2009 Nationals: Capsule Recaps
Madison's Jewels of Denile passes the star to Mouse - Photo by Darrell Budic
Anna Wrecks Ya balances on one foot as Harley Quinn blocks Darling Nikki - Photo: Phil Peterson
Assaultin' Pepa eyes the Houston jammer - Photo: Phil Peterson
A game a leapfrog breaks out on the track - Photo: Jules Doyle
Rocky Mountain celebrates its victory in the quarterfinals - Photo: Jules Doyle
Beth Amphetamine invents an unorthodox jammer-line stance - Photo Jules Doyle
D-Bomb holds back Suzy Hotrod - Photo: Jules Doyle
Psycho Babble and Bullet Tooth Tracy scope out the pack - Photo: Jules Doyle
'Hey, I'm skatin' here!' Angela Death - Photo: Jules Doyle
(2E) Gotham 187, (3NC) Detroit 38 -- For about two jams, it looked like Detroit might have one of the greatest derby upsets of all time in them, as they held an 11-0 lead to kick things off. Gotham, though, rather quickly put paid to those hopes as their vaunted pack work and recycling began to click; that led to a 50-1 Gotham run that left the score at Gotham 50, Detroit 12 at the 15 minute mark. By the time halftime had arrived, Gotham was sitting on a 86-25 lead.
The second half was even more dominant for Gotham, as they dropped 101 points to just 13 for Detroit. Detroit's Sista Slitchya was ejected about halfway through the second half for a big clockwise block on Ginger Snap, but by that time the score was far out of hand.
Gotham advances to play Oly in the quarterfinal round on Saturday.
(3W) Denver 175, (2SC) Kansas City 89 -- This bout started out with extremely positional play from both teams, as neither team seemed interested in ceding the back of the pack on the opening whistle, leading to many very slow starts off the line. More than a few jams had a jammer start whistle more than 10 seconds after the pivot whistle, as jams consistently started with skaters barely moving towards the pivot line, or in some instances, scrambling backwards through the pack to get to their desired position.
On the bout's fourth jam, the Denver defense played a power play to a hilt by isolating a single KC blocker so tightly that the pack remained at a dead stop for nearly a full lap. The style seemed to agitate the crowd a little bit, but it did get Denver an early 27-6 lead on the 20 point jam for Kimmy Kimmy Bang Bang.
After a lengthy ref timeout was called at 15:36 left in the first half, the score was 31-19 favoring Denver. With the exception of that big jam, though, Kansas City was doing well -- but then it was Denver's Natalie Meagher taking advantage of Denver's deadly isolation game to collect an 18-0 that threatened to push KC to the edge early at 49-19. One jam later it was still a 30 point difference at 54-24.
Timely rescue for KC came in the form of a much-needed 20 pointer from team captain Hall Balls as KC turned the tables on the isolation game and pulled within 10 at 54-44. Unfortunately for KC, Denver answered with 23 unanswered points over three jams, leaving KCRW again in a dangerously growing hole at 77-44 with about 90 seconds left in the first half.
The last jam of the half was practically the perfect example of Denver's extreme positional style. Their isolation pinned a KC blocker behind them on a power jam, and when that blocker tried to escape the trap by running backwards on the track to put some space between them, the Denver pack literally followed her the wrong way on the track to stay close -- and the KC blockers far in front followed suit to avoid a 20ft call, creating a situation where every blocker on the track was skating clockwise. Meanwhile, Denver jammer Kimmy Kimmy Bang Bang was racking up lap after lap, finishing with a 23-5 run that left Kansas City in real trouble at halftime, doubled up at 100-49.
Denver's slow style continued to rile the audience as the bout went on -- with the score 114-62 Denver and about 18 minutes left in the second half, Denver's slow start off the line delayed the jammer start by a very long 16 seconds. One jam later, Heather Juska had an easy path to a 25-0 jam as Denver's blockers once again headed in the clockwise direction to aggressively isolate a KC blocker in the rear, and Denver was up 142-62 with about 15 minutes to play. That jam was the definitive game-clincher, as Denver poured it on to go up 175-74 with just a second left to play. KCRW blocker Eclipse took the jam star in the final jam for an immensely crowd-pleasing 15-0 full-length turn, but the conclusion was long decided by then.
Denver moves on to battle Windy City at 1:30pm on Saturday with a trip to the final four on the line.
(2W) Rocky Mountain 239, (3SC) Houston 46 -- The first three jams of this bout were pretty close, but Rocky Mountain changed a 8-0 lead to a 23-0 when their jammer Psycho Babble rushed for 15 points behind a killer defense, and Rocky's superior pack maintenance soon staked them to a 48-1 after the opening 15 minutes of play. Houston's offense was simply unable to get anything started against particularly hard-nosed defense from Frida Beater and DeRanged, and more than a few jammer penalties on Houston certainly didn't help matters. Houston remained stuck at just that 1 point through 20 minutes, and the score was a disheartening 85-1 with under 9 minutes to play in the first half. The only bright point came on a 3-0 for Houston's Speed-O, but the rest of the half was more of the same and Rocky Mountain held a dominating 142-5 lead at the end of the first 30 minutes.
By the time the second half began with a 13-0 RMRG jam for She Who Cannot Be Named, the only question was whether Houston would ever find some traction or whether RMRG would just keep dropping points on them. Houston's second half was better than their first, with much more offensive output, but that half was still a rout by any normal measure as Rocky Mountain outscored them 94-41 in the final thirty.
RMRG easily advances to take on tournament hosts and the Eastern Region champions, Philly, at 12:45pm EST Saturday.
(3E) Boston 104, (2NC) Madison 98 -- This back and forth contest -- five lead changes and a mid-second-half tie -- featured short segments where both Boston and Madison appeared to have the momentum on their side, but at no point did either team hold a truly comfortable lead. Boston held the lead early at 28-8 after the first ten minutes, and it looked like they were poised to take control until Madison dropped 3-0 and 10-0 to close to within 28-21. It was at this point that Madison started employing the usually rare star pass on a nearly regular basis. It opened up with a timely pass from Juke Boxx to Mouse in a jam that went 17-7 for Madison and gave them the lead for the first time at 38-35 with 13:05 in the first half.
Boston had been in rather significant penalty trouble multiple times in the half, often starting jams at a 4-2 disadvantage, but Boston's jammers, particularly Claire D. Way, were having decent luck managing to pull critical lead jam calls even with that starting handicap. Still, though, Madison continued the run and pushed their lead to 50-36 with 8 minutes on the clock, and once again, just when it looked like one team was beginning to find their groove, a big blast from the opposing team reset the bout. This time it was Boston's Claire D. Way managing to spin, twist and even split her way to a 20-0 jam that put the lead back in Boston hands, 56-50.
Of course, the way the game was going, that lead was safe for about 90 seconds before Juke Boxxx power-jammed her way to a 10-0 for Madison. At the end of the half, Madison was up 76-62.
The momentum -- and lead -- changes started again with 20 minutes left to play when Boston nicked away for ten minutes before finally edging ahead 82-80. The next jam saw Madison take it back on a 4-0 for Darling Nikki, immediately followed by a 2-0 for Claire D. Way, tying the bout at 84-84 with about 16 minutes left to play.
Boston pushed the lead to 104-88 with about 5 minutes on the game clock, but the rest of the scoring in the bout went to Madison. With 2:02 left on the period clock going into what proved to be the final jam, the Dairyland Dolls were down by six at 104-98 and needed at least two scoring passes to win or tie. But when the final jam began, it had a nearly farcical sequence that saw not one, not two, not three, but four jammer trips to the box in the same jam: Madison caught a huge break, squandered it, got it handed back to them, and then squandered it again.
Boston's jammer Krushpuppy hit the penalty box early in her opening pass, giving the Madison fans something to get hyped about, but opposing jammer Juke Boxxx followed soon after with a major forearm that sprung Krushpuppy. But K-pup couldn't stay on the track either, pulling a major track cut and immediately giving Madison another power jam. On coming out of the box, Madison tried to go back to the well that had worked earlier by passing the star to Mouse.
Mouse had what appeared to be about 30 seconds left on the clock when she finally broke out of the pack for the first time, just barely enough time to potentially get the two passes she needed to tie or win it for Madison. But before she reached pack on her scoring pass, her fourth minor was assessed -- a track cut during that opening pass -- and for the fourth time in the jam, the jammer was boxed. That trip, though, was the nail in the coffin, as jam time expired before Mouse was released from the box.
The period clock had 2 seconds remaining when jam time expired, but Madison's bench realized they had time for a final timeout just a bit too late, and Boston escaped with a very dramatic win to advance in the tournament to a date with Texas at 11am Saturday.
Photos: Phil Peterson