This past Saturday, July 9th, Connecticut’s Yankee Brutals bumped skates with visiting rollergirls: the Hellions of Troy. As the crowd filed in eagerly and the skaters warmed up, the excitement was tangible. Roller Derby victories seem to result from any number of strategies and skill sets. Sometimes you can see victory in skilled blocking – other times due to speed strategies. This bout, however, jammer control played a major part.
Revengela started for the hometown team up against Baby Nuclear – a match-up that was repeated seven times (dang! that’s 20%!) throughout the bout. Nuclear pulled in the lead for the Hellions of Troy and started with a quick four points for the New Yorkers. Dee Nasty took it right back in the following jam after the Hellion jammer, Flexi Wheeler, was called out on a penalty. Unfortunately, this early give and take of lead jammer status was short lived. After Paula G. Imnaughty took lead and 4 points in a massive roller skating assault in the 7th jam, the tide turned against the Yankee Brutals and lead jammer status was taken again and again by the Hellions of Troy.
In the last eleven jams of the first half, the Yankee Brutals were kept to just a single lead jamming status by Revengela in the 13th. The Hellion’s blockers, like Epic Kate-tastrophe and Masochistic Molly, were doing a great job of holding back the Brutals jammer long enough to get their own jammer into a lead position. While jammer control is a big deal, it doesn’t prevent the opposing team from scoring. The Hellions stumbled with penalties and trips to the box a few times in the first half opening the door for Pow-Pow Powerwheels and Dee Nasty to score 15 and 10 points respectively amidst the lead jammer drought.
The first period ended 61 to 42 in favor of the visiting Hellions.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate the impressive mastery of DJ LOKASH. DJ LOKASH does a great job of keeping the pace of the bout with intense tunes. He keeps track of the action on the track and changes the music to fit! Great job DJ LOKASH! As an aside, I really wish that I understood the mysterious ways of the turntable.
Annnnd… Back to Derby.
The second period started with the same pairing as the first: Revengela and Baby Nuclear. This time, it was Revengela that took lead- breaking the Hellion streak of lead jamming status. This wouldn’t be the only time Revengela broke the momentum of Troy either. In fact, Revengela alone came through with over half of the lead jamming executions for the evening! But when Vengie wasn’t jamming, the Brutals had a hard time breaking through the pack. This unfortunate predicament resulted in a tsunami of points by the visiting team – countered only by the occasional break through or power jam by a Connecticut jammer. The earned points in the second period speak volumes of Hellion’s lead jammer control: +76 for Troy + 26 for Connecticut.
This is not to say that the Connecticut team was sitting idly. Certainly not! Paula G. Imnaughty, in particular, played very aggressively in the second half. With big hit after big hit, whips, and great motivation dancing (like you wouldn’t believe), Paula G. made sure that the Hellions were earning their successes.
Still, as the clock timer ticked to conclusion the final score stood 134 to 68 in favor of the Hellions.
Let’s check some stats!
Hellions of Troy
Hanna Solo: 59 points (9 jams/7 lead)
Baby Nuclear: 41 points (13 jams/9 lead
Pork Slap: 30 points (7 jams/6 lead)
Pow-Pow Powerwheels: 25 points (5 jams/1 lead)
Dee Nasty: 22 points (12 jams/1 lead)
Revengela: 10 points (7 jams/5 lead)
As mentioned above, the Hellions controlled lead jamming status with an iron fist. Lead totals for Troy were 24 compared to 9 for Connecticut. Yikes!
Hellions of Troy: Baby Nuclear
Yankee Brutals: Revengela