(ST. LOUIS) Returning to Chaifetz Arena after fourteen months, local flat-track roller derby Saturday night featured finals that saw the men’s defending kingpin retain and a women’s franchise hoist its first trophy since 2010.
In the women’s battle for the Arch Rival Roller Girls’ league finale, the Stunt Devils’ utilized a 43-0 rally to collect a 164-95 victory over two-time defending champion Smashinistas to collect its first title in five seasons.
In the GateKeepers Roller Derby “Turf Wars” opener, the South Grand Slammers netted its second straight title with a 135-109 duke over the Riverfront Crimes.
There was plenty of excitement to be found in both games that put the capper on a highly-competitive local season.
ARRG TITLE: STUNT DEVILS 164 SMASHINISTAS 95
The two-time defending champions knew that the task was going to be difficult if they wanted to collect its third straight title. The Smashinistas certainly possessed the talent, but the Stunt Devils showed signs of trending up as the regular season progressed. The purple rollers attacked early and often, spearheading the charge to cruise to an easy victory.
So what elements did the Stunts employ to net the team’s 69-point title victory?
“Magic and butts,” joked blocker Grave Danger afterwards. “I’m just kidding! I can’t give enough kudos to our new skaters this year. This past couple of months, they’ve really worked hard this past year in practice, working their butts off every single day and they really were the ones that helped glue us together and just bring it home.”
In essence, the deciding factor came down to a very punishing Stunts’ blocking schema, paced by the aforementioned Danger, Mayor Francis Slayer, Shear-Ra Powers, Ninja Sass ‘Em, Morgan LeFaetal, Danisaurus Rex, Aggie Wartooth, Orange Ya Sry Cru-ella Belleville and Soundproof.
They set the tone early, holding the Smashinistas scoreless for a nine-minute stretch in the first period.
Following Smashie jammer Brickyard’s four-point, game opening rotation, Bricktator posted 15 points on the next rotation to give the Stunts a 15-4 edge.
The Smashinistas countered with back-to-back lead jams from Brickyard and Hakuna Renata. Four and three points were respectively recorded and the 7-0 push narrowed gap to 15-11 at the 25:10 mark.
The Stunts proceeded with its first high-octane rally of the night, a 25-0 stretch over the next six jams. Following Bricktator’s dozen off the power jam-based launch, Mighty Mighty Boston added five on the next cycle to widen the Stunts’ lead to 32-11 with 22:15 left in the period.
A four-point strike from Chokehold Chanel continued the trend and pushed the lead to 25. After Boston posted two in jam nine, Bricktator finished the rally with another two that widened the lead to 40-11.
After a 7-7 push over the next two rotations, the Smashinistas surged with a dozen points uncontested. A pair of points from Shimmy Hoffa in jam 13 was followed by 10 from Brickyard to cut the gap to 47-30.
The Stunts’ Boston collected 10 cumulative points off of two jams as the period continued and extended the lead to 57-30 with 7:45 left in the half.
The Smashies then found its legs and posted a dozen straight, thanks to the blocking of Eli Wallop, Shimmy Hoffa, Chewblocka, Cloak N’ Drag-Her, Prof. Rumbledore, Fletch-A-Sketch, Girl Fawkes, Party Rock-Her, Holliver Fist and Rock Slobster .
Renata’s five-point power jam was followed by Brickyard’s four. EnYa Nightmare finished the three-jam sprint with a trey at the 5:30 mark to whittle the score to 57-42.
The Stunts countered with 20 points off the next two rotations to create first-period breathing room. Bricktator notched three and then Boston, aided by stubborn blocking, collected 17 non-lead points in the half’s penultimate jam to extend the Stunt Devils’ lead to 77-42.
At intermission, the Stunts possessed a 79-45 advantage. The cushion was maintained in the opening stages of the second period as the purple-clad rollers held onto an 87-52 edge at the 23:05 mark.
And then began the surge that secured the Stunts’ championship win. A seven-minute defensive lockdown resulted in a 43-0 rally.
It started with Chanel’s 10-point power jam that pushed the score to 97-52. Bricktator followed with 17 via the power jam to make the score 114-52. Multiple-scoring passes from the duo over the next four rotations put the capper on the run, resulting in the Stunts’ 130-52 lead with 17:15 remaining.
The rest of the championship game was all about clock control and defense as the Stunt Devils kept the opposition at bay. Bricktator’s 20-point strike with 4:30 remaining sealed the deal.
The Stunts outscored the Smashinistas, 85-50, in the second period to pick up the 164-95 title win. Bricktator paced the champions with 83 points.
Brickyard, in her last game with her local squad, finished with 38 points.
STUNT DEVILS (164): Bricktator 83, Chokehold Chanel 41, Mighty Mighty Boston 40.
SMASHINISTAS (95): Brickyard 38, Hakuna Renata 27, Cloak N’ DragHer 7, EnYa Nightmare 6, Chewblocka 3, Shimmy Hoffa 2.
Post-victory interview with the Stunt Devils!
For more information on the Arch Rival Roller Girls, go to archrivalrollergirls.com.
GKRD TITLE: SOUTH GRAND SLAMMERS 135 RIVERFRONT CRIMES 109
The men’s opener featured plenty of hard-hitting action and seven lead changes overall. The South Grand Slammers’ sprint to its second straight “Turf Wars” title wasn’t decided until the last five minutes of the contest.
South Grand knew that the challenge was going to be tough considering that they lost to the Crimes by 89 points in their last meeting in March.
“They really kicked the snot out of us and made us wake up,” said Slammers’ co-captain D Mouthful. “We had to get back to the working stone. We just had to keep pushing.
Momentum ping-ponged in the game’s first ten minutes. The Slammers’ Spin Diesel collected a five point jam at the 20:00 mark to give the defending champs a 30-20 lead.
The Crimes flipped the scoreboard on the next rotation as jammer Indecent Exposure collected a 14-3 power jam to give the mafia a 34-33 edge.
Back-to-back nine-pointers from Debaucherous Prime and Screecharound pushed the Crimes’ advantage to 52-33 with 12:30 left in the period.
Paced by the blocking of Double Excel, Inquadable Hulk, Kyle Stark, Dago Whomp and Fruit Wallup, the Slammers sliced into the deficit as Handrail collected 14 points at the 9:25 mark to make the game a five-point affair, 52-47.
Scoring would be comparable for the remainder of the period. At intermission, the Crimes possessed a 62-55 lead.
Tight defense propelled by The Saint, Bled Zeppelin, Percy Controll, Nate Bower, mr PINK, Walker Hamilton and B.A. Blockenstein maintained the lead in the second period’s opening stages as the Crimes possessed a 74-65 lead at the 21:30 mark.
The Slammers flipped the scoreboard on the next rotation as Handrail collected a 13-1 jam with 19:50 left in the game to give South Grand a 78-75 advantage. D Mouthful added five on the next rotation to push the score to 83-75.
The Crimes answered back in jam eight, resulting in another lead change. Screecharound’s nine-point tally with 16:30 left pushed the lead back to Riverfront and made the game a solo-point affair, 84-83 in favor of the Crimes.
Mouthful notched eight on the next rotation to give the Slammers a lead change, 91-84 with 14:30 left.
Topsy-turvy scoring continued as the second period progressed and the Slammers held a 114-109 lead heading into the championship game’s final five minutes.
This is when the Slammers kicked into overdrive and posted a “Blackjack” sprint to the trophy. A 21-0 rally ensued.
Mouthful collected four and Handrail added seven on the next two rotations to push the Slammers’ lead to 125-109. Back-to-back grand slams from Screecharound and Handrail concluded the late game push and secured victory.
The 135-109 result gave the Slammers its second straight GKRD “Turf Wars” trophy. Handrail finished the night with 67 points, unofficially, followed by D Mouthful’s 45.
The Crimes’ Schreecharound tallied 41 points, followed by Prime’s 38.
SOUTH GRAND SLAMMERS (135): Handrail 67, D Mouthful 45, Spin Diesel 11, Kyle Stark 5.
RIVERFRONT CRIMES (109): Screecharound 41, Debaucherous Prime 38, Indecent Exposure 29.
Post-Game Interview with the Riverfront Crimes!
For more information on GateKeepers Roller Derby, go to stlgatekeepers.com.