Last weekend saw little action that is likely to have significant impact on the playoffs picture. A few results at Wild West Showdown give indications of teams who may well have the calibre to make an impact later in the year, in particular from two debutants–newly minted WFTDA members Boulder County and Calgary put up three significant wins in their first three sanctioned games to debut at 49 and 75 respectively in Flat Track Stats’ rankings and lay now a strong marker for playoff contention later in year. Both teams currently have very light confirmed schedules for the rest of the year, so it remains to be seen if either can build on this success and make a push for playoff qualification. Boulder County have a bout with Tampa on June 29, just before the cutoff, that looks likely, at the moment, to hold the key to the success of their season.
Another team that turned a few heads at Wild West Showdown was Junction City. Several of the best blockers from the 2013 Wasatch roster–including Team USA squad member Melanie Pfister–have made the half-hour journey north up the I-84 to play for their former local rivals. We have been assured these transfers are merely for logistical reasons, and not due to any drama within Wasatch or with management. Regardless, this should strengthen the team for the season, but although the team did outperform expectation at Wild West Showdown, it wasn’t by much. Still, ones to watch.
In the MRDA, Chicago’s Bruise Brothers lost 385-82 to last season’s #9 ranked team the Race City Rebels and 273-114 to fellow MRDA debutants the Cincinnati Battering Rams. The latter of the two might be hoping to challenge for a place at the MRDA championships later this year, and getting revenge for a 140-130 loss in their only previous meeting with the guys from Chicago is a perfectly respectable way to begin that campaign, though they will have to improve to make it to the top table.
As ever, you can see all these scores and every other score for every game between established teams over on our scores page. If you don’t see your team’s scores there, please do email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get it updated.
On a lighter note, we loved this video of 23 Awkward Derby Dance Moves from last season’s feelgood story the Hammer City Roller Girls
This weekend features a few match-ups that will be significant to the Division 1 playoff picture. Chief among these is an old east-region rivalry: Charm City taking on Steel City. While the teams didn’t play in 2013, their four games over the preceding three years all went the way of the team from Baltimore–but there is a very significant chance that Steel will finally take the win this time. Charm City has been in near-uninterrupted freefall since ECDX last year, with a chaotic ninth-place finish at last year’s Salem playoffs capping a disjointed season. One thing the numbers don’t take into account though is IM Pain: she missed playoffs through injury last year, and is as important to Charm City as practically any skater in the top two divisions is to their team. FTS gives Charm a 9% chance of winning and predicts a fairly comfortable Steel City win, so this is definitely one to watch with interest.
Also worth watching will be Cincinnati. Having slid almost 30 places since their last-gasp win in the opening game of the Fort Wayne playoffs they face a Brandywine team that has been threatening to break through for a little while. Cincinnati currently hold their lowest-ever FTS rating, but the WFTDA rankings are yet to catch up with this change; if Brandywine perform to expectation, this is likely to be exceptionally useful for the progress of their 2014 season.
In MRDA action, the only game features another debutants as Fargo-Moorhead’s Rock City Riot (MRDA #18) take on Red Deer’s Dreadnaughts.
In more ephemeral action the LA Derby Dolls will be streaming the mixer that closes out their annual March Radness bootcamp, featuring trainers, attendees, and assorted Ri-ettes.