On the track we had two very compelling bouts, with storyline a plenty. In the Third Place Bout we would see if the Rollettes could get their first win of the year and avoid a frustrating O-for Season. Their opponents, the Shevils, were coming off of a heart-breaking defeat in the Semi-Finals and wanted to end the season on a high note. And that great grudge match was just a precursor to the 2014 Brewcity Bruisers Championship Bout. In one corner we had 3-Time Defending Champs, the Crazy Eights. In the other corner we had the Ladies in Pink, Maiden Milwaukee. Would we see the first perfect season in BCB history? If that was the biggest story of the night it would make for great drama on its own, but what if (SPOILER ALERT!!!) I told you 60 minutes wasn’t enough time to answer that question??
Third Place Bout: Rushin’ Rollettes 203 – Shevil Knevils 132
Up to this point in the season the Rollettes had played 4 BCB bouts, and were still looking for that first win. Four months ago was the closest they had come all season when they nearly snuck up on the Shevils in the last jam. Unfortunately for them, on that night it wasn’t meant to be. Would tonight be any different? At first it didn’t look like it.
Photo Credit: Bruce Berna
The bout got off to a rough start for the Rollettes as their jammer, Frau Kapow, received a back block penalty in just the second jam and the Shevils opened up a quick 14-3 lead. As the Rollettes have all season, they fought back very hard. The Rollettes went on a defensive run the likes of which they hadn’t seen all year, and didn’t let the Shevils score another point over the next 9 jams. The Rollettes took full advantage of this fabulous defense and went on a great 36-0 run to take a 39-14 lead with 15 minutes left in the first half. After a quick 3-0 jam by Shevils’ Gynomite, the Rollettes went on another great run of 15-0 to take a very nice 56-17 lead with just over 8 minutes left in the half. Sensing the bout possibly slipping, a much needed timeout allowed the Shevils to regroup and stop the bleeding. Unfortunately for the Shevils they just could not force Rollettes jammer penalties or get enough lead jams to narrow the gap much before halftime. With the last 8 minutes playing to nearly a stalemate we went to the break with the Rollettes up 95-62 and only 30 minutes away from the sweet taste of their first victory of the year.
With the Rollettes looking for their first win and the Shevils needing to really come up with something special to make the comeback, the second half got off to one of the more unusual starts we’ve seen all season. During the second jam, Rollettes jammer Carrie A. Hacksaw was issued an illegal procedure penalty for an issue with her arm band number. The confusion created along with some great jamming by Shevils’ jammer Scooter instantly changed momentum and allowed the Shevils to close the gap to 99-77. Six jams later, Scooter and Hacksaw lined up as jammers again, only this time with very different results. After securing lead jammer status, Scooter was called for a track cutting penalty which meant we were in store for a full 2-minute jam. The Rollettes took full advantage of the two minutes and put up an astonishing 28 points, opening their lead to 131-93 with 20 minutes left. As needed, the Rollettes also play good, clean derby, only earning one penalty over the next 10 minutes and holding an increasingly comfortable lead reaching 152-109 at the 10 minute mark. With the result still in question we were just one key jam away from either the Rollettes sealing the win, or allowing the Shevils right back into the bout. All of that was answered in Jam 17 of the second half. A jammer penalty by outstanding Shevils rookie Insane Clown allowed Hacksaw to gain an uncontested 24 points and as Wayne Larrivee would say, “There…is…your…dagger!!!” The Rollettes played solid defense and transitioned brilliantly to offense when needed the rest of the way, securing the win at 203-132. It was a tough season for both teams, but there were still many positives to be taken and I fully expect both teams to come back stronger than ever next year to put forth a real challenge for the championship.
Championship Bout: Crazy Eights 164 – Maiden Milwaukee 154 (OT)
And now it is time to move on to the MAIN EVENT!!! All the training, bruises, hangovers after the after parties all led to this one bout. All that was left to the 2014 Brewcity Bruisers Home Season was 60 minutes, or was it???
Photo Credit: Bruce Berna
With so much at stake both teams came to the track focused and using their absolutely best rotations hoping to get off to the all important fast start. For the Eights, the beginning of this bout looked exactly like their previous 4. Behind a very polished jammer rotation of EmFatale, Lady Pulv….. I mean Zo-Tay, Sharkira, and Latina Heat the Eights jumped out to a quick 29-11 lead after the first 10 minutes. Then, in Jam 9 a jammer penalty by Maiden’s Slayerah allowed EmFatale to score 23 unanswered points and give the Eights a commanding 52-11 lead. At this point it looked certain that the Eights would to cruise to their 4-pete and it could even be heard in the stands that a certain individual, who will remain nameless, predicted a 40-point win for the Eights. Oh but derby can be fickle. Derby, however, is anything but predictable.
Up 52-11, the Eights were struck with back-to-back jammer penalties by Zo-Tay (See Pulvie I got it right this time!!!) and Sharkira while the Maidens countered with BCB All-Stars Stormin’ DaCastle and Frank Hurt’r and just like that the lead was gone. It was 52-41 with 11 minutes left in the half and we had a bout on our hands! With great pack work and splitting lead jam status with the Eights (something no team has even come close to doing this season) the Maidens kept it within 15 and just waited for their chance. With about 5 minutes left in Jam 19 Sharkira was called for a Forearm jammer penalty which allowed Stormin’ DaCastle an open track and the time to close the gap to 62-61. The Maiden’s Thunderpants! (watch for her random appearances on Fox 6) gained lead jam in the very next jam and tied things up at 62. The Eights came right back with 2 quick points in Jam 21, but the Maidens won Jam 22 3-1. What does all that mean? It means after 30 minutes we were tied 65-65 and now we were in store for a winner-take-all 30 minutes (or so) of derby.
With the crowd on the edge of their seats everyone could not wait to see what the next 30 minutes had in store, and I will go on record saying that the next 30+ minutes of derby was the single most exciting half of derby I have ever seen. Between the emotion of the skaters, crowd, and lack of emotion from the officials (Quick shout out to all the officials who I thought were absolutely great and called an absolutely brilliant bout) if there was ever something to show people who had never seen derby before, this was it.
Behind the jamming of Stormin’, Super Hera, and T-Pants! the Maidens took lead jam in 4 out of the first 5 jams to start the half and opened up a little 79-71 lead. Then in Jam 6 Zo-Tay got called with her 4th jammer penalty of the bout (she would end with 5) and the Maidens pounced to open it up to 87-75. Stormin’ and the Maidens took Jam 7 4-0 and it was 91-75 with 20 minutes left. Just as the Maidens began to see their chance to put away the Eights, a track cut penalty by Maidens jammer Super Hera slowed the momentum and the Eights cut the lead back down to 91-88. With a pack of blockers that continued to control the pace and clearly frustrate the Eights, the Maidens were able to hold a slim lead up to the 12 minute mark and Jam 15 when chaos ensued. Another jammer penalty by Zo-Tay (we will have a nice conversation about these) allowed Frank Hurt’r to score 20 unanswered points and the Maidens took a 120-94 lead with 10:15 left in the 2014 season. After winning Jam 16 3-0 the Maidens were looking at a 29 point lead and just needed to skate clean and safe to bring home their first championship. Jam 17 was anything but; a jammer penalty by Super Hera (she would end the night with 4 uncharacteristic jammer penalties) combined with a 12-0 score from Sharkira closed the gap to 125-106 with 7:30 left.
Jam 18 saw EmFatale take a very well skated 7-6 jam over Frank Hurt’r, but Jam 19 saw the Maidens momentum swing back as Stormin’ took a natural Grand Slam 5-0 from Zo-Tay and we had the Maidens up 136-113 with just over 4:30 remaining. Jam 20 saw another Super Hera jammer penalty, but against the great defense of the Maidens the Eights could only close the gap to 138-122 and drain another 2 minutes off the clock. Sharkira took Jam 21 4-0, but Stormin’ DaCastle beat Zo-Tay in a very thrilling Jam 22 8-7, to give the Maidens a 146-133 lead with 30 seconds left. A lead jam by the Maidens and we would have new champs. Maidens holding the Eights to less than a 13 point advantage and we would have new champs. What actually happened next was a thing of legend…
As Sharkira and Frank Hurt’r prepared to square off for the most important jam of the season the crowd was in a frenzy. Could this really be the end of the streak? All the Maidens needed was to get lead jammer. But with a super sneaky move Sharkira got through and became lead jammer. Now she had the task of outscoring Frank by 13 points in a single jam. Sharkira made a first pass and Frank still didn’t clear the pack: boom, 5 points down. Sharkira made a second pass and boom, there went another 5 points. All of a sudden, we had a 3 point bout with Sharkira coming around on another scoring pass and Frank clearing the pack. With Frank closing in on scoring points as quickly as she could Shakira passed one last Maidens blocker and called off the jam. But how many points did she get? What was the final score? After a quick official review she got the 3 points, and we were tied at 146-146 after 60 hard minutes of derby. With all the drama of possibly the most important jam in BCB history, could it be possible for Overtime to beat it?
In short, no. But before I get to that let me do a quick rundown of how OT works in the derby world. Its a 2 minute jam, no call offs from the jammers. There are no initial jammer passes so the scoring begins immediately. At the end of 10 total hours of derby through the season we arrived at this point where 2 minutes would decide the champion. And that champion may have been decided before the jam even started. A penalty by Maidens blocker Shevilrine carried over from the end of regulation and meant the Maidens were short a blocker. Then an Illegal Procedure penalty on Rejected Seoul meant the Maidens were to start this winner-take-all jam with 2 blockers against the Eights’ 4. At the end of the jam, that was just too much to overcome and the Eights took the OT Jam 18-8 and the 2014 Championship 164-154.
And so the 2014 Brewcity Bruisers Home Season has come to an end. A special shout out and thank you to all those skaters who are hanging it up as each of you have brought something special to the league. Also, I want to remind everyone that just because Home Season is over doesn’t mean the derby action is. Coming up May 30th-June 1st come check out the BCB All-Stars and Battlestars take on leagues from around the Midwest. And if that isn’t enough for you come check out the teams June 14th at the Waukesha Expo center. For more information just check the website. And finally as I sign off recap duties for the year, thank you to everyone for reading and supporting this blog. Could this become something new with a special Coach Chad blog thru the summer? I guess we’ll just wait and see.