digit-to-zero jams, regaining the lead that they would hold for the remainder of the game.
At the half, Wasatch was only ahead 112-68, and it looked like it would be a battle of back-and-forth low scoring jams. But the three jammer rotation of Stache Bot (73 game points), Wreckless (71 game points), and Sookie Slaphouse (70 game points) secured Wasatch’s lead.
Skull Candi, Wasatch’s veteran jammer-turned-blocker made an incredible showing by completely stopping and holding Nidaros’s highest-scoring jammer, Nancy Nosebleed (50 Game points) on her own at the front of the pack long enough for her teammates to free themselves from the Nidaros wall and reinforce the defense. Skull Candi would continue to impress with standout blocking and great offensive plays.
Both teams were plagued by jammer penalties throughout the game, but as the time ran down Wasatch’s gameplay experience gave them the advantage and they showed strong endurance through their partnerships and communication.
“They took their space, and we didn’t take ours,” Nidaros blocker Brawly explained. “They messed with our walls and we let them. We know what we have to do going forward.”
Wasatch came out ahead with a 238-143 win. They’ll go on to face either the Sac City Rollers or the Charlottesville Derby Dames on Saturday at 8 p.m. EST. Nidaros will face off against Tri-City Roller Derby on Saturday morning at 10 a.m.