BERLIN, GERMANY — The third game of day three of Track Queens may have only been for fifth place, but was arguably the most anticipated of the weekend so far. The tournaments biggest rising stars faced off–and Helsinki held off a late charge from Gent to take fifth with a 179-169 win, a result which saw both teams improve their initial placement by four.
A 25-second 4-0 opening jam for Helsinki’s Heli Runteli opened the bout, and three more lead calls gave Helsinki a 14-0 lead before Gale Force hit the box for the Finns. That let Olga Volt undo all their hard work in one jam–but a huge hit from Raivo in the Helsinki pack limited Volt to 17 as the penalty expired.
Successive 4-0 jams from Pussypit and Kimari cancelled each other out–and the teams continued to match each other almost point-for-point over the next ten minutes. It looked like that pattern would change in when Pussypit was boxed for Gent on a major cut–but Fiend followed her to the box seconds later on a cut of her own.
Strong work from the Gent pack combined with a lace malfunction for Fiend saw the Belgians’ lead stretch to 51-39 with 11:43 left in the half. A forearm major on Runteli two jams later let Gent’s Dame Edna Haemorrhage in for an 18-0.
Both teams put up points in each of the next two jams before Runteli and Kimari edged things back towards Helsinki. After Guts’N Glory paid the price for being overambitious trying to steal points with three minutes left in the half, Runteli lined up unopposed to give Helsinki their first lead since their opening salvo, making the score 96-81.
Runteli lined up again for the final jam of the half, and delivered a 4-3 win to leave Helsinki with a 100-84 half-time lead to defend.
A 3-0 jam for Pussypit was soured when the Gent jammer was boxed as she called the first jam of the second half on a forearm major. Kimari put up a 17-0 to make the lead 30 on the powerjam.
Helsinki made that run 51-3 to give themselves a 151-90 lead with 12 minutes gone before Kimari. Stout defence limited the damage to 12.
But that powerjam triggered a revival from Gent as the Belgians picked up a run of lead jam calls, but that didn’t get them any closer than 50 points to Helsinki. As the bout entered its final ten minutes Helsinki edged further in front with a sequence of jam wins before a backblock major put Runteli in the box with just over six minutes left.
Pussypit showed why she’s turned so many heads in Berlin this weekend as she put up multiple untouched scoring passes against a nearly full Helsinki pack to make it 168-138 with a 29-0 jam to give Gent hope of a comeback win. Fiend got lead but picked up a major cut on her first scoring pass in the very next jam to let Dame Edna put up a 24-3, and make it a nine-point game at the two-minute mark.
Kimari called the next jam with a minute left after a 9-8 win to give Helsinki a 10-point lead going into the final jam. Pussypit made it out of the pack first–but a minor penalty on the way through gave Fiend lead and Helsinki the game.
Helsinki ended 179-169 winners to take fifth place and leave Gent at six–with both teams picking up four places on their initial seeding.