(BALLWIN, MO) The final ARCH regular season event this past Saturday at Queeny Park’s Midwest Sport Hockey contained a plethora of surprises and nail-biting moments.
In the opener in front of 750 spectators, the M-80s claimed their second straight win with a convincing 214-129 victory over reigning local champions the Stunt Devils while in the nightcap, the Smashinistas edged previously unbeaten Rebel Skate Alliance, 192-191, in a come-from-behind triumph claimed on the game’s final jam.
The respective pairs will meet again in the ARCH local finale held on Saturday, April 27 at Midwest Sport Hockey. In the third place game that launches at 6:30 pm, the M-80s (2-4) tussle with the Stunt Devils (1-5) while in the League Championship game that follows, top-rated RSA (5-1) clashes with the Smashinistas (4-2).
M-80s 214 STUNTS DEVILS 129
For the second straight game, the troopers wearing re-flannel built a sizable lead at intermission by capitalizing on jammer penalties. In this occasion, the M-80s snared four power jams and combined that with a lock defense en route to victory.
Trailing 12-10 after four jams, the M-80s claimed the lead at the 23:10 mark with Owl Wing It’s eight-pointer that resulted in a 18-12 scoreboard flip.
The score swelled to 45-27 five minutes later following L’Oakie Doki’s 22-12 rotation posted at the 18:10 mark.
With expert blocking pace by Dad Bod, Scouts Horror, Special Brownies, Pecan Misandry, Slam Shakusky, Crumbledore, Curl Scout, Wood Bang, Merit Badger, S’more Cowbell and Trampfire, the M-80s’ lead grew to 61-34 midway through the frame.
The M-80s then capitalized on their first power jam of the night and with Doki’s dozen collected at the 12:30 mark that the score pushed to 73-34. Owl Wing It added a pair of eight-point jams later in the frame that resulted in a 101-52 advantage following the period’s penultimate jam.
Via a power start, Brownies baked a dozen in the final jam, resulting in the M-80s’ 113-52 lead at intermission.
To their credit, the Stunts refused to waive the white flag and started gaining some momentum thatnks to the blocking of Rhonda Lousey, Black Dynamite, Kill-Ya Knightly, Ginger Assassin, Reese Wither(n’Die)Spoon, Fast ‘n’ Lucy Liu, Kat, Nunchucks Norris, Sir Ian McKillin’ and Glenn Close But No Cigar.
This resulted in a 12-point jam by Scarrie Fisher in Jam 5 and a 20-point rotation from Zoe Hell that resulted in a 164-94 game with about twelve minutes left.
The troopers outscored the Stunts 101-77 in the second period en route to the 214-129 win and a lock of third place in the final regular season standings.
M-80s (214): L’Oakie Doki 85, Owl Wing It! 73, Camp Kwitcherbitchin 20, Scouts Horror 17, Special Brownies 12, Dad Bod 7.
STUNT DEVILS (129): Zoe Hell 37, Scarrie Fisher 32, Slamgelina Jolie 28, Force Choke 9, Ronda Lousey 2, Kill-Ya Knightly 2.
SMASHINISTAS 192 REBEL SKATE ALLIANCE 191
The outcome of the final ARCH regular season provided one senses of preparedness heading toward the trophy re-match held in three weeks.
All kidding aside, Saturday’s one-point frenzy included a pair of ties and eight lead changes overall and provided plenty of reasons why April 27’s title game might be the most anticipated one yet in the league’s 14-year history.
Then-undefeated RSA, back in the fold this local season after a four-year absence, raced out to a 18-0 lead after three jams. Smashies’ jammer Frowntown posted a baker’s dozen five minutes in that narrow the score to 18-13.
RSA countered with 13 uncontested points and sported an palindrome-like 31-13 lead at the 20:00 mark.
With blocking propelled by Cloak N’ Dragher, Gnarley Carbsmashian, Smash Money, Oliver Smash, Smashsquatch, chili beans, Nigel Smashberry, WyldeSyde, Regrets and the Monster Smash, the Smashinistas churned a 32-0 rally over the next three rotations to claim their first lead of the evening. Launched by jammer Skeevie Nicks’ dozen points and concluded by CQ’s 16-pointer tallied with 16:00 left, the Smashies claimed a 45-31 scoreboard flip.
RSA blocking, led by Storm Bruiser, Han Rolo, Obi-Wan Kenosebleed, Jabba the Butt, Spock N’ Roll, Zombie Plagueis, Wookie Monster, Lethal Dose, SITH HAPPENS!, Yoda Blow and Titanium Falcon, helped chip away at the differential as the period progressed and with Darth Tator’s 13-point strike with 8:35 left in the period, the Rebels regained the lead 56-52.
With the Smashinistas leading 94-66 at the break, one could assume that RSA was ready and willing to pounce upon the second period’s launch.
No one could have ever predicted the outcome that waited. Capitalizing on a power start that resulted from an illegal Smashie star-pass that concluded the first period, RSA jammer Darth Tator quickly raced out to the front of the pack for lead and proceeded to score…and score…and score…and score.
In fact, the veteran made seven grand slams, resulting in a 28-point rotation that tied the score 94-94.
The entire second half was then comparable to a prize fight where each team traded blows and gained opportunity but never commanded dominance. A 98-98 stalemate five minutes deep. An 110-109 RSA lead at the 21:35 mark. A 135-133 lead change for the Smashies after Smashing Violet’s six-pointer with 13:10 left.
Nicks’ 10-4 rotation with 11:00 left helped widen the Smashies lead to 145-137 but then Tator’s 15-8 rebuttal on the next jam narrowed the game to a one-point affair, a 153-152 tussle that favored the Smashies with 9:20 remaining.
Back-to-back grand slams by Nicks and Frowntown pushed the score to 161-152 at the 6:30 mark.
RSA regained the lead on the next rotation with Tator’s 15-4 rotation that handed them a 167-165 lead. Co-captain Admiral Aggbar added 12-8 rotation on the next jam that pushed the score to 179-173 and Boba Flash notched a grand slam with 1:40 left that widened the Rebels’ lead to 183-173.
A 4-4 push on the penultimate jam resulted in RSA’s 187-177 advantage with :15 second left
The Smashies bench called a timeout late in order to formulate a game plan and send its best blocking collaborative. This also enabled the RSA brain trust to concoct a similar strategy.
With nervous energy permeating Midwest Sport Hockey, the game’s final whistle blew as Tator and Frowntown respectively jammed for RSA and the Smashies. After a very physical battle in Turn 1, Frowntown was able to escape from the pack and claim lead jammer status as the period clock reached goose eggs.
The Smashinistas then went into beast mode and held Tator at bay while Frowntown started making scoring passes. After three clean passes, the Smashies claimed a 189-187 lead change with the jam clock ticking down. Tator then collected a grand slam, resulting in a 191-189 edge for RSA. Frowntown then pushed ahead for a fourth scoring pass and collected three points and then subsequently called of the jam before Tator could add more.
The 15-4 last-jam kerfuffle that favored the Smashies resulted in the come-from-behind 192-191 finish that left fans at Midwest Sport Hockey breathless.
The April 27 re-match for the ARCH trophy will see Rebel Skate Alliance, who won the title in their 2011 inaugural campaign, battle the Smashinistas, a three-time champ who last hoisted the championship in 2013.
Judging from Saturday’s result, one would be foolish to miss out on the battle.
SMASHINISTAS (192): Frowntown 71, CQ 54, Skeevie Nicks 46, Smashing Violet 14.
REBEL SKATE ALLIANCE (191): Darth Tator 133, Aadmiral Aggbar 40, Boba Flash 13, Yoda Blow 4, Carth ONasty 1.
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