On March 14, 2015, the West Kootenay Roller Derby league kicked off the 2015 season with a double-header rematch of last year’s final games. The 2014 championship title and Golden Boot trophy went to Castlegar’s Dam City Rollers, and Nelson’s Killjoys had something to say about as of 5:00 PM– something they had been waiting to say for 8 months.
The first game started with a roar, the defending champion Dams coming out strong – a little too strong, and feisty jammer MacDeath found herself in the penalty box giving the Killjoys an early lead. At halftime the score was 149-107 for the Killjoys, but the Dams didn’t miss a beat (or a chance to smash Killjoys jammers) and it was clear that this would be a very close and exciting game. Could the Killjoys maintain this lead with only 8 skaters facing the Dams’ 13, when a full extra line meant a big difference in rest and recovery time (or lack thereof)? Alongside veteran Sweet Vengeance, MacDeath continued to be a jamming force and the Killjoys later likened her to a “Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm-Flailing Tube Man” you see outside a car dealership, her movements so hard to anticipate that she found cracks in walls and blew them open. MacDeath left it all on the track in her last game in the WKRD before relocating across BC the very next morning, while Sweet Vengeance continued to duck through holes amidst her own derby retirement rumours. Nonetheless, the consistency and patience of the Killjoys paid off and even when it looked like purple blocker Missy Helliot might knock green jammer CC into next week, CC’s flashy footwork saved her more than once and the challenging Killjoys’ short bench eked out a hard-fought win at 229-253.
At 7:00 PM, after a halftime full of refreshments and BBQ, last year’s 3rd place winners Valley Brutality faced Rossland Trail RollerGirls, and RTRG was determined to rewrite history this season. With 7 Brutality skaters vs RTRG’s 10, short benches meant both teams had to play smart to control the game. RTRG’s seasoned jammer Ash scored a 28 point jam early in the game to give her team the edge. Not to be outdone, Brutality jammer Shannon GoHurty did what she does best – put her hard shoulders and fast feet to the task and set about punching through RTRG walls. RTRG had clearly been honing in their game, thanks in part no doubt to the hockey backgrounds of many skaters, and as the score gap widened it became clear that one full-contact sport begets another – never more obvious than when Dare U sent a jammer flying, or Saskwatch muscled through a defending wall. Valley Brutality fought to the last second, but nonetheless RTRG came out victorious at 171-279.
Both games had the full house of fans screaming, skaters go flying, drinks toasting, and referees struggling not to give themselves whiplash – the things great derby are made of! If this is a taste of what WKRD has to offer in 2015, every game is going to be a sell-out and better than the last, as 4 teams fight yet again towards the coveted Golden Boot. The next double-header, Killjoys vs Valley Brutality and RTRG vs Dam City Rollers, is April 18th and is not to be missed!!!!
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