ECE Feature Preview: #8 Boston vs. #9 Carolina

Photos: Margaret "Xena Paradox" HartFEASTERVILLE, PA — Saturday’s ECE action features one of the most compelling matchups of the year so far as the Boston Massacre and Carolina Rollergirls face off in a rematch of one of 2008’s most memorable bouts.

Complete video and liveblog coverage of all bouts of the 2009 East Coast Extravaganza is made possible through sponsorship from Atom Wheels, Rollercon 2009 and Five on Five magazine. Friday night coverage begins at 5:45pm Eastern time, Saturday and Sunday at 10:00am.

When Boston and Carolina last faced one another, it was the quarterfinals of the October 2008 Eastern Regionals, with the winner getting a trip to the Nationals tournament. Though Carolina came into that game as a bye seed, ranked #2 in the East, and Boston was ranked in the bottom half of tournament entrants with the 7 seed, Boston led for the majority of a highly defensive battle. They held a two point lead with under a minute left on the clock, but lost it to a Carolina powerjam — and although they managed to call a dramatic timeout with just 4 seconds to play, were unable to claim lead on the final jam and lost a heartbreaker, missing Nationals by 2 points 77-75. For Boston, it was the second crushing Eastern Regionals loss in a row — they’d been booted from the 2007 Eastern Regionals by Detroit in overtime after tying the bout on literally the last second of regulation time.

This bout, though, isn’t just about revenge for 2008 — it’s also about establishing position for the upcoming 2009 tournament. Both teams have lost to three Eastern Region rivals this year by remarkably similar point totals. Gotham took down Boston 188-44 and Carolina 185-31;  Philly defeated Boston 121-63 and Carolina 85-46; and Charm City took Boston 89-77 and Carolina 127-100.

That leaves Boston and Carolina fighting for the #4 seed going into this September’s 2009 Eastern Regionals. WFTDA currently officially ranks Carolina at #4 in the East and Boston at #5, while DNN’s unofficial national Power Rankings also have them right next to one another, but with the order flipped: Boston at #8 nationally and Carolina at #9. This bout, though, should settle that question for good — or at least for the summer.

Going strictly by their most previous outings, Boston might be expected to come into this with a little more confidence than Carolina. The Massacre hung tough against a brutal Texas team last weekend, coming up with a very respectable 118-84 loss. Earlier this month, though, Carolina was smothered by Gotham, on the wrong side of a first-half 76-0 run on the way to a 154 point loss.

Each team is missing one of their most effective jammers from the 2008 Regionals showdown, as Sarah Doom is retired from Boston and Roxy Rockett has an internal injury that’s keeping her sidelined this season. Holly Wanna Crackya has stepped up as Carolina’s ace jammer alongside DVS and Kitty Crowbar; Boston’s scoring attack is led by Krushpuppy with support from Sugar Hits, Claire D. Way and Maura Buse.

In the pack, Shelby Shattered has a well-earned reputation as one of the most effective pivots in the game, but she’ll be going up against a quite skilled opposite number in Carolina’s Kelly Clocks’Em. Another interesting matchup to watch in the pack will be Boston’s Harley Quinn and Carolina’s Ms. Anthrope the Mordant, both particularly effective at frustrating opposing jammers with one-on-one defense.

Final game rosters are not yet available — rosters below reflect skaters on the 20 skater team roster:

83 Bianca O’Blivion // 66 Daisy Rage // 8 Deviled Legs // 131 DVS // 454 Elka Meano // 999 Holly Wanna Crackya // 51 Kali // 212 Kelly Clocks’Em // 110 Kitty Crowbar // 5 Lucy Lastkiss // 256 Maddat U // 12 MC Fyte // 763 Minnie Mauser // 17 Ms. Anthrope the Mordant // 36 Penelope Bruz // 224 Pink Slip // 1492 Princess America // 1.1618 Roxxxy Slide // 22 Trudy Struction // 42 Tuffy Twofists

Anna Wrecks’Ya 101 // Claire D. Way 1984 // Etta Maims B52 // Harley Quinn 9669 // Harlot Fevah 99 // Krush Puppy (843) // Maude Forbid 7:1 //  Maura Buse 34B // Mrs. Dash 360 // Pina Collidah 77 // Pussy Venom 28 // Quick Sandy 24 // Shellby Shattered -0 // Sugar Hits 1001 // Triple Deck-Her 3D

Photo credit: Margaret “Xena Paradox” Hart