(Photos by Bob Dunnell)
(BALLWIN, MO) Saturday’s flat-track frenzy for Arch Rival Roller Derby (ARCH) at Midwest Sport Hockey saw the Stunt Devils top the M-80s, 222-157.
Already suffering from a setback at last month’s season opener, the Stunts were thrown numerous curve balls prior to the first whistle being blown. A pair of injuries and a pair of ineligibles whittled the dare devils roster to eleven players, which is just an eyelash away from being too minimal.
Facing adversity, the Stunts utilizes numerous power jams, including an imperative one with less than five minutes remaining, to secure the 65-point victory and even their record to 1-1.
“I think we just wanted to mostly keep our cool,” assessed Stunt Devils’ jammer Ultraviolet on the team’s pre-game strategy that inevitably became bountiful. “We knew that we were down people but knew that we’ve got a great, deep bench. We just wanted to keep it together and play smart and I think we did a good job with that.”
Then after the M-80s collected a pair of points two jams later, the Stunts widened the score to 54-15 via Ultraviolet’s 18-6 strike at the 18:17 mark.
M-80s’ jammer BEECH, PLEASE! spotted a four-point pass in Jam 10, but the Stunt Devils pushed back and with Aggie Wartooth’s 14-pointer scored with 15:35 left in the period, their lead blossomed to 72-19.
The M-80s rebounded before the differential got too out of control and collected a 28-9 run over the next three jams. Newcomer Bad Axe notched a four-pointer, Megabirch added a grand slam power jam in Jam 13 and Axe finished the rally with a 19-9 rotation that made the score 81-47 with 10:50 left in the period.
As the period progressed, momentum perpetually shifted between the squads on quads and heading into the final jam of the half, the Stunts possessed a 119-70 advantage.
In the final rotation, the M-80s snared a much-needed power jam and capitalized with BEECH’s 18-8 output. Despite the huge deficit midway through the frame, the lumberjacks sawed the score to 127-88 at intermission.
The first nine minutes of the second half saw the teams trade lead jams and multi-lap passes and the M-80s were able to chop away at the Stunts’ lead and only trailed 151-122 with 20:50 left in the game.
The Stunts’ blocking schema, consisting of Cruella Belle-ville, Fletch-A-Sketch, Lethal Dose, Joan of Spark, Bruise Almighty, Pegassass and Nox, held steady and helped the offense produce a 24-4 stretch over the next four jams. Beginning with Bricktator’s 10-pointer with 19:40 remaining and finished by Wartooth’s similar collection via a power jam two rotations later, the Stunt Devils’ lead widened to 175-126.
With blocking paced by Lumberjam, Ginger, Snoop Dogwood, Jenny Loggins, Fight Shrub, Sumack Down, Chop It Like It’s Hot, Sequoia Destro-Ya and Maul Bunyan, the M-80s were certainly game for a comeback. A 21-8 rally, punctuated by Twig E. Smalls’ two-point punch with six minutes left, shored the score to 183-143.
The Stunt Devils outscored the M-80s in the second period, 95-67, en route to the 222-155 triumph that netted the team sole possession of second place in the ARCH standings. Bricktator’s 90 points topped the overall ledger followed by Wartooth’s 55 and PsychoKid D’Freakout’s 44.
“I know Aggie’s really pushy and awesome and Tator’s magical and Kid’s got some amazing footwork,” assessed Ultraviolet, who notched 33 points on the night. “I feel like complement each other very well.”
Bad Axe’s M-80s’ debut yielded 53 points followed by BEECH’s 50. The M-80s (0-1) return to action at Midwest Sport Hockey on Saturday, February 3 and will tangle with the first-place Smashinistas (1-0). Having high-scoring jammer Shoulder, CO back into the fold will assist the mateys in their desire to create havoc in the hierarchy by snagging a win and creating a three-way tie in the ARCH standings.
“Going into this game, we knew that we were going to be down a few skaters,” said co-captain Snoop Dogwood afterwards. “But our coaches just reminded us that we needed to be there for each other and lift each other up. We utilized our new people really well and I’m really excited with how well they did tonight.”
STUNT DEVILS (222): Bricktator 90, Aggie Wartooth 55, Psychokid D’ Freakout 44, Ultraviolet 33.
M-80s (155): Bad Axe 53, BEECH, PLEASE! 50, Twig E. Smalls 19, Snoop Dogwood 10, Lumberjam 8, Megabirch 5.
Here is a post-game interview with the Stunt Devils’ Ultraviolet and the M-80s’ Snoop Dogwood.
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