With the fifth season well under way, the name of the game for the Burning River Roller Girls second bout was learning from previous games as we saw in Hard Knockers vs. Cleveland Steamers and Hellbombers vs. Rolling Pin-Ups.
The first game of the night with Hard Knockers vs. Cleveland Steamers started low scoring and slow. After a loss in the previous bout, the Knockers regrouped and started to play to their strength as a team of hard hitters. To control the pack and keep it slow, they employed the less than exciting to watch but effective stop game of keeping close to the jam line at the start of the jam, not letting the jammers start. The Steamers eventually edged forward enough causing a split pack so the jammers could start, only to be met by a solid wall of pink.
This was marginally effective at the start of the game as the Steamers inched into the lead in the first few jams. It started to pay off when the Knockers tied it up, then Vendetta Farfalle had multiple grand slams on Rainbow Fright. With a slow pack and solid walls, the agile jammers on the Steamers couldn’t get the momentum to break through.
Realizing this, the Steamers call a timeout to reassess their strategy. The next jam they are able to keep the pack fast and break up the back wall so The Killustrator can get lead. However, they were unable to do this for the majority of the game.
Other than Take Out’s 25 point jam at the end of the first half with the Knockers in the lead 91 to 28, there were no other high scoring jams like it in the second. The Steamers were able to narrow the score but not enough with the Hard Knockers winning 143-93.
The second bout of the night pitted the Hellbombers against the Rolling Pin-Ups. After losing their title last year to the Pin-Ups, and winning the last bout against the Steamers that was close enough to make them nervous, the Hellbombers were even more determined.
The Hellbombers were able to prevent The Pin-Ups from scoring a single point for eight straight jams in the first half of the bout, but the girls in green never gave up. They stood tough, stayed calm, and hit hard, working to close the gap. It was an action-packed bout, to say the least, as evidenced by jams being called off as a result of downed skaters and jammer Punkd Pixie taking a helmet to the face as she called off a jam. Slaughterama Mama was witnessed doing her signature sneaky take-downs. Taking advantage of their lead, the Bombers tried to run down the clock, leaving Pin-Ups no room for error. Keeping an eye on strategic opportunities, Pin-Ups would stuff the leading black jammer back into the pack, forcing a call off. But it wasn’t enough. The Hellbombers took the “W” with a final score 106-67.
Special thanks to our League Photographer, Dave Brown, for being so snappy with the shutter! For info on his work, visit Dave Brown Images.