Recap: Mohawk Valley Cup Day 1

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First Round Bouts

Play got underway at 9am EST Saturday, August 18 for the first of two days of the Mohawk Cup, a roller derby tournament featuring 8 northeastern U.S. Men’s Roller Derby Association (MRDA) teams. Hosted by the Quadfathers in Rome, NY it is being billed as the first regular season, all-male flat track roller derby tournament.

Bout 1 – Capitol District Trauma Authority vs Mass Maelstrom

The first bout of the morning matched 7th seed Capitol District Trauma Authority (MRDA unranked) of Albany, NY against 3rd seed Mass Maelstrom (#10 MRDA) of Fitchburg, MA. Maelstrom played what appeared to be a conservative first round bout saving energy and resources for later matchups against higher ranked teams. At the half, the Maelstrom had outscored the Trauma Authority 118 to 22. No Big Deal and Stryker both posted jams of 20 points or more, but nothing like the over 30 point jams we’d see in the next couple bouts. The final score tightened the score ratio from the half with the Maelstrom winning this first bout 231 to the Trauma Authority’s 74.

The Maelstrom advanced to the semi-finals Sunday morning.
The Trauma Authority moved to the consolation semi-finals Saturday afternoon.

Bout 2 – Quadfathers vs. Race City Rebels

The second bout’s top seed took a different approach as the 2nd seed Race City Rebels (#7 MRDA) of Indianapolis, IN never seemed to ease up on the 6th seed Quadfathers (#16 MRDA) of Utica, NY. Power jams on the Rebels side of the scoreboard began with Doc Flatliner’s 15 points in the fourth jam and continued routinely through the bout. One Nate Stand posted a 35 points in the 10th jam of this period. Twice in the first period the bout stopped for injuries to Quadfather jammers, the second sending Peach to the hospital for a shoulder injury – an injury that would remove him from the remainder of the tournament. The Quadfathers scored 14 points in 4 of the first period’s 22 jams while the Rebels racked up 183.

The second half was a repeat of the first with jammer Die Lon being taken out the remainder of the game with an ankle injury in the second jam and One Nate Stand scoring 30 points in the 6th jam. This period witnessed the event’s first game expulsion for a Gross Misconduct for Sir Nixalot near the end of the 8th jam. Final Rebels 380, Quadfathers 31.

The Rebels advanced to the semi-finals Sunday morning.
The Quadfathers moved to the consolation semi-finals Saturday afternoon.

Bout 3 – Pioneer Valley’s Dirty Dozen vs. Connecticut Death Quads

The closest seeding provided the closest bout of the first day of derby, as well as the first ranking upset. These two teams met only 2 weeks early in Easthampton (PVRD home) with the Dirty Dozen (#12 MRDA) taking the Death Quads (#13 MRDA) 191 to 173. From that bout there were no roster changes for the Death Quads and the Dozen’s Ruppert (the skater formerly known as Mongo) returned for his first bout back from a 2011 season injury.

The first period was a tightly contested one with the Dozen getting off to a small lead early and never giving it up. Both teams play a very physical game and the Dozen played a lot of time management jams rather than basic “4 and call it”. The Death Quads began the scoring momentum change in the last 4 of 26 jams keeping the Dozen scoreless this period. The half saw the score at a remarkably close and low scoring 59 to 37, advantage Dozen.

The Death Quads returned from the locker room charged and took control of the second half from the very first jam. Over the next 7 jams, the Dozen would only score as many points while the Death Quads posted 15. When the lead changed in jam 10 as Zak Sabbath took advantage of Jurasskick Park’s major cut track for 13 points, the Dozen had the first 2 of 7 consecutive scoreless jams. Jurasskick Park ended the poi nt drought with a 4-4 jam against Zak in the 16th, but by then the Death Quads had brought the score steadily out of reach with 110 points to the Dozen’s 74. Final score was the Death Quads second and greatest spread over the Dirty Dozen 138 to 92.

The Death Quads advanced to the Semi-Finals Sunday morning.
The Dirty Dozen moves to the Consolation Semi-Finals Saturday evening.

Bout 4 – Vermont Men’s Roller Derby Mean Mountain Boys vs. New York Shock Exchange

The last of the preliminary rounds matched the top seed New York Shock Exchange (#3 MRDA) against the bottom seed Mean Mountain Boys (MRDA unranked) of Burlington, VT. The Mean Mountain Boys played a roster short on players but full of drive and heart. The Shock Exchange regularly rotated their regular jammers (Ladies Knight and Jonathan R) with Abe Drinkin and Sammy Dangerfield. By the end of the bout, more than half the Shock Exchange roster would visit the jammer line.

While they didn’t keep the hottest of heat on the unranked Mean Mountain Boys, they certainly didn’t ease up much either. An upper leg injury sidelined Vermont’s high scorer, Wraith, in the 19th (of 20) jam of the first period, keeping him out for the remainder of the bout. Jonathan R and Ladies Knight each scored 35 point jams in the first period while Vermont scored only 3 times: in the 4th jam when neither team earned lead, and in the 12th and 13th jams – the two times their packs helped their jammers to lead. At the half Vermont had 14 to the Shock Exchange’s 273.

Vermont struggled even more in the second period without Wraith, but responded by cycling all but a couple skaters to the jammer line. Abe Drinkin and Starsky each earned 35 point jams during the second period and the century marks kept dropping, with the Shock Exchange earning more than 14 points a jam on average. New York Shock Exchange ended it with Ace of Skates’ 30 pointer, 537 to 22 over the Mean Mountain Boys.

The Shock Exchange advances to the Semi-Finals Sunday morning.
The Mean Mountain Boys move to the Consolation Semi-Finals Saturday evening.

Consolation Semi-Finals

Play continued with bouts at 5pm and 7pm for all four teams on the losing sides of their brackets in the tournament’s consolation Semi-Finals. All four teams had played and half had suffered player injuries in their preceding bouts.

Bout 5 – Capitol District Trauma Authority vs Quadfathers

From the first whistle, the Trauma Authority controlled this bout. The Quadfathers were certainly hurting short Peach and Die Lon staying off the jammer line after icing his ankle for the hours between bouts. However, it was less the Quadfather’s jammer rotation shortcomings than the Trauma Authority packs’ command of the track – from scrum starts that worked, to speed control, to playing extremely tight non-engaging offense on power jams. Despite the Quadfathers earning lead jammer 10 times to the Trauma Authority’s 12 in the first half, they only scored 31 points to the Trauma Authority’s 119.

In the second half, power jams super charged the Trauma Authority as the Quadfathers’ jammers ran into a rash of penalty trouble. R. Sole started the period out with a 30-0 jam while B. Sherz took a trip to the box for a major cut track. In jam 16, Unwired matched that 30-0 while Grambo visited the box. Several other power jams and big scoring runs found the Capital District Trauma Authority advancing to fight for 5th with 306 points while the Quadfather’s 57 points earned them a spot to play for 7th.

Bout 6 – Dirty Dozen vs Mean Mountain Boys

The Dirty Dozen reprised their long-running jams from their earlier bout in this bout and this time it had a profound effect on the shorter-rostered Mean Mountain Boys. Early on the Dozen relied on converting jams where they just barely earned lead jammer to better point differentials like jam 2 where Bennar scored a 14 – 7 jam in 90 seconds of play rather than accepting a point or two for reaching the pack first after the initial pass and calling it. The effect on the Mean Mountain Boys, playing a shorter roster and having more recently played against the Shock Exchange, exhausted the Boys’ packs and jammers. Several times the Boys intentionally fielded only 3 blockers in order to rest their roster.

For the first half of the period, it was a lot of steady, long, high point differentials with scores for both teams that advanced the Dozen. 25 and 29 point power jams for Jurasskick Park in the 16th and 18th jams put the win out of reach of the Mean Mountain Boys by the end of the first period with a score of 147 to 33 advantage Dozen. With the undying smile of Vermont’s Ferarri Kid inspiring them, he was the only jammer during this day of play to have the jam called for him for injury who returned to the track four jams later. The Dozen’s long jams had short-term effect, but Vermont had a better scoring game even though they looked more tired in this second half. Final score Dirty Dozen 298, Mean Mountain Boys 75.

The Dozen advanced to play for 5th on Sunday against the Trauma Authority. The last time these two teams met (June 2012), the game was remarkably close for the yet-to-be ranked Trauma Authority showing remarkable game smarts against the Dozen’s years of experience. The Mean Mountain Boys take on the Quadfathers Sunday afternoon to determine 7th place.

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