(BALLWIN, MO) Local trophies were claimed Saturday night at Midwest Sport Hockey at the intraleague finales for Arch Rival Roller Derby (ARCH) and GateKeepers Roller Derby (GKRD) and in each contest, the triumphant team topped the league’s respective defending champion.
In the ARCH contest that opened the twin bill, the Stunt Devils outlasted the Smashinistas 215-198 while in the GKRD nightcap, the Creve Coroners snared their first-ever Turf Wars trophy with their 185-179 topper over the Central West Friends.
Both franchises now transition over to interleague play as the pair sends their A-teams to the multi-league Big O Invitational that takes place in Oregon next weekend. ARCH is currently ranked seventh internationally by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) while GKRD is the current three-time defending kingpin of the Men’s Roller Derby Association (MRDA).
However this past weekend, the two title games put the finishing touches on a successful six-month campaign.
ARCH: STUNT DEVILS 215 SMASHINISTAS 198
In a topsy-turvy finale that saw numerous nail-biting moments, the Stunts utilized a 35-1 second-period run deep en route to the team’s 17-point victory over the defending champs and their fifth trophy overall.
“We forgot that we were supposed to be having fun and we brought it in the second half,” said Stunt Devils’ Bench Coach Ninja Sass’Em afterwards. “We made roller derby fun again and we stayed on the track a lot more.”
The Smashinistas held a 13-0 lead after jammer Bolt Action collected a nine-point strike in the game’s second jam.
The Stunts’ contingent of blockers that included Shear-Ra Powers, Fletch-A-Sketch, Lethal Dose, Nox, Bruise Almighty, Joan of Spark, Splatter and Pegassas propelled a scoreboard-flipping 23-0 rally over the next three jams. Launched by Ultraviolet’s 15-pointer in Jam 3 and followed by back-to-back four-point rotations from Aggie Wartooth and Bricktator, the Stunts possessed a 23-13 edge six minutes in.
A penalty-laden full two-minute jam highlighted the next flight which saw the Stunts’ Psychokid D’ Freakout record a 21-12 output that pushed the score to 44-25 at the 22:00 mark.
Following a scoreless rotation, the Stunt Devils notched 32 points uncontested with a 15-point power jam from Bricktator at the 16:50 mark that was followed by D’ Freakout’s 17-point jam that made the score 76-28 midway through the period.
To their credit, the Smashinistas quelled the early onslaught, flipped the script, played patiently and narrowed the differential to a solo point via 60-13 stretch run that spanned twelve minutes. Key to the comeback were the stellar play of blockers Hero Shima, Cloak N’ Drag-Her, Professor Rumbledore, Girl Fawkes, Rock Slobster, Poison Ivy, Bridsong, Rude-Off, Outlaw Josie Wheels and Spock N’ Roll and the squad’s capitalization oo three power jams.
Launched by Smarty McFly’s 19-point strike at the 12:30 mark and punctuated by Vicious Van GoGo’s 18 with 3:15 left in the period, the Smashies narrowed the score to 89-88. Following a scoreless rotation, the Smashies grabbed their second lead of the contest with The Jukes on You’s 14-2 power jam that resulted in a 102-91 scoreboard flip with :45 reaming in the half.
The lead was short-lived and the Stunts soon capitalized on their own power jam on the period’s final rotation. A 14-2 finish ensued from D’ Freakout and the Stunts held a 105-102 at intermission.
Play was tight in the opening rotations of the second period and the Smashies regained the lead, 113-110, following Holliver Fist’s grand slam at the 27:10 mark.
The Stunts responded with 29 points uncontested. Back-to-back power jams from Ultraviolet and Bricktator resulted in nine and twenty points, respectively, as the team’s lead built a 139-113 advantage six minutes in.
As the period progressed, the Stunts widened the differential and pushed the score to 172-138 midway through the frame.
The Stunts arguably claimed their strongest run of the contest with a five-jam, 35-1 push that was highlighted by Aggie Wartooth’s 14-point strike seven minutes left that made the score 207-163.
The Smashies attempted late-game heroics and whittled the gap to 215-198 following Van GoGo’s nine-pointer claimed in the trophy game’s penultimate jam.
Seventeen points with one jam remaining wasn’t completely out of reach for the Smashies if they craved back-to-back trophies. But in order to do so, claiming lead jammer status was the only option available.
With the final jam in play, the Stunts’ wall of blockers surged ahead, opened holes and gave the space needed for Bricktator to surge to the front of the pack and claim the championship-winning lead. As soon as the period clock expired, the veteran wisely called off the jam as the Stunts recorded the 215-198 triumph and their fifth ARCH title.
D’Freakout topped the scoring ledger for the Stunts, who finished 3-2, with 78 points followed by Bricktator’s 68.
Van GoGo finished her first full year of tenure with the Smashies (2-3) with a 56-point performance followed by Bolt Action’s 38.
For more information on Arch Rival Roller Derby, visit their website.
STUNT DEVILS (215): Psychokid D. Freakout 78, Bricktator 68, Ultraviolet 49, Aggie Wartooth 22, Splatter 9
SMASHINISTAS (198): Vicious Van GoGo 56, Bolt Action 38, Smarty McFly 36, The Jukes On You 33, Cloak N’ Drag-Her 26, Holliver Fist 12
Here is the post-game interview with the Stunts following the game.
GKRD: CREVE CORONERS 185 CENTRAL WEST FRIENDS 179
As much as the opener provided plenty of nail-biting moments, the GKRD title game that followed provided outright heart palpitations. Last season, the then-newly-founded Creve Coroners only recorded a forfeit victory and finished last in the franchise’s standings.
Fast-forward one year later, and boosted by their 24-0 rally against the defending champs recorded deep on Saturday, the medics now possess first-time hardware.
“For the whole game, we just said grind it out, grind it out,” said Coroners’ jammer Magnum P.I.M.P. afterwards. “We figured that we would get them tired and not make mistakes, then we’ll capitalize and take advantage. Our guys kept fighting, never got discouraged and we took it home.”
The Coroners were behind the proverbial “8-ball” early and it appeared that after four jams that potentially the night would be extremely frustrating. Multi-lap scoring passes from Central West Friends’ jammers Bruno Scars, Last Rites and Bower Ranger resulted in the defending kingpins’ 27-0 lead at four minutes in.
After settling down, and utilizing the walls provided by blockers Nix, Hulk, Double Excel, Boney Fangers, Otter Nonsense, Wrecks Appeal, Specs, baby legs and Beddes, the Coroners responded with 22 straight, accented by Magnum’s 19-point strike recorded at the 22:15 mark, that shored the score to 27-22.
The Friends responded with a two-jam, 24-0 rebuttal thanks to the blocking of Percy Controll, Sogo, Captain Kramerica, Yoshi, Quadratic Evasion, Fruit Wall-Up and Thrillhouse and the Great Stromboli. A 51-22 advantage for CWF ensued following 19-point rotation at the 18:10 mark.
The Coroners then went into “beast mode” and constructed a 52-12 surge that stretched over the next ten minutes. Within the rally, Magnum notched a 15-point strike and rookie Jammy Pacquiao recorded a three-jam, 27-point output. When the dust settled at the 7:50 mark, the Coroners possessed a 74-63 lead, their first of the night.
As productive as that run went, the ensuing rotations were anything but and the Coroners’ wheels flew off the hearst as the Friends finished the frame with an unfriendly 56-14 shakedown. Trailing 89-88 heading into the period’s final jam, CWF’s Bower Ranger claimed lead and collected six grand slams en route to a 30 point finale that resulted in the defending champs’ 119-89 intermission scoreboard flip. Ouch!
However, Creve Coeur produced a 45-5 run over the next six jams and claimed a lead change. Launched by Magnum’s 18-pointer in Jam 3 and concluded by his ten-point strike in Jam 8, the Coroners reclaimed the lead, 147-142, with 18:15 left in the game.
CWF responded with 16 points uncontested and snared a 158-147 advantage with 13:30 left.
Feeling the heat, the Coroners cobbled a 24-1 run by claiming lead on the next seven jams. With scoring passes from Magnum, Pacquiao and co-captain Shred Astaire, the Coroners possessed a 175-159 lead with six minutes left.
Down the stretch, CWF narrowed the score with scoring passes by Ranger and Scars and only trailed 181-171 heading into the championship game’s final jam.
In the Turf Wars’ finisher, CWF claimed lead jammer status but an ensuing track cut penalty called against their jammer handed the GKRD local trophy to the Coroners, who proceeded to control and kill the clock as Magnum dictated play. An 8-4 ending jam that favored the Friends ensued but a 185-179 final result resulted in the Coroners’ inaugural trophy.
“You never know what’s going to happen,” said Magnum, who finished with 106 points in the contest. “You just keep grinding it out for an entire sixty minutes and it can go in your favor. That happened tonight.”
Pacquiao finished the game for the Coroners (4-1) with 62 points while Bower paced the Friends (3-2) with 109 points.
For more information on GateKeepers Roller Derby, visit their website.
CREVE CORONERS (185): Magnum P.I.M.P.106, Jammy Pacquiao 62, Shred Astaire 24
CENTRAL WEST FRIENDS (179): Bower Ranger 109, Bruno Scars 58, Last Rites 11