It was one of the most heated nights of the season as all four Queen City Roller Girls home teams fought tooth and nail to advance in the championship playoffs on May 11 at the Rainbow Rink. Those left standing at the end of the night moved on to play in the Queen City Cup Championships on June 1.
The Nickel City Knockouts and Alley Kats met in the first bout of the night. The last time both teams butted heads was on March 30 and the Knockouts won 267-81. The Alley Kats knew what kind of a game they were going into. Over half the Alley Kats are in their rookie season compared to the Knockouts who only drafted 3 rookies this year. But according to Alley Kat coach Jaded-Sins-Ability, a positive, team-oriented attitude was one of the biggest goals of the team that season. And they succeeded.
“One thing I tried to instill into the skaters was that whether it was a 1 point game or a 300 point game, you need to enjoy yourself and have fun,” said Jaded. “That day we all came off the track feeling that we played hard against a great team and we had fun doing it. Yes, they scored more points than we did, but we all learned a lot this year and with fans like ours, there is no way that we lost.”
The Knockouts did not play their typical game. Their entire roster played in regular rotation compared to many games where they heavily rely on a key group of blockers. However, they kept their jammer rotation to regulars: LiBRAWLian, Ruby Revenge (#10), Crazy Legs (#24), Toots McGee (#22) and Midnyt Maniac (#46). In the previous game against the Kats, they passed the star around to many skaters including rookie Super Mighty (#939) and veteran Liquid Courage (#15).
The first few jams were a surprise to the fans, and the players, since the Alley Kats came into the bout a definitive underdog. After the first three jams the score was tied: 7-7. But then the Knockouts pulled away and never looked back. Except for those early jams, the Knockouts held the Kats to no points for much of the first half until Evil-Lyn Cognito (#87) grabbed 23 points on a power jam. At the half, it was 147-46 in the Knockouts’ favor.
The second half saw much of the same. The Knockouts dominated and the scrappy Kats kept their positive attitudes solid. By the end of the game, the crowd was cheering loudly for every point earned by the Alley Kats and there was no question that the Knockouts were going back to the finals to compete for the Queen City Cup for the third year in a row.
Final score: Nickel City Knockouts 275 Alley Kats 81.
The Devil Dollies and Suicidal Saucies met up for the second bout of the evening. They had just played each other in the annual Hell on Wheels bout three weeks earlier in a game that had been tight until middle of the second period.
Flat Track Stats, a roller derby website that tracks WFTDA sanctioned games as well as non-WFTDA games, originally anticipated that the playoff bout would be equally tight, and that the Saucies would win by a very slim margin.
Unfortunately for the Saucies, right before the playoffs they lost anchor jammer B’kini Whacks (#21) to a fractured ankle and rookie jammer Miss Fire (#252) was still out with a concussion from Hell on Wheels. The Saucies brought up Shank You Very Much (she played under Miss Fire’s number: 252) from the Queen’s Court. Stormie Weather (#357), Sheer Tara (#138), Violet Femme (#440) and Nova Cain (#333) were all out on medical leave and Sissy Fit (#20/20) had left the team to become a referee.
If you didn’t see the game then by now you’re thinking the Dollies blew the Saucies out of the water. The Dollies were at full force with the exception of Celery StalkHer (#64). The Saucies were down to 13 skaters and many of their “losses” were veteran players.
It sure started out with Dollie domination. They held the Saucies to 11 points for the first half of the period while they built up a 33-11 lead. But then the Dollies’ jammer made some back-to-back trips to the box and Shank got her first power jam. That was when pink penalties began to wear on the Dollies’ game. In the first period the Dollies sat for 13 minutes in the box; three of those minutes were jammer penalties. In comparison, the Saucies had five penalty minutes and only one of those was a jammer penalty. Those penalties made a big difference. The Saucies got tighter and the Dollies began to lose it. By the end of the first exciti
ng period the score was tight: Dollies 83 – Saucies 75.
It was anyone’s game.
The stars of the night were the Saucie jammers. Since they lost Miss Fire and B’kini Whacks to injuries the Saucies moved Un-Senamental (#48) and Shank (#252) into jammer positions. Shank was the surprise of the night. It was her first bout and she showed poise and calm despite getting drilled by a line of Lipservice (#360), Vanilla Creamz (#234), DayTripHer (#711) and Fetishly Devine (#1125). Shank only had one penalty the entire night.
“We were so happy to be able to play with Shank,” said Alli Snatcher, captain of the Suicidal Saucies. “You would never know she hadn’t played in a home team bout before.”
Toward the end of the second period Alley Oops had a 25-point power jam and the Saucies pulled to within one point. With the Dollie’s jammer still in the box Shank went out and pulled a 17-point power jam putting the Saucies in the lead 175-162. At that moment it looked like the tide was turning Saucie red and that the team would pull out the win to make it to the Queen City Cup finals. But the Dollies hunkered down, put out their bruising veteran blocker line, sent Low-Hits Griffin (#153) to the jammer line three jams in a row and shut down the Saucies. The Dollies pulled out the win – barely – to return to the Queen City Cup finals for the third year in a row.
Final score: Devil Dollies 181 Suicidal Saucies 175.