(Photo Credit: Bob Dunnell – mrmcwheely.com – Click on the thumbnails to enlarge.)
Lose against the stubborn M-80s, who already had a competitive ARCH local game under their collective chainsaws, and they would be handed a one-way ticket to the lower portion of the league standings.
To their relief, the green-clad troopers utilized a 47-6 rally that opened the second period which provided the catalyst for a 178-140 season-launching win and a first-place tie with the idle Stunt Devils (1-0) in the ARCH standings.
The pair of unbeatens have a Saturday, January 28 showdown at Queeny Park slotted where the winner claims league supremacy at season’s midpoint.
“We have a lot of newer skaters on this year’s team, so we really wanted to focus on communicating and staying together,” said Smashies’ co-captain Salty after the game. “I think we only had nine (team) penalties in the first half, so our coaches encouraged us to keep playing hard and clean. If we kept doing that, then we were going to wear them down and extend our lead, which we did.”
With the Smashies up 15-0 two jams in, the M-80s claimed their first scoreboard flip of the night at the 26:30 mark as jammer Shoulder, CO notched a 16-point strike to give the loggers a 16-15 edge.
The Smashies’ Salty, a blocker by trade, returned the salvo by collecting a nine-point rotation that handed the lead back to the green-clads, 24-16 with 24:50 left in the first period.
The M-80s methodically chipped away at the deficit by claiming the next five lead jams and an 11-2 run ensued. With Shoulder’s 4-2 jam recorded with 19:50 left in the frame, the M-80s claimed a 27-26 lead change. Shoulder later added four two jams later to push the score to 31-26.
The Smashies responded with 16 points straight. Blocker Shimmy Hoffa took a rare turn at jammer and posted a dozen points that gave her team a 38-31 lead change with 12:00 left in the half. Jammer Harmony Killerbruise followed with four that pushed the score 42-31.
The M-80 proceeded to take their collective wooden axes and log a 33-2 run over the next five jams. During this stretch, blockers Fir Serious?!?!, Lumberjam, Jenny Loggins, Sequoia Destro-Ya, Twig E. Smalls, Ginger, Pine As Buck, Axe & Kitties, Chop It Like It’s Hot, Fiona Crabapple, Snoop Dogwood, Megabirch and Branch Devereaux, carved out a 64-44 lead that was finished by a 14-point strike from BEECH, PLEASE! with 5:25 left in the half.
Smashies’ newcomer Bolt Action quickly sliced at the deficit with a 16-point strike that narrowed the M-80s’ lead to 64-60 with three minutes left. Shoulder responded for the M-80s with a pair of points one minute later that made the score 66-60.
The Smashies collected 18 points straight that concluded the half. Highlighted by Killerbruise’s 15-pointer in the half’s penultimate jam, the troopers possessed a 78-66 lead at halftime.
The ensuing shutdown was provided by the Smashies’ blocking schema of the aforementioned Salty and Hoffa alongside Cloak N’ Drag-Her, Smarty McFly, Che Guevera, Rumbledore, Holliver Fist, Rock Slobster, Party McFly and Birdsong. The collective constructed a three-jam, 47-2 surge that pushed the differential to beyond forty points and provided a cushion.
The gut-buster was launched by Bolt Action’s mind-numbing 34-3 non-lead output that pushed the score to 112-72 with 24:45 left in the game. Then following Killerbruise’s four-point strike on the next rotation, Smashie jammer Flash finished the dash with nine that widened the score to 125-72 with 21:00 left in the game.
Flash notched seven with 12:30 left that pushed the Smashinistas’ lead to 144-92 while Bolt Action notched a trifetca of lead jams down the stretch that resulted in 16 cumulative points.
The Smashinistas outscored the M-80s in the second period, 100-74, and claimed the 178-140 victory that results in a two-way tie with the Stunt Devils in the ARCH standings. Bolt Action topped Smashies’ scoring in her ARCH local team debut with 78 points followed by Killerbruise’s 50.
“When we communicate, our packs know how to contain jammers and we’re going to need that against the Stunts in a few weeks,” said Salty of the January 28 showdown. “Jamming is their strength because they have a great corps.”
For the second ARCH local game in a row, Shoulder, CO paced all scorers in a game as her 90 points was followed by BEECH’s 32. The squad will be idle until it faces the Stunt Devils in February.
“When we were on the track together, we looked freakin’ solid,” said M-80s blocker Branch Devereaux afterwards. “That is always the key. Who has the most people on the track at the time, who can stay out of the box and who can be together. We weren’t doing it (enough) tonight. Too much Christmas pudding, I guess.”
SMASHINISTAS (178): Bolt Action 78, Harmony Killerbruise 50, Flash 16, Salty 14, Shimmy Hoffa 13, Cloak N’ Drag-Her 4.
M-80s (140): Shoulder, CO 90, BEECH, PLEASE! 32, Snoop Dogwood 8, Branch Devereaux 6, Molotov 3, Megabirch 1.
Here is the post-game interview with Smashinistas co-captain Salty and the M-80s blocker Branch Devereaux.
At Saturday’s Queeny Park derby double header that also featured GateKeepers Roller Derby, the Creve Coroners thumped the Raiders of Forest Park, 239-134, to claim its first-ever victory in GKRD Turf Wars play.
Multi-lap jams by Magnum P.I.M.P., Cat Daddy and the Doc that was anchored by blockers Boney Fangers, Double Excel, Hulk, Sir NixAlot, Irving, Specs Offender and Otter Nonsense helped the Coroners push their advantage to 112-59 following Magnum’s 19-point jam with 6:30 left in the period.
The Raiders, sensing that the game was getting way out of control, regained composure as the period finished. With help from blockers Walker Hamilton, Debaucherous Prime, Dr. Dredd, Slammin’ T. Killa, Atom Bomb, Arty Panimal and one-time additions Lumberjerk and Fruit Wallup, jammers ScreechAround and D. Mouthful posted imperative points en route to Forest Park’s 35-4 first-half finish.
With the Raiders’ rally, the Coroners possessed a 116-94 lead at intermission and if the collective wished to claim a historical win, then they would have to execute flawlessly against the defending champs in the second half.
And that’s precisely what the Coroners did.
Magnum’s 14-point opener pushed the score to 130-94. At the 20:30 mark, his blocking brethren helped widen the lead to 162-110 by helping him notch a 24-pointer.
The medics outscored the Raiders in the second period, 123-40, en route to the 239-134 victory. The Coroners, 1-1 and sole possessors of second place in the Turf Wars hierarchy, was paced by Magnum’s 115 points followed by Cat Daddy’s 61.
The Raiders (0-1) had matching 58-point game outputs from ScreechAround and Mouthful and return to action in three weeks against the Central West Friends (1-0) at Midwest Sport Hockey. If the GKRD local defending champs score a victory on January 28, they will send the Turf Wars standings to a three-way tie at season’s midpoint.
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