GENT, BELGIUM--The final day of A Skate Odyssey opened in similar fashion to the final day of the last day of the last European WFTDA tournament--with the tournament third seed fighting to avoid the wooden spoon. Thankfully for Rainy City they were more successful in this aim in Gent than Central City were in Berlin; they ran out 272-112 winners over the tenth-seeded Lincolnshire Bombers.
GENT, BELGIUM--It fell to the Royal Windsor Rollergirls to take on the home team in the final game of day two of a Skate Odyssey. While they did lead in the first half, Gent managed to find just enough to hold them at bay and book a place in the fifth-place playoff with a 175-160 win.
GENT, BELGIUM--Malmo and Stockholm are among the closest cities to have teams represented here in Gent, and have historically played out very close competitive games. But the regional rivals didn't deliver on that promise this time around thanks to a plethora of jammer penalties.
GENT, BELGIUM--The second semifinal was contested between the Leeds Roller Dolls and the Berlin Bombshells in front of an increasingly raucous Gent crowd. While Leeds stayed in touch for the entire bout, it was Bear City who took their third win in three attempts over the team from Yorkshire. The Berlin Bombshells won 213-134, and booked a final meeting with Wales' Tiger Bay Brawlers.
GENT, BELGIUM--The first semifinal of Skate Odyssey promised a lot. It featured two of Europe's up-and-coming leagues both known for their intelligence, speed and brutal hitting, and it didn't disappoint. While it looked at the half like it might be a comfortable with for the Welsh team, the Finns brutally exploited some second-half jammer penalty trouble to come back hard...
GENT, BELGIUM--After the first game of day two saw the tournament's biggest win so far, it was only fitting that game two give the tournament it's narrowest and most heart-stopping bout so far. The lead changed twice in the final two minutes, and it was Windsor who finished 210-207 victors.
GENT, BELGIUM--After a day of relatively close games, day two opened with one that really wasn't. Lincolnshire's jammers just couldn't handle Crime City's hitting, and the team from Malmö finished 311-95 winners.
GENT, BELGIUM--The last time these teams met, Gent nearly laid an upset on Berlin on their home track in the final bout of the first day of Track Queens: Battle Royal. There was to be no such drama this time--while Gent did take the lead on a couple of occasions in the first half, the Berlin Bombshells managed to do enough before halftime to effectively make the game safe.
GENT, BELGIUM--The last time Stockholm and Helsinki met it came down to the last jam and Stockholm escaped with a narrow win in April. This time it looked at half time like the top-seeded Swedes might run away with it against the eighth seeds--but it was the Finnish All-Star Ninja Turtles that ended 203-168 winners.
GENT, BELGIUM--Bout four of A Skate Odyssey saw two local rivals take to the track--Leeds Roller Dolls and Manchester's Rainy City Roller Girls. In the end it was the Yorkshire team who were victorious, taking advantage of a slew of jammer penalties for their Mancunian opponents to win 246-175.
GENT, BELGIUM--Bout three of the first day was the first of the quarterfinal round--Cardiff's Tiger Bay Brawlers vs Malmö's Crime City Rollers. The tournament's fourth and fifth seeds were expected to play a fast-paced and hard-hitting encounter, and so it came to pass.
GENT, BELGIUM--In the second play-in game, the experienced tenth-seeded Lincolnshire Bombers faced the Track Queens surprise package Gent Go-Go Roller Girls. While Lincolnshire did race into a significant early lead, it was the hosts who finished comfortable 281-157 winners.
GENT, BELGIUM--The second European WFTDA started early on Friday morning in front of a sparse crowd, filtering into the arena slowly. As caffeine levels increased the crowd intensity went up--and a raucous finish saw eighth seed Helsinki take a comfortable win over ninth seed Royal Windsor 304-153.
This coming weekend in Gent Europe will see its second playoff-style WFTDA tournament. As with Track Queens: Battle Royal it features a mix of WFTDA apprentice and full-member leagues.
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.
Now we're cooking. May saw a couple of upsets, but most of what we learned came from the closeness of games that went the right way.
Longtime readers may have noticed recent changes to DNN's core crew complement in recent months.
LOS ANGELES, CA--The Rose City Rollers took on Angel City Derby Girls in a Sunday midday hangover game, having played the Los Angeles Derby Dolls on the banked track the night prior. The two teams entered having finished their 2012 Western Regionals match-up at 194-147, in Rose's favor – a closer-than-expected finish at the time.
BALTIMORE, MD--After vanquishing River City 278-68 the night before, the #20 Ohio Roller Girls traveled up I95 to Baltimore to face the #15 Charm City Roller Girls All Stars. Unfortunately for the ladies from the Buckeye State, CCRG won the day 232-132.
WASHINGTON, DC--On April 27 at the DC Armory, the DC All Stars (WFTDA 42) hosted the Philly Roller Girls (DNN #7, WFTDA 9) Liberty Belles, returning the favor from last season. When these two teams met last August 11 in Philadelphia, the score was Philly 287, DC All-Stars 103.
GUILDFORD, UK--The Windy City rollers took to the track for their third sanctioned game of 2013, with London seeing their first sanctioned action since their dominance of Track Queens: Battle Royale at the end of 2012.
GUILDFORD, ENGLAND--In the first bout of Anarchy III, Edinburgh's Auld Reekie Rollergirls took on Berlin's Bear City Roller Derby.
Last Weekend's Action Maths Note
The finale to the Derby Ink Invitational was the matchup everyone in the building was hoping to see: The star power of the Derby Mercs against a Shove City team that had some power players of their own. It was apparent from the first whistle that both of these teams wanted it, and both were capable of getting it—and boy, did they go after it.