Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bombshells hold back Gardas 67-42

Saturday's match between the Atomic Bombshells and Garda Belts took an unexpected turn even before the first jam had begun.  L'exi-cuter could not make the match due to outside obligations.  As L'exi had provided half of the Bombshells' points over the past two jams, the Bombshells would have to up their defense and force principal jammers Mae Gusta and Venus Thightrap to further step up their own jamming.  Meanwhile, the Gardas looked at this match as a last shot at the season championship.  To be guaranteed a berth in the finals, they would have to defeat the Bombshells by forty-seven or more.  Certainly a possibility, but Suzie Smashbox, Cassie Rolle, and Angelfire would need to keep charging through the Bombshell pack to make it happen.

Suzie Smashbox started strong for the Gardas by taking the first lead against the Bombshells' Mae Gusta.  Mae punched into the pack, only to be stopped by Garda sweeper Tiki Torture while Suzie broke past Bombshell blockers Tara Skatesov and Diamond Rough.  Suzie scored four.  Flora Flipabitch intercepted Garda rookie jammer Cassie Rolle long enough for her teammate and jammer Venus Thightrap to break through the pack.  Cassie came up behind, but Venus signaled for a pack speed-up and accelerated past the Garda defense...leaving the rookie a quarter of a track behind with no Bombshells to pass before VTT scored four. 4-4 with sixteen in the half.

Mae Gusta sparred again against Suzie Smashbox and took the lead.  While Tara and Diamond battered Suzie from end to end of the track, Mae snuck through the outside and scored seven, but the refs sent her to the box at the conclusion of the jam on accumulation of minors.  The Gardas called a timeout to recenter.

The women in green sent Angelfire out to jam while Mae cooled her skates in the penalty box.  Despite the Gardas' best efforts, they could not push Angelfire past Tara and Diamond before Mae emerged from the box and took the lead.  Suzie answered back the next jam by breaking through the pack first and calling for a her just enough time to score four before Venus Thightrap reengaged.

Cassie Rolle returned to the line, this time jamming against Jocelyn D'Jewels ("Balls" to the Bombshells).  Cassie got caught up by Misfit Maiden, slamming into the Bombshell blocker captain from behind.  Cassie got sent to the box, which opened the way for Jocelyn to take the lead.  Balls broke through the pack, snagged the lead, and called off the jam before scoring a point.  Venus Thightrap jammed unopposed for three points.  While Cassie came out as Venus began her lapping run, the referees sent her out on penalties quickly.  Venus called the jam, trapping the rookie in the box again.  Mae took the next lead as her blockers played a zone engagement trap and scored five.  Noticing Cassie rising from her seat as she approached the penalty box - signalling that her 'sentence' was about up - Mae called the jam again.  Finally, Cassie re-emerged in the following jam, beat out the Bombshell blockers up front for the lead, and gladly called off the jam.  The Bombshells scored eight points and solidly controlled the clock for six minutes amidst the power jam opportunity.  Bombshells up 19-8.

With just four minutes to go in the half, a well-rested Suzie Smashbox tore down the track, squeezing past her blockers to take the lead.  Suzie grand-slammed past her opposing jammer despite a massive hit from Tara Skatesov that had half the crowd grimacing...and the other half on their feet.  Following a no-score jam, Mitzi Massacre recovered from an early hit by Anita Spankston to grab the lead and five points, as Suzie Smashbox could not crack through a Bombshell defense that might as well have been made from concrete.  The Bombshells went to the back for halftime with a narrow ten-point lead (23-13).  Although the lead was slender, the Bombshells controlled the clock for 8 of the 12 jams, and did not allow the Gardas a single point when they had the lead.  What's more, their defensive line allowed only one player - the often-unstoppable Suzie Smashbox - to score in the half.

Tiki Torture began the second half at the jammer line against Venus Thightrap.  Tiki used her explosive acceleration to take the outside of the track at a rapid clip, but Venus wove through the inside lane to get the lead for a very quick four points.  Cassie Rolle struggled against a sweeping Tara Skatesov...but Suzie laid out Tara to allow Cassie to pass.  Seemed like something of a payback of a sort to Tara's earlier pasting of Suzie...but it also brought the crowd to a roar and got her jammer through to arrest Mae's progress.  Meanwhile, Mae Gusta scored five...well on her way to a personal best in a hometeam game.  Venus scored another four (allowing two from Suzie Smashbox), bringing the Bombshell lead to 21 with just four minutes of game time passed. 36-21.

After the sixth consecutive jam led by the Bombshells (scored by a fast-reacting Jocelyn D'Jewels, flying through a narrow opening created by opposing jammer Angelfire), Suzie bypassed a distracted Bombshell pack for a lead jam.  Suzie scored three, then got stuck with a back-blocking penalty as she ran into Misfit Maiden.  Her opponent Mae Gusta started accelerating.  Having just beaten a block outside of the engagement zone by Citizen Pain (sent to the box for her illegal hit), Mae lapped twice against an emptying pack.  On her third lap, a returning Citizen Pain took Mae down in the corner, and Mae called the jam with thirteen more points.  The box had a number of Gardas still waiting from the previous jam to be let out, so Suzie took the lead and delayed her opponent's progress in the lapping run so that all players served their time in full.  Suzie then shot through the pack ahead to take an easy four points. Mae grabbed another point in the following jam, creating her own space by jumping over skates and hips in the inside of turns. 51-22 Bombshells still ahead.

The previous jam had sent the aggressive Tara Skatesov/Diamond Rough duo to the box, and Suzie - who had been tenderized all game by these two as well as Misfit Maiden and Mitzi Massacre - took full advantage of the gaps in the pack by taking the next lead.  Suzie lapped the pack for five just as Diamond and Tara came barreling out of the penalty box like twin engines of destruction.  Tara knocked Anita aside to allow Misfit through, then re-entered the pack to await Suzie's second lap.  Suzie scored three more and called off the jam.  Cassie Rolle scored four points in the following jam (the only points scored by someone besides Suzie for the Gardas), despite an attempt by the Bombshells to speed up the pack.  51-34 Bombshells with six left.

With those two jams, the point gap looked ready to be overcome, but a horrible piece of miscommunication doomed the comeback on the next jam.  Suzie did not report to the jammer line by the first whistle, and so the Gardas were without a jammer against Mae Gusta.  Mae Gusta skated up to the pack, found the smallest of openings on the inside and jumped through it into her lapping run.  She scored eight points, followed by three points from Venus Thightrap as Skullateral Damage opened space for her teammate to take the lead and points.  Tara Skatesov donned the star and jousted against Angelfire, and knocked her opponent out of bounds well behind the pack.  That particular play guarantees that the jammer sent out of bounds before entering the zone of engagement cannot be the lead jammer.  Tara sped through for another three before getting calling off the jam following a tooth-rattling block from Dieann Isis.  Suzie scored four points in each of the final two jams, but those late points did not affect the final outcome.  With an undefeated streak and a winning record that extends now to five, the Atomic Bombshells defeated the mighty Garda Belts 67-42.

The Bombshells now have the opportunity to extend their streak to six and to win it all.  All they have to do is defeat the two-time defending champions of the Minnesota RollerGirls...the Rockits.  We will see you at the Roy for that decisive battle.

91 Suzie Smashbox     (8-12) 38pts
350 Cassie Rolle     (2-7) 4pts
c² Angelfire     (0-5) 0pts
H8U Tiki Torture     (0-1) 0pts

456 Mae Gusta     (7-11) 41pts
55 Venus Thightrap     (5-8) 19pts
3 Mitzi Massacre     (1-1) 4pts
21 Tara Skatesov     (1-1) 3pts
88 Jocelyn D'Jewels     (2-4) 0pts
313 Misfit Maiden     (0-1) 0pts

One final note for Garda fans: we noted in the preview that Garda rookie Alisin Chains has moved to Chicago.  Following the bout, we learned that Ali has been accepted into the monsters of the Midwest - the Windy City Rollers!  We wish her the best.

No comments: