(GREENSBURG, PA) St. Louis-based GateKeepers Roller Derby returned to fine form this weekend by collecting a three-game sweep and claimed first place at the Dawn of the Derby Tournament held at Kirk S. Nevin Arena.
The three-day, six-team tourney saw the GateKeepers advance to the championship after posting Saturday wins over hosts Pittsburgh Undead (330-54) and Austin Anarchy (322-16).
In Sunday afternoon’s finale, St. Louis notched a 300-55 victory over Magic City Misfits to finish the event with a spotless 3-0 record.
This weekend marked the first time the five-time Men’s Roller Derby Association (MRDA) champions had skated in interleague play since October 2019.
All three games saw jammers Magnum, Shred Astaire, David Sole and Loki post numerous points off power jams that was supplemented by the solid offensive/defensive efforts from blockers Monster Jam, Hulk, Spin Diesel, Nix, Yoshi, Ethan Olsen and others.
Jammers Aaron Blindt, Static and Cat Daddy also received plenty of rotations as well.
Sunday’s championship game renewed a long-time rivalry between the St. Louis and Orlando-based squads that last met at the 2019 MRDA International Championships title game.
The GateKeepers sprinted out of the gates for a 58-3 lead eight minutes in after back-to-back 15-pointers posted by Magnum and Sole.
Astaire’s 16-point power jam with about ten minutes left in the half helped St. Louis push their offensive output past triple-digits, 110-28.
Magic City kept accumulating jammer penalties as the period progressed and the GateKeepers widened the differential. Sole’s period-ending 16-point strike gave St. Louis a 153-43 lead at intermission.
The pace did not waver as the GateKeepers began the second half with a 52-0 rally. During the stretch, the team broke the bicentennial mark with 19:05 left following Blindt’s 11-point jam that pushed the score to 205-43.
St. Louis outscored Magic City 147-12 in the second period to claim the 300-55 trophy win. Four GateKeeper jammers notched over sixty points in the game, paced by Magnum’s 75 followed by Sole’s 67.
Blindt was presented as the team’s Most Valuable Jammer for the contest while Monster Jam was presented with Most Valuable Blocker honors.
For the tournament, the Misfits finished second while Austin edged Toronto, 139-129, for third place and Race City topped Pittsburgh for fifth.
ST. LOUIS’ SATURDAY GAMES
Saturday’s early morning play saw the GateKeepers roll out to a 139-0 lead over Pittsburgh with five minutes remaining in the first period. The team finished the frame with a 36-11 push and held a 175-11 lead at intermission.
The dominance continued in the second half as St. Louis outscored the Undead 155-43 to claim the 330-54 win. GKRD’s Static was presented as the team’s Most Valuable Jammer for the contest while EVEE was presented with Most Valuable Blocker honors.
Later that afternoon in their match-up with Austin Anarchy, the Gatekeepers continued their high-impact play in the opening period with a 27-0 sprint out of the gates. That momentum remained intact as St. Louis held a 154-13 lead at the half.
A defensive lockdown marked second period play as the squad held the Anarchy to three points altogether. Paced by solid blocking, GKRD outscored Austin 168-3 to notch the 332-16 win. St. Louis’ Spin Diesel was awarded the team’s Most Valuable Blocker while Cat Daddy won Most Valuable Jammer.
For more information on GateKeepers Roller Derby, go their official website.
DAWN OF THE DERBY TOURNAMENT SCORES
RACE CITY 114 TORONTO 111
ST. LOUIS 330 PITTSBURGH 54
TORONTO 140 MAGIC CITY 135
AUSTIN 186 PITTSBURGH 178
MAGIC CITY 150 RACE CITY 119
ST. LOUIS 332 AUSTIN 16
FIFTH PLACE GAME: RACE CITY 235 PITTSBURGH 160
THIRD PLACE GAME: AUSTIN 139 TORONTO 129
FIRST PLACE GAME: ST. LOUIS 300 MAGIC CITY 55
By trade, he is a six-time, regional Emmy Award-winning news videographer/editor for KTVI/KPLR-TV. By hobby, he is an announcer and digital content producer for St. Louis-based Arch Rival Roller Derby. Also a webcast announcer for post-season roller derby tournaments on wftda.tv. Yep, this Illinoisan primarily writes about derby, covering Arch Rival, the St. Chux Derby Chix and the STL GateKeepers men's league. He also writes about St. Louis SLAM Women's Football, St. Louis Lions women's soccer and other sports topics.