#12 Minnesota Powers Past #18 Montreal, 136-95
ST. PAUL, MN -- Minnesota (DNN #12, WFTDA 2NC) used suffocating team defense and some flashy offense from key jammers Medusa, Harmony Killerbruise and Juke Boxx to put up a convincing win over Montreal (DNN #18, WFTDA 6E) on Saturday night, 136-95. Minnesota was solidly ahead by the 15 minute mark and led by as much as 72 points before Montreal narrowed it a bit in the final ten minutes.
Powerjams were particularly key in this one. When both jammers spent the whole jam on the track, Minnesota scored 65 points to Montreal's 63, but in jams involving a single-jammer situation, Minnesota outscored Montreal 71-32. In particular, a first-half 20-0 to Medusa and a second-half 23-0 to Juke Boxx ended up accounting for the entirety of Minnesota's 41-point margin of victory. Montreal gave up 4 jammer penalties against 2 for Minnesota.
The Canadians came into this game without two of their most effective jammers, down both Iron Wench (out of country) and Georgia W. Tush (collarbone injury). With 2011 standout Ewan Wotarmy no longer on the team, it meant Montreal was putting up a much different jammer line than last year's, with Francey Pants, Greta Bobo, Ti-Loup and Apocalipstick primarily taking turns with the star.
At first, the packs were able to make the game all about defense. The game was very tight in the opening few minutes, with Minnesota holding just a one-point 12-11 lead after the first ten. Minnesota's Medusa got the first multi-pass score on the next jam with a 9-2, pushing the score to 21-13 Minnesota.
After back to back 0-0 jams, it was Medusa putting up four grand slams with some very slick jukes around a nearly dead-stopped pack; Montreal's jammer Apocalipstick back-blocked her way to the box about halfway through the jam, and the end result was a crowd-pleasing 20-0 for Minnesota.
Montreal called timeout there with exactly 16 minutes left to play in the half and the score 41-13, but Minnesota's Harmony Killerbruise added 9-0 on the other side of the powerjam and suddenly Montreal was in trouble at 50-13 and fifteen minutes to play in the half.
The lead moved to 63-22 before Montreal finally got their first powerjam opportunity, but Minnesota's defense stepped up hugely, killing it with just 4-0 for Montreal. There was an official timeout following that one with 4:18 in the half and the score 63-26 Minnesota, with the result of Minnesota starting the next jam on a powerjam to Juke Boxx; that one also went just 4-0. It was 67-26 there, and things stayed relatively even to a halftime score of 73-33 Minnesota.
Montreal started the second half strong, keeping Minnesota blanked for the first 4 jams of the half; they picked up 9 unanswered points and managed to close the lead to 73-42, but on the fifth jam it went pear-shaped. Montreal's Lil' Mama was boxed in her first jam of the night, and Medusa went to town with a 15-0 made more impressive by the fact that nearly the entire Minnesota blocking platoon was in the penalty box. That made it 88-42, erasing all of Montreal's inroads.
With about 17 minutes to play, Minnesota's lead stood at 90-51 when Montreal gave up another key powerjam; at one point, it was just Apocalipstick alone in the pack for Montreal against 4 for Minnesota. Juke Boxx ducked and juked her way to 23 points before Montreal blocker Smack Daddy finally got out of the box and slowed her roll; when it was all over, the score was 113-51 and there were just over 15 minutes remaining.
With Minnesota's stingy defense resolutely refusing to give up any big jams, that jam made things a whole lot harder for the Canadians, but they did manage a late rally with the help of a raft of penalties on Minnesota. At the 7 minute mark, Montreal finally got their first double-digit jam on a 15-0 powerjam win for Bone Machine. That made it 134-77, and Francey Pants added 13 more on the other side of the powerjam.
Minnesota's lead was down to 44 points at 134-90, but the clock wasn't on Montreal's side, with just about 4 minutes to play; there were no more big jams for either team, and Montreal couldn't close to within striking range. In the end, Minnesota only added one point to their halftime margin, but it was good enough for a 41-point victory, 136-95.
Montreal plays a hangover scrimmage against the Twin Cities' other WFTDA league North Star on Sunday. Minnesota's next game will be against Brewcity (DNN #23, WFTDA 7NC) on March 31.