(BALLWIN, MO) At Saturday’s local season launcher at Midwest Sport Hockey for Arch Rival Roller Derby (ARCH) and GateKeepers Roller Derby (GKRD), a pair of hard-charging squads posted victories and claimed top positioning in their respective league’s hierarchy.
In the women’s opener, two-time defending ARCH champions the Stunt Devils posted a 200-188 late-game victory over the M-80s. In the GKRD men’s nightcap, the Central West Friends topped the Creve Coroners 165-128.
The finishes at Saturday’s dual event at Queeny Park gave the Stunts and the Friends, both 1-0, early bragging rights in the six-event regular season for the respective leagues.
With the setbacks, both the M-80s and the Coroners have an opportunity to rebound next month when they compete at the next cycle of games against season debuting opponents at Midwest Sport Hockey on January 7.
ARCH: STUNT DEVILS 200 M-80s 188
In a topsy-turvy rematch between last year’s ARCH trophy finalists, the Stunt Devils trailed by two points heading into the game’s penultimate jam and posted 14 uncontested to claim the dozen point duke.
“A lot of it was just controlling the game and controlling the speed,” said Stunt Devils’ jammer Psychokid D’Freakout afterwards. “It was a lot us talking to our blockers and saying that we have to control the game when we have an advantage and run with it. Luckily for us, we got that run and we came back.”
The game was highlighted by perpetual momentum shifts that foreshadowed the intensity that is projected be found throughout the ensuing women’s local campaign.
Tied 4-4 after two rotations, the M-80s’ Lumberjam was able to capitalize off of a power jam and collect a 22-7 rotation that gave the red-flannels a 26-11 lead five minutes deep.
As the Stunts attempted to chip away at the differential, the M-80s continued to keep the margin at mid-teens. With jammer Shoulder, CO’s 15-point jam with 14:00 left in the half, the M-80s possessed 60-42 advantage. Veteran BEECH, PLEASE! followed with a grand slam that pushed the lead to 65-42.
The cushion quickly evaporated in Jam 14 as the Stunt Devils’ D’Freakout notched a 23-point strike that tied the score 65-65 with 10:00 left in the period. Teammate Beaver Knievel added a grand slam on the next rotation that pushed the defending champs’ lead to 72-65.
The Stunts, propelled by the blocking work of Cruella Belle-ville, Fletch-A-Sketch, Shear-Ra Powers, Nox, Goldie Blocks, Hardcore Parkour, Bruise Almighty, Scars and Stripes, Soundproof, Wonder Thighs and Pegasass, managed to maintain their team’s 78-69 lead with 3:45 left in the half.
Then in the period’s penultimate jam, the M-80s’ BEECH collected a 14-5 rotation that tied the game 83-83.
In the half’s final jam, Stunts’ jammer Bricktator notched a 15-point power jam that resulted in her team’s 98-83 advantage at intermission.
To start the second half, the M-80s notched 21 points straight that flipped the scoreboard back to their favor. Launched by BEECH’s 19-point opener, the M-80s possessed a 104-98 lead two jams in.
The Stunts regained the lead on the next rotation as Knievel’s nine-point strike at the 26:10 mark handed the lead back to the two-time champs, 107-104.
The M-80s’ collective, paced by Axe & Kitties, Megabirch, Lumberjam, Branch Devereaux, Fiona Crabapple, Ginger, Chop It Like It’s Hot, Jenny Loggins, Pine As Buck, Snoop Dogwood and Twig E. Smalls, was able to post a 17-13 grinder over the next four jams, resulting in a 121-120 scoreboard flip in their favor with 21:00 left in the game.
The Stunts countered the surge with a 37-1 run over the next six jams. Highlighted by a seven-point strike from newly-minted jammer Aggie Wartooth, a 12-point punch from Bricktator and a 15-point gut-punch from Violet Opposition, the Stunts possessed a 157-122 lead with 14:15 left in the game.
The Stunts pushed their advantage to 182-135 with 9:20 left following Bricktator’s 12-point jam, but the M-80s then exploded with a 53-4 rally over the next six minutes that inevitably flipped the scoreboard deep.
Double-digit scoring passes by Shoulder and BEECH narrowed the deficit to 186-171 with five minutes left and with Shoulder’s 14-point power jam with 3:05 remaining, the M-80s shored the score to a solo point, 186-185.
With 2:20 left in the game, the M-80s’ BEECH collected a three-point jam to hand the loggers a 188-186 edge.
Feeling the heat, the Stunts gained lead jammer status in the game’s final two rotations and posted 14 straight points that snared victory. D’Freakout’s four-point rotation in the game’s penultimate jam flipped the scoreboard back to the Stunts, 190-188, and Bricktator’s 10-point collection in the game’s final jam secured victory.
Paced by Bricktator’s 86 points, the Stunts’ 200-188 nail-biting win gave the two-time champs an early lead in ARCH’s three-team totem pole. The team will be idle at the next ARCH event on January 7 but will closely follow the M-80s meeting against the Smashinistas (0-0).
“These teams are more even than they have ever been in the past,” said D’Freakout who finished with 47 points.”The final outcome (tonight) just proves that. This is going to be a tough season.”
Shoulder, CO finished the night for the M-80s with 81 points followed by BEECH’s 67 and aim to even its record following its future battle with the Smashies.
“We need to continue talking to each other and staying together really tight,” said co-captain Megabirch afterwards. “We like to stay really positive as a team and keep the attitude on the bench up.”
STUNT DEVILS (200): Bricktator 86, Psychokid D’ Freakout 47, Violet Opposition 32, Aggie Wartooth 26, Beaver Knievel 16
M-80s (188): Shoulder, CO 81, BEECH, PLEASE!! 67, Lumberjam 27, Megabirch 4, Branch Deveraux 1.
GKRD: CENTRAL WEST FRIENDS 165 CREVE CORONERS 128
In the men’s nightcap, the Central West Friends, last season’s GKRD “Turf Wars” runner-up, utilized a bruising defense early that set the tone for a successful opening night launch.
Tied 8-8 after three jams, Friends’ newcomer HEYNONGMAN powered a 15-5 rotation at the 23:00 mark to give Central West a 23-13 advantage.
The Creve Coroners responded with 12 points straight that resulted in a scoreboard flip. The Doc’s nine-point power jam was followed by Magnum P.I.M.P’s three-point strike with 20:15 left in the period as the Coroners grabbed a 25-23 edge.
CWF immediately became anything but friendly and with blocking, propelled by The Great Stromboli, Sogo, Perc In Boots, Thrillhouse, Monster Jam, Fruit Wall-Up and Cpt. Kramerica, compiled a 30-7 push over the next six minutes.
Highlighted by power jams of 14 and 13 points scored by Shane Bower, the Friends cultivated a 53-29 lead with14:15 left in the half.
An even larger Central West rally occurred during the period’s latter stages. In the stretch, jammer Last Rites scored 10 with 8:03 left that extended the lead to 70-33 and Bower followed with a 19-pointer that blossomed the score to 89-33.
Trailing 101-47 at intermission, the Coroners appeared to be on life-support but resuscitated and, aided by a hearty 48-12 run in the second period, narrowed the differential to under 20 points.
With blocking provided by Boney Fangers, Hulk, Double Excel, Irving, O’ Connell, Specs Offender and Otter Nonsense, Magnum and newly-minted teammate Sir NixAlot helped the Coroners continually collect points. With Magnum’s 23-point power jam scored with 19:20 left, the Coroners sliced the score to 113-89.
Cat Daddy added a six-pointer on the next rotation that narrowed the game to 113-95 but Last Rites’ baker’s dozen pushed the CWF’s lead to 126-95 with 14:00 remaining.
Another Coroners’ rally, a 27-7 stretch run, occurred over the next five rotations and with Nixaolot’s 7-2 jam at the 7:30 mark, the medics closely trailed 133-122.
The Friends then posted a strong rush late that secured victory. HEYNONGMAN’s 15-pointer off of a power start set the tone as CWF claimed a 148-122 advantage and Bower followed with eight on the game’s penultimate jam to clinch.
The Coroners outscored the Friends, 81-64, in the second period but the first half deficit was too deep to claim a come-from-behind victory.
Central West landed the 165-128 Turf Wars’ triumph that resulted in the team’s 1-0 mark. Bower finished the night with 72 points, followed by HEYNONGMAN’S 62. The team will be idle in GKRD’s January 7 at Midwest Sport Hockey.
The Coroners, paced by Magnum’s 60 points, meet GKRD defending kingpins Raiders of Forest Park in four weeks.
For more information on Arch Rival Roller Derby, go to their official website.
For more information on GateKeepers Roller Derby, go to their official Facebook page.
Here is Saturday’s ARCH post-game interview with the Stunts’ Psychokid D’ Freakout and M-80s co-captain Megabirch.