This post was originally featured at Derby News Network in September 2013.
SALEM, OR – Vaunted dark horse Victorian Roller Derby League entered the track for their game against the Chicago Outfit, with their spring-determined bracketing and eighth-placing seeding the only predictors of their game play. They soon put questions to rest with a decisive win against the Outfit, 304-115.
Lead jammer calls clearly determined point additions and Victoria was firmly in control of those, with the vast majority heading their way throughout the entirety of the game. And while their defence did struggle with penalties, leaving the pack advantage almost always in Outfit’s favour, Victoria were still able to dictate game pacing and hold a defensive line nonetheless. The indomitable Ruby Ribcrusher particularly stood out with heavy hits to the outside, especially in the second period.
The Outfit fielded jammers Matza Ball Breaker and Queefer Sutherland alternately throughout the bout, with Lola Blow starring at the beginning and end of each period.
The first jam pitched Mad Mel Arena against Queefer and Mel jumped almost immediately through the inside to take lead, then took her first scoring pass before Queefer could even emerge from the pack the first time. Mel spent a little more time on her next pass, stuck until she gained her own personal assistant in the form of blocker Tui Lyon, and then called the jam, starting the game up at 5-0 to Victoria.
Then Swish Cariboom made lead for Victoria, snuck in 3 and called it before the opposing jammer could hit the back of the pack. G-Banger was next up, to Outfit’s Matza who couldn’t make it through, bringing the score to 17-0, before Queefer was finally able to claim Outfit’s first lead jammer call of the game and their first 2 points.
Rapidly switching powerjams before the halfway mark of the period stacked up points for Victoria, despite G-Banger being haunted by forearm penalties, as their portion of the pack relied heavily — but effectively — on passive offence. Their deep jammer rotation really needed no extra assistance, with the stand-out jammer being Mad Mel Arena, her artistic skating background showing as she juked, side-stepped and flew her way into point after point.
Chicago used literally the final 2 seconds of the period to call an official review and stretch an extra jam into the half. But when they sent Queefer up against Mel, Mel took a quick lead, added in a further 10 points and called it before Queefer even made it round for a scoring pass. Those precious extra seconds did not work out at all for Outfit. Victoria was firmly in the lead by the half, with the score at 134-75.
The second period started with Mel and Swish alternating with the Victorian star to add points conservatively, with no Outfit reply for several jams. Finally, with Lola wearing the jammer star, Rosie the Wrecker (a transfer to the Outfit from Tulsa) forced a cut on Swish, sending her to the box yet again, after a rapid series of jammer musical chairs she and Lola had done in the first portion of the jam.
The string of penalties prompted a brief official time-out to confirm points, which ended with the score at 164-84 in Victoria’s favour just five minutes into the period — and when play resumed, Queefer had a power start with Swish still seated in the box. She wasn’t able to make much of the opportunity, though, as Ruby Ribcrusher’s devastatingly accurate hits and positional blocking held her back.
The rest of the period seemed to see Victoria taking lead, inching points and playing cautiously, aiming simply to use time and maintain or gently widen their lead. That conservative goal was thwarted by a series of hefty and game-determining power jams in the mid-section of the period — but it was far from a bad thing for Victoria. One Outfit jammer penalty, served across two jams, gifted the Australian team nearly 40 points through the combined work of Mel and Swish. G-Banger went on to all but match those points solo, further widening the differential and putting Victoria into a solid 281-111 lead.
Mel signaled a return to more conservative game play for the rest of the bout as the clock hit the final 6 minutes, but the differential had become insurmountable. Outfit took their final time out at 1:59 left in the game — Victoria still hadn’t taken any — it wasn’t going to reassemble their shattered defence nor give them any further points and Victoria took the win, 304-115. They progress to face Bay Area at 6 p.m., while the Outfit will meet Boston tomorrow at noon.