Written by Muckety Muck – Photos by Bob Dunnell
(BALLWIN, MO) At Saturday’s local season opener for Arch Rival Roller Derby (ARCH), the defending champions recorded a narrow victory and claimed top positioning in their respective league’s standings.
“We just told each other (heading in) that we were just going to dig deep and go in there and give it our all,” said Smashinistas’ blocker Cloak N’ Drag-Her after the contest. “I think it all came down to communication. It was a really close but we pulled it off and it was great.”
The defending title holders utilized debuting talent throughout the contest and built up a sizeable advantage early. A late-game push from the Stunts, who were missing two key veterans from the line-up, made the final minutes hand-wringing but the Smashies claimed a final lead jam that secured victory.
Trailing 5-0 after the game’s opening jam, the Smashinistas went on a 40-5 run that resulted in an early cushion. Newcomer Vicious Van GoGo collected jams of 14 and 13 points during the stretch that aided the Smashies’ 40-10 lead with 19:30 left in the period.
Undaunted, the Stunts countered with a 27-1 rally over the next six minutes that shored the differential. A pair of nine-point power jams from PsychoKid D’Freakout highlighted the stretch and the Smashies saw their advantage dwindle to 41-37 with 13:10 left in the half.
The green machine quickly countered as Van GoGo notched an even-strength 19-pointer that pushed the Smashinistas’ lead to 60-37 with 11:25 left.
Propelled by lockdown blocking by Cloak N’ Drag-Her, Smarty McFly, Rock Slobster, Spock N’ Roll, Professor Rumbledore, Birdsong, Lola Blow, Hero-Shima, Holliver Fist, Wicked Witch of the Midwest, Girl Fawkes and Outlaw Josie Wheels, the defending champs continued methodical scoring, paced by jammers Bolt Action and Flash, and churned out a 100-65 lead at intermission.
In the second half, the Stunts laid down the foundation for an inevitable comeback. The blocking work of Lethal Dose, Fletch-A-sketch, Hardcore Parkour, Cruella Belle-ville, Nox, Bruise Almighty, Pegasass, Wonder Thighs and Joan of Spark were highlighted by their 29-13 run over the second half’s first seven jams.
After Bolt Action collected four for the Smashies in Jam 8, the Stunts posted a two-jam, 21-2 collection. With Ultraviolet’s 7-2 tally and D’ Freakout’s 14-point power jam that followed, the daredevils sliced the margin to 119-115 midway through the frame.
The Smashies responded with a 21-4 two jam sprint. VanGoGo’s 13-4 rotation was supplemented by Flash’s 9-4 non-lead power jam that widened the score to 141-123 with 11:30 left.
The back and forth pendulum swings continued as both squads kept collecting double-digit scoring down the stretch. With four minutes left, the Stunt Devils narrowed the score to 162-152 following Ultraviolet’s four-point tally.
Then on the ensuing jam, the Stunts obtained a power jam and D’Feakout wheeled a 10-4 rotation as the Smashies clung onto a 166-162 lead with 2:13 left.
Feeling the heat, the defending champs notched lead in the final two jams to secure an opening night victory. Accented by Van GoGo’s four pointer in the game’s final jam, the 11-6 ending flight resulted in the Smashies 177-168 nailbiting win.
In her ARCH intraleague debut, Van GoGo topped Smashies’ scoring with 83 points followed by Action’s 49. The defending champs (1-0) return to action at Midwest Sport Hockey in February 2018.
D’Freakout topped the Stunts’ ledger with 97 points. The squad (0-1) has the opportunity to even their record in a contest against the M-80s (0-0) on Saturday, January 6, 2018 and should see an immediate benefit with the return of jammer Bricktator and blocker Shear-Ra Powers, who both served as non-skating bench coaches for the evening.
“Tonight was about us coming together as a team,” reflected D’Freakout afterwards. “It was playing calm, confident, collective, solid teamwork derby.”
SMASHINISTAS (177): Vicious Van GoGo 83, Bolt Action 49, Flash 24, Holliver Fist 19, Smarty McFly 3.
STUNT DEVILS (168): Psychokid D’ Freakout 97. Ultraviolet 36, Hakuna Renata 22, Aggie Wartooth 29. Pegasss 4.
Discounted tickets for the Janurary 6, 2018 game are currently on sale online at this link.
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