Buffalo’s Lake Effect Furies capped off their 2016 home season this weekend handing Green Mountain (Vermont) their most lopsided loss in team history beating them 386-54 in sanctioned play. The win meant the Furies finished 4-0 at home in sanctioned play this year, 9-0 overall, and the margin of victory will certainly help them on their push back to Division 1 Playoffs.
Inside a hot and muggy Buffalo Riverworks the Furies dominated from first whistle putting up 26 points before Green Mountain could get on the board. Their jammers struggled with some penalties early, with each jammer taking 1 penalty in the first half, but the Furies’ blockers dug in and killed off those penalties without much pain, giving up only 27 points on 5 powerjams. The Furies skated into half with a comfortable 143-34 lead.
The compelling narrative was the start of the 2nd half. The Furies started the 2nd half off brilliant and executed an 18 minute stretch of complete dominance, securing 14 straight lead jam statuses and going on a massive 142-0 run. Green Mountain couldn’t match the Furies endurance, as the heat and the Furies defence wore them down and the jammer penalty ratio flipped in favour of the Furies, with their jammers only taking 1 penalty in the 2nd half to Green Mountain’s 3.
The Furies closed out that 2nd half only giving up lead jam once and the defence as a whole only gave up 14 points all game when a Furies jammer was on the track (42 points were given up on power jams).
For the blockers, the game was a return to early season form. The blocking core only took 8 penalties all game – which must be a Furies record – and their focus on blocking collectively tightened their walls, saved energy, and kept their penalties low.
For the Furies jammers, they followed the lead of their blocking core combining for one of the most complete games this team has played all year. Librawlian lead the way scoring 197 points while only giving up 7. (You are reading that correctly, that is not a typo). InSINerator followed with a 92% lead percentage and 104 points while Miss Fire went 53 and 3, only giving up points on her first jam of the game. Rookie relief jammers did their job as well with Dana Scullcrusher securing lead in all 3 of her jams and Rosi put her first ever points up at home in a Furies jersey.
The Furies 2015 Playoffs + 2016 calendar average should sit around a WFTDA average of 395 now, with a 450 score in this game. That average should be good enough to secure a back to back Division 1 Playoff appearance, but the Furies shouldn’t be content just yet. They have one game left on their schedule this year, an away game against Pittsburgh (Steel City’s Steel Hurtin) on June 18th.
It will be just their 2nd game of the year against a higher ranked opponent and the Furies should be looking for revenge after a last jam/late collapse last year at home against Steel City. If they follow up this solid game against Green Mountain with a convincing win against Steel City, they could potentially leap frog them and have a chance at a 7th seed spot in their D1 playoff tournament, which would get them out of a crash course with a 1st seed in the 2nd round. The Furies were a 9 seed last year and after upsetting 8th seed Toronto to kick of the tournament, they faced Gotham Girls Roller Derby in the 2nd round and took a beating they should try to avoid this year.
Regardless of where they end up, the Furies broke previous attendance records for the club this year, bounced back from a tough 2015 playoff, and they will get to represent Buffalo again this year in an international playoff. This resilient team is as tough as the city it represents.
Writer’s Pick of the Game: It is tempting to say the entire team, given that this was one of their best full team games of the year, but then what would be the point of a pick of the game? InSINerator won the #DIYBFLOFanFave and Librawlian put up other worldly numbers, but my pick of the game has to be Bricks Hit House. After fouling out of 3 straight games at Beaver Fever, Bricks came into this game like a woman possessed. She tracked Green Mountain jammers all game while also playing under control and positionally. The Furies put up 4 double digit jams where their blockers held the opposing jammers on their initial passes. Bricks played big role in that and she did all this while only taking 2 penalties all game. This was a huge bounce back game for her and all of the Furies blocking core as no blocker had more than 2 penalties and 3 played penalty free (Ivana, Pepper Stix and Vajenna Warrior).