BALLWIN, MO — In Arch Rival’s local playoff doubleheader, the top-seeded Stunt Devils (4-0) pounced from the onset to beat fourth-seeded Rebel Skate Alliance (0-4) 210-60, earning a trip to the local championship bout on April 28.
Prior to the first whistle blown Saturday, the defending league champion RSA faced nearly insurmountable odds against the top seed of the playoff round.
Although Rebel Skate Alliance added to their roster courtesy of the league’s supplemental draft held last week, injuries to a quartet of skaters reduced their roster from thirteen skaters to nine. This would include a pair of All-Star vets (Chewblocka and Party Foul), a high-scoring ARRG rookie (Pink Diamond) and a veteran blocker (Bertha Venus). In order to field a roster, and to avoid forfeiture in the playoff round, RSA was allowed by the league to acquire the one-bout services of a pair of unrostered skaters (Spice Rack and Glinda Gams) to fulfill the minimum requirement of players.
Consider it a moral victory for RSA to bout altogether Saturday night. They could have easily waved the white flag and merely scrimmaged. But to their credit, they were able to compete against the top seed legit. Still, the deck was stacked â€“ only three skaters were on the track from last year’s undefeated squad. That’s a lot of fresh faces out there to defend the title.
The Stunt Devils realized and respected this, but ultimately knew that this was not going to alter their methodology for the playoff round.
“We knew that it was going to be a difficult game for RSA, but we were going to go out and play the same game no matter what,” said Stunts’ pivot Mayor Francis Slayer of the match-up. “There was no other option.”
Perhaps her honor was being kind in that statement. For them, this was the flat-track equivalent of a shark smelling blood.
The Stunt Devils raced out to a 23-0 leadoff in the bout’s first five jams. A trio of consecutive four-pointers from jammers Mighty Mighty Boston, Morgan LeFaetal and South City Shiner were followed by a seven-pointer from Artemischief. Another four from Boston finished the Stunts’ uncontested run six minutes in.
RSA would get into the scoring column with eight points off the next three jams and keep the deficit within reach – 31-8 with 19:30 left in the first period.
The Stunts posted another scoring streak – a 29-0 rally – in the middle stretch of the period. A pair of four-pointers from Boston and Shiner was followed by a 19-point purple punch by LeFaetal at the 13:50 mark. The uncontested Stunt rally extended their lead to 60-8 with 12:00 left.
RSA’s Smarty McFly countered with an 11-point power jam on the next rotation to cut the gap to 64-19 at the 10:00 mark.
Play remained even down the stretch until the Stunts netted the proverbial bout buster deep in the frame. Capitalizing on a non-lead power jam, Boston skedaddled to a rare 37-point tally (yes, you read that correctly), extending the Stunts’ lead to 108-24 with 2:45 left.
Shiner added nine to finish the half, which saw the Stunt Devils up 117-31 at intermission.
And although they could have coasted in the second period, the top seed wanted to show RSA – and their potential opponent for the April title bout at Chaifetz – just how relentless they could be.
“Even before we knew that RSA was going to be down a few skaters, we wanted to show them that we could beat them by a lot,” said the Stunts’ LeFaetal of her team’s mission. “We wanted to show that we’re a very strong team and that the other teams should fear us.”
In the second half, Shiner posted 20 to extend the Stunts’ advantage to triple digits, 137-35 at the 27:00 mark. This launched a 32-0 rally for the ladies in purple, which extended their lead 149-35 with 20:00 left.
Shiner continued the onslaught midway through the frame, collecting another 20-pointer, extending the lead to 178-39 with 12:00 remaining.
The Stunt Devils outscored RSA 103-29 in the second period to coast to the 150-point win. The top seed’s total points marked the first time that a local squad had broken the 200-point barrier in intraleague play.
“We wanted to let the other teams know that we were serious,” said Slayer of her squad’s dominance. “We have amazing jammers, we have amazing blockers and our new skaters are working really hard and contributing to them team. Top to bottom, our roster is really great.”
Boston unofficially paced the Stunt Devils with 69 points, followed by 55 from Shiner. LeFaetal added 48 for the Stunts, who remained undefeated in the season’s campaign.
McFly unofficially topped RSA scoring with 26 points, followed by a dozen each from Beaster Bunny and Stabby McCutcha. Despite the valiant attempt, the hard-luck season continued for the league defending champs, who remain winless and now play in the third place bout at Chaifetz.
And for the Stunts in April, they’ll face a familiar foe for the trophy.
“The M-80s are a really hard working team,” said Slayer of their literal arch rival. “They have a lot of talent. We’re going to have to be clean, stay out of the box and just go all out from jam one.”
“We’re going to have to bring it just like we do every game,” added LeFaetal.
This will be important for the Stunts. Earlier this season, they stole a three-point victory against the M-80s on the bout’s final jam. Could one expect the same drama at the trophy tussle?
“At the championship, it’s going to be a very hardcore game,” predicted Slayer.
Stunt Devils: Mighty Mighty Boston 69, South City Shiner 55, Morgan LeFaetal 48, Artemischief 19, Grave Danger 2
Rebel Skate Alliance: Smarty McFly 26, Beaster Bunny 12, Stabby McCutcha 12, The Oregon Betrayal 10