Championships Opening Round: 2W Denver Schools 3E Charm, 268-141

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ATLANTA, GA — For the past two seasons Denver have had to watch Championships from home while Charm City have played at the top level every year since the Mile High Club’s last visit, but it was the team from Denver who came in hot favourites to progress to the quarterfinals. And so it came to pass; Charm managed to grab the lead once in the first half courtesy of a massive 34-point IM Pain powerjam, but other than that it was all Denver, all the time. The Mile High Club ended up 268-141 winners, and managed to work in some rest for their primary jammers at the death to boot.

Charm City — whose season has been marked by major losses from the get-go–started with a numerical disadvantage. As well as the injured Holly Gohardly who was on the bench as a skater to coach, Charm came into the tournament missing influential blocker and former captian Rosie The Rioter. No replacements were added from their charter, which meant they started the bout with 12 skaters to Denver’s 14.

Denver had one recent loss of their own to contend with — a nasty ankle break took out Caitlin Krause during training after playoffs, meaning Denver’s veteran jammer Julie Adams found herself on the track for only the second time in the post-season to complete the Mile High Club’s traditional four-jammer set.

Bout stats via Rinxter.

Juska picked up the first lead call of the bout, and called it after one pass despite a major cut having been forced on IM Pain that sent her to the box. Rangeon added 15 in under a minute before calling it with Pain standing.

Juska grabbed a quick four after Pain was released, leaving Adams up next for Denver. She couldn’t continue Juska and Rangeon’s good work, though, as she soon found herself sat in the box. Crowella de Vil got lead before Adams was boxed on a major cut–and Crowella put up 10 before being boxed on a major forearm trying to break through on her third scoring pass.

Adams managed a pass of her own before time expired, and the jam finished with the scoreboard reading 33-13 with six minutes gone.

A 2-0 for Rangeon was followed by a 4-0 for Pain in Sharpless’ first jam of the evening — Sharpless had lead and about half a track on Pain, but called it off late. Adams had a chance to make amends for her earlier transgression, but was again boxed on a major cut — and Denver’s blockers quickly joined her in the box as IM Pain racked up massive points and took the lead for Charm City. Adams did manage to steal some points at the death, but Pain put up 34-8 jam to make it 52-47 to Charm with 11 minutes gone.

Rangeon retook the lead for Denver in the very next jam as Rivas played some forceful offense on Charm’s Uvetta Work when Crowella was boxed on an IP. That jam finished 28-4 in Rangeon’s favour, and Denver began to establish a measure of control over the scoreboard again as they edged ahead.

Crowella de Vil made it 92-64 with Charm’s second lead call of the bout with almost 20 minutes gone. 4-0 to Denver then pushed the Mile High Club past the century mark as Serelson and Akers laid the hurt on Crowella to make it 105-64 as the penalty pendulum swung in Denver’s favor.

As the half entered its final five minutes, Akers forced a major cut on Allie B. Back, but Juska again called it off swiftly, giving Sharpless the chance to finish off the powerjam – she pulled the Mile High Club into a 141-67 lead.

4-0′s for Adams, Rangeon and Juska closed out the half despite the return of Charm’s IM Pain to the jammer line for the first time in 14 minutes, having not donned the star since her 34-pointer earlier in the half. That left Denver with a seemingly impregnable 153-67 lead — with over half Charm’s points in the half coming from that one IM Pain powerjam.

The first half opened quietly with Denver edging things 18-3 with a sequence of hit-and-quit jams, with a delayed call from Sharpless the only Charm points of the spell. After a successful jam for IM Pain they got two lead calls in a row–but Pain lost the first 5-0 to Adams, and Allie lost the next one 9-2 to Juska. A 4-4 followed with Pain getting Charm’s third lead call in a row. That meant it was 190-80 with just over ten minutes gone.

Double-digit jams for Rangeon and Juska made it 224-84 before Rangeon was boxed on a false start. That gave Pain a carbon copy of her earlier powerjam with one blocker to beat for her first three passes. She slid past Sage and Carson across multiple passes–and the jam ended 24-1 to leave Charm with a 229-108 deficit with a little over ten minutes to go.

A 3-0 for Crowella was followed by another Charm City powerjam — Holden Grudges got a quick lead call in her second jam, and then took advantage of a major low block called on Adams to cut the deficit to less than 100 points as she made it 229-130 with nine minutes left.

Adams got lead and a quick 4-0 to snuff out that Charm City revival as Denver played with one eye on the clock and the other on their upcoming games. Single-digit jams for Adams and Sharpless followed, as they rested both Juska and Rangeon. Serelson and Quigley also took the star in the closing stages, with Serelsen closing the bout out with an emphatic 19-4 over Crowella.

The bout finished 268-141; Denver now progress to a quaterfinal bout against Chicago’s Windy City Rollers at 2pm tomorrow, while Charm will enjoy the rest of the tournament from the stands after falling at the first hurdle at Championships for the third year in a row.

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