Saturday Recap: Denver and Montréal to Meet in Final of 2019 International WFTDA Playoffs: Seattle and Advance to Champs

On Day 2 of the 2019 International WFTDA Playoffs: Seattle, Denver Roller Derby (#1) and Montréal Roller Derby (#2) secured their places in the gold medal game on Day 3 at 5:00pm PDT, and earned a chance to compete at the International WFTDA Championships in Montréal this November. Crime City Rollers (#4) and Philly Roller Derby (#3) will compete for the third and final spot at Champs during Sunday’s bronze medal game at 3:00pm PDT.

Game 7

Philly Roller Derby (#3) v. London Roller Derby (#6)

Philly Roller Derby199

London Roller Derby 121

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In their first game at the 2019 International WFTDA Playoffs Seattle, Philly Roller Derby of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. (Seed #3, WFTDA #9) roared out to a commanding 114-10 lead before London Roller Derby of London, England, U.K. (Seed #6, WFTDA #17) could find its footing. Despite a London surge in the closing minutes of period 1 and a much more evenly-matched period 2, London was unable to overcome the early deficit. Philly moves on to the semi-final by the final score of 199-121.

London vs Philly in Game 7 of the 2019 International WFTDA Playoffs: Seattle
Photo: Keith Bielat

These two teams last met at ECDX 2019, with Philly taking a 175-128 victory. Looking hungry to improve upon that result and secure their spot in the semi-final game, Philly grabbed the initial lead, with Hermann putting up a 11-3 score and capitalizing on a London jammer penalty. Over the next 13 jams, Philly earned lead 11 times, with Reptar putting up two 16-0 jams. Philly’s stifling defense held London to only 6 points until London pivot Beth Lord (who did the heavy lifting with the stripe in this game) scored 4 with under 10 minutes remaining. The momentum began to swing to London’s favor, as they picked up lead 4 times in the next 5 jams, and took advantage of a Philly jammer penalty, bringing the score to 124-55 at the half.

Philly managed to stop London’s momentum from carrying over into the beginning of the second half. After Hermann gained lead, Drac passed the star to Lord, but Lord took a penalty, allowing Philly to put up 6 unanswered points. Over the next several jams, Philly earned the majority of lead jammer calls but London’s defense kept Philly from putting up any big jams. Both teams also struggled with some penalty issues, with Philly suffering from some of the jammer penalty woes that had plagued London in the first half. However, Philly was able to ride out their incredibly strong start to a convincing victory. Though London made them work for the eventual victory, Philly was able to maintain control of the game’s score and their hopes of a Champs berth remained alive.

Philly’s Jail Bars discussed adapting to the track at Playoffs: “We’re used to sport court, our home track is sport court, at ECDX our track is really similar to this. Used to bringing different wheels and changing it up, how it kinda slides and grips in different places…it helps a little bit.”

Philly moved on to face the winner of Montréal Roller Derby v. Jacksonville Roller Derby at 8:30PDT while London Roller Derby plays Arizona Roller derby on Sunday at 11 am PDT.

– Ally McKill

Game 8

Montréal Roller Derby (#2) v. Jacksonville Roller Derby (#7)

Montreal Roller Derby216

Jacksonville Roller Derby 115

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Though Montréal Roller Derby of Montréal, Québec, Canada (Seed #2, WFTDA #8) took a convincing win over Jacksonville Roller Derby of Jacksonville, Florida, U.S. (Seed #7, WFTDA #18) the last time these two teams met (221-102 on June 26, 2019), when they clashed at Playoffs last year, Jacksonville pulled off a stunning, come-from-behind victory to deny Montréal a shot at Playoffs gold. Whether or not that was in the back of their minds, the Montréal squad made sure today’s outcome was never in doubt. Employing smart strategy, and benefiting from clean and controlled play from their jammers, the team in neon sailed to a 216-115 win.

The first 8 points of the game went to Montréal’s Falcon Punch, after a lead jam call and a penalty to Jacksonville’s Jamsterella. Noticeably, while Montréal earned the majority of the early lead calls, they eschewed a traditional hit-and-quit strategy, often allowing the Jacksonville jammers to score points in favor of running the jams longer.

Throughout the first half, Montréal earned majority of lead jammer calls, they were able to control the strategy and pace of the game against Jacksonville. Montréal also took advantage of 4 jammer penalties by Jacksonville in the first. Nearing the end of the first half, Falcon Punch capitalized on a penalty to Jacksonville’s snot rocket science, putting up a massive 20-0 score for the highest-scoring jam of the game to that point. At halftime, the score was 114 for Montréal to 58 for Jacksonville.

Starting the second half with a comfortable lead, Montréal settled back into a more familiar style of play – taking lead, then calling the jam when the opposing jammer escaped. Remarkably, Montréal earned lead in the first 15 jams of the second half, taking their advantage to 173-61. In the last half of the second period, Jacksonville was able to swing a little momentum their way, taking advantage of penalties to Falcon Punch and Miracle Whips. Jacksonville’s Erin Jackson closed out the game with flair and a 20-0, but it was too late to catch Montréal, who move on to face Philly with a guaranteed spot at Champs on the line.

Montréal skaters Miracle Whips and Biggley were asked about the possibility of skating at the 2019 WFTDA International Championships, hosted this year by Montréal. Biggley: “The first time I was on the Skids, Playoffs was in Montréal. That home town buzz really just elevated us.”

Whips added, “it’s like a wall of sound that hits you and they give you information about the game. You know when the opposing jammer is out. You know when you did well, you know when something needs your attention.”

Seattle vs Montréal in Game 8 of the 2019 International WFTDA Playoffs: Seattle
Photo: Keith Bielat

Montréal will face Philly Roller Derby at 8:30 pm PDT on Saturday while Jacksonville will close out their tournament against Playoffs hosts Rat City Roller Derby on Sunday at 1 pm PDT.

– Ally McKill

Game 9

Stockholm Roller Derby (#9) vs. Queen City Roller Girls (#11)

Stockholm Roller Derby176

Queen City Roller Girls 224

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The Queen City Roller Girls of Buffalo, New York, U.S. (Seed #11, WFTDA #26) pulled off a consolation bracket upset by defeating Stockholm Roller Derby of Stockholm, Sweden (Seed #9, WFTDA #22) by a final score of 224-176 on Saturday.

The Lake Effect Furies never relinquished lead of the game, jumping out to a quick start. Stockholm came within three points midway through the first half, but Queen City went on a 24-0 run midway through the half to put the game out of reach.

Queen City vs Stockholm in Game 9 of the 2019 International WFTDA Playoffs: Seattle
Photo: Keith Bielat

Stockholm continued to fight in the second half, making a few large scoring runs but mostly being on the end of 4-0 and 8-0 jams, as Queen City would quickly earn lead jammer status, make a scoring pass and call the jam.

Librawlian, who by the end of the game had the star in every other jam, led Queen City with 91 points. The Furies were led defensively by Murphy, Squirrel, Head Huntress and Bunny.

Stockholm was led by jammers Slinky, Party-O and Fanilla slice and blockers Thunder, Bunz of Steel and Skandi Crush.

The last jam of the game also represented the last of the season for these teams. It was a fast-paced, high-flying jam in which both teams seems to have a lot of fun. At the final whistle there were hugs and chest bumps all around.

After the game captains Blackrock Bruiser and Murphy spoke to “It’s an honor to be able to lead this team, we wanted to keep on with leadership we had that has been amazing throughout the years since we first started,” Bruiser said.

Murphy answered a question that was on everyone’s mind: Where was the Queen City mascot? “It’s tough to take Yeti on a plane, he’s really, really rowdy and causes a lot of problems sometimes. If we brought him we would have had to roll the dice, he may have gotten ejected.”

– PulHitzHer Prize

Game 10

Minnesota Roller Derby (#12) vs. Ann Arbor Roller Derby (#10)

Minnesota Roller Derby153

Ann Arbor Roller Derby 201

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Ann Arbor Roller Derby of Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S. (Seed #10, WFTDA #25) took a decisive victory over Minnesota Roller Derby of Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S. (Seed #12, WFTDA #30) by a 201-153 score in Saturday’s consolation bracket.

Ann Arbor led from the second jam of the game and kept about 30 points worth of distance for most of the game. The Brawlstars took a 94-67 lead into halftime. In the second half they continued to build the lead with one- and two-scoring-pass jams as opposed to large jammer runs. Minnesota’s defense did have a big penalty kill to start the second half, when their jammer started in the penalty box, but couldn’t otherwise stop the scoring.

Ann Arbor jammer Fatoosh Bag led the Brawlstars with 65 points, while Goddamn Goddamn thrilled the audience with her high-flying apex jumps for 39 points.

Minneosta vs Ann Arbor in Game 10 of the 2019 International WFTDA Playoffs: Seattle
Photo: Keith Bielat

Goddamn Goddamn also had one of the best derby names of the tournament. When asked about it after the game, she said, “It’s from a Beyoncé song called ‘Flawless,’ it’s ‘I look so good tonight god damn god damn.’ Thank you Beyoncé, wherever you are.”

Fracture Mechanics did it all for Ann Arbor: blocking, pivoting, taking star passes and scoring points while jamming. Brawlstar blockers — including Jadzia Smax, Mel Havelka, Slamlet, Bettie Lockdown and Jacky O’Bashes — did an excellent job on the penalty kill and adjusting to Minnesota offense.

Minnesota was led by jammer Switch Please, who had 86 points including a 23-point jam late in the second half. The defense was led by Brutal Brit, Killer Bea, Chu and Thimbleberry Slam.


– PulHitzHer Prize

Game 11

Denver Roller Derby (#1) vs. Crime City Rollers (#4)


Crime City Rollers 91

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Game 11 of the WFTDA International Playoffs in Seattle brought together two teams that hadn’t previously met. While Denver Roller Derby of Denver, Colorado, U.S. (Seed #1, WFTDA #4) and the Crime City Rollers of Malmö, Sweden (Seed #4, WFTDA #11) both typically place huge emphasis on their defense, tonight both teams consistently offered offense for their jammers to help them break out of opposing walls.

However, only Denver saw the change in strategy pay off, giving them the strong edge to roll away in the first half. Denver’s jammer, Klein, gracefully leaped over apexes to leave all the Crime City blockers in the dust.

Denver vs Crime City in Game 11 of the 2019 International WFTDA Playoffs: Seattle
Photo: Keith Bielat

Crime City’s blockers displayed skillful one-on-one blocking against the fast moving Denver jammers. Despite Crime City’s blockers showing off their quick reaction against Denver’s offensive play, the powerful offense Denver’s blockers executed was enough to keep Denver’s jammers passing through the pack.

Denver continued their point-scoring prowess as Scald Eagle tallied a single-jam high score of 35 points. Nonetheless, both teams kept the audience on edge with remarkable strategy and teamwork.

Denver Roller Derby moves on to Sunday’s gold medal game at 5:30 pm PDT against the winner of Game 12 and Crime City Rollers will play for third place against the loser of Game 12 at 3:30 pm PDT.

– Iron Butterfly

Game 12

Philly Roller Derby (#3) vs. Montréal Roller Derby (#2)

Philly Roller Derby147

Montreal Roller Derby 181

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The start of the final game for Saturday had Montréal Roller Derby powering their way to gain lead while Philly Roller Derby attempting to close to score gap. Both teams showed remarkable track awareness, executing textbook examples of bridging across the track and then quickly slinking back into a dense pack.

Montréal’s blocker, Al K Traz, showed off her fast recycling and run backs as she slowed Philly’s jammer. The first half, Philly had their jammer, Persephone, run the lines with the highest lead jammer success for her team. Philly Roller Derby went into halftime trailing Montréal Roller Derby by 20 points.

Montreal vs Philly in Game 12 of the 2019 International WFTDA Playoffs: Seattle
Photo: Anja Wettergren

The second half of the game had both teams utilizing strong tripods to bring the jammers to a grinding halt. Jammers from both teams saw some difficult drives against their opposing walls as they attempted to break out to lead jam. Despite Philly’s attempts, Montréal jammers continued to slowly build their lead with one- and two-scoring-pass jams.

As the game clock ticked down, Philly Roller Derby saw some great plays from their jammers, Reptar and Persephone in a final attempt to catch Montréal, but the solid blocker walls prevented them from executing high scoring jams.

Montréal Roller Derby will play in Game 16 against Denver Roller Derby at 5:30PM PDT as Philly Roller Derby will play in Game 15 against the Crime City Rollers at 3:00PM PDT.

Tune into for the final day of the 2019 International WFTDA Playoffs in Seattle, and see who will take home the medals, and who will join Denver and Montréal at Championships in November. Prices have dropped for watch pass bundles, and now you can get the Hydra Bundle—including Playoffs and Championships—for just $50, or the Full Postseason Bundle—including ALL Cup, Playoffs, and Championships—for only $60! Get your watch pass now and don’t miss a hit!

Visit 2019 International WFTDA Playoffs: Seattle Tournament Central