MILWAUKEE, WI–Rocky Mountain had a strong early start but Angel City were able to stretch their margin to 50-points late in the first half. From there, the game was characterised by frequent lead changes as the sides traded power jams–and in the end, Angel City came off the better when a late-game penalty let them establish a 30-point margin and leaving Rocky no time to come back. The LA side secured themselves a date with Denver tomorrow with their 228-198 win.
Angel Cityâ€™s Cris Dobbins took the line for the first jam against Rockyâ€™s Casstrator, who took the first lead jammer status of the bout as Cris fought through the pack. That went 5-0 in Rocky’s favour, before a 0-0 race between Chica Go Lightning and Toxic Taunic.
A series of dramatic floor calls and last second call-offs ensued before Angel City seemed to figure out Rocky’s defensive tactics and picked up lead jammer status time and again, taking and holding the lead. One particularly notable jam saw a racing pack respond to Cris in the front but not lead, and then Casstrator swallowed back into the pack as it caught up and overtook her.
In the final jam of the half, Angel Cityâ€™s Mickispeedia landed hard on her tailbone then headed to the box on a penalty, handing Toxic a power jam with a 3-2 pack advantage. Toxic, who had been doubling as jammer and blocker for the game, pushed through the pack easily to end the jam and the half on yet another power jam. That put Rocky Mountain within 10 points at halftime, 101-91.
By the return from the half-time break, it seemed like Angel’s deeper jammer rotation might be paying off; they fielded four key jammers with Ghetto making repeat appearances as a fifth. Alpha Q Up and Casstrator were the primary jammers for Rocky Mountain, with occasional starring roles for Toxic Taunic and rare highlights of Rox Yorr Soxov.
Rockyâ€™s defensive walls were constantly dynamic throughout the game, visibly rounding and bunching, as players took sideswipes and reversed direction, touching and pushing one another repeatedly into the way.
Casstrator started the half on a powerjam for Rocky, with Mickispeedia still in the box. But that advantage lasted only a tiny handful of seconds. Cass still took lead and Micki got stuck in a Triple Shot / Winona Fighter front wall that gave Rocky a precious chance to use their lead jammer status to take points–and the lead at 103-101.
Angel City were able to reclaim that lead through conservative play over the next few jams, but their status was far from secure until they landed a power jam. Angel blockers forced a track cut on Alpha and Satan’s Little Helper made it 134-107–only to nearly hand a power jam to Rocky by attempting to call off the jam without lead jammer status.
Not long after, it seemed like Angel Cityâ€™s chances of continuing through Champs might be taking a dive as Mickispeedia garnered three penalties in as many jams, handing Rocky Mountain the time to even up and then pass Angel City for points. Rocky pushed ahead with the last few power jams and the score stood 176-147 in Rocky’s favour with 10:30 to go in the game. The end to this stint was spelled out as Cris was fielded as pivot, lining up a star pass.
A key powerjam or two in Angel Cityâ€™s favour set up their return, as they inched their score upwards towards another lead change and a score of 184-182. With four minutes left to play, Rocky took a team time-out.
Ghetto Fabu-Lez started the next jam unopposed, taking an easy lead–but Alpha was soon back, only to return to the box when Ima drew a track cut on her, a penalty that spelt the end of Rocky’s hopes.
Even an official time-out, handing a penalty to Angel Cityâ€™s captain for interference by a coach, couldnâ€™t change the outcome of this bout. Angel City grabbed lead status and called it off to burn clock, and defensive play by Laci Knight when Alpha returned from the box gave Satan’s Little Helper an easy run to secure a 30-point win for Angel City, 228-198.