Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Rockits triumph over Dolls, 129-37

At this point in the history of the Minnesota RollerGirls, no one expects a player to take a swipe at a rival.  Fights are basically stories that old-timers tell the rookies about from the first couple of seasons.  Still...there is rivalry in the MNRG, and no two teams have a more tempestuous one than the Dagger Dolls and the Rockits.  The two teams have a different (if equally passionate) outlook on our sport; the Rockits tend to embrace the new, interleague road-warrior style of play, while the Dollys' core seems to rest in taking the classic big blocks with fast, fast jammers.  In past years, these differences have manifested themselves in unusual ways. This year, the match was the thing, and the teams left it on the floor of the Roy.

Dolly jammer Psycho Novia broke out in the first jam past the Rockit defense and started to lap the pack.  However, Rockit scorer Harmony Killerbruise picked her way through the pack, got the lead, and called off the jam before Psycho could score.  Killamon Jaro, a rookie for the Dolls, donned the jammer star against Rockit veteran Scarmen Hellectra.  Killamon, with her long stride and lateral control, bent around an attempt by Scarmen to knock her back and took the lead.  Scarmen found herself in a flurry of Dagger Dolls and got lapped for five by Jaro.

Jaro's run showed the potential speed of the Dolly jammer squad, but this would be the Dolls' last opportunity to score for twelve minutes.  Over the next five jams, four Dolly jammers went to the penalty box along with four other Dolls in the defensive line.  The Rockits took a commanding lead with the ensuing power jams, going on a 42-point tear completely unanswerable by the Dolls.  The Rockits also called on their slow-pack defense, trapp
ing a Dolly blocker in their midst and braking fast.  This allowed jammers to break through the pack at a sudden standstill.  Still, the Rockits had to work for those points.  On Abbie Mischief's second lap through a Rockit-formed slowpack, Sinaminn jumped into Abbie's way from a dead stop and knocked her off her feet; Abbie recovered and still scored a triple slam.  Dagger Doll blocker Wonderbroad launched Vuedoo Prodigy into the air as Vue made one of her runs on a power jam, but the Rockit jammer righted herself mid-air, landed on her skates and continued on for thirteen points.  Rockits up 42-5 with seven remaining in the half.

Killamon Jaro returned to the line and flew through the pack, beating Harmony Killerbruise for the lead as Shiver Me Kimbers held the Rockit back.  Jaro scored four and got called out on track-cutting, only to be released from the box immediately - apparently a ref error.  Killamon Jaro called off the jam immediately, but not before Harmony could score four.  Scarmen Hellectra took the next lead off of an outside pass of the pack, grinning like a intergalactic despot as the refs gave her the lead jammer signal.  Sparkle Ninja followed closely behind, and each scored one.  Killamon Jaro orbited the pack for her third consecutive lead jam and took four points against two from her opponent.  49-14 Rockits with five to go.

The Rockits' wily jammer Abbie Mischief sparred against a poised Scootaloo for the Dagger Dolls.  Abbie fell into early trouble from Dolly blockers Sinaminn and Barbie Brawl, while Scootaloo got knocked through the inside of a turn.  The Doll veteran spread her arms wide and screeched to a halt before re-entering and being forced to take a penalty for track-cutting.  Meanwhile, Abbie scored four as her teammate Scarmen booty-blocked Scootaloo stride for stride to deny her exit from the pack.

Psycho Novia took her first lead of the half and scored three before Trinity Knox sent her offtrack...and with Harmony hot on Psycho's boots, the Rockits also scored three as Psycho called off the jam.  The half ended with Rockit veteran Trixie Whipsum scoring a lead against Killamon Jaro as the rookie Doll fell in behind Scarmen and Rockit captain Coochie Coup; both took a final four points.  60-21 at the half.

The monstrous 42-point streak in the middle of the first half by the Rockits turned the tide of this match quickly.  The Rockits, masters of converting the power jam, took four near-consecutive opportunities to extend the point gap and beat on the Dolls.  The Dolls also had significant penalty issues throughout the half, giving the Rockits many gaps to skate through.

The Rockits continued their march with a series of six straight lead jams, starting with Scarmen Hellectra--despite heavy blocking from Dolly Shiver Me Kimbers, but a trip to the penalty box cut short her advance.  Psycho Novia took the power jam for four.  Harmony hooked the next lead with solid blocking help from Honeydew Felon's booty scrape (a booty block moving across the track instead of directly into the player) of Sparkle Ninja and scored a double slam.  Next, Scarmen Hellectra caught her opponents looking and stole five while they tried to assist opponent Patently Offensive through the pack.  78-25 Rockits.

The Rockit streak kept going. The Reds' defense trapped Wonderbroad and Candi Pain outside the zone of engagement, sending Candi to the box when she tried to block out Rockit jammer Abbie Mischief.  Abbie double-slammed whilst the refs called Psycho Novia for track-cutting.  Through some crossed signals, Killamon Jaro was sent to the jammer line against Harmony Killerbruise despite Psycho still wearing the jammer star in the box.  The ensuing chaos allowed Harmony to score nine (Psycho scored three upon release).  And finally, Scarmen took a lead as Killamon got rocked by Rizzo just as she was about to break through the pack.  Dagger Doll Norwegian Mafia stopped the Rockit jammer in her tracks after squeezing only three unanswered points from the Dolls.  The Rockits hit the century mark with nine minutes to go. 100-29 Rockits.

Trixie Whipsum took to the jammer line next against the Dolls' Sparkle Ninja...and promptly got served a forced back block from the canny Buffy the Vampire Skater.  As Trixie headed out to the penalty box, Sparkle Ninja jinked around Pain Gretzky for the lead on the power jam.  The Rockits attempted to speed up to wear down Ninja, but Buffy started knocking around the Rockit blockers to slow them up.  The Dolly jammer scored three, and then took an unfortunate track cut across the inside turn just as the jam completed.  With Sparkle Ninja boxed, Harmony charged for nine unanswered points while Vuedoo Prodigy knocked aside anyone in her jammer's way.

Scarmen Hellectra extended the lead further with five minutes left in the game.  With the assistance of a zone trap (pulling back the Rockits so that the Dagger Doll blockers were outside the engagement zone), Scar took the lead for nine points. 118-32. Rockit rookie Icepack played against Killamon Jaro, and took her first lead jam while Trixie Whipsum launched Jaro into the trackside audience.  Icepack took three and called the jam as Doll blockers Patently Offensive and Buffy knocked her back (Jaro stole one).  Harmony ended the game with one final lead jam and eight points, with Patently hot on her heels for four.  Final score: Rockits 129 - Dolls 37.

The Rockits controlled the bulk of this game in two ways:
- They capitalized on the power jams, scoring over half of their points (66) while their jammers played unopposed.  Part of that comes from the fact that the Dolls played aggressively to stop the Rockits while their jammers cooled their heels in the box...more often than not, those same Dolls would then join their jammer in the penalty box due to illegal hits.
- They also took the majority of the lead jams (17 of 23).  Although the Rockits did not play the conservative style of years past where a Rockit would call the jam off the moment the opposing scorer came around to the back of the pack, they still had their say on when a jam would end for 70% of the game.

One historical note: the Rockits scored exactly the same number of points against the Dolls last year in March, but the Dagger Dolls tripled their own score from that match.  The Dagger Dolls are clearly better than last year's squad, and their blocking and pack play has improved a great deal from that 129-12 defeat of 2009; they recycle their players back to the front of the pack once beaten by a jammer, and their blockers gave the jammers more assistance in the Rockits match than just a whip.  What seems to be dogging the Dolls right now is the problem of penalty accrual.  With so many jams in which their scorers are out of play, it's difficult right now for them to mount a comeback.

The Dagger Dolls enter into the final bout of their season without a win and will take on the Garda Belts for third place.  The Rockits must now defend their Golden Skate against the only team that has beaten them in two years, the undefeated Atomic Bombshells.  Thermonuclear war commences in just over three weeks.  Be there for the first jam.

75 Harmony Killerbruise     (7-10) 59pts
318 Abbie Mischief     (3-3) 29pts
28 Scarmen Hellectra     (5-6) 21pts
LXIX Vuedoo Prodigy     (0-1) 13pts
6 Trixxie Whipsum     (1-2) 4pts
45 Ice Pack     (1-1) 3pts

9 Killamon Jaro     (3-6) 19pts
109 Psycho Novia     (1-8) 10pts
1111 Sparkle Ninja     (1-5) 4pts
281 Patently Offensive     (0-3) 4pts
FU Scootaloo     (0-1) 0pts

No comments: