#6 ALL-STARS MILK #10 MADISON, CHIX TAME UNICORNS!
by the Grand Poobah – Photos by Bob Dunnell (mrmcwheely.com)
(BALLWIN, MO) Regardless of what one paid for tickets to the travel team season opener of the Arch Rival Roller Girls against the teams of the Mad Rollin’ Dolls Saturday night, they would have to agree that they got their money’s worth and then some.
In the end for the local squads, the net returns resulted in two victories to start the season off on the right path.
In the main event, the ARRG All-Stars – ranked sixth in the WFTDA North Central region – erased two large deficits to pound out a 131-121 victory over the tenth-seeded Diaryland Dolls in WFTDA-sanctioned action.
This followed the opener that saw the Saint Lunachix – ARRG’s B-squad – utilize a 41-0 first-half rally en route to a 179-80 victory over MRD’s Team Unicorn.
For the raucous crowd of 650 at Midwest Sport Hockey, they got more than a glimpse of just how powerful and dramatic travel team action can be.
ARRG ALL-STARS 131 MRD DAIRYLAND DOLLS 121
The season opener between the two North Central top tens foreshadowed the parity that one could possibly see this year within the region. On paper, perhaps this one should have been ARRG’s for the taking.
Yet the Madison contingent was anything but a gracious guest from the onset.
Following a bout-opening six-point jam from MRD’s Mouse, ARRG’s Downtown Dallis followed with six of her own to tie the bout 6-6. Black Market Baby followed with four to give ARRG a 10-6 lead at the 25:10 mark.
The Dairyland Dolls shut out ARRG offensively during the next ten minutes and went on a 24-0 run with rapid-fire scoring over seven jams. Following a four-pointer by Magic Missile that tied the score 10-10, Mouse netted three and Thunderkitten added five, extending the Dolls’ lead to 18-10 with 22:00 left.
A quartet of Doll jammers pushed the lead to 34-10 as the period progressed. BMB finally broke the ARRG scoring drought with a four-pointer at 15:47 to cut the gap to 36-14.
Following a 2-2 stalemate two jams later, the Dolls posted a 10-point uncontested stretch. Mouse’s deuce was followed by back-to-back four pointers from Thunderkitten and Missile that extended Madison’s lead to 46-16 with 11:05 left.
Being down by 30 two-thirds into the first frame was not exactly the type of start ARRG wanted to kick off its 2012 campaign with.
“That was something that this team has struggled with in the past,” said ARRG co-captain Chewblocka of the sluggish start. “The fact that (Madison) came in so ferociously was awesome. We just had to hold our heads high and keep fighting for it.”
And that’s exactly what ARRG did down the first-half stretch. It resulted in a 48-0 run for the locals over the span of eight minutes.
A power jam at 7:30 netted a dozen points for Black Market Baby that whittled the Dolls’ lead to 46-28. Eight on the next jam for ARRG – collectively, a five pointer from South City Shiner with an additional three from May Require Stitches via the “star-pass” narrowed the bout to ten, a 46-36 MRD lead with 5:15 left.
Then figuratively the wheels flew off the milk truck with the next jam. ARRG jammer Mighty Mighty Boston raced out and grabbed lead. Almost immediately, a trio of MRD skaters – including their jammer – went to the sin bin. Capitalizing on the power jam, Boston stomped out 28 points and gave ARRG its first lead since the early stages of the bout – a 64-46 advantage with 3:00 left in the half.
“When their jammer went to the box, I was really excited,” said Boston of the momentum shift. “I knew that I had to play clean and score as many points as I could.”
Madison stopped the bleeding and collected seven down the stretch, chopping ARRG’s lead to 64-53 at intermission.
Even scoring started the second half of play, which saw ARRG up 68-60 four jams in. MRD’s Missile then notched up four to make the bout a 4-point affair with 22:00 left.
Then the Dolls silenced the ARRG contingent with the next jam. Mouse scampered in front and grabbed lead for Madison. Immediately, ARRG’s jammer was sent to the penalty box for a track cut, resulting in a power jam for MRD. Mouse capitalized on the miscue and a full ARRG box to power out a 29-point bout changer. At 20:15, Madison had regained the lead 93-72.
Thunderkitten tacked on an eight-pointer on the next jam and extended the Dolls’ lead to 101-72 with 19:30 left.
At that point, it seemed that the bout – and a four-game undefeated streak at Midwest Sport Hockey – was starting to slip away from the locals.
“We lost our cool a little bit in the middle,” said Boston of the Dollis’41-4 run over three jams. “But then we started to play our strategy rather than adapting to Madison’s.”
Chip away at the lead was ARRG’s strategy and then pounce when least expected.
Boston tallied four to narrow the gap to 101-76 at 18:00, Stitches’ 7-5 power jam followed to cut the deficit to 105-83 and Shiner netted a 4-2 jam two rotations later to whittle Madison’s lead to 107-87.
Slowly but surely, the plan was falling into place…and then opportunity presented itself for a surge.
Following Dallis’ four-pointer at 10:49 that shrunk Madison’s lead to 107-91, the Dairlyland Dolls handed ARRG another power jam. Utilizing the walls opened up by the blocking workhorses, Black Market Baby connected for a 16-point punch at 8:45. When the dust had settled on the 20-0 ARRG rally, the bout was tied 107-107.
Unhappy with the large lead lost, Madison went on another streak with the next two jams. Missile’s trey was followed by Mouse’s 11 from a non-lead power jam. The Dolls’ 14-0 rally resulted in a 121-107 edge with 4:50 left.
And in a bout that had been earmarked by numerous uncontested rallies, it was apropos that the final one would make the most difference and inevitably culminate the bout into a nail biter down the stretch.
Following a solo point collected by ARRG to cut the gap to a baker’s dozen. Boston sprinted to the front and barreled out a 15-pointer, resulting in another lead change. With 1:59 left, ARRG now sported a 123-121 edge.
Dallis scored eight on the penultimate jam to complete a 24-0 run and extend the local’s lead to ten. Madison called time out with :06 left to assemble a last-second winning strike, but on the ensuing jam in front of a standing audience, Boston would gain lead for ARRG and preserve the double-digit win.
“That was a really hard game,” said Boston, who paced the locals with a team-high 74 points. “It was really important for us to come out on top tonight. We had to win tonight.”
Black Market Baby and Downtown Dallis added 25 and 20, respectively, for ARRG.
And even for the vets that have literally “seen it all and done it all,” bouts like these turn skaters into fans.
“I feel like a derby dinosaur out there,” said Danger. “It takes a lot to get my adrenaline super-pumped, but games like this will do it. Madison is a super strong team and I love playing them.”
The Dairyland Dolls (0-1 but much improved over the squad that went winless at the North Central playoff last October) was led by Mouse’s 63 points.
Regardless of the outcome, the dramatic game play showed that the North Central region will more than likely again see the parity that earmarked 2011.
“Even though a lot of people look at the North Central as not being competitive on a national level, I feel that within the region the competition is just sick,” said Chewblocka. “There’s no other word for it. It’s ridiculous. Everybody’s hungry, so we’re going to fight really, really hard to make things happen for us.”
And the rough-and-tumble opener provided a chance to assess and prepare for a weekend trip to the Buckeye State to play North Central #8 Cincinnati and #9 Ohio (both bouts previewed later in this column.)
“This was good baseline for us to figure out where we are,” said Danger. “We obviously have to get our penalties under control. We have to clean up and tighten up and then just go into Ohio with the feeling that we’re just going to kill everybody.”
ARRG ALL-STARS: Mighty Mighty Boston 74, Black Market Baby 25, Downtown Dallis 20, South City Shiner 7, May Require Stitches 5
MRD DAIRYLAND DOLLS: Mouse 63, Thunderkitten 29, Magic Missile 20, Mack The Knife 9
ARRG SAINT LUNACHIX 179 MRD TEAM UNICORN 80
Developmental derby offers a little more opportunity for experimentation when compared to the game plan of an “A-squad.”
Such was the case Saturday for Team Unicorn, the b-squad of the Mad Rollin’ Dolls. Case in point, the Unicorns trotted out ten different jammers to the stripe, nine of which scored.
But for the Saint Lunachix in their home opener, their methodology remained the same as it always has been. Hit…hit harder…and score.
Team Unicorn was certainly game, even posting a 16-13 lead over the Lunachix ten minutes in. But then the locals would repeatedly follow their mantra as the first half progressed, which resulted in a comfortable lead.
Down 21-17, Lunachix jammer EnYa Nightmare would take advantage of an ARRG power jam and collect 18 points, giving the locals a 35-21 lead with 17:25 left in the first half.
Munchausen by Foxy followed with a four-pointer, newcomer Brickyard added two and Nightmare posted an additional four points to cap a 28-0 Lunachix rally and stretch the lead to 45-21 midway through the period.
Team Unicorn posted five points on the next two jams to cut the deficit to 45-26 with 12:15 left in the first period.
But a “boutbreaker” ensued on the next jam. Nightmare raced to the front, capitalized on the large holes created by Chix blocking and rolled out a 28-pointer, extending the local’s lead to 75-26 with 10:00 left in the frame. This began a 41-0 run for the Lunachix, who stretched the margin to sixty, 86-26.
The Lunachix coasted to a 99-40 halftime lead, but their work was far from over and another big scoring surge awaited the Unicorns early in the second half.
Following a four-pointer scored by Madison’s I.M. Spazzicus to start second half scoring, the Saint Lunachix went on a 29-0 rally. Multi-point scores from the aforementioned Lunachix jamming trio extended the lead to 128-44 with 18:00 remaining.
This comfortable margin allowed the locals to experiment a little of their own in the second half, which allowed additional jammers to don the panty. Rhino Might, Sly Davinita, The Forecloser and Shell Shoxx all took their respective turns at the stripe and collectively added 21 points to the tally.
The Lunachix outscored Team Unicorn by a 2-1 ratio – 80-40 – en route to the 99-point season opening victory.
Propelled by 69 first-half points, Nightmare paced the Lunachix with 89 points, followed by Foxy’s 40 and Brickyard’s 30 in her Lunachix debut.
As mentioned before, Team Unicorn’s line-up of ten jammers resulted in nine that scored, paced by Little Suzie Homewrecker‘s 28 points.
In the end for the Saint Lunachix, they saddled a unicorn, hopped upon a rainbow and rode it to victory.
And they all lived happily ever after.
ARRG SAINT LUNACHIX: EnYa Nightmare 89, Munchausen By Foxy 40, Brickyard 30, Sly Davinita 13, The Forecloser 4, Rhino Might 3
MRD TEAM UNICORN: Little Suzie Homewrecker 28, Floot Loop 9, Kill ‘Ems 8, Major Kusaknocky 7, Gertrude Awakening 7, Slayhound 4, Montana Slamma 4, I.M. Spazzacus 4, The Heat 2
ARRG TRAVEL TEAMS PREPARE FOR BUCKEYE STATE TREK
ARRG’s upcoming weekend will find all three squads – the All-Stars, the Saint Lunachix and the Rookie Rivals – heading East to continue their 2012 campaigns.
The location? Let’s put it this way.
I’ve got a rhyme that comes with a riddle…what’s round on the end and high in the middle?
This Saturday night, the ARRG All-Stars continue North Central Region play as they face the #8 Cincinnati Black Sheep (1-0) at the historic Cincinnati Gardens for CRG’s home opener. The WFTDA-sanctioned bout will headline a double header that has ARRG’s Saint Lunachix meeting CRG’s Violent Lambs (1-0) in the opener.
Cincinnati posted a 140-116 season-opening road win over North Central #11 Grand Raggidy on February 18. In that bout, Grand Raggidy powered its way to a 29-point lead late in the first period. The Black Sheep responded with a 24-0 run to conclude the first period and whittled Grand Raggidy’s lead to 43-38 at the break.
Cincinnati started the second half with a 20-point jam from ARRG nemesis K. Lethal that flipped the lead in favor of the Black Sheep. With six minutes left, Grand Raggidy only trailed 117-104 but Cincinnati was able to fend off the hard charge, outscoring GRRG 23-12 to preserve the win.
Lethal paced Black Sheep scoring with 55 points, followed by Wheezy and candyKICKass with 35 and 30, respectively. All three will be at the helm jammerwise this Saturday.
Others veterans in the CRG line-up include blockers Mirderher, Karma Krash, Sk8r-Kinney, Buckhead Betty and Nuk’em.
This bout will be hard to predict since each team has only one bout this season under their respective belts. Yet, this North Central feud runs deep. Last October during the region’s playoff in Indianapolis, ARRG upset Cincinnati 138-98 in the consolation bracket to advance to the fifth place bout. However, the Cincinnati Gardens have been anything but kind to the ARRG All-Stars. In their last match-up at the venue on April 17, 2010, the Black Sheep spanked ARRG 134-68.
Historically, Cincinnati leads the series 3-2.
One can predict that the Black Sheep would love to gain revenge on the post-season setback from five months ago. A win over the sixth-ranked “pink and black attack” would probably result in a rankings shake-up. And to do it on its own turf (or in this case….would it be a meadow?) would put the proverbial cherry on top.
The opener with the “b-teams” promises to excite as well. CRG’s Violent Lambs defeated Grand Raggidy’s G-Rap Attack 174-116 three weeks ago. The Attack stretched a 33-point halftime lead to pick up the season opening win.
However, the Lunachix have won in their lone prior meeting, an 89-39 win at the Gardens on April 17, 2010.
The challenge for ARRG this Saturday in Cincinnati? Don’t play “Bo Peep” and lose the sheep.
And if that event wasn’t enough, the ARRG All-Stars continue the Buckeye trek on Sunday to meet up with North Central #9 Ohio (4-0) in Columbus.
The afternoon match-up is best described as a “Charlie Rich Special,” for “nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors.”
The bout is classified as a “closed bout,” meaning that tickets are not available for the general public. However, the bout still counts in the record books and in determining ranking position within the WFTDA.
Ohio's Lorainne Acid
In their inaugural meeting last season, ARRG defeated Ohio 147-69 at Midwest Sport Hockey on May 14, 2011. In that contest, OHRG lead by nine points at the half until ARRG capitalized on penalties and the visitor’s short bench. The 107-20 second-half sprint enabled ARRG to pick up a key win that contributed to their climb up the 2011 North Central rankings.
Undaunted, Ohio continued to work methodically as the year progressed, which resulted in its first trip to the post-season last October. At the North Central region playoff, OHRG scored a solid win over Madison to take the ninth-place bout.
One thing’s for certain when it comes to the Ohio Rollergirls….they take on anybody and everybody. As of this writing, OHRG already has 20 bouts scheduled on their 2012 calendar with plenty more on the way. With the addition of tournaments yet scheduled, there is a very good chance that Ohio could compete in close to 30 bouts in the span of ten months. Jumping Jiminy!
By the time the ARRG All-Stars reach Columbus, OHRG will already have five bouts under their belts, four from within the region. In February, Ohio posted wins over East #19 River City 196-70, North Central #12 Northstar 149-101 and NC #18 Sioux Falls 279-56.
This past Saturday, Ohio toppled NC #13 Bleeding Heartland 115-90. This weekend, OHRG will face NC #14 Ft. Wayne on Saturday before the Sunday afternoon meeting with NC #6 ARRG.
And it wouldn’t be out of the realm for OHRG to challenge the Columbus Blue Jackets later that evening.
In all sincerity, this is a hard-working league that deserves its success. HellionBOI, Phoenix Buns, Kitty Liquorbottom, Loraine Acid and Pippi RipYerStockings lead the jamming rotation while Bratslava Bruiser, Outa My Wayman and a host of other vets provide the blocking.
ARRG will have already concluded one tough bout the night prior. Could the additional three-hour drive result in a setback?
The Buckeye weekend trip will be a bit of a homecoming for ARRG All-Star co-captain Chewblocka, who spent three seasons with Ohio prior to rejoining ARRG in 2010.
“I look forward to eating some great food and seeing some old friends,” said the derby vet. ”But we know that those squads (Cincinnati and Ohio) are going to come at us 100 times what Madison brought us. We have to go out full strength with our heads clear and be ready to do it.”
Also this Sunday, the ARRG Rookie Rivals – the league’s “c-sqaud” – will scrimmage Cincinnati’s c-team at Cincinnati Gardens. The late-morning match-up against the “Flock Ewes” (oh, brother!) will be the Rookie Rivals’ second scrimmage of the year.
It’s a lot of distance logged in a short amount of time this weekend. We’ll see how the three travel squads can handle the miles and the pressure!
NEXT WEEK IN THE ARRG NEWSCENTER: How did the All-Stars fare against two more North Central foes? Did the Chix remain undefeated at the Gardens? Did the Rookies Rivals say to the Flock Ewes…….oh, nevermind! We’ll recap ARRG’s trip to the Buckeye State. Plus, ARRG returns to the annual St. Louis St. Patrick’s Parade on March 17!
Check back in the section every Monday for the latest in ARRG news and information.