BROOMFIELD, CO — The North Central region’s second seed Minnesota kicked off the 2011 WFTDA Championships tournament with a thrilling win over the third seed from the East, Charm City. The teams had last met in the previous year’s Championships, where Charm dominated 249-118. This time, though, was much different. Minnesota jumped out to a big early advantage and led by as much as 65 before giving it all up during a fierce second-half comeback from Charm City. But Minnesota took the lead back with the help of a series of late-game jammer penalties on Charm’s Joy Collision, eventually winning 160-121.
Big jams for Minnesota’s Medusa ended up being key in the game, as she dropped 25-0, 24-0 and 20-0 runs during the game to score almost half of Minnesota’s points in three jams.
The teams started the game with packs crowding the jammer line right off the bat, where they’d continue to line up for the rest of the game. After a opening 0-0, Minnesota got a break on the second jam as both Charm blocker Dolly Rocket and and jammer I.M. Pain got boxed; the pack came to a complete stop but Charm kept missing Medusa, leading to a huge 25-0 for Minnesota.
Charm responded by trying to pull a quick trick play by passing the star immediately from I.M. Pain to pivot Holly Go Hardly on the rugby start, but Minnesota’s Harmony Killerbruise got out and called at 0-0. They’d try the trick on the next jam and twice more later in the half, but were never able to get points out of it.
Minnesota added 4-0 to Second Hand Smoke on the 5th jam; yet another 0-0 following that left Minnesota with a 29-0 lead with 23 minutes left in the first half. Charm City finally got a lead jammer status on jam 7 to I.M. Pain; she converted it to 5-0 for Charm City’s first points. However, Minnesota continued to own lead jammer status and add to their lead; Charm called time with 20:11 in the first half and Minnesota up 37-6.
Charm finally got something going about midway through the half with four lead jammer calls in a row; with about nine minutes left, it was 54-26 Minnesota. Charm City got their first powerjam opportunity of the game there as Juke Boxx back blocked her way to the box on the opening pass; Charm’s Crowella De Vil followed effective blocking from Just Carol and Holly Go Hardly for a 12-0 that got Charm City within striking distance at 54-38. But Minnesota struck back with 4-0 and 2-0 jams for a 60-38 lead with 5 minutes in the first half.
Charm City again tried the star pass off the line twice in a row – the first fizzled at 0-0 and the next one was much worse news for Baltimore, as Holden Grudges was stuck and Medusa dropped a big 20-0. Suddenly Minnesota had their biggest lead of the game at 80-38; when the half ended three jams later, the lead had grown to 52 points at 94-42.
The second half featured two extreme momentum shifts, as a 73-2 Charm City run was immediately followed by a 51-0 Minnesota run to end the game. Minnesota’s total hit triple digits three jams into the half at 102-42, but Charm City finally got the big jam they needed a few jams later when Joy Collision took the star and Charm’s pack of Holden Grudges, Thoroughbled, Dolly Rocket and Reckless Ndangerment were all over L’exi Cuter. That 26-0 made it 107-68 and was the beginning of the massive Charm City rally.
I.M. Pain followed up with 4-0 to make it 107-72. With their lead quickly whittled down to 35 points from a high of 65, Minnesota called their second timeout with 21:51 left in the game.
Minnesota seemed to catch a break on the next jam as their jammer Juke Boxx was boxed exiting her opening pass, but opposing jammer Joy Collision didn’t realize Juke was in the box and called immediately when she broke pack. But Charm’s I.M. Pain was able to get 9-0 on the other side of the powerjam, keeping Charm’s comeback going at 107-81 with 18 minutes left in the game.
Things continued to go south for Minnesota as they lost their next jammer to the box as well; Crowella De Vil got help from Loretta Scars, Rosie the Rioter and Holden Grudges as she rolled through for another huge powerjam — 24-0. Joy Collision pulled 4-0 on the following jam and Charm City took the lead for the first time at 109-107 and 15 minutes left in the game.
Charm extended their lead to 121-109 with about 11 minutes left and it looked they were on their way to getting out of striking distance, but instead, Charm wouldn’t score a point for the rest of the game as they were on the wrong side of four jammer penalties in the last nine minutes.
The first occurred with the score 121-115 and 9 to play as Charm put out their ace jammer Joy Collision but Joy was boxed; Minnesota took the lead back on a yet another big 24-0 powerjam jam to Medusa as Psycho Novia, Hurtrude Stein and Diamond Rough froze the Charm CIty pack. With 7:01 left on the game clock, Minnesota led again, 139-121.
Two jams later, Joy Collision was boxed as Charm jammer again on a back block, but Charm City did a much better job on the penalty kill against Second Hand Smoke, as Just Carol, Reckless Ndangerment, Holly Go Hardly and Dolly Rocket held her to just 5-0. Still, though, it left Minnesota up 148-121 with only three minutes left to play.
Medusa added 7-0 next to make it 155-121; the next jam ended in confusing chaos as Joy Collision apparently called at 0-0 but was sent to the box after the jam ended. That gave Minnesota control of the game with only 1:30 left; Harmony Killerbruise got lead and began to run out the clock after picking up 5 insurance points. As fate would have it, Joy Collision would be boxed yet again in a desperate attempt to make up the difference out of the box, guaranteeing Minnesota the win at 160-121.
Minnesota advances to play the top seed from the South Central, Texas; that game starts Saturday’s action at 9:30am.