(MILWAUKEE, WI) St. Louis flat-track roller derby was well represented at this past weekend’s “Midwest BrewHaHa” invitational. Between the primary travel squads of the Arch Rival Roller Girls (ARRG) and GateKeepers Roller Derby (GKRD), five of six outcomes were victorious at UWM Panther Arena.
Arch Rival, ranked #14 internationally by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), netted a rankings upset over #7 Minnesota (169-133) and posted huge wins over #28 Steel City (369-104) and #29 Ohio (367-41) to keep its record unblemished at 11-0.
The GateKeepers, ranked second internationally by the Men’s Roller Derby Association (MRDA), netted wins over #4 Puget Sound (222-66) and #14 Twin Cities (443-73) but suffered its first setback of the season to #6 Texas (175-165) to finish BrewHaha 2-1 and 5-1 overall.
Both team’s respective offenses were eye-opening, but the theme of the weekend was St. Louis’ stellar blocking performances.
Arch Rival netted its trifecta with the work of blockers Party Foul, Emily Rinehart, Mayor Francis Slayer, Shimmy Hoffa, Cloak N’ DragHer, Kayla Seiber, Shear-Ra Powers, Jamheiser Bush, Chewblocka, The Ginger Assassin and Krista Grant.
Meanwhile on the men’s side, blockers Bled Zeppelin, Inquadable Hulk, Monster Jam, Nate Bower, Percy Controll, Spin Diesel, Kyle Stark, The Saint, Walker Hamilton and Wrecking Bill paved the way for the GateKeepers’ 2-1 BrewHaHa trip.
#14 ARCH RIVAL 367 #29 OHIO 41
Capitalizing on six first-half jammer penalties committed by Ohio, it did not take long for St. Louis to dismantle its nemesis from Columbus in its Friday match-up. Up 28-4 seven jams in, Harmony Killerbruise collected an 18-point power jam with 20:30 left in the first period to help Arch Rival push its lead to 48-11.
St. Louis topped triple digits on the scoreboard with Bricktator’s 27-point power jam with 11:00 left in the half that made the score 103-16. Arch Rival possessed a 197-29 lead at halftime following Brickyard’s period-ending 28-pointer via the power jam.
The momentum carried over into the second and with St. Louis’ stubborn defense on full-charge, Arch Rival launched the period with a 64-0 run. ARRG pushed its lead to 261-29 following Annie Swanson’s 15-point tally with 19:50 left.
Another uncontested scoring streak, a 51-0 roll of points, widened the differential to 300 as Arch Rival extended the score to 340-40 with six minutes left. St. Louis outscored Ohio, 170-12, in the second to give ARRG the 326-point win and its ninth straight victory.
Brickyard finished with 111 points, followed by Bricktator’s 106.
#14 ARCH RIVAL 369 #28 STEEL CITY 104
St. Louis was comparable to Friday’s point output in its Saturday morning meeting with Steel City. However, Pittsburgh did put a fight early and sported a 21-19 edge ten minutes in.
Arch Rival then proceeded to post 17 straight and held a 36-21 lead at the 16:15 mark. Steel City countered with a 16-2 run over the next three jams and made the contest a solo-point affair, 38-37, with 13:40 left in the half.
Mighty Mighty Boston, new to the Arch Rival jammer mix on Brewhaha Saturday, then delivered a 24-point strike that pushed St. Louis lead to 62-37 with 12:15 left. She later added a baker’s dozen off the power jam to extend the score to 83-46.
Brickyard tacked on a 27-point rotation in the final jam and St. Louis possessed a 142-50 lead at intermission.
Arch Rival pushed the differential to over 140 points in the first eight jams of the second period and maintained a 209-78 lead with 19:00 left.
St. Louis then went into “beast mode” and held the Steel Hurtin’ scoreless all the way up to the final jam. In the process, Bricktator pushed Arch Rival’s lead to 285-78 with 12:50 left following a 38-point strike.
Thanks to the punishing walls of blocking, Arch Rival outscored Pittsburgh, 227-54, in the second period and posted the 369-104 victory and kept the undefeated season intact.
Bricktator’s 131 points, 112 of which were collected in the second, paced Arch Rival scoring, followed by Brickyard’s 106.
#14 ARCH RIVAL 169 #7 MINNESOTA 133
A tough dilemma faced the brain trust of Arch Rival heading into Sunday’s tussle with seventh-ranked Minnesota. With solid performances by the jamming quintet of Brickyard, Bricktator, Annie Swanson, Mighty Mighty Boston and Harmony Killerbruise historically in the past, and throughout the BrewHaHa weekend, which four skaters would get the starting nod in St. Louis’ traditional four-jammer rotation for a game?
In an unprecedented move in the league’s seven-year tenure of WFTDA-sanctioned travel games, Arch Rival elected to start all five. This would be a dice-roller, as one aforementioned stellar blocker would be subtracted from the WFTDA-mandated starting line-up of fourteen total skaters for a solo game. The line-up against Minnesota listed five jammers and nine blockers. It meant that the workload would be extremely heavy, and chaotic, for those setting up the walls.
In hindsight, it turned out to be the right call with Arch Rival’s 36-point rankings-upset win.
Trailing 13-6 after three jams, Arch Rival posted 22 points straight in the next three rotations. Eight from Swanson was followed by Boston’s five in jam five. Brickyard collected nine to finish the three-jam rally and St. Louis possessed a 28-13 lead.
Following a 14-10 jam from Minnesota’s Frannie Tanner to cut Arch Rival’s lead to 38-27, Bricktator collected a 19-point strike in jam eight to push St. Louis’ lead to 57-27.
This 30-point differential stayed consistent throughout the remainder of the half. At intermission, Arch Rival possessed a 101-69 lead.
In the second period, St. Louis scored eight straight from the launch. Back-to-back four-pointers from Brickyard and Killerbruise pushed Arch Rival’s lead to 109-69.
Then after a 2-2 stalemate in the period’s third jam, ARRG posted a 19-0 run. After Swanson netted 11 in jam four, Boston and Brickyard collected four, respectively, to extend St. Louis’ lead to 59 points, 130-71, with 20:50 left in the game.
Minnesota refused to surrender, and collected a 34-9 run over the next three rotations. Midway through the frame, Arch Rival maintained a 139-108 lead.
And that would be the closest the Minnesotans would reach down the stretch as Arch Rival’s battalion of blockers would hold the seventh-ranked WFTDA to minimal points for the completion of the period.
Brickyard’s dozen-point rotation with under five minutes left would seal the WFTDA-rankings upset.
Arch Rival outscored Minnesota, 68-64, in the second period to pick up the 169-133 win, finish BrewHaHa with the three-game sweep and improve to 11-0.
Brickyard finished the game with 47 points, followed by Brickyard’s 44.
Arch Rival looks to keep its record unblemished versus #49 Naptown at Midwest Sports Hockey in Ballwin, Missouri on Saturday, June 27.
#2 STL GATEKEEPERS 443 # 14 TWIN CITIES 73
On Friday at BrewHaha, St. Louis wasted no time in securing a lead and a lopsided win. Magnum P.I.M.P.’s 23-point, game-opening rotation launched the GateKeepers’ 72-0 four-jam run, which was punctuated by Screecharound’s 25-point strike at the 22:05 mark.
After the Minneapolis-based Terrors collected a 19-8 jam on the next rotation, St. Louis dominated all remaining aspects of the first half. By collecting lead jammer status on the next 11 jams, capitalizing on three Twin Cities’ jammer penalties, and holding the Minnesotans scoreless, the GateKeepers’ exploded for a 160-0 rally.
During the process, Arch Rival’s Handrail collected a 25-point power jam with 12:15 left to push St. Louis’ lead to 151-19. Shane Bower added 25 two rotations later to up the score to 180-19. Magnum finished the run with a 20-pointer on the penultimate jam.
With the stellar work of the aforementioned set of blockers, the GateKeepers’ massive roll of points resulted in a 249-19 lead.
In the second period, taking advantage of power jams became a common theme for St. Louis once again. The GateKeepers broke the tri-centennial mark, and pushed the score to 314-45, following Corey Porter’s 15 point strike via a power jam with 19:30 left.
GKRD eclipsed 400 points with Handrail’s nine-pointer scored with seven minutes left, making the contest 401-65. St. Louis outscored Twin Cities, 194-50, in the second period to collect the 443-73 win and improve to 4-0 on the season.
Screecharound and Handrail both collected 111 points in the game and Magnum followed with 91.
#2 STL GATEKEEPERS 222 #4 PUGET SOUND 66
On paper, Saturday’s meeting with the Outcasts from Tacoma, Washington, positioned two spots behind in the MRDA rankings, had the makings for a donnybrook. It was for awhile, but St. Louis’ dominance defensively in the second half widened the final differential.
Trailing 5-0 after the opening jam, GKRD went on a 63-0 run over the next eight rotations. Porter’s 13-pointer scored at the 24:57 pushed St. Louis’ lead to 23-5, Magnum added a dozen two jams later to widen the margin to 34 points and Handrail finished the rally at the 18:00 mark. When the dust had settled, the GateKeepers possessed a 63-5 lead.
To its credit, Puget Sound whittled away at the deficit and narrowed the score to 70-36 with under ten minutes left in the half.
The GateKeepers put the ka-bosh on the comeback and posted 30 points straight. Porter’s ten-pointer on the half’s penultimate jam finished the stretch and gave St. Louis a 100-36 advantage.
Leading 105-40 at the start of the second period, St. Louis collected 15 points uncontested off the first three jams to push the score to 120-40.
Then after the Outcasts posted a pair of points in jam four, St. Louis countered with 19 scored by Handrail, which sparked a 35-0 rally over the next four rotations. When the run finished, St. Louis led 155-42.
Meanwhile, GKRD defense rose to the forefront, holding Puget Sound to 24 points in the final twenty minutes. St. Louis outscored the Outcasts, 117-26, in the second half to pick up the 156-point duke and keep the record spotless at 5-0.
Porter finished with 50 points while Magnum collected 49.
#6 TEXAS 175 #2 STL GATEKEEPERS 165
Prior to Sunday’s showdown between the GateKeepers and Texas Men’s Roller Derby, the narrative heading in was St. Louis’ attempt to pick up its second win against the Lone Star State in back-to-back months by implementing the same strategies that had worked so successfully against fourth-ranked Puget Sound on Saturday.
The Outlaws shut down that narrative immediately and enacted its own brand of “Texas Justice” to pick up the ten-point rankings upset. An 11-0 sprint in the first four jams set the tone.
St. Louis flipped the scoreboard to its favor in jam five as Magnum P.I.M.P.’s 15-point strike gave the GateKeepers a 15-11 edge. Bower added three on the next rotation to push the lead to seven, 18-11.
Texas then posted an eye-opening 41-0 rally over the next six rotations. With multiple double-digit jams, Texas posted a 52-18 lead after 12 jams.
St. Louis proceeded to claw away at the deficit and narrowed the gap to a dozen points with the next two rotations. Following Handrail’s 24-point strike, the GateKeepers trailed 59-47.
Both teams continued scoring stretches as the period progressed, but Texas continued to push and maintained a 105-80 at intermission.
Like heavyweight prize fighters, the second period continued the trend. As Texas kept its attempts to widen the differential, St. Louis refused to surrender. With seven jams to go, St. Louis had narrowed the Texan lead to two points, 135-133.
Then on the next rotation, St. Louis netted its second lead change of the game. With Magnum’s 14-point strike, the GateKeepers flipped the scoreboard 147-135. Screecharound collected seven on the next rotation to extend St. Louis’ lead to 19 points, 154-135.
Texas countered with 17 points collected in the next two rotations and whittled the lead to two points, 154-152, with under five minutes left. Magnum’s 8-4 result in jam 43 pushed the GateKeepers’ edge to 162-156.
Then on the game’s penultimate jam, Texas jammer Lucky Charmer grabbed lead and capitalized on St. Louis penalties. Nine Outlaw points ensued and the sixth-ranked team flipped the scoreboard, 165-162, with under a minute remaining.
On the final jam, Texas’ The Enabler grabbed lead and enabled the Outlaws to claim victory over the second-ranked GateKeepers with a 10-3 jam. The 175-165 Texas triumph handed St. Louis its first loss of the year and evened the season series at one game apiece.
Magnum topped St. Louis scoring with 79 points, followed by Bower’s 38.
For more information on the Arch Rival Roller Girls, go to archrivalrollergirls.com.
For more information on GateKeepers Roller Derby, go to stlgatekeepers.com.
Both leagues will be presenting their respective local league championships this Saturday night at Chaifetz Arena. In the ARRG local championships, two-time defending champions, The Smashinistas, meet the Stunt Devils. In the GKRD “Turf Wars” finale, defending champ South Grand Slammers face off against the Riverfront Crimes. Advance discounted tickets are available AT THIS LINK.
(Statistical information supplied by Rinxster)