Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dolls stab Rockits; Bombshells bust Gardas

On Saturday, November 20th, MNRG fans were treated to a rare sight at the Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium when the Dagger Dolls defeated the Rockits for the first time in almost five years of play, 87-43. Meanwhile, Atomic Bombshell fans had a great night as their own women in orange defeated the Garda Belts 77-43.

Dagger Dolls v Rockits

The Rockits started the bout with Patently "Leo" Offensive at the jammer line, skating against Psycho Novia. At the blast of the jammer whistle, Leo shot around the outside of the pack, took her first lead jam of the night, and scored four. Psycho stole one. Scarmen and Commander Nix took the next two jams for the Rockits as well, but their Rockit defensive staff could only keep the Dagger jammers at bay for so long. The two Rockits combined scored only four points to the Dolls' three. 8-4 Rockits up after four minutes of play.

Psycho scored the first lead (and two points) for her Dagger Dolls by forcing Rockit blockers out of the engagement zone with her fast pace. Opposing jammer Frau Scientits also snuck two under the radar before Psycho called it off.

Psycho Novia headed to the line again two jams later (Psycho wore the jammer star for 40% of the bout), this time against Scarmen Hellectra. Although both broke to the front of the pack within a lap, Scar got caught in a track-cutting trap on the inside while Psycho scored a lead and seven unanswered points. 13-10 Dolls with eleven left in the half.

Commander Nix regained the score lead for the Rockits almost immediately with a four-point jam, extended by two from another scoring run by Scarmen. The Dolls then scored four consecutive lead jams as they bust past a strung-out Rockit pack. It seemed the Dolls' defensive squad (particularly Naughty Kitty up front) found ways to separate the Rockit pack, giving their fast jammers the opportunity to go 1-on-1 with the Reds instead of getting walled off.

However, it was not until the last jam of the half that the Dolls went ahead. Psycho Novia got the lead jam and wound through Rockit opposition while Lydia Punch and Naughty Kitty alternately beat upon, booty-blocked, and recycled opposing jammer Commander Nix to the back for a full two minutes. Psycho scored twelve points to bring the first half to a close, Dagger Dolls 35 - Rockits 28.

Psycho and Nix picked it right back up after the break. Nix again fell prey to the Dolly defense; this time to Juke Boxx and Tiki Torture holding the rear line and recycling the rookie Rockit. Psycho scored fourteen unanswered points. The Dolls increased their lead to thirty as Dolly co-captain Wonderbroad opened the way for Killaman Jaro to score four, then Juke orbited the outside to take a lead, swinging inside to jump past Coochie Coup to complete a grand slam (that's a five-point jam). Dolls up 58-28.

Scarmen took the Rockits' first lead of the half as Killahertz peeled off Tiki Torture in the rear; Scar swept past and scored one, but Killaman found a hole in the following jam and put up a grand slam in response. The Dolls attempted to widen the lead further by putting Naughty Kitty at the line against Frau Scientits, but Frau snaked through the Doll line for four while Scar booty-hammered Kitty into submission.

The game seemed to shift in the following jam; despite the Rockits keeping Psycho Novia to two points on a power jam, the women in red could not seem to catch a break against the Dolly threat. Scarmen scored two while jamming against Juke Boxx, but Trixie Whipsum got sent out of the game for an intentional low block. Commander Nix pulled a lead jam, but could only score two before getting cut off by Hanna Belle Lector and the Doll pack. 69-37 Dolls up with seven minutes left.

Frau Scientits brought the Rockits as close as they would get to a victory with a grand slam, but the rest of the game was all Dagger Doll superiority. Naughty Kitty scored nine points on a power jam, barely changing course as she broke past a Rockit pack strung out like a snake. Kitty finally got called on a track cut, but opposing jammer Patently Offensive got recycled to the back of the pack repeatedly by Tiki Torture. Even in the final jam - where Rockit co-captain Scarmen Hellectra picked up the lead - Juke Boxx snuck behind her and stole two points before Scar scored one and called off the jam. The crowd erupted with the win.

Final score: Dagger Dolls 87 - Rockits 43

Atomic Bombshells v Garda Belts

Lizzy the Axe busted out of the pack first to take the bout's initial lead jam as her captain Diamond Rough repeatedly stabbed into Garda jammer Suzie Smashbox with sharp shoulders. Lizzy scored one. In the next jam, second-year Garda Belt Cassie Rolle flew to the front of the pack first (cutting the track past a Bombshell) as ABS rookie Freeze Baby's forward movement was arrested by Shiva Shankin' and Anita Spankston. Freeze Baby finally bust through, took the lead, and called the jam...but Cassie still scored two.

Hurtrude Stein took her first lead as a Minnesota RollerGirl and scored a point, busting past a stalking Shiva. Lizzy followed up with a fast four point jam, but Cassie Rolle returned fire by stealing two points just a jam later. Catching up to lead jammer Freeze Baby, Cassie deked around two Bombshells just as Shiva's sharp hit shivved Freeze. 6-4 Bombshells up after six minutes.

L'exi-cuter then took advantage of a major track cut by Suzie Smashbox to score a double grand-slam; it might have been more, but Garda Belt blocker Glam Slam went all-in on a low block in the rear, stopping L'exi from causing more damage. Hurtrude (called 'Trudy' by her team) then skated through danger for the lead and another three points. No Garda had yet taken a lead.

Suzie broke the lead streak by getting to the front first after picking herself up from a Skullateral Damage/Diamond Rough double-team, but called it off before she could re-engage the pack. Cassie, too, scored a lead as Garda rookie Wolfe Bite booty-blocked ABS jammer Freeze Baby for an entire lap, but couldn't score. Suzie got her team's third lead of the game, but couldn't outpace her opponent...and ended the jam. The lead jam then shifted to Trudy and the Bombshells; Hurtrude scored four unanswered points.

The Gardas did not score after Cassie's point-steal in the sixth minute until the Bombshells' foul troubles caught up with them. The women in orange were sent to the box...almost en masse and triggered a blocker cascade. A 'cascade' can occur when more than two blockers go to the box at the same time. If there's no room in the penalty box, the blocker returns into play until there's an empty chair...and then, that player must return to the penalty box. Four Bombshell blockers went to the box over two jams. Surprisingly, the Bombshells kept their heads, only allowing the Gardas to bleed off eight points off of some superb jamming from Suzie Smashbox.

The Bombshells were ahead 24-12 with three minutes remaining before halftime. They kept the Gardas from catching another lead jam in the half with the assistance of attentive blocking by Tara Skatesov, Supersonik, Skully, and the rest of the Bombshell defense. Suzie did score two before the end of the half, but the Bombshells put up eleven more. 35-14 at halftime.

The Atomic Bombshells wasted no time re-establishing their dominant play in the second period. Hurtrude Stein pulled a grand slam against Rumblebee, and Lizzy the Axe sped through a Garda Belt defense that was skating far ahead of the pack for seven points. Skullateral stopped a top-gear Suzie charge on the outside just before the Garda star burst through the pack, which have Skully's jammer L'exi-Cuter time to take the lead for a point. Freeze Baby capped the first five minutes with a lead jam, but Anita Spankston - co-captain of the Gardas - stomped on her scoring pass before Freeze could re-engage. 48-17, Bombshells up.

After weathering an ABS onslaught of seven straight lead jams, the Gardas kept the Bombshells from scoring for the next six. Suzie wore the jammer star for four of those six (scoring eleven points), but Cassie Rolle put up four as well in that period. Shiva Shankin', Anita, and Citizen Pain all held up would-be Bombshell scorers, but another cascade of Bombshells to the penalty box also put the Gardas in the driver's seat. Also, a high-speed diving mistake from Madame de Stompadour of the Bombshells sent the second-year veteran out of the game. Bombshells 48 - 33 with seven minutes remaining.

Hurtrude staunched the bleeding with a grand slam-plus, but Trudy would have difficulty two jams later as Shiva Shankin' kept her from passing long enough for Moto Fluzzi to take the lead jam. With three minutes remaining, Suzie Smashbox went to the line against Lizzy the Axe. Suzie lept from the line, bust past the first Bombshell, and attempted to squeeze below and between an ABS wall to break through for the lead. She misjudged the line, got called on a low block, got sent to the box...and Lizzy hit the afterburners for twenty unanswered points on the power jam. Suzie burst out of the penalty box the following jam and scored three, but the point difference was now forty.

The Gardas fought to the end. Moto Fluzzi stole five points on a Freeze Baby jam as the Gardas contained the rookie Bombshell, and the Gardas called for a timeout just before time expired to set up ne last jam. Hurtrude Stein scored the final lead and called it off before the Gardas could score any further.

Final score: 77-43.

The Dolls now have a near-lock on a berth for the championship and will face the Atomic Bombshells in December. The Rockits will play the Garda Belts. We will see you then! Box scores:
(provided by MNRG's statistics team)

Dagger Dolls
Lead jams: 13
Power Jams: 4

Psycho Novia - 7-10 LJs, 49 pts
Killaman Jaro - 3-7 LJs, 15 pts
Juke Boxx - 2-5 LJs, 14 pts
Naughty Kitty - 1-3 LJs, 9 pts
Scootaloo - 0-1 LJs, 0 pts

Lead jams: 12
Power Jams: 2

Frau Scientits - 2-5 LJs, 16 pts
Commander Nix - 3-7 LJs, 11 pts
Scarmen Hellectra - 5-7 LJs, 9 pts
Patently Offensive - 2-7 LJs, 7 pts

Garda Belts
Lead jams: 11
Power Jams: 0

Suzie Smashbox - 8-18 LJs, 24 pts
Cassie Rolle - 2-6 LJs, 12 pts
Moto Fluzzi - 1-6 LJs, 5 pts
Dropkick Donna - 0-1 LJs, 2 pts 
Rumblebee - 0-1 LJs, 0 pts

Atomic Bombshells
Lead jams: 21
Power Jams: 2

Lizzy the Axe - 4-8 LJs, 33pts
Hurtrude Stein - 7-9 LJs, 25 pts
L'exi-cuter - 4-7 LJs, 13 pts
Freeze Baby - 6-7 LJs, 6 pts 
Jocelyn D' Jewels - 0-1 LJs, 0 pts

- Garrison Killer

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bleeder of the Pack preview

The four home teams of the Minnesota RollerGirls return to the legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium this Saturday at 7:30pm. The Dagger Dolls and the Rockits have each scored an early march on the trek to the finals; now the Rockits and the Dolls will play for a near-lock in the Championship bout as they meet on the flat track. Likewise, both the reigning champions Atomic Bombshells and Garda Belts need a win this weekend to stay in reasonable contention for the January finals.

Atomic Bombshells vs Garda Belts:
Last year, the Bombshells took this bout by playing an uncharacteristically defensive game (67-42). The Bombshell pack holed up Suzie Smashbox and kept her to under forty points, while Mae Gusta and Venus Thightrap combined to score sixty.

It'll be a different game this time. Here's why:
  • We have a Thightrap down: Yeah, this is a little heartbreaking. Days before the MNRG All-Star trip to Chicago, Venus went down with a ligament tear. She skated against Charm City in the tournament, but Venus - one of MNRG's honest-to-goodness triple threats - was not at the top of her game. She's out for the foreseeable future. We also lost Mae Gusta this summer...but L'exi-cuter remains. The jammer threat for the ABS will likely revolve around the Canadienne speedster, but it might also be some rookie's night to shine; Hurtrude Stein, Smoka Hontas, and Freeze Baby have all been trying out the Bombshell jammer star. That's not to mention Lizzy the Axe's confident resurgence at the jammer line in October's match against the Rockits.
  • Garda scorers a-plenty: We've been waiting for the Gardas to put forward some jammers that can work off their defensive play. Looks like Cassie Rolle, Sintripetal Force, and transfer Shiva Shank'n have stepped up and may be regularly jamming alongside the Garda jammer Suzie Smashbox. This is fantastic news; the Gardas may finally have the jamming problem under control.
  • The pack that remains: The outcome of this match will come down to how well one pack can stay on the track. Both teams had their foul troubles in October, and several players came within a foul or two of being sent out of the game. That's an unsustainable solution, particularly because many of those same players come in jam after jam as key members of the pack. In the forty-minute match that we play, a team cannot give up so egregious a pack advantage. The team that keeps their head on the track will take this game.
  • POWER JAM: There's one stat that may be troubling for Garda fans. Garda jammers went to the box six times in the bout against the Dagger Dolls and over a third of their jams were affected by their jammer in the box. As always, no jammer on the track means that the team cannot score. What's worse for the Gardas is that this year's Bombshells have showed a strong ability to capitalize on the power jam. Every time an opposing jammer went to the box in their match against the Rockits, the Bombshells scored at least ten on the opportunity - often much more. For the Gardas to succeed, their jammers must not get caught up in the penalty net.
Likely to play:
Atomic Bombshells
BOOMbay Safire
Bully Jean
Chinese Take-Out
Diamond Rough (Co-Captain)
Flora Flipabitch
Freeze Baby
Hurtrude Stein
Jocelyn D' Jewels
Lizzy the Axe
Madame de Stompadour
Mitzi Massacre
Smoka Hontas
Skullateral Damage
Tara Skatesov
Venus Thightrap (Co-Captain - expected to bench coach)

Garda Belts
Anita Spankston (Co-Captain)
BethAnne Destruction
Betty LaRude
Cassie Rolle
Citizen Pain (Co-Captain)
DieAnne Isis
Dropkick Donna
Glam Slam
Lola Blackenblue
Moto Fluzzy
Rita Rawkus
Shiva Shank'n
Sintripetal Force
Stacy Wreckt
Suzie Smashbox
Wolf Bite

Rockits vs Dagger Dolls:
We could tell you more about the last meeting between the DDs and the Red Menace than the score (Rockits 129 - Dolls 37), but that'd be a bit ridiculous. The Rockits are - as ever - playing very well this year...but this year's Dolls are a whole new story, one that defies comparison with last season's 0-4 record for the women in pink. The Dolls stopped their losing streak (eleven straight losses) with a stunning win against the Gardas (168-36) in October and they have every indication that they are CHARGING after the Skate this year. Will they run headlong into the Rockits? Read on.
  • The Battle of the packs: Consider this. The core of the Rockit pack have been playing together for at least four years. Think about that for a second. In a sport as young as ours, these women have stuck together and play together like few other home teams. And then. Here come the Dagger Dolls. Unlauded, frustrated, on a multi-year losing streak...yet they contain the Gardas and keep them under forty. The defensive pack now has this new Dolly blood as well as the old...Tiki Torture's mouthy, awesome play linking up and killing alongside Dagger Doll stalwart Norah Torious. Madison transfer Juke Boxx now keeps the back of the pack clean with Shiver Me Kimbers, while Wonderbroad and Naughty Kitty hold the front.
    It's like someone just added PBR to some secret powder - poof! Instant pack threat. Like the old one, built off of Dolls of the past, but able to execute just that much better. The Dolls appear to have both chosen well with their drafts and have integrated their transfers quickly. The question is whether the New Dolly Order will hold against the Rockits' long experience of working together.
  • Vue's bad day: Another injury that it is our sad duty to report. Vuedoo Prodigy's ankle gave out an hour before the qualifying bout against Charm in Chicago. She tried very hard to skate it out, but she had to be scratched from the roster at the very last minute. As of this writing, we are uncertain as to Vuedoo's state, but she is not expected to skate this bout. Now, here's the thing. Vue was last year's league-wide MVP. She skated more jams in this season's first bout than any of her teammates, and she's part of the terrifying Rockit rear blocker duo (along with Honeydew Felon) that's stymied opposing jammers for years. With Vue out of the back for this bout, Honeydew Felon and other Rockit blockers will have to continue to take on additional rear patrol duties. This injury leaves a hole - how big depends on the Rockits' ability to fill it.
  • Battle in the back: Dagger Doll jammers Psycho Novia, Juke Boxx, Man Jar, Angelfire, Lydia Punch, and Scootaloo all scored double-digits in the October bout. The Dolls are as deep as ever in terms of their jammer depth, but now they are getting the protection they need to score big. Meanwhile, the Rockits' rookie jamming marvel Commander Nicks and Rockit co-captain Scarmen Hellectra had huge 30+ point games and former Dagger Doll Patently Offensive performed in the clutch to win the game for the Reds against the Bombshells. Watch for the Doll defense to gun for their former teammate; while 'Leo' parted amicably with the DDs, there's a long tradition of Dolls showing their former members some extra attention on the track. The jammer matchups will be intense. Not only will each jam be a mad dash to the front, both teams field blockers that can play simultaneous offense/defense. The jammers will have very little time to use the lanes that their teammates clear before a fresh opposing blocker gets in their way.
Expected to play:
Commander Nicks
Coochie Coup
Cookies 'n Scream
Frau Scientits
Honeydew Felon
Kit Shinkicker
Konceal'n Kari
Pain Gretzky (Co-Captain)
Patently Offensive
Salvador Brawlie
Scarmen Hellectra (Co-Captain)
Trixie Whipsum
Wanda Wreckonwith

Dagger Dolls
Barbie Brawl
Gogo Galore
Hanna Belle Lector
Juke Boxx
Killaman Jaro
Lydia Punch
Naughty Kitty
Norah Torious
Norwegian Mafia
Olga Ogilthorpe
Ova Achieva
Psycho Novia (Co-Captain)
Shiver Me Kimbers
Tiki Torture
Wonderbroad (Co-Captain)

Last, important thing to note. Afterparty is at Station 4! Now, go get your tickets. As always, first 200 people in the door get a free t-shirt. Go on...get there early! What else is there to do on a Saturday afternoon? And...well, I'm forbidden to talk about that other thing. Just show up. You won't be sorry.

Reporting from the exact geographic center of roller derby,
-Garrison Killer