BALTIMORE, MD — In a rematch of a narrow, last-jam victory for Carolina in the consolation rounds of the 2010 Easterns, Carolina and Montreal played another nailbiter that came down to the final seconds. This time, though, it was Montreal getting out barely on top, 175-166. Carolina led for almost the entire bout, but every time they threatened to pull away committed a costly jammer penalty that allowed Montreal to claw back within striking distance.
The beginning of this bout was marked by a series of scoreless jams on fast packs, and often the first jammer to get out wasn’t awarded lead; after the opening 10 minutes of play, it was just 7-4 for Montreal. Carolina had the first opportunity for a powerjam when Mange Moi de Cul was boxed on a track cut. Carolina’s lead jammer Eris Discordia called seemingly too early after tying the game with a 3-0, but it set up a big 19-0 for followup jammer Holly Wanna Crackya, and Carolina was up 26-7 with about 17 minutes in the first half.
A three- minute referee timeout stopped action after a 4-0 to Georgia W. Tush, leaving the score at 26-11 and the clock frozen at 15:34. When the game got underway again, Carolina’s Thrashley used her long legs to land an impressive apex leap for lead jammer and a textbook 4-0 — immediately answered by a similarly smooth 4-0 for Montreal’s Ti-Loup. It was 30-15 with 13:22 there.
Nice defense from Chasing Amy, Cheese Grater, Lady J and Lil Mama allowed Georgia W. Tush to outscore Carolina’s Deviled Leggs 4-3 even though Leggs had lead, and things stayed close with a bang-bang 2-2 between Iron Wench and Ginger Clobbers. Montreal continued to tie or win jams all the way to a 37-32 Carolina score with 8:41 left in the half; Carolina called their first timeout there.
JoJo Gadget, Jesse King and Ginger Clobbers were all over Ti-Loup on the next jam, hammering her in the back of the pack; after a couple of scoring passes for Holly Wanna Crackya, she was boxed but Carolina caught a break as Ti-Loup followed her in less than ten seconds later. After Holly’s 13-0, it was 50-32 with 5:51 in the first half. However, Montreal finished the half strong, taking lead jammer on the last six jams of the half and slowly nicking away to make it 58-52 Carolina at the half.
Montreal caught a tough break when Lil’ Mama had lead jammer status on the second jam of the second half, but was boxed on a low block right as she finished her first scoring pass; the floor was open for Thrashley and the jam went 15-4 to Carolina, giving Carolina their largest lead of the game so far at 82-59 with about 26 minutes in the game.
Fortunately for Montreal, they got their own powerjam opportunity next with their ace Iron Wench on the floor; even though Montreal lost all but one blocker to the box during the jam, Wench erased almost all of the Carolina lead with a 20-0 that made it 82-79 three jams in.
Carolina successfully held off the Montreal assault, pushing their lead back to double digits at 99-85 with about 19 minutes left to play. There was a key jam there, as Montreal’s Iron Wench made a critical error when she tried to clear opposing jammer Holly Wanna Crackya’s fallen jammer star from the track; Wench got hit with a major, and Holly reclaimed the star and took the full two minutes to put up 22 points and give Carolina the largest lead of the game at 121-89.
Once again, though, Montreal got a little lucky when Carolina handed them back-to-back powerjams right when they most needed them. Montreal successfully capitalized with jams for Iron Wench and Georgia W Tush that accounted for 21 unanswered points and a score of 121-110 with 12:07 left in the game.
In what seemed like an instant replay of the early-half jam, though, Lil’ Mama had lead for Montreal but was boxed before calling it; what could have been a narrow win for Montreal ended up being a monster jam for Carolina, 24-2 to Celia Fate. It was 145-112 with 9:30 to play – and yet again, Carolina lost their jammer to the box right when they had Montreal on the ropes. Iron Wench converted it to a badly needed 14-0 for Montreal, making it a 19 point game at 145-126 with 7 minutes to play.
Lil’ Mama jumped through for lead jammer and 4 points but inexplicably waited until Carolina’s Holly Wanna Crackya was completely through the pack before calling it; the jam went 4-4. Chaos ruled in the next frame, as both Ginger Clobbers and Iron Wench were boxed as jammers; it eventually went 9-8 Carolina, putting the score at 158-138 with about 3:30 to play. A 4-0 to Lil’ Mama moved it to 158-142 with 2:20.
It seemed that Carolina was one good jam away from the win, but it was not to be. Yet again Carolina committed a key jammer penalty, this time for Thrashley — and only one blocker was out on the track for Carolina while the Montreal defense brought the pack to a complete halt in turn 4 and opened up huge lanes for Tush. An enormous 25-0 gave Montreal their first lead since the game’s opening minutes — 9 points at 167-158 with exactly a minute left to play.
The last jam was Iron Wench for Montreal up against Carolina’s DVS, but Carolina, critically, still facing a 3-2 pack disadvantage. Wench pulled lead jammer, and called the bout – and the game – at 8-8 as soon as time expired.
Montreal goes on to play Dutchland in the consolation round at 6pm; with their two losses, Carolina will be unable to place better than 9th when they play against a yet-to-be-determined opponent on Sunday at 9am.