In a truly extraordinary display of tactical roller derby, the Boston Massacre (one of the original WFTDA leagues) came to Montreal and put an end to a remarkable seven game winning streak by the precocious New Skids on the Block with 111-58 victory at Arena St. Louis on Saturday night in a WFTDA sanctioned, Eastern Region bout.
The first half was a strategic masterpiece as both teams fought for control of the pack. LCD and Maura Buse led the charge for the Massacre pack, with ample help from Harley Quinn and Ivanna Shankabitch, while Jess Bandit and Cheese Grater led the Skids’ packs. No team could take a clear advantage in the first as the score see-sawed early on, punctuated by neutralizing jammer battles between Georgia W. Tush and Krushpuppy, and especially Montreal’s Iron Wench and Boston’s Claire D. Way who both jammed beautifully (often to stalemates) in the first half. Boston managed to inch ahead just slightly, 46-38 by the break.
Early in the second half Boston’s experience began to make a difference. Their stifling pack (amazingly paced defensive jams, lightening fast recycling up front) slowly began to wear down the Montreal players who, lately, have been more accustomed to being the ones doing the stifling. A few well-orchestrated power jams allowed the Massacre to open up a wider gap and once they’d gained control, were able to maintain it through to the end as rare penalty woes for Montreal kept them from mounting any sort of comeback.
It was clear that as far as the Skids have come in 2010, there is still an experience disadvantage that can only be overcome with time, but this was in no way a demoralizing loss for Montreal. Only eight months ago Montreal lost to this same Boston team by one hundred points; four months ago they lost by a similar score to Charm City (Baltimore). What this improved result announces is that this is a Skids team that deserves attention, and come the fall and the WFTDA Regionals, a team that cannot be taken lightly.
In the opening bout of the double header at Arena St. Louis, the Rideau Valley Vixens–in their inaugural season–came to Montreal to play in their third bout of 2010. After suffering a one-sided loss to ToRD’s CN Power early in the year, the Vixens made adjustments and began to refine their game leading to a much better result against Steel City’s B team. Les Sexpos also opened up 2010 with consecutive losses, but were coming off of their most definitive victory ever, showing a form that they would bring into this bout as well, controlling things in a 136-63 victory.
Any notion of an overwhelming Sexpos win were put to rest early on as the Vixens showed that they have very clearly learned from their defeats; a renewed focus on positional play and pack control led by the excellent Semi Precious (and aided gamely by Surgical Strike, Screaming Meanie Massacre, Big Block and others). K-Dawg (despite some penalty problems), and Ninja Simone continued their emergence as top pivots, while rookies That’s What She Said (jamming) and Waxey McBush (positional blocking) had solid outings and that speaks to the bright future of this ever-improving Sexpos squad. A key jammer battle all night was between the Vixens’ Soul Rekker and the Sexpos’ Mange Moi El Cul, while Squarrior, Hymen Danger and Hustle Rose all had solid bouts doing double duty in the pack and with the star. Ripper Apart, Sister Disaster and DDT all fought through jams for the Vixens, but the Sexpos were eventually able to wrestle control away from Rideau Valley and cruised in the later stages of the bout to a 73 point victory.
Both bouts were boutcast live on ustream and have been archived here.
AND IN OTHER NEWS…
Hammer City’s Eh! Team continued their 2010 WFTDA season, traveling to Milwaukee to take part in the annual MidWest Brewhaha. They faced a tough Grand Raggidy team on the opening day falling 160-69, and then followed that with another loss to Ohio 139-61 to fall to 0-4 in their 2010 season. Hammer City has a big schedule lined up for 2010 and are not backing down from any tough bouts, taking the lead, perhaps, from Montreal’s New Skids on the Block who took on (and lost to) any and all comers in their first season leading to a huge leap in ability and an improved 2010. It should be a fascinating season for Hammer City as they continue to develop into a top-tier team.