#25 Arch Rival Flips #19 Ohio, 179-108
BALLWIN, MO--Mere hours after the 139th Kentucky Derby had concluded Saturday, Arch Rival (#25 DNN/WFTDA 13) made its own derby dash at Midwest Sport Hockey and went to the winner's circle in a 179-108 victory over Ohio (#19 DNN/WFTDA 23). St. Louis' 71-point trip to the pay window provided retribution after Ohio had dropped two losses on them in 2012, including a first-round bounce to the consolation bracket at last September's North Central region playoff.
"It was a really hard-fought, tough game, because Ohio is an excellent team but this is something we really, really wanted, especially after the tough rivalry last season," said Arch Rival's Smarty McFly afterwards. "This was a notch in our belts, I guess, after those two losses to them last year."
After Ohio's Phoenix Bunz posted a two-point bout-opening jam, Arch Rival went on a 26-0 run over the next four rotations. Back-to-back four-pointers scored by South City Shiner and Mighty Mighty Boston gave the locals an 8-2 edge four minutes deep. May Require Stitches' natural 17-pointer followed and stretched the margin to 25-2. Shiner concluded the 26-point push with a solo point, which gave St. Louis a 26-2 lead with 24:45 left in the period.
Following a scoreless rotation, Ohio rallied with a power jam by derby sophomore The Smacktivist, whose 17-1 strike at 20:40 narrowed the gap to 30-19.
Arch Rival calmly responded with another 26-0 rally over seven jams that widened the lead to 56-19 with 12:00 left in the period. Boston's 8-4 jam followed the streak and The Educator tacked on a trey in the next rotation. Combined with the rally, St. Louis had now notched up nine consecutive lead jams, culminating in a 67-23 advantage with 8:45 left.
Ohio surged as the period progressed and netted 24 straight on the next four jams. The hard-charging Bunz baked a 14-0 strike at 7:35 to start the rally. Kitty Liquorbottom notched three on the next rotation to narrow the margin to 67-40. The Smacktivist posted four and Liqourbottom added another trey to finish the run and pull OHRG within striking distance, 67-47 with 4:11 left.
St. Louis posted back-to-back four pointers to stretch the margin to 75-47 with 1:45 left. Ohio netted lead in the last two jams, resulting in five points scored. Despite having a first-period advantage in lead jams (15-7), Arch Rival only had a 75-52 lead at intermission.
"We realized that (Ohio was) getting points when our defense was frazzled or when we started going to the box," said Arch Rival co-captain Shimmy Hoffa of the halftime score. "We talked about the different areas that we needed to tighten up on and knew that we had to capitalize on certain opportunities in the second half."
Ohio wisely rolled out Bunz with the star for the opening jam of the second period. She notched ten and made the bout a 15-point affair, 75-60 with 28:45 left.
Then came the opportunity that Arch Rival was anticipating, a 43-0 rally beginning with an even-strength 25-pointer collected by Shiner that extended St. Louis' lead to 100-60 with 25:30 left.
Eight via Boston's power jam on the next rotation continued the surge and stretched the margin to 108-60. After Educator collected three on the next jam, Stitches hemmed-in seven with 21:10 left to conclude the streak and widen the advantage to 118-60.
Ohio's The Smacktivist helped stopped the bleeding by notching lead, scoring 14 points and whittling ARRG's lead to 118-74 with 19:00 left.
St. Louis responded with a two-jam, 21-0 scamper. Boston's 12-point power jam strike was followed by McFly's nine-pointer at 16:10 that stretched the lead to 139-74.
The Arch Rival blocking schema flexed its muscles as the period progressed and kept the visitors at bay. Thanks to the work of the aforementioned McFly, Hoffa, Educator and Stitches, as well as Chewblocka, Mayor Francis Slayer, Grave Danger, Rhino-Might, Science Friction and the returning Eli Wallop, ARRG held Ohio – a team that had scored over 200 points in each of their seven prior victories this season - to only 22 second-half points midway through the frame.
"The blocking was able to dominate most of the game," said McFly of the stubborn defense. "I thought our team had control and that was really an awesome feeling."
Despite a late-bout Ohio surge to tighten the final differential, Arch Rival outscored Ohio in the second period 104-56 to pick up the 179-108 win.
"We definitely wanted a little retribution for our performance at playoffs (in 2012) and we wanted to hold onto our ranking," Hoffa said after the bout. "Hopefully, we will be one of the teams to watch from now on."
Boston paced Arch Rival (4-1) with 52 points unofficially, followed by 48 from Shiner. St. Louis travels to Bloomington, Indiana to face Bleeding Heartland (WFTDA #41) this Saturday.
"They're ranked considerably lower than us, so the goal is not to underestimate them," said Hoffa of the match-up. "They have very talented skaters. Every point counts with the new (WFTDA) rankings system. We need to make sure we get every point we can and play as hard as we can."
The Smacktivist's 54 points paced Ohio (7-2) who hosts the Blue Ridge Rollers (WFTDA #44) this weekend.
In the B-team undercard, ARRG's Saint Lunachix posted a 242-70 win over Ohio's Gang Green. EnYa Nightmare scored 86 points for the Lunachix, who improved to 4-1.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the final score. DNN regrets the error.