[Windy City]: The Fury Wins Local Charity Mini-Tournament, Extends Streak

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CHICAGO, IL — New scrapes and bruises were served up in mass quantities as all four home teams of the Windy City Rollers opened the local WCR 2012 season on January 28th. Bracing against frigid air, the ladies of the Windy City Rollers brought the UIC Pavilion to a boil with a charity tourney pitting all four teams against each other in a single elimination tournament of four 30-minute bouts. In the end, the results ended up mirroring last year’s season standings, with The Fury (undefeated at home since January 2010) narrowly escaping the Manic Attackers in the final (66-52) and the Hell’s Belles romping over the Double Crossers in the third place game, 89-23.

Opening Round: The Fury Puts Out Belles’ Fire, 86-60

The first bout of the evening pitted long-standing champions The Fury against the up and coming Hell’s Belles. The Fury skated the evening for the Avon Walk for Cancer charity. They came to the track with a rookie heavy line up coupled with a core of veterans willing and able to keep the team’s winning streak alive. A fair amount of the 2011 team was missing from the roster; Ska Face was recovering from a broken leg, Sargentina and 2011 captain Ol’ Drrty Go-Go had elected to play exclusively for the All-Star team, and both Tomy Knockers and Tori Adore had retired at the end of 2011.

The Hell’s Belles were skating for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Chicago charity and looking to bring a solid win to the table. Having spent the last two seasons honing their rookies into contention, the Hell’s Belles have every chance to score a shot at the Ivy King Cup this year.

For the majority of the game, it looked the Belles were going to make a huge statement by handing The Fury their first Chicago loss in 24 months. Behind solid jamming from captain Deb Autry, uber-agile Zombea Arthur and lightning quick Phoebe Fi Fo Fum, the Hell’s Belles were rocking The Fury on their heels early on in the bout. They took a 10-8 lead on the second jam that jumped to 24-8 four jams in.

It wasn’t till jam 12 that The Fury retook the lead on a key 8-0 to Yvette Yourmaker, making it 41-34 Fury with about 10 minutes to play.

There was an ever-present air of physical play throughout the bout and the hard-hitting combination on Yameet Ur Doom and captain Mya Ssault for the Hell’s Belles was pivotal. Their efforts, joined with those of Dinah Party, Luxe Capacitor and Brawla Poundstone, kept the pace with The Fury blocking.

The Fury defense was spot on the whole night through. Whether it was a joint wall of pain consisting of T.S. Helliot, Mel Content and Poppy Spock or a one-two punch from veteran/rookie combos like Jackie Daniels and Brooke Fly there was no shortage of punishment being dished out by The Fury. Yvette YourMaker and Take Out Box were working recycling magic in the front and back of the track. Terror Byte and KonichiWOW were churning the packs’ innards as Jailya Roberts was keeping the Hell’s Belles offense on lockdown.

The final stretch of the game was marked by two huge momentum shifts — with the score 45-35 Fury, the Belles’ diminutive crowd favorite Zombea Arthur landed a 15-0 over Lynn E.R. Aggression and put the Belles in front 50-45. But on the very next jam, The Fury’s Kola Loka exploded with a 24-0 powerjam that gave The Fury the biggest lead of a very close game at 69-50, with only enough time for three more jams. That wasn’t enough time for a final rally, and The Fury dodged a bullet, 86-60.

The Fury relied entirely on their veteran jammers Kola Loka, Jackie Daniels and Yvette YourMaker to keep points on the board for them – though they handed the star to rookies Beaux Dozer, Rusty Razorskates and Lynn E.R. Aggression sporadically, the newcomers were blanked on their 5 jams. Kola was far and away the most successful, scoring 62 points on 8 jams for The Fury’s points against 16 on 3 jams for Yvette and 8 on 3 jams for Jackie.

The Hell’s Belles jammer pool was more evenly experienced, which was reflected in their point totals: 27 for Zombea Arthur, 12 for Pominatrix, 10 for Unicoroner, 6 for Deb Autry and 5 for Phoebe Fi Fo Fum.

Opening Round: Manic Attackers Mangle Double Crossers, 103-36

Both the Manic Attackers and the Double Crossers were looking to make an impression on the league Saturday night as they faced off against each other. The Manics made the biggest impression on the scoreboard, though, winning by 67 points in just 30 minutes.

Supporting the Alzheimer’s Association, the Manic Attackers were still gaining momentum from last season with a solid mixture of rookies, newer skaters and their old guard, including Ying O’Fire, back from giving birth to her baby girl during the off-season. The text-in crowd votes, updated all night long through on the scoreboard, showed the Manics to be the favorite to win the mini-tournament.

The Double Crossers skated for the Boys and Girls Club of Chicago, and was looking for some vindication after a winless 2011. Though they were without soon-departing Norma Lee Wright and newly All-Star only Georgia on Your Behind, they did get a long-awaited return from Nina Faile, back in the lineup after missing the entirety of 2011 on injury. Combined with solid jamming from Abbey, Dani Get Your Guns, Sunshine N Painbows and rookie Teddy Slams, there was a sprinkle of hope for the silent ninjas.

However, the Crossers’ attempts to be a physical presence on the track were overshadowed by the intensity of the Manic Attackers defense. Impenetrable and unrelenting, Bork Bork Bork, Mo Vengeance, Lola Getz, Rose Feratu, Ruth Enasia and the rest of the electric blue crew were making it hard for the Double Crossers to negotiate the track.

The short bout was essentially over after six jams; Zoe Trocious kicked off the action for the Manics with a 20-0 over Sunshine N Painbows, Tamikaze matched it on jam 4 with a 20-0 over Dani Get Your Guns, and jam 6 was 15-0 to Zoe. The Crossers only got 4 points up in the first six jams, leaving the score 66-4 barely 10 minutes in.

With a solid line up and a big bag of hard hits, the Manics continued to show the Double Crossers their toughness and gave the rest of the league a taste of what this season will look like, finishing with the biggest win of the night at 103-36.

Zoe Trocious led the Manics with 45 points on just 3 jams, while the Crossers got most of their total from a 22-point performance on 3 jams from Abbey.

Third Place: Hell’s Belles Thump Double Crossers, 89-23

The Hell’s Belles blasted the Double Crossers right off the bat in this one as Unicoroner opened with 12 points, and the Hell’s Belles went up 20-0 in the first three jams before the Double Crossers could answer. Unfortunately, things got considerably worse for the hard-luck Crossers on the fourth jam: team captain Abbey won a 3-2 to get them on the board, but they also lost the very-recently-returned-from-injury Nina Faile to a broken leg.

The margin was almost exactly as lopsided as the Manics / Crossers game, though it was a slightly lower-scoring contest overall. The Hell’s Belles made short work of the Double Crossers, keeping the momentum through most of the bout and tallying a decent spread. The Double Crossers were chipping away at the Hell’s Belles lead, but the points weren’t enough to counter their multiple trips to the penalty box and lack of juice from their jammer pool. The Crossers could only manage 9 points in the first 9 jams, by which point it was 32-9, and there’d be no rally in the offing.

Zombea Arthur and Unicoroner led Belles scoring with 30 each, while Phoebe Fi Fo Fum had an impressive game as a jammer for the Hell’s Belles, scoring 15 points on 3 jams; she had great poise and resilience under the face of punishment from the Double Crossers’ defense. Team captains Mya Ssault and Deb Autry were both dishing out punishment throughout the bout and creating havoc in the front and the back of the pack.

The Double Crossers weren’t able to amass enough points to break the Hell’s Belles lead, but they still managed to go blow for blow and brought some pain of their own to the track. Busty BraBender, Cruel Whip, Julia Rosenwinkel and Berg were all handing out menacing blows to the ladies in red. Abbey once again was the lead scorer for her team with 13; Dani Get Your Guns had 6, Teddy Slams had 3 and Sunshine N Painbows nabbed 1.

In the end, the Belles took it 89-23, just one point less than the Manic Attackers’ 67-point margin of victory in the previous game. Add that to the Belles’ near-upset of The Fury in the opening match, and it looks like the Belles have a very strong case for being in contention for the 2012 Ivy King Cup.

Final: The Fury Stops Manic Attackers, 66-52

After barely getting a win out over the Hell’s Belles earlier in the evening, The Fury looked to hold their ground against the red hot Manic Attackers — and for most of the bout did just that. Strong Fury defense blanked the Manics on 12 of the bout’s 19 jams and had them cruising at 42-14 with about 10 minutes to play, but two huge Manic jams in the homestretch made it a 1 point game with under 5 minutes to play. The Fury stepped up just in time, though, winning the last two jams and the mini-tournament 66-52.

The bout started with Kola Loka facing off against Zoe Trocious, pitting two incredibly talented jammers against each other. Zoe Trocious gained lead jammer thanks to precision blocking from Mo Vengeance, Tamikaze and Ruth Enasia, and rolled to a fired-up 9-0.

That lead was very short-lived, though, as The Fury denied the Manics points for the next three jams and went up 22-9. Both teams were fighting tooth and nail on the track; Bork Bork Bork, Lola Getz, Ying O’Fire and Rose Feratu were bruising and battering their way through the pack clearing lanes, while The Fury were answering back with sniping from T.S. Helliot, precision recycling from Mel Content, Yvette YourMaker and Take Out Box, and punishing blows from Janicide Joplin.

Unlike in the first bout, the Fury was able to get their rookie jammers into the offense, with Rusty Razorskates (13 points) and KonichiWOW (21 points) allowing the Fury to keep key double-threats Jackie Daniels and Yvette Yourmaker in the blocking rotation.

As the bout entered the final 10 minutes at a score of 42-14 Fury, it looked like a runaway win for the defending champs, but the Manic Attackers’ Thievin’ Tyler ignited the crowd with a 20-0 powerjam to put her team to within eight points at 42-34. Even though that was Thievin’s only scoring jam of the night, it still made her the top Manic scorer for the game with 20.

Two jams later, Wreck N Shrew (15 points) landed a 14-4 over Kola Loka (who again led her team with 27). It was 53 Fury, 52 Manics with about 4 minutes to play.

But there were no points in the final two jams for the Manics — and The Fury got an absolutely key lead jammer call from rookie KonichiWOW in the last one, who moved a score of 56-52 to a final of 66-52 with a clock-killing 10-0.

Though the Manic Attackers were stacked with talent and tenacity, The Fury managed to pull their rookie and veteran talent together, proving that keeping them from a third straight Ivy King Cup in 2012 won’t be easy.

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