World Cup Semifinal: (2) Canada Rebuffs (3) England, 161-90
TORONTO, ON -- The first semifinal of the Roller Derby World Cup was contested between 3 seed England and 2 seed Canada before the largest crowd of the tournament so far. Canada came in the higher-ranked team after the group stages and with more experience on the track. While Canada led from jam three, England kept themselves in contention -- but a long run of jammer penalties for England late in the second half meant they couldn't pull the game back, with Canada skating out 161-90 winners. Canada moves on to play USA in the World Cup final, while England will play Australia for third place.
Stefanie Mainey took the star first for England as Iron Wench took on the first jam for Montreal. Iron Wench got the first lead call, but a late call from Wench meant the jam went 4-3 to Mainey. Georgia W Tush took Canada's second lead jam call in jam two against Kamikaze Kitten. Kamikaze broke free as Tush hit the back of the pack, but could only take two points before being forced into a call to nudge Canada into a 5-4 lead.
Wench made it three in a row for Canada as Vagablonde struggled with Lil' Mama at the front of the pack, and Wench made no mistake as she took a quick five points before adding four more as Vagablonde broke free. Luludemon made it four for four in lead jammer calls for Canada, but called before scoring as Mainey chased her down.
Great offense from Ninjette let Kamikaze get England's first lead jam call, but she only managed 3 before calling it. Vagablonde lined up against Wench, but came off worse as Wench skipped around the outside off the line to take lead. Bone Machine sat on Vagablonde as Wench racked up 15 points, with a lovely apex jump on her final grand slam just before Vagablonde broke free. She picked up four more points to make it 19 and take the score to 33-7 Canada with a little under ten minutes gone.
England called a time-out to try and disrupt the Canadians' momentum, but it didn't work as Lulu Demon got lead over Rogue Runner got beaten up by Jess Bandit in the Canadian pack before she was called on a low block major. Lulu called it after four to reset the jam, and let Georgia W Tush take the remainder of the powerjam. A quickfire five from Georgia was followed by a very slow five as she struggled with Raw Heidi and Kamikaze in the England pack.
A 4:2 pack advantage for England gave Kamikaze a great chance to reduce the 40-point deficit--and when Wench was boxed in the opening seconds Kamikaze made no mistake and put 19 on the board before Wench escaped from the box. She picked up four more to take the score to 47-33 with 15:37 left. Team Canada then took their first timeout there.
The margin remained essentially unchanged in the next ten minutes as the score went up to 53-39 Canada with 10:51 on the clock, but Canada slowly extended their lead on a series of small-ball jams. Canada had a 30-point lead 78-48 going into the final jam of the half, but Jack Attack got lead for England in her first jam over Hell On Keller, cutting the margin to 27 with a 3-0 as she caught the speedy Canadian pack to leave it 78-51 at the half.
Kamikaze Kitten took the star at the start of the second half, and took a quick 3-0 to further narrow the gap. A 4-0 for Wench then restored Canada's lead before Stefanie Mainey lined up against Beretta Lynch and grabbbed lead after a slow start. Beretta Lynch broke free at the same time, but got fed back into the pack by Mainey. Lynch was boxed on a major back-block at the death, but a lengthy official review released Lynch from the box as the call was overturned.
Iron Wench and Kamikaze Kitten again did battle on the jam line. Kamikaze got the better of her initially, but couldn't score before being forced into a call thanks to some solid defence from Bone Machine. A 4-0 for Vagablonde narrowed the gap to 82-54 with 25 minutes to go.
A 4-4 followed between Beretta Lynch and Rogue Runner. Jack Attack then got the better of Semi-Precious to grab a quick lead, and grabbed 3 before calling it, further narrowing the gap to 21. Rogue Runner and Iron Wench then sat out a very slow start as both teams ran down the penalty clock with a 2 on 2 pack. England then forced a start once the box was clear, and a low-scoring jam saw Wench come out just ahead.
Tush then pushed the lead to 90-65 before limping off following a collision with one of her own skaters with a little under 20 minutes on the clock; the damage turned out to be a broken collarbone, ending Tush's tournament early. An 8-0 for Luludemon pushed Canada to their biggest lead of the half.
Kamikaze Kitten then got lead for London before Beretta Lynch was boxed. 5 slow points followed for Kamikaze, and a massive apex jump sent the crowd wild to add a second 5. Four more left the score at 98-79 with 15 minutes on the clock. Kamikaze Kitten was assessed after the jam to have committed a major cut, handing Iron Wench a powerjam of her own.
Solid defence limited Wench to 5 before Kamikaze Kitten was released -- but Kamikaze was then boxed on a major low block to force England into an extended period of defensive action that limited Wench further, an Canada's lead stood at 110-79.
Beretta Lynch then got lead just before Kamikaze Kitten got out of the box, and picked up 4 to give Canada a 114-79 lead with eleven minutes remaining. Kamikaze Kitten picked up a 3-0 in the next jam to take it to 114-82, and a 4-0 for Jack Attack further narrowed the gap to 114-86 with seven minutes on the clock.
Rogue Runner and Luludemon then traded major cuts before Rogue Runner was then boxed for a major illegal procedure, but neither team took advantage as the game entered its final five minutes with the scores unchanged.
Iron Wench made easy work of the other half of the powerjam though, scoring at will both before Rogue Runner was released and once she escaped from the box to take Canada to their biggest lead of the bout, 144-86 with three minutes left.
A lead jam call for Beretta Lynch over Stefanie Mainey took the lead to 147-68. A lead call for Luludemon over Kamikaze Kitten then essentially ended the game as a contest--and when she fed Kamikaze Kitten back into the Canadian pack behind Smack Daddy with a minute left in the game all doubt was removed. The death knell for England came when Kamikaze Kitten saw sent off for a major forearm with Lulu scoring--but a time-out call from England with six seconds left on the clock gave Stefanie Mainey a chance to reduce the 161-86 deficit.
A lengthy official time-out before the final jam let the Canadian crowd start their celebrations early. A lead jam call for Mainey then gave the England fans something to cheer about--and a final 4-0 jam left the final score at 161-90, with Canada booking their place in the World Cup final against Team USA.