This was the third year in a row that brass knuckles came out as the Devil Dollies and Nickel City Knockouts went fisticuffs in the Queen City Cup Championship bout.
In 2011 the Dollies pulled out the win in a very close game. In 2012 the Knockouts won convincingly. And on Saturday, June 1, at the Rainbow Rink in North Tonawanda, the teams went at it again. By the end of the night, the Nickel City Knockouts skated away with the win and the title: 2013 Queen City Cup Champions.
The Knockouts struck hard at the first whistle and the Dollies were left scrambling. The Knockouts held the Dollies to 3 points in the first 10 jams of the bout, racking up 70 points. And then the Dollies had one of their first power jams of the night. Lipservice (#360) had the star on at the time, but unfortunately most of her blockers were in the box, and she wasn’t able to score any points.
The Knockouts had a well-practiced strategic plan going into this game and they executed it without hesitation. They also played an extremely fast game and the entire pack seemed to be sprinting at times. It played to the Knockouts’ jammers strength. Other than a few substitutions, LiBRAWLian (#622) and Crazy Legs (#24) were the consistent Knockout jammers.
It wasn’t until over halfway through the first period when the Dollies were able to hold the Knockouts’ jammer enough that Low-Hits Griffin (#153) was able to score 19 points. Later on in the period, Low-Hits had another power jam but the Knockouts killed it and she wasn’t able to collect any points.
The penalty box turned pink about midway through the first half. It wasn’t just that the Dollies had 14 penalty minutes in the first half (3 of them jammer penalties), it was that typically there wasn’t just one Dollie in the box. It was 2 or 3, with one waiting on the track to take her turn. It seemed that once a line started to fall apart, they all followed suit.
The Knockouts weren’t immune to the penalty box, but it didn’t affect their play in quite the same way. By the half the Knockouts had a commanding lead: 150-50. They had kept the Dollies scoreless for 70% of the first period. It is a testament to the Dollies defense that the score differential wasn’t bigger.
The Dollies went into the locker room at half time confused, but came out fighting. They pulled out three huge jams in the second half. Low Hits Griffin had a 20 point and 30 point jam and Celery StalkHer (#64) had a 30 point jam. Both 30 point jams came towards the end of the bout. They helped, but if the Dollies had been able to pull them off earlier in the bout, the final score might have looked different.
Out of the 11 Dollie penalty minutes in the second half, four of them were jammer penalties. The Knockouts made good use of three of them, scoring 15, 24, and 25 points.
In the end, the Dollies held the Knockouts to only 126 points in the second half and scored 119 points. But it wasn’t enough. The Knockouts maintained their composure and their strategies and kept executing the plan. It worked time and time again confounding the Dollie blockers and keeping the jammers contained for much of the game. By the end of the 60 minutes, the Knockouts sailed into their second consecutive Queen City Cup Championship.
Final score: Nickel City Knockouts 276 Devil Dollies 169