I can only guess that the snow in Cleveland was melting this weekend because of the raw energy coming from the Wolstein Center as the Burning River Roller Girls opened their fifth season with the Hellbombers vs. the Cleveland Steamers and the Rolling Pin-Ups vs. the Hard Knockers.
The Cleveland Steamers started the game strong against the Hellbombers with walls that kept back their jammers, allowing the Steamers to take the lead and grab a handful of points each time.
It was a low scoring game until a full Steamer penalty box let the Bombers hold back Steamer jammer Buddhalicious while Bomber jammer Destroya racked up the points.
The Bombers continued to get lead, making the Steamers fight for the front of the pack to stem the tide of points until Buddhalicious was able get back at jammer Destroya with some positional blocking, allowing The Killustrator to score some grand slams bringing them back in the game. CupQuake at the end of the first half brought the Steamers back in the lead at 36-35.
The second half started with Killustrator getting lead and causing Bomber jammer Sparkles to be trapped back into the pack, which I’m told is called “eating the baby.” But the Bombers continued to own the pack so Marion Razorwound could grand slam Buddha tying it up at 53-53.
In a game that never had more than a 15-point spread, things were looking promising for the Steamers when jammer The Eduskator started in the box letting Buddha lap the pack, but the Buddha-Destroya feud in this game came to a head when Buddha had a back block major on Destroya, sending Buddha to the box and Eddie back on the track to bring the Bombers back up to 77 against the Steamers’ 80.
It was then that the Hellbombers rallied and brought the thunder to take the lead and hold it, despite CupQuake skating so hard the entire back truck of her skate flew off, making the Hellbombers the victors in this close battle at 87-84.
The second match up of the night with the Rolling Pin-Ups vs. the Hard Knockers kept the action going with hard hitting right off the line. But it was the Pin-Ups that dominated that pack to get a 30-0 lead that the Knockers were not able to recover from.
It was survival of the fittest in the Knocker pack, but the fish on skates Eva Lucien adapted with some amazing footwork to juke around the ladies in pink.
The Pin-Ups lead only seemed to make the Knockers more determined, as was seen from the hits rookie jammer Premo Donna was delivering as she sliced through the pack to rack up several grand slams. The Knockers played hard until the end, but the Rolling Pin-Ups had a solid win with 138-63.
With an excellent home opener, fans are sure to be back in droves for our next bout in less than three weeks. These four teams have just a few more practices to get their skills honed for bout two, when the Hardknockers take on the Cleveland Steamers, and the Hellbombers face off against rivals the Rolling Pin-Ups. Will the Bombers get their revenge against the girls in green for the stolen hazard cup? If you saw the championship game last year, you know it’s sure to be an amazing, action-filled event!
Special thanks to our League Photographer, Dave Brown, for getting these amazing action shots turned around so quickly! Visit him online at Dave Brown Images.