Skate Odyssey: Windsor Checks Rainy, 210-207

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GENT, BELGIUM–After the first game of day two saw the tournament’s biggest win so far, it was only fitting that game two give the tournament it’s narrowest and most heart-stopping bout so far. The lead changed twice in the final two minutes, and it was Windsor who finished 210-207 victors.

A scrappy opening period saw Windsor get an early lead across the first three jams before Rainy got the better of a two-minute jam that saw multiple penalties assessed on both jammers. The let Missy make it 26-12 in Rainy’s favour.

Duelling powerjams kept things tight over the next few jams with neither team really able to get a grip on the bout across the first fifteen minutes. Windsor got their noses in front courtesy of a big jam from Culverhouse as Cleo Fracture struggled behind Steflon and Trashbag, then managed to punch into the game’s biggest lead as the frustration told on Fracture and she hit the box.

Vix and Sutures finished off the powerjam as Windsor froze Fracture in the box twice, and that left Windsor with an 80-52 lead with 9:24 left in the period. Trashbag was again a dominant force in the Windsor packs next time as Culverhouse put up a natural 12-0 over Fayetal Blonde to make the lead 40.

Rainy’s penalty problems continued as they could not keep more than two players on the track for the rest of the period–but Windsor couldn’t ram home that advantage as they were in almost equally dire straits themselves, and a brief game of jammer musical chairs at the end of period meant it ended109-79.

A morale-boosting 4-0 jam saw Missy Rascal force Cherry back into the Windsor pack after knocking her out of bounds just before entering the rear engagement zone to open the second half. That marked the start of a 31-0 run for Rainy across the first six minutes of the second half before Culverhouse stopped the rot just as Rainy tied things up–she grabbed points with almost seven minutes of the period gone and left Windsor with a 112-110 lead.

Missy Rascal tied it up in jam 10 with a 2-0 as Rainy found a measure of organisation at the back from the jam line–but a forearm major on Randi Razorlegs next time out let Culverhouse restore Windsor’s lead with a 19-0 jam against the perpetually short-handed Rainy City pack despite some hard-hitting face-to-face blocking from Rainy’s Dee Mise.

Sutures showed off some pinpoint turns off Rainy shoulders to make the lead 140-116 after lining up unopposed. Rainy got 3 points back in the next jam, but also saw Dee Mise foul out with 15 minutes remaining.

Randi’s skate just touched the infield during an attempted apex jump on her first scoring pass two jams later, letting Vix in for a 14-5 powerjam that edged Windsor closer to the upset win.

Fracture backblocked her way to the box after Missy had taken a small chunk out of Windsor’s lead, but thankfully for the Mancunians they had a full blocking contingent out there for almost the first time in the half, and they limited Suture’s scoring. That jam left Windsor with a 187-134 lead–and one less Rainy City player to face as Red was removed from play after fouling out at the conclusion of the jam.

A 28-0 run for Rainy as blocker numbers equalised took the game into its final four minutes. A major cut was then called in Windsor’s Culverhouse which let Missy Rascal in for a big powerjam. Oona Bomber and Elle Loco tore holes in the Windsor pack at will as Missy lapped–and with 2:21 left, she gave Rainy a 192-191 lead.

Katastrophic Kandi made it out for lead with most of the track on Culverhouse–she called it after scoring 2 as Culverhouse bore down on the pack. But Culverhouse hit the box for a forearm major as the jam was called–and with 1:15 to go, no opposing jammer and a three-point lead to defend the final jam started.

The lead call for Randi after fifteen seconds looked to have seal the deal, with her points seemingly making the game safe. But she inexplicably hit the pack despite the furious instructions from her bench to disengage as Culverhouse was released from the box and was almost instantly called out on a cut. Culverhouse then powered through to erase the deficit–and picked up the final points at the whistles as the two minutes ended to leave Windsor with a 210-207 victory.

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