(ST. PETERS, MO) In the world of roller derby promotion, organizers often attach unique, creative event names for multi-team encounters for marketing purposes. After all, the generically-named “Roller Derby Invitational” just doesn’t quite have enough pizzazz to print on a flyer or t-shirt.
When monikers live up to expectations with solid competition, then success has truly been found beyond basic advertising techniques.
Such was the case with the second annual “Skate to Thrill” invitational held this past weekend at Matteson Square Gardens in St. Peters.
Hosted by St. Charles County-based St. Chux Derby Chix, the two-day, ten-team event featured fifteen games sanctioned by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA).
Weekend highlights included a trifecta of dominant wins by St. Louis-based Arch Rival Roller Girls, a quartet of competitive contests for SCDC’s Pack In Black and sixty percent of the final scores that had lower-ranked leagues victorious.
The docket was extremely filled for St. Chux. Not only did it have to organize and execute the weekend event, but it also had to compete in four grueling games.
The Pack In Black, currently ranked #36 internationally by the WFTDA, finished with a 1-3 record at “Thrill” but almost notched an upset over #27 Naptown, a league that had a history of competing at the WFTDA International Championships. Setbacks to comparable #38 No Coast and #43 Demolition City could have easily swung its way.
“We definitely had a hard weekend,” said Pack In Black captain Pixie Dust-Ruction. “We were tired and it was a lot of work in running an invitational, but we played as well as we possibly could in every game. We were a little surprised in how well we did against Naptown, but from the losses that we took, we’ll just learn from them and move on.”
Meanwhile, #23 Arch Rival opened eyes with its performance this past weekend: a “Thrill” three-game sweep where they collectively outscored their comparably-ranked opponents, 1071-240.
“I think that this weekend, we totally pulled it together more than we expected,” said co-captain Party Foul. “We had a really great showing and I’m proud of everybody.”
All leagues competing this past weekend utilized their efforts in order to gain traction in the governing body’s calculated rankings. Both Arch Rival and St. Chux are currently classified as Division 1, earmarked for the Top 40 ranked international leagues.
#36 ST. CHUX 223 #60 TIGER BAY 183
The “Thrill” hostesses utilized a 37-0 late-game rally to top the Cardiff, Wales UK-based Tiger Bay by forty points. Trailing 70-35 after jam 14, Tiger Bay’s Steph Howarth notched a 28-point jam with 9:45 left in the period that sliced the St. Chux lead to 70-63. A pair of Pack in Black 14-pointers from Jedi Knight-N-Gale and Sleazy E pushed the score to 98-63 two jams later.
St. Chux widened its lead to 117-77 at intermission and glided to a 173-106 cushion midway through the second period. Undaunted, Tiger Bay clawed its way back and trailed only by 24 points, 179-155, with 6:20 left in regulation.
SCDC defense went into lockdown mode over the next five minutes with the aforementioned 37-0 run, punctuated by Knight-N-Gale’s 24-point strike in the game’s penultimate jam. St. Chux improved to 2-3 with the duke.
#23 ARCH RIVAL 406 #35 ARIZONA 59
The weekend’s highest–ranked league, Arch Rival, dismantled Arizona in Saturday’s game seven. Two jams in, Arch Rival jammer Bricktator posted 36 to give the St. Louisans the early advantage.
Then after Arizona’s R2DEATH2 collected two points in jam three, Arch Rival exploded with a 49-0 rally, capped by Brickyard’s 10-pointer with 18:30 left in the period that pushed the lead to 81-2. Bricktator scored 30 via the power jam on the period’s penultimate rotation to extend the St. Louis lead 166-19.
Leading 175-19 at intermission, Arch Rival barreled a 90-21 run the second period’s first 15:00 and widened the margin to 265-40.St. Louis capitalized on second-period power jams and their lead blossomed, outscoring the Tent City Terrors 231-40 in the final frame to pick up the 347-point win and improve to 2-0. Bricktator paced Arch Rival scoring with 137 points.
#27 NAPTOWN 175 #36 ST. CHUX 163
Saturday’s game eight saw a wild affair claimed by the Tornado Sirens on the final jam. Trailing 23-11 six minutes deep, Naptown posted a 65-4 scoreboard-flipping rally over the next eight minutes and held a 76-27 lead after NRG’s Wicked Baum Chelle collected a 16-point power jam with 12:35 left in the period. St. Chux managed to slice away at the deficit and narrowed the lead to 84-70 with 3:00 left in the half.
Naptown pushed the margin to 93-70 at halftime but the Pack In Black utilized a second-period opening 27-5 run to make the bout a solo-point affair, 98-97, with 23:20 left. Both squads went on momentum swings, and Naptown possessed a 142-137 edge with 7:00 remaining.
The Tornado Sirens’ Maiden America collected a baker’s dozen on the next jam to provide a 155-137 cushion. SCDC’s Knight-N-Gale collected 13 points herself on the next rotation to whittle the lead to 155-150.
St. Chux jammer GI Jamie collected a pair of points with 2:30 left to narrow the Naptown margin to three and Knight-N-Gale followed with an 11-point power jam on the penultimate rotation that flipped the scoreboard towards the Pack In Black, 163-155.
On the final jam, Baum Chelle gained lead for Naptown and proceeded to go on the power jam when SCDC’s jammer committed a track cut. Twenty points ensued and resulted in the come-from-behind 175-163 win. Both the Tornado Sirens and SCDC finished Saturday with 1-1 “Thrill” records.
#23 ARCH RIVAL 349 #38 NO COAST 80
Sunday morning’s “Thrill” opener saw Arch Rival dominate No Coast to earn its second win of the weekend. A sizable advantage did not take long to build as Arch Rival launched a 43-0 rally, beginning with Brickyard’s 32-point power jam, followed by four from Bricktator and finishing with Annie Swanson’s seven. No Coast whittled the score to 55-17 following Christy Johnson’s 13-point power jam with 19:55 in the half.
An Arch Rival 40-0 rally, punctuated by back-to-back 18-point power jams from Mighty Mighty Boston and Brickyard, extended St. Louis’ lead to 95-17 with 13:40 left in the period. A 75-0 run from Arch Rival over the period’s final seven jams pushed the score to 196-43 at intermission.
Johnson collected four for No Coast to start the second period and then Arch Rival responded with another scoring rally, 60-0, to push the score to 256-47 with 19:30 left in the period.
St. Louis broke the 300-point barrier down the stretch as Brickyard’s 4-1 strike with 9:35 left pushed its lead to 300-68. Arch Rival’s stubborn defense contained Max Maxine’s scoring to 37 points in the second period and St. Louis notched the 269-point win that raised its overall record to 3-0.
#38 NO COAST 257 #36 ST. CHUX 133
Game four of the day saw Nebraskan-based No Coast bounce back from Sunday’s early-morning setback to Arch Rival and double-up “Thrill” hostesses St. Chux to finish the weekend 2-1. Leading 36-35 twelve minutes deep, No Coast’s Anna Cassube posted 13 points at the 14:45 mark to give the Mad Maxines a 49-35 advantage.
SCDC held tight and whittled the margin to 54-46 with 8:30 left following Jedi Knight-N-Gale’s two-point tally. No Coast proceeded finish the period with 49-11 run, punctuated by Beth Kempf’s 19-point period-ending power jam, to give the Mad Maxines a 103-57 halftime lead.
Cassube and Kempf paced multi-pass scoring jams in the second period and No Coast widened the differential. Eight minutes deep into the final frame, the Mad Maxines sported a 146-78 lead. St. Chux tried to mount a charge, but No Coast held the Pack In Black at bay and widened the score to 190-85 with 13:50 left.
The Mad Maxines outscored SCDC in the second period, 154-76, to pick up the victory.
#23 ARCH RIVAL 316 #27 NAPTOWN 101
On paper, Arch Rival seemed like an overwhelming favorite over Naptown in Sunday’s game six. The former posted a 300-point-plus win over Arizona on Saturday while the latter fell to Arizona by almost 150 points that same day. Triangulation did not apply in the first fifteen minutes as the Tornado Sirens aggressively, and effectively, tackled St. Louis.
Scoring jams paced by Naptown’s Maiden America resulted in thirteen, fifteen and ten-point strikes. Midway through the first period, Naptown sported a 58-32 lead.
Arch Rival then unleashed a punishing 104-0 rally over the next ten minutes. Jammer Mighty Mighty Boston began the sprint with a 24 power jam with 14:14 left in the first period to draw the game to two points, 58-56.
Brickyard’s 14-point power jam flipped the scoreboard to St. Louis’ favor, 70-58. When the dust had settled on the triple-digit sprint with 4:00 left in the half, Arch Rival held a 136-58 lead. An additional 17-0 run in the final jams gave St. Louis a 153-66 lead at intermission.
The momentum carried over into the second period. Bricktator’s 28-point power jam at the 21:10 mark pushed Arch Rival’s lead to 204-73. They would eclipse the 300-point barrier with Annie Swanson’s 14-point strike with 4:05 left, resulting in a 307-98 score.
Stifling St. Louis defense propelled the remainder of the contest as the higher-ranked league outscored Naptown, 163-45, in the second period to pick up the 215-point victory and collect a three-game sweep. Annie Swanson finished with 99 points for Arch Rival, who improved to 4-0 overall.
#43 DEMOLITION CITY 160 #36 ST. CHUX 94
The final battle at “Thrill” saw St. Chux fall to rival Demolition City. Leading 35-22 twelve minutes deep, Demolition City’s Bambi ThumpHer collected 19 on the power jam to push the score to 54-22 with 15:30 left in the period.
An eight-point power jam from St. Chux’s Sugar Shock on the next rotation narrowed the score to 60-30. DCRD maintained a 92-59 lead at intermission.
The task for St. Chux in the final frame would be daunting as injuries to both starters Knight-N-Gale and blocker Big Red made the Pack In Black reconfigure its rotations.
In the second period, after St. Chux had scored nine straight from jams from GI Jamie and Sleazy E to launch the frame, DCRD’s ThumpHer posted a 12-point power jam four minutes deep to extend Demolition City’s lead to 104-68. Stepheree added a dozen of her own with 15:45 left to push the lead to 127-75.
The Evansville rollers outscored SCDC, 68-35, in the final frame to pick up the 66-point win and finish the weekend 1-2. St. Chux concluded its weekend 1-3 and fell to 2-6 overall.
The Pack In Black maintained its competitive edge this past weekend with blocking from the aforementioned Dust-Ruction, Whip L’Ash, Tara Eyes, Slaughter Haus, Lisa Frank-N-Stein, Big Red, Jane Error, Zo D. Ax, Blue Collar Brawler, Nikki Trixx, Zombie FireBomb, Bobbi SlamHer and Peg E. Sass.
“We never really had a blow out, so we’ll just recover,” reflected Dust-Ruction.
St. Chux continues WFTDA sanctioned play on Saturday, June 20 against #32 Oklahoma Victory (1-3) at Matteson Square Gardens.
Arch Rival’s offensive dominance this past weekend was paced by the stellar walls built by blockers Emily Rinehart, Mayor Francis Slayer, Shimmy Hoffa, Kayla Seiber, Chewblocka, Cloak N’ Drag-Her, Jamheiser Bush, Shear-Ra Powers, Cloak N’ DragHer, Ninja Sass ‘Em, Grave Danger, Julie Gray and the aforementioned Party Foul.
“Our defense has improved so much this year,” assessed Foul. “It’s so tight. Way tighter than it has been in previous seasons. Everybody has been taking it up to the next level by just focusing on the track. Our walls are so tight and they are just so impenetrable.”
Arch Rival (4-0) continues WFTDA sanctioned play against Iowa-based Team United (2-0) at Midwest Sport Hockey in Ballwin on Saturday, May 2.
Most Valuable Player awards were presented to each participating league as voted by those in attendance. Brickyard received the honor for Arch Rival while Knight-N-Gale won the ballot for St. Chux.
SATURDAY’S SKATE TO THRILL RESULTS
(101) Burning River 166, (60) Tiger Bay 150
(38) No Coast 217, (43) Demolition City 172
(35) Arizona 262, (27) Naptown 115
(36) St. Chux 223, (60) Tiger Bay 183
(101) Burning River 147, (88) Twin City 113
(60) Tiger Bay 116, (94) Junction City 110
(23) Arch Rival 406 (35) Arizona 59
(27) Naptown 175, (36) St. Chux 163
(94) Junction City 172, (88) Twin City 119
SUNDAY’S SKATE TO THRILL RESULTS
(23) Arch Rival 349, (38) No Coast 80
(35) Arizona 189, (43) Demotion City 183
(88) Twin City 233, (60) Tiger Bay 142
(38) No Coast 257, (36) St. Chux 133
(101) Burning River 153, (94) Junction City 122
(23) Arch Rival 316, (27) Naptown 101
(43) Demolition City 160, (36) St. Chux 94
For more information on the St. Chux Derby Chix, go to stchuxderbychix.com.
For more information on the Arch Rival Roller Girls, go to archrivalrollergirls.com.