BALLWIN, MO–For some, a 202-point victory may not seem vengeful, but for Arch Rival (DNN #18/11 WFTDA), its 335-133 victory over Brewcity (44 WFTDA) Saturday in front of 500 at Midwest Hockey clearly fit the definition .
The back story was written at last Octoberâ€™s WFTDA North Central region playoff held in Niagara Falls. In a â€œThrill of the Spillâ€ consolation bracket bout, Brewcity notched a last-jam, come-for-behind, three-point upset that sent the St. Louisans tumbling in the tourney.
That loss stung a lot for Arch Rival. It had been simmering for almost nine months.
â€œWe were not really proud of ourselves last year at playoffs, so we had a lot of things to prove to ourselves with this game,â€ said Arch Rival jammer South City Shiner of last yearâ€™s setback.
â€œWe went into this bout pretty motivated and we definitely had no other option but to win tonight,â€ added co-captain Mayor Francis Slayer.
The motivation was evident with a quick start by the hostesses as Mighty Mighty Boston scored a nine-point, bout-opening strike to give Arch Rival the quick lead. A 2-2 push on the next jam made the score 11-2 three minutes in.
The first of three first-period Arch Rival power jams was launched in the third rotation. Brickyard posted 19 at 25:48 to extend the lead to 30-2. Smarty McFly followed with a dozen to stretch the margin to 42-2, six minutes deep into the frame.
Both teams traded power jams on the next rotation. While ARRGâ€™s Boston sat in the sin bin, Brewcityâ€™s Kimberrr posted 15 points until being sent off for a track cut. Once Boston was released from the box, ARRG reciprocated with 10 points. The 15-10 jam in favor of Brewcity narrowed Arch Rivalâ€™s lead to 52-17 with 21:30 left in the period.
After Shiner posted nine in jam six that extended St. Louisâ€™ lead to 61-17, Arch Rival fell into a penalty funk and surrendered another power jam. Brewcityâ€™s Scooter capitalized on a 4-2 blocker advantage and collected 18 points for Milwaukee to narrow Arch Rivalâ€™s lead to 61-35 with 17:50 left in the period.
Up 65-37 two jams later, Arch Rival went on a 26-0 rally to widen the margin. Back-to-back four-pointers from Shiner and Brickyard was followed by an 18-pointer anchored by McFly that widened ARRGâ€™s lead to 91-37 with 11:00 left in the period.
St. Louis continued to flex its proverbial muscle as the period progressed with a power jam by Shiner, and a subsequent star-pass to pivot May Require Stitches, that collectively yielded 30 points with 8:10 left in the period and extended Arch Rivalâ€™s lead to 127-39.
Brewcityâ€™s Scooter gamely rolled the dice in jam 15 and notched a 16-4 strike to narrow the deficit to 131-55. Nine straight points from ARRG on the next two rotations pushed the lead 140-55 with 4:25 left in the period.
Following a 3-3 push in jam 18, Brewcity notched a 29-0 run to end the first period of play. A natural 20-pointer from Kimberrr was followed by a period ending nine-pointer from Skittle. The late-period run by Brewcity narrowed Arch Rivalâ€™s lead to 143-87 at intermission, which was somewhat disappointing in the localsâ€™ minds, considering the differential had been close to triple-digits a few minutes earlier.
â€œYou know, every time we have a rough first half, we take a deep breath and approach the second half as a new game,â€ said Slayer. â€œWe needed to get our penalties down and we needed to improve our team work.â€
Brewcity carried the late first-period momentum into the second with a 13-4 strike by Scooter in the opening jam that narrowed Arch Rivalâ€™s lead to 147-100.
Then, the Arch Rival scoreboard went into hyper-overdrive as the locals went on a 126-0 run that spanned the boutâ€™s next twenty minutes.
Back-to-back four pointers from Boston and Shiner extended the lead to 155-100. Brickyard added three in jam four to push Arch Rivalâ€™s advantage to 158-100 with 25:30 left in the period.
McFly calmly posted 29 points naturally to stretch the lead to 187-100 with 23:05 left. A power jam for Boston netted 24 points for ARRG on the next rotation to widen the margin to 211-100.
Meanwhile, the St. Louis blocking battalion, paced by Slayer, Stitches, Grave Danger, Chewblocka, The Educator, Rhino-Might, Science Friction, Shimmy Hoffa and Eli Wallop, collectively tapped the keggers by holding them pointless as the period progressed, continuing a trend that has been common place this season.
â€œHonestly, our blocking has become more mental from where it was in yearsâ€™ past,â€ said Shiner. â€œWeâ€™ve been really great at executing all the strategies in practice. Bridging backwards, knocking others out of play, just doing those things over and over again. Itâ€™s been a mental game that we use against the other teams and weâ€™ve manage to get them â€˜out of sorts.â€™â€
Shiner collected 28 points via a power jam with 13:30 left in the bout to push Arch Rivalâ€™s lead to 262-100. Following Brickyardâ€™s six-pointer scored in jam 12, St. Louis put the exclamation point its 126-point rally with McFlyâ€™s non-lead grand slam with 9:00 left that extended Arch Rivalâ€™s advantage to 273-100.
Arch Rival outscored Brewcity 192-46 in the second half to pick up the 335-133 victory to net its fifth straight win and to improve to 10-2 on the season.
â€œWeâ€™ve been working hard in getting our fitness up and making sure that we can play a top-level game in the second half,â€ said Slayer of the turnaround. â€œI think because of that, weâ€™ve been able to outplay our opponents in the second half.â€
â€œWhen weâ€™re at full-strength, weâ€™re amazing,â€ said Shiner, who finished with 72 points. â€œIâ€™m really proud of everyone.â€
McFly paced Arch Rival scoring with 94 points, followed by Bostonâ€™s 84. Arch Rival now prepares for an August 10 battle with #17 Minnesota (DNN #11/WFDTA #17).
â€œFor me personally, I feel that itâ€™s a huge honor to be playing Minnesota,â€ said Shiner. â€œWeâ€™ve been watching them closely ever since they surprised everyone and went to Championships (in 2010.) We are in awe of them and I look up to them quite a lot.â€
Scooter and Kimberrr scored 57 and 52 points, respectively, for Brewcity (5-11). Milwaukee hosts Toronto (WFTDA #39) on August 10 prior to its appearance in the Des Moines Playoff of the WFTDA Division 2 Tournament the following week.
In the b-team undercard, ARRGâ€™s Saint Lunachix posted a 337-74 victory over the Chicago Outfit Shade Brigade. IDA the Living Dead scored 132 points for St. Louis, who improved to 8-2. The points accumulated and the differential set new franchise benchmarks.