Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Superheroes overcome Forces of Evil, 62-40

The final league mixer of the '09-10 season brought together the four home teams for one last mashup. The Supervillains rode into this match with an odd sort of streak going; although each team is put together in an ad-hoc sort of way, the 'forces of evil' had consistently beaten the good guys over the past two years of mixers at the Roy. So, as past players and new blood lined up on the track, the Heroes were out to break the 4-0 streak; they pulled it off with ease, though one would never have guessed it from the first half.

Both teams sent out rookie Dolls - Ova Achieva for the Heroes, Patently Offensive for the Villains, to start the game off. Offensive flashed off the jammer line and hit the pack hard. While Ova got held up by Sinaminn (the villainous 'Dr Sin' for tonight's game) in the back, PO found a way past Superhero Wonderbroad and took the night's first lead jam. The refs caught an errant elbow flying from Ova and sent her to the penalty box, and the early power jam gave Patently the opportunity to score five points. The remainder of that time in the penalty box bled into the next jam, almost giving Rumblebee a free pass through the Superheroes for the second lead jam (it is far easier to pass the pack when you jam without your opponent on the track). While Ova burst from the box and through the pack with Shiver Me Kimbers' assistance, Rumblebee rode a whip off of Stacy Wreckt and called off the jam with four unanswered points.

Supervillain jammer Scarmen Hellectra snatched her team's third lead jam against Anita Spankston for a very fast four points. Following a scoreless jam, Trixie Whipsum - a shining Superhero jammer in Wonder Woman red - grabbed the lead and a single point for her team. She lapped the opposing jammer due to Hero Sweet Justice's patient blocking of Patently Offensive, but could not pass a Supervillain blocker wall, so called the jam off. With eleven minutes gone, the Supervillains were putting on an effective defensive clinic; 13-1.

A messy next jam as both Rumblebee and Anita alternated turns in the penalty box; Rumblebee took the lead and five while Anita grabbed four. Scarmen repeated her All-Star-trained gameplay with a rapid four-and-out jam that Superhero Ova Achieva could not answer. Ova's teammate Trixie Whipsum returned fire with the assistance of two whips from Anita Spankston for three points. Patently Offensive and Superhero Killaman Jaro raced for the next lead; Offensive just beat out Jaro and scored three, but couldn't stop the jam in time before her opponent stole a point. 25-9 with three minutes left. After a fast point from Sweet Justice for the Heroes, Scarmen Hellectra scored her third consecutive lead as Ova Achieva went to the box. Scar grabbed five points and called off the jam to strand Ova in a penalty situation for the last jam.

Shady O'Dread took advantage of the remaining power jam to score three as her teammates pulled the pack apart for her. Shady called the jam with three points as Ova's sentence expired and she charged from the penalty box. At the half, the Villains were ahead 33-10. The Supervillains started brilliantly and took advantage of four power jams to build up a quick lead. The Villains' blocking - particularly Dr Sin, Pain Gretzky and Norah Torious - also played into the 23-point gap between the two teams. It seemed that the Supervillains had it all in hand and were on their way to 5-0 for the forces of evil.

The Heroes punched back immediately in the second half. They sent Jax Kvaas to the line against Shady O'Dread, and Jax celebrated her first jam ever for the MNRG fans by exploding from the line and lapping the pack while her teammates Sweet Justice and Scootaloo concentrated fire on Shady. Ms O'Dread muscled through for the lead and called the jam, but not before Jax scored seven. Killaman Jaro then jammed against Scarmen Hellectra. The refs saw a foul and sent Scarmen immediately to the box. This gave Jaro a power jam opportunity; blasting past Dr Sin and Wanda Wreckonwith and threading a hole opened by teammate Citizen Pain, Killaman Jaro began accelerating. All around Jaro, the Supervillains continued to be sent to the box, and those remaining were no match for her speed. Killaman Jaro scored a triple slam, bringing the Heroes to within a point of their nemeses. 33-32 Villains with thirteen to play.

After a scoreless jam that sent Jax Kvaas to the box, Patently Offensive stepped to the line unopposed. Offensive broke through a light Superhero pack, got the lead, scored a point, and was sent to the box just as Jax was returning. Jax pulled a slam-plus for seven points and called the jam. This jam put the Heroes ahead for the first time in the game, and the Heroes built on that lead. Jax handed the remainder of Offensive's penalty visit to her teammate Scootaloo. Scoots took the lead and tore past Norah Torious and Flora Flipabitch. Patently Offensive returned to the track for about five seconds before being sent out again. Offensive came out a few seconds later as Scootaloo herself was penalized, but quickly returned to the box which freed up Scoots to score seven. Scootallo passed the power jam to fellow Superhero Buffy the Vampire Skater. Buffy scored two more before calling off the jam as she ran into Killaman Jaro's strong blocking.

The Villains responded with a four point jam from Rumblebee, but their momentum was cut short in the next jam as Patently tweaked her ankle and had to be helped to the back. Over the next three jams, Hell N Ready, Scarmen Hellectra, and Rumblebee all attempted comebacks, but none could break past a strong Superhero pack. Meanwhile, the Hero jammers built on the lead, scoring nine unanswered points over those jams. Villain Hanna Belle Lector scored on the last jam, but the gap was simply too large to overcome. In an amazing comeback, the Heroes won the day as time expired, 62-40.

In that second half, the Heroes outscored the Villains 52-7. That's a huge change from the previous half, and has a great deal to do with the format of the mixers; to accomodate the large number of players in a league mixer, team captains rotate players in and out at the half. This is more a logistic choice than anything; there's only so many RollerGirls that you can pack into the middle without someone throwing a punch. That said, the Superheroes did a remarkable job. Taking advantage of four near-consecutive power jams early in the half, the Heroes' play shone a spotlight on three excellent jammers - one of which we've never seen wear a star before. Jax Kvaas and Killaman Jaro tied for most points scored (18 each); it seems that we may see these two at the jammer line again soon (for different teams; Jax has played for the Rockits for three years, while Killaman is a Dagger Doll rookie). Also, teammate Trixie Whipsum went 4-for-4 as lead jammer. What's more, the blocking improved sharply; Killaman Jaro and Shiver Me Kimbers were in Supervillain faces throughout the half, while Lola Blackenblue and Sweet Justice called shots from the front.

With the league mixers complete, there's only place to go...January 2nd. You've gotten to see the newest rookies and the old vets work out the kinks of the summertime off-season; it's time for the home teams at last to hit the track. See you in two Saturdays.

23 Jax Kvaas: 1-4, 18 pts
9 Killaman Jaro: 1-3, 18 pts
6 Trixie Whipsum: 4-4, 9 pts
FU Scootaloo: 1-1, 7 pts
18 Anita Spankston: 0-2, 4 pts
88 Jocelyn D'Jewels: 1-2, 3 pts
20 Buffy the Vampire Skater: 1-1, 2 pts
i4Ni Sweet Justice: 0-1, 1 pt
711 Ova Achieva: 0-5, 0 pts
36c Wonderbroad: 0-1, 0 pts

4x4 Rumblebee: 3-5, 13 pts
28 Scarmen Hellectra: 4-5, 11 pts
281 Patently Offensive: 3-7, 9 pts
47 Shady O'Dread: 2-4, 3 pts
II Hell N Ready: 0-1, 0 pts

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