Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dolls hold Gardas to under forty; Rockits return in season opener

The Minnesota RollerGirls opened their home season at the legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium this past Saturday. We began this season in a different manner than previous years at the Roy. Flipping the season on its head, the home teams have hit the track first, meaning our reigning champion Atomic Bombshells took on the Rockits in their first bout as the Dagger Dolls challenged the Garda Belts.

Rockits v Atomic Bombshells

Let's set the stage. The Atomic Bombshells entered into this bout having won their last two bouts against the Rockits. A jammer triumvirate led by L'exi-Cuter bested the core Rockit defense more than 60% of the time (and indeed, L'exi went 10 for 10 on lead jams against the Rockits in their first bout last season). On the ABS defense, Mitzi Massacre, Misfit Maiden, Diamond Rough, and Tara Skatesov created space for their jammers to thrive, then clanged the door shut on the Rockits. Harmony Killerbruise played heavily into the Rockit offense last season, but with her departure the team had no single dominant jammer. The loss of Mae Gusta and Misfit Maiden also left the Bombshells with some significant gaps in their defense as they entered this game, but the Rockits gained one blocker to their core blocking staff as Frau Scientits returned this season to the track.

The Rockits scored three new players from the MNRG boot camp program to supplement this year's ranks. The Bombshells chose four as well - three fresh players and one transfer (Smoka Hontas) from Angel City. In years past, the rookies had several months to tame their new skills for the league. The new season's schedule changes that so that it is each team's responsibility to quickly bring their teams up to speed - as the fight for ranking begins in October, not January.

The Rockits wasted no time in showing off their first draft pick - Commander Nix - by putting her at the jammer line against L'exi-Cuter for the first jam of the season. The Commander came around the outside of the pack and took the first lead with L'exi right behind. The Bombshell line stormed the front of the pack to escape the incoming Rockit rookie, but Commander Nix got in and got two to L'exi's one. Rockit captain Scarmen Hellectra took the next lead, slicing through danger and scoring a fast four on her opponent Lizzy the Axe. Patently "Leo" Offensive (formerly a Dagger Doll) scored another lead for the women in red by breaking through a Bombshell pack made short by an early penalty to Madame de Stompadour. With Leo's teammate Trixxie Whipsum diverting the pack, the Rockit also scored four points. Abbie Mischief made it four consecutive lead jams, scoring four as well. 14-1 with fifteen remaining.

The Bombshells staunched the bleeding in these early jams by getting their jammer through only moments after the Rockit caught the lead. They picked up their first shot at a counterattack when Commander Nix got sent to the box. Bombshell jammer Freeze Baby forced her way through a tightly-skating Rockit pack and started sprinting. Freeze made three scoring passes in thirty seconds for fourteen points as the Bombshell pack goated Rockit Vuedoo Prodigy to keep the Rockits from trying to keeping pace with Freeze.

Now, 'goating' is fast becoming a common strategy in modern derby, so let me explain this one. When jammers fight and skate their way through a pack, the blockers trying to stop them can only impede their progress when they're in 'the pack'. In the most basic terms, a pack is where the most skaters from both teams happen to be. When a jammer is in a power jam opportunity (where the opposing jammer is in the penalty box), the opposing team will often try to keep pace with the jammer on the track; doing so keeps that player from passing and scoring points. The team with the power jam will often try to peel off one of those players in flight and hold them well behind the rest of their team. Doing so establishes 'the pack' (the refs say, "Here is where the most players from both teams are on the track! THE PACK IS HERE!") This behavior, called 'trapping' or 'goating', puts those other players out of play; they can't engage the jammer who's speeding and they so they have to skate back to where the pack is. While that chaos ensues, a quickly-moving player can get five or ten or fifteen points. Got it? Good! The Bombshells goated Vuedoo; on with the game!

Freeze called off the jam with Commander Nix still sitting in the box. Lizzy the Axe then took the lead and another nine points. However, Nix was so impatient to return to the track from the penalty box that she skated half of the length of the track to get behind the pack. She broke through and scored four of her own before Lizzy could call off the jam. The Bombshells nonetheless took the lead, 23-18. Rockits took a timeout.

Atomic Bombshell co-captain Venus Thightrap then scored her first point of the night, besting a Rockit defense larger than her own. In the next jam, neither Scarmen nor L'exi-Cuter could take the lead. However, as the jam entered into its second minute, L'exi found ways to score by juking past Frau Scientits and Honeydew...and Diamond Rough held up Scar long enough to force a foul on the Rockit captain. L'exi scored nineteen points to Scar's two in the ensuing power jam, and Lizzy the Axe scored four more during the final seconds of Scar's penalty box trip. As the Bombshells built their lead to 25 (46-21) with nine remaining, the women in orange called for a timeout.

Returning to the track for her second jam, Freeze Baby grabbed the lead and four points by once again busting up the pack in front of her. With her the half-century mark, Lizzy played against the Rockits' Commander Nix. Vuedoo Prodigy and Killahertz began a pattern of recycling Lizzy to the back of the pack which eventually led to Lizzy's getting caught by a major track cut. Commander Nix took advantage of the power jam for twenty while her team opened space on the track. 50-41 Bombshells still ahead.

The bout took a serious turn two jams later when Abbie Mischief jammed against Venus Thightrap. Venus called off the jam after scrabbling through Rockit defense for four as Abbie came in to start scoring. However, the conclusion of a hit as the jam completed went very badly indeed, as Diamond Rough sent Abbie across the track line. Abbie's fall to the concrete floor broke her leg in two places. We expect Abbie to return, and we wish her well in her recovery.

The bout quickly reset, and Commander Nix took the next lead (scoring four) as fellow Rockits rookie Salvador Brawlie stopped L'exi from breaking through the pack. With one last jam in the half and ten points separating the teams, Scarmen Hellectra caused a lead change with a twenty-point power jam off of a mistake from ABS jammer Freeze Baby as the Rockits pack goated Diamond Rough, then CleoSPLATra to break down the ABS pack's ability to hit. And so at halftime, the Rockits took the lead, 65-55.

The Bombshell's first half of the season did not quite have the punch of the championship team of season six. Whether it was the Rockit pack holding back jamming monsters like Venus and L'exi, or the red jammers busting past the dangerous Bombshell defense, the Bombshells struggled to get their jammer out front first. Because of that, they scored very few points outside of power jams and couldn't quite keep up with the scoring of the Rockits.

The women in red continued to apply pressure for the first five minutes of the second half. Commander Nix, Frau Scientits (in on the jamming rotation in place of Abbie Mischief), Leo, and Scar scored eleven unanswered points over four jams while the core Rockit staff attacked the Bombshell jammers to distraction. Frau monstered up as front blocker, trapping ABS jammers behind her long enough for Vuedoo and Killahertz to recycle and deposit the player behind the pack.

L'exi-cuter and the Bombshells finally stopped the bleeding with four points, but at some cost. L'exi went to the box, and Commander Nix began a jam with a full pack of defenders, and only two Bombshells on the track - the position the derby world has taken to calling the 'minivan' (named for the position of power that kids have on a road trip when there's five in the back and just two parents in the front). Nix and the women in red took control and brought the score to 90-59.

With more Bombshells in the box than Rockits, ABS jammer Venus Thightrap caught Coochie Coup out in the front of the pack and took the lead. Scar burst through soon after, but Venus did not call the jam as she broke through for the initial scoring run. Normally, that's a risky maneuver because you risk the opposing jammer scoring just as many points as you...but it appeared to be the right decision, as Scar scored one point and was then sent to the penalty box. Venus scored fourteen more points on the ensuing power jam. 91-77 Rockits up with ten to go. The Rockits hurriedly took a time out to reboot.

Scarmen Hellectra took the next lead as the front Rockits again walled off the ABS jammer, holding her for Vuedoo Prodigy to waterfall in and drop the Bombshell like a rock. Scar scored a slam, and Commander Nix stole two from lead jammer L'exi in the next jam as the Bombshell attempted to call it off. Scar returned in as jammer, but got sent out to the box for a back block. The Rockits started playing keepaway (or as it's called, "Kittens in the box") by skating just ahead of the Bombshells, keeping the orange blockers between them and the ABS jammer. Venus wisely called off the jam. With Scar in the box, Bombshell jammer Freeze Baby grabbed a double slam. It was almost saved by Scarmen Hellectra returning from the box, but an errant penalty in a no-pack situation sent her right back to the box. The jam got called, and L'exi came in to harvest another ten points from the power jam. 98-97 with three to play.

Nix scored the lead for the following jam as Frau held up her opponent Lizzy, but the veteran Bombshell jammer snuck through nonetheless to score two to Nix's three. Vuedoo Prodigy and Venus could not score in the next jam, and so a final timeout was taken by the Bombshells to work out the last two minutes (with 41 seconds remaining, there was little doubt that this would be the final jam). The Rockits put up recent acquisition Patently Offensive against L'exi-Cuter. The packs of both teams bristled with All-Stars. Hard-hitting Diamond Rough and Tara Skatesov went in for the Bombshells; the Rockit pack filled up with the core Red Wall defense. The first whistle blew, and the Rockit blockers moved slowly off the line to milk time. Finally, the jammers were off, and Leo broke ahead past Diamond...but not with the lead jam. Had L'exi been able to break the Rockit wall successfully, she could have gone woman-on-woman against Leo for points. However, the Reds trapped the Bombshell jammer, knocking her down and sending her to the back of the pack for the remainder of the jam. Leo scored a straight double slam and took the day for the Rockits. Final score: 111-99 with the Rockits scoring the first win.

Lead Jams: 15

D1 Commander Nix 6-9, 43 pts
28 Scarmen Hellectra 5-11, 35 pts
281 Patently Offensive 3-4, 19 pts
318 Abbie Mischief 1-3, 4 pts
23 Frau Scientits 0-1, 10 pts
LXIX Vuedoo Prodigy 0-1, 0 pts

Lead Jams: 12

187 L'exi-cuter 3-11, 35 pts
0054 Freeze Baby 3-4, 27 pts
55 Venus Thightrap 4-7, 22 pts
41 Lizzy the Axe 2-7, 15 pts

Dagger Dolls vs Garda Belts
We never really felt the game was in the bag. I kept looking at the scoreboard thinking "Is this enough?... okay now is this enough?" We have seen the MNRG Allstars pull off some huge comebacks, so we just continued to play our best. I couldn't relax, even after the game; it seemed surreal.
-Wonderbroad, Dagger Doll co-captain

Huge changes came to both the Garda Belts and the Dagger Dolls over the summer. Angelfire, Tiki Torture, and Hanna Belle Lector all jumped to the Dolls from the Gardas. In addition, the pink girls took in Olga Oglethorpe and Naughty Kitty, former co-captains of the North Star home team Delta Delta well as Juke Boxx, a rookie standout of Madison's Dairyland Dolls. The effect of these transfers cannot be underestimated. Between the six new players and new co-captains Psycho Novia and Wonderbroad, the team has been revitalized...but it had not lost its hard-hitting edge. Besides Psycho and Wonnie, many other veteran Dollys have skated with a renewed purpose: returning the Golden Skate to the Dagger Dolls and more immediately ending the eleven-game losting streak plaguing the women in pink.

Though the Gardas lost Angel, Tiki, and Hanna to the Dolls, the losses gave them more space to add new players to their ranks. The Gardas Belts drafted seven players this year and brought back former Garda Ann E Briated to their fold. Whether the exuberance of Dropkick Donna, the wily experience of Betty LaRude, or the fresh speed of draftee Sintripetal Force, the Gardas tested the new blood to find a new balance of speed and power against the Dolls.

The bout began very much like other Dagger Doll/Garda Belt bouts - with Psycho Novia and Suzie Smashbox taking the first jamming shift of the game. As the first whistle blew, it was plain that something had changed. Dagger Dolls old and new came up to receive Suzie and send her hurtling to the ground while Psycho found a seam and broke through for the lead. Suzie attempted to scrabble past Wonderbroad and Naughty Kitty, but received a forearm penalty for her effort and was sent to the box. Psycho scored seventeen unanswered points.

Killaman 'Man Jar' Jaro went to the line unopposed while Suzie waited out her penalty, but Man Jar's attempt to jump past several players through the track's second apex met with failure as Garda transfer Betty LaRude sent a player into the jammer mid-air, forcing a misconduct foul. To the box went Man-Jar, and in came Suzie. Due to Citizen Pain's clever baiting of the Doll front line out of the engagement zone, Suzie scored a double slam. 17-10 Dollys up.

The Dolls put Juke Boxx (newly-transferred from Madison's Dairyland Dolls) at the jammer line against Shiva Shankin' (also new, formerly of the North Stars) in Garda green. The Doll pack separated the Gardas left and right, creating a valley for the 'Sconnie sprinter to burst through and take the lead. The opening collapsed, and Shiva had little luck in making her way through the valley of the Dolls. Barbie Brawl forced a track cut on Shiva, sending her to the box. Juke scored fourteen on the power jam.

With Shiva still in the box, Psycho took the lead and scored another nine. Tiki Torture opened the door for the second scoring pass by knocking several of her former Garda teammates aside with a single hit. Killaman scored another ten as Olga Oglethorpe and Lydia Punch held up Suzie Smashbox, setting up their teammates to knock down the mighty Garda jammer. Angelfire - another transfer from the Garda bench - scored a quick three against her former team. 53-14 Dollys up with eight to go in the half.

Longtime Dolly troublemaker Scootaloo then put on the star and used the chaos created by Rumblebee tripping her (sending 'bee to the box for the first of two times in that jam alone) to break through the pack for yet another Dolly lead. Scoots scored thirteen, and the Gardas called for a timeout.

Suzie got the best of the Doll pack in the next jam, scoring four to Juke Boxx's three despite an enthusiastic block to the inside on the initial pass by Dagger Doll Barbie Brawl. Barbie's captain Psycho then blew through open space created by Tiki Torture's bulldozing of the Garda pack to take the next lead and a double slam. Garda jammers Cassie Rolle and Moto Fluzzi grabbed eight points in the final two jams of the half, but both Man Jar and Angelfire found ways through, bringing the score to 92-26 as the halftime whistle blew.

It was clear already at the half that this year's Dollys had a new plan of action. For many seasons, the Dagger Dolls have had extraordinarily fast jammers but few players ready to protect them from opposing defenders. This year, that has changed. The draft picks, mixed with a revitalized Dolly old guard, were superbly holding the Gardas back. You really couldn't just point at one or two players for their effort; everyone was contributing. Amazing play from the Dolls, and another half remained.

After a no-score opening jam from Suzie and Juke, Psycho Novia went to the line against Sintripetal Force for the Gardas. The first whistle blew, and former Garda Belt (now a Dagger Doll) Hanna Belle Lector cleared the road for Psycho by hacksawing several of her former teammates to the ground. Psycho knifed through the fallen pack to get the lead as Sintripetal Force cut the track and got sent to the penalty box. Psycho blasted through for fifteen more points on the power jam as Dolls parted the Gardas to make space for their jammer, then called the jam before Sin could stand up from her penalty. 107-26 Dollys.

With Sin in the box along with two other Gardas, a blocking Juke Boxx came up from Citizen Pain's blind spot and knocked her into the other Garda remaining on the an unopposed Killaman Jaro an open floor to take the lead and score ten points. Sintripetal came out, but another penalty forced her back to the box for the start of the next jam. This left both jammers in, waiting for the start of the next jam. Killaman Jaro stood up as the track passed and slinked through the pack, scoring seven more for the Dolls before Sin returned, took the lead, and called off the jam. 124-29 Dollys with thirteen left.

Suzie scored a lead jam next against Juke Boxx...and with a belt whip from Garda co-captain Citizen Pain took three unanswered points before calling the jam. Any Garda momentum got cut short by the Dolls as Psycho raced through a disorganized green defense for the lead, slicing past her front two - Norah Torious and Tiki Torture. Tiki and the Dolly veteran Norah worked a two-wall waterfall (i.e. skating together and trading off hits on the Garda jammer) on Psycho's opposing jammer. Psycho scored fourteen unanswered points. 138-32 Dollys with eight left.

The Gardas continued to lose steam. Doll jammer Angelfire took the next lead and scored three as she called the jam, only to be caught by a late hit from former teammate Rumblebee. Juke Boxx scored another lead as she took on Suzie Smashbox yet again. This time, Naughty Kitty and Tiki Torture sent Suzie reeling while Juke orbited the pack, scoring nine. The Gardas tried Sintripetal Force. Sin took the lead, snuck through the pack (skating where Tiki and Norah Torious weren't looking), and scored two.

That would be the last chance for the Gardas to score. Both Suzie Smashbox and Cassie Rolle went to the box over the next two jams, giving Lydia Punch and Scootaloo - both vet Dollys - the opportunity to score in this cathartic win for the Dagger Dolls. Final score: 168-36. The Dolly losing streak has been shattered. Bombshells and Rockits...get ready for the new Dolly regime.

Lead Jams: 6

91 Suzie Smashbox 3-9, 21 pts
850cc Moto Fluzzi 0-1, 8 pts
1.618 Sintripetal Force 2-5, 5 pts
350 Cassie Rolle 1-5, 2 pts
10-72 ShivaShankn 0-3, 0 pts

Lead Jams: 17

109 Psycho Novia 5-5, 64 pts
9 Killaman Jaro 2-5, 37 pts
A18 Juke Boxx 3-6, 26 pts
FU Scootaloo 2-2, 16 pts
789 Lydia Punch 1-1, 15 pts
c² Angelfire 3-3, 10 pts
711 Ova Acheiva 1-1, 0 pts

Monday, October 11, 2010

Return of the RollerGirls: Season Seven preview

Only days remain before the doors of the Legendary Roy Wilkins swings open. Only days remain before the fans return, rocking the orange and red and green and pink. Only days before rookies put their newfound skills on the line. Days before the Minnesota RollerGirls begin anew the fight for the Golden Skate.

The home season is starting for reals, folks. Though many have been playing and practicing as part of the All-Star team since the season ended, most of our players returned in August and started to pick up the teams where they left off. The thing is, between our upcoming trip to the Championship tournament and the twenty new women in our league (not to mention the newly-formed Debut-Taunt farm league), we have made a massive leap forward that's difficult to quantify with stats and a naming of names.

Since so much has happened, we thought that we should ask the team's captains a bit about their players as we begin our seventh season. This is a preview of the four teams of the Minnesota RollerGirls from the women who run them. Some had a lot to say; some have decided to let their skills do the talking on Saturday. Read on.

Atomic Bombshells: Co-captains - Venus Thightrap and Diamond Rough

Could you introduce your rookies to us? The Bombshells were fortunate this year to draft not only very talented skaters but individuals who have an eagerness to learn strategy and fit very well on our team.
Bully Jean - goes by "Bully" or "Jeano". Current Bombshells have noted “She will be a serious blocking force. She has great attitude, dedication and learns fast. Very positive, wants to learn, really works hard.”
Freeze Baby - goes by "Freeze". One word comes to mind when I think of Freeze - Perseverance. This woman never gives up and is always fighting her way through the pack. This summer Bombshells said that Freeze was already “Very good – very agile, quick and clever."
Hurtrude Stein - goes by "Trudy". Her quiet demeanor belies her desire to lay outopponents. She hits hard and we look forward to seeing how her strength can power through opponents during a jam. This summer, Bombshells told us “She’s a power house!” and that she is “Very confident on her skates”.
Smoka Hontas - goes by "Smoka". This woman has a glare that could kill and has the derby skills to back it up. We are very thankful she came to us from Angel City [Los Angeles]. Look for her both blocking and jamming this season. During the summer, many Bombshells noted that she “clearly brings derby skill and experience."

What decisions led to your team's second team championship last season? In the words of biggest little fan, Mini Skatesov, the desire to “smoosh” our opponents! We decided as a team last year that we would not let the Rockits win and we accomplished that - twice! The captains at the time, Mitzi Massacre and Misfit Maiden, trained us to think faster, skate harder and be more strategic in game play. We were fortunate to have the endurance and talent to skate with much less than a full-roster. It was our year for the Golden Skate and we were very pleased to have been able to take it home on April 4th.

Every couple of years, the Bombshells rewrite the book on themselves. I see new captains and a new bench coach. Is this a rebuilding season? While we might have lost a few wonderful players this year - Mae Gusta and Misfit Maiden – there are many great things happening for the Atomic Bombshells. We have been fortunate to have retired skaters return - Lizzy the Axe, CleoSPLATra, and Flora Flipabitch. BOOMbay Safire is skating again and injury free! Retired ref Rocky will be bench coaching. We have a full roster this season and many of our skaters have improved greatly over the course of the summer! Our team is getting stronger and smarter every day. Many Bombshells are on the All-Star team and have brought back to us a wealth of talent and knowledge (and an MNRG trip to the WFTDA Championships). Other skaters spent the summer assisting the new recruits at bootcamp. And, while we changed the leadership roles this year, Mitzi Massacre is still bringing her skills and wisdom to the track. If you want the two most fierce and intense captains, the Bombshells have them. But, that being said, D.Rough and I balance each other very well and try to make sure the Bombshells are having a really great time while working their butts off.

In essence, we are still very much the same team we were before - tight-knit, full of joy and we never give up. We sincerely enjoy spending time together outside of derby and support each other in our personal lives. We trust each other on the track and we know we have each other’s backs. When teams enjoy being together both on and off the track, it shows when you play and it's a skill you can't teach or practice - it just happens. We're just a very fortunate to have a team where our personalities mesh well with one another. This is really the driving force behind what makes the Atomic Bombshells so good at what we do - we want to succeed together and have a vested interest in each other.

Additional thoughts on the upcoming game? The Golden skate has had a fabulous summer, traveling the midwest and seeing the world. We hope to keep the Championship title with orange and have a blast doing it. While the Rockits are pretty, strong, and we like the way some of them yell, we will be doing all we can as a team to go for the win.

Dagger Dolls: Co-captains - Psycho Novia and Wonderbroad

Could you introduce your new players to us? Juke Boxx- formerly a member of the Mad Rollin' Dolls (Madison, WI), played for the Vaudville Vixons (home team), and the Dairyland Dolls (Traveling Team). Currently a member of the MNRG All-Stars.
Naughty Kitty- formerly a member of the North Star Roller Girls (Minneapolis, MN), captain of Delta Delta Di (NSRG home team) and played for the Supernovas (NSRG travelling team). Currently a member the MNRG All-Stars.
Olga Ogilthorpe- formerly a member of the North Star Roller Girls (Minneapolis, MN), captain of Delta Delta Di (NSRG home team) and played for the Supernovas (NSRG travelling team).
[editor's note: let's not also forget Angelfire, Tiki Torture, and Hanna Belle Lector, formerly of the Garda Belts and members of the MNRG All-Stars.]

How is the team adjusting to having so many new players with so much previous experience? Well, we really only picked [the MNRG rookies] because they are all hot blondes and look great in pink (all of their former home teams are pink). So they fit in just fine!

The big question - the Dolls are on a 0-11 run. What changes this year to break the losing streak? We're not going to give away our secrets, silly.

Garda Belts: Co-captains - Citizen Pain and Anita Spankston

Could you introduce your rookies to us? I've been really impressed with all of our rookies this year and we are really happy to have our newest Gardas. These athletes have been quick to learn, hard working and are salivating to get the season started with our first bout. Their fresh enthusiasm has really brought this team together in great ways.

The Freshest of meat: Moto Fluzzi, Sintripetal Force and Wolfe Bite. All three of these Gardas have really impressed me with their focus, determination, and general skill set. Keep an eye on them throughout the season cause they are quickly shedding their rookie skin.

Familiar faces in the derby world: Not totally new to derby, former refs Dropkick Donna and Glam Slam are ready to be inside the track boundaries and kick some booty - Green style. They know the game well and they are ready to put it into action.

Familiar with playing derby: Shiva Shakin and Betty LaRude are amazing! We are confident in them and we know that we can rely on them to see what needs to be done, Garda style.

The Gardas have not yet won the Skate in the league's history. Is this the Gardas' year? Every year is the Garda's year! We work hard to do our absolute best and then even better so there is NO denying that were are out there to win and play to do so. We play with heart and fight until the end so of course it's our year!

When a fan thinks, 'Garda Belt', what sort of play on the track do you hope she thinks of? Owning the track with dedicated, sharp and solid play. Throughout the seasons we've been known to be very good at defense but you can't solely rely on that. We're ready to play our game the way we want to control it and make the others beg for it to be over!

The Rockits: Co-captains - Scarmen Hellectra and Pain Gretzky

Could you introduce your rookies to us? Commander Nix: this wily speedster was the top rookie pick. Already an amazing jammer, look for her wearing the star.
Kit Shinkicker: versatile and fiery, this blocker / jammer is a true double threat. She soaks up strategy like a sponge.
Salvador Brawlie: we've been scouting out this tenacious up-and-comer since day one. She has the passion and never gives up, no matter what position she takes on.
Rockits would also like to welcome former Dagger Doll Patently Offensive to the team. We always thought she'd look good in sparkly red.

The Atomic Bombshells figured you out last year, why won't the other two teams? The Rockits have never really had any secret strategies. We've just always been the team that shows up to practice all the time so our teamwork is tight. We like to run tough practices and work our tails off. Really, our only plan is to play the game better and faster than the rest.

You lost Harmony, our top point scorer. How will you evolve to make up for that? Losing Harmony is a big deal, yes. It would be pretty rad indeed if she could spontaneously moved back to MN. Ha! Rockit pipe dreams. But...I think our bench is deeper now than it ever was before. A few seasons back, we essentially had a two jammer rotation. Now, over half the team can be called upon to jam at any time. We intend to keep teaching all of the great drills that Harmony dreamed up. And, we like to use the phrase "what the CRAP!" because it makes us feel as though Harmony is still skating with us.

Why are the Rockits rad? Cake, gummi bears, turtles, chickens. Also, "that's what she said".

There's only one more thing you need to know: this Saturday, the MNRG champion Atomic Bombshells  take on the Rockits.  This grudge match will determine an early advantage for one of these teams on the path to the Golden Skate.  These two teams have won the MNRG league trophy for five of our six seasons; be assured - they'll leave everything on the track to get this win. 

Meanwhile, the Garda Belts and the Dagger Dolls start this season anew.  This will be a game that will make you rethink everything you understood about the Dollies and the women in Green.  Trust us; you do not want to miss this bout.  Both the Gardas and the Dolls have been playing teams outside of the Twin Cities as a run-up to this bout; they are confident about their teams, and they are ready to amaze their fans.

You've heard from the players. Get your tickets. We will see you at the Roy.

Reporting from the exact geographical center of derby today,
-Garrison Killer