DES MOINES, IA–The final game of WFTDAâ€™s first-ever Division 2 tournament saw the fifth-seeded Jet City challenging third-seed Blue Ridge for first place and the chance to compete for overall D2 winners at the Division 1 championships in November. Blue Ridge opened strong but quickly succumbed to penalty trouble, rarely fielding a full side and suffering frequent–well into the double digits over the course of the game–jammer penalties. That pattern made it Jet Cityâ€™s game from midway through the first half and they ultimately took the win, 208-113. Theyâ€™ll tackle next weekâ€™s winner in Milwaukee in November, while Blue Ridge will meet the runner-up at the same event.
Blue Ridge opened the game demonstrating the strong defensive play that has marked their appearances thus far in the tournament, holding Jet City scoreless for the first five jams and establishing a 26-0 lead. Jet City had something of a moral victory, though, when they forced a star pass during a fourth-jam Blue Ridge power play–and it seemed to energise them, as Eva Derci put them on the board with a series of natural grand slams as Coma handled the BR jammer. That brought it to 26-15 with 22 minutes in the half.
A couple jams later, Sierra Fist had the opportunity to take the lead for Jet City in another power jam, bringing the score to 29-26 before Caslamity Jane stood in the box–and stretching it to 38-26 before ending the jam. Blue Ridge struck back with 4 but next time out, Lady Rider landed in the box not even 10 feet past the penalty box and Terror Faceoff made the most of it, stretching the lead to 53-30 at the periodâ€™s halfway point.
Scoring was slow over the next five minutes until–perhaps unsurprisingly–another power jam ensued. Terror Faceoff brought it to 74-38 in Jet Cityâ€™s favour as Blue Ridgeâ€™s pack dwindled to just two–with Chief Goober in line to serve time when the box cleared.
It looked set to swing the other way, though, as Eva Derci landed in the box for a forearm to leave Caslamity Jane, returned to play, scoring unopposed–only to cut her way back to the penalty box. Jet City came off the better to the tune of 14-5, bringing it to 93-43 with six minutes left in the half.
Another set of jammer musical chairs ensued in jam 18 and saw Jet City add 5-0 o make it 117-43–and while Blue Ridge erased that gain with a 5-0 to close the period, they still trailed by 69 points going into the interval.
Penalty trouble continued in the opening minutes of the second half–a fleeting 4-2 pack advantage let Blue Ridge close the gap to 117-52 as the period began, but after that it was micropacks and scoreless jams until Jet City added their first points of the period in jam 5. Sugar Magmaulya picked up a low block penalty then to give Ivana Hurchu a power jam–and between her and Fist in the next jam, Jet Cityâ€™s lead was 140-52.
Another box trip for Sugar Magmaulya next time out made it a total of 9 jammer penalties assessed against Blue Ridge–and it showed on the scoreboard as Jet City stretched the margin to over 100 points after adding a further 20 with 21 minutes to play, while holding Blue Ridge scoreless for 7 jams.
Whoa Nellie picked up two back block penalties in a single jam at the 12 minute mark, offering Blue Ridge a big opportunity–but Caslamity Jane had committed a penalty of her own, leaving the Jet City jammer to serve just over a minute for the two penalties. Working with a 4-3 pack advantage, Jane added 10 points before Nellie returned from her second box trip and 5 more before the jam expired–that made it 168-73 with under 11 minutes to go.
Jet City outscored Blue Ridge 2:1 over the next 8 minutes, thanks largely to a similar ratio of power jams–an official review from Jet City stopped the clock with 3:24 in the game following an apparent late hit and at that point, Blue Ridge trailed 189-82. Blue Ridge were able to push past the century mark after the period clock expired thanks to a penalty for Jet jammer Sierra Fist–but Jet City had secured the win with a 95-point margin, 208-113. Theyâ€™ll meet the winner of next weekâ€™s Kalamazoo D2 playoff at D1 championships in November to play for an overall first place, while Blue Ridge will meet next weekâ€™s second-place winner to play for an overall third.