Madison Roller Derby fans packed into the Alliant Energy Center Saturday, April 29 to take in the final night of the 2017 season.
Rumble Beez 204, Black’n’Bluebirds 157
By the time the smoke cleared a champion would be crowned, but first up, fans were treated to an exhibition bout of the two teams that make up the Mad Wreckin’ Dolls, Madison’s recreational roller derby league. The Rumble Beez (in yellow) got ahead 12-0 by the second jam, thanks to a nine-point jam from Ann Ominous. Kat Scratch Fever got the Black’n’Bluebirds (in blue) right back in with 14 points on the very next jam. The Beez’ jammers started getting into a groove and halfway through the first half had built a 53-37 lead.
The Birds’ defense clamped down, holding the Beez scoreless for three straight jams and allowing their own jammers to get a foothold in the scoring column. A 14-point jam from Automic Fall got the ‘Birds back on top, 55-53. Ann Ominous got her team the lead back on the next jam, netting four of her game-high 59 points. Kat Scratch Fever put the ‘Birds right back on top on the ensuing jam, getting ten of her team-high 52 points. The ‘Birds hung on to their lead, but their blockers couldn’t keep the Beez off the board. Going in to the half, the Black’n’Bluebirds clung to a 98-94 lead.
The Rumble Beez came out fast in the second half. Callegory got eight points in the first jam of the period. Ann Ominous hustled for 15 more on the next jam, and Elf rolled for 15 more to put the Beez up 132-101 five minutes into the second half. Birds’ defense finally closed the floodgates and managed to get some offense going. Lady Painicorn and June Hatchet were able to add points intermittently, but could not really dig into the lead that the Beez had solidified.
Consistently holding onto a lead of around 30 points, The Beez’ defense continued to stave off attempts by the ‘Birds to close the gap. With ten minutes remaining in the half, Ace of Skates and Battle Ax were able to extend their team’s lead with ten- and eight-point jams respectively. The Black’n’Bluebirds could not muster a response. The game ended with the Rumble Beez victorious, 204-157.
Reservoir Dolls 250, Unholy Rollers 206 (stats)
Next came the Grudge Match, the battle for third place. The Reservoir Dolls found themselves occupying the cellar and wanted nothing more than to finish the season with at least one victory. Five minutes into the game, it looked like they would stay there. Jamming for the Unholies, Shananaguns bolted through for 23 points on a power jam and put her team ahead 30-9. The Res Doll blockers dug in, holding their opponents scoreless for five jams and got back on top 38-33 with Tenacious D doing much of the offensive heavy-hitting.
The Res Dolls continued to build their lead aided by Mouse’s 17-point jam, but it was nullified by a 25-point power jam by Gingah Snap, putting the Unholies ahead 91-89. Tenacious D reeled off 26 of her game-high 97 points on the next jam to put the Res Dolls back on top. Fang Dangled got 14 points on the next jam to bring the Unholies to within two points to close out the half. It was a tight match so far, with the Reservoir Dolls leading 115-113.
The intensity continued when the whistle blew to start the second half. The jam clock nearly expired before Tango de Muerte finally burst through the pack for lead jam. After the dust settled, the Unholies were up by three points and three Res Doll blockers were in the penalty box. The Unholies continued to add to their lead until Ladie Who-Ha struck for 25 points on a power jam to put the Res Dolls back on top 154-150. The Res Dolls failed to gain a decisive advantage. Gingah Snap kept her team close, scoring a total of 19 of her team-high 78 points in consecutive jams with help from blockers Splatter Alice and Hello, Sailor.
Tenacious D re-entered the game wearing the star, scoring 19 points in an effort to put the game out of reach. Both defenses stepped up their game, the Unholies keeping their team within striking distance and the Res Dolls keeping their opponents momentarily at bay. Going into the final jam of the game, the Reservoir Dolls were ahead 226-206. Gingah Snap aggressively fought to pull her team through to victory, but spent two stints in the penalty box in the process. Tenacious D rolled for 24 points to seal the win for the Res Dolls, 250- 206. In the league’s 13-year history, the Reservoir Dolls have never finished a season in last place, and they held onto that streak with their 3rd place finish for the year.
Quad Squad 173, Vaudeville Vixens 162 (stats)
After two exciting bouts, the much-awaited championship game was upon us, and it was to be a rematch of last year’s final bout. The undefeated Vaudeville Vixens were eager to bring home Leggy for the first time since 2009, while the Quad Squad yearned for nothing more than to repeat as champions. The Vixens charged right out of the gate, with Black Velvet skating for ten points with help from great blocking by A Magnitude 10 and Bandana Split. Quad Squad’s defense held their opponents scoreless for the next three jams and took the lead on Darkhorse’s 15-point scamper, 24-10. Team Green kept the Vixens at bay with great blocking from Allie Gator and Kentucky Fried Carnage, but finally Jostlin’ Hell broke through for 19 points on a power jam to put the Vixens up 73-58.
Two jams later Darkhorse got the lead back for the Quad Squad, getting 13 of her 62 points. The next jam, Black Velvet spun through the pack for 15- of her team-high 66 points. Despite only scoring one point over the last five minutes of the period, the Vixens’ defense held off the Quad Squad to end the half ahead 92-90.
Black Velvet opened the second half by getting lead jam and cruising for 15 points. The Vixen defense cranked the intensity up a notch, yielding only three points over the first seven minutes of the period. Now down 129-102, the Quad Squad went on the defensive, holding the Vixens scoreless for five minutes with help from blockers Wendy U. Wannadie, Thrill Show, and Crystal Ice. With 12 minutes left in the game, Hammer Abby skated for 19 of her game-high 79 points to get to within 13 points of the Vixens, 143-130.
Four jams later, Hammer Abby rolled for 13 more to put her team ahead 152-151. Blanche Devereauxxx got the lead back for the Vixens on the next jam, and Darkhorse tied it on the next. Two jams later, the Vixens held a 159-155 lead with just over three minutes left. On the next jam, just when it looked like the Vaudeville Vixens were going to add to their razor-thin lead and potentially clinch the win, Shantastic McAwesome got whistled for a track cut. Hammer Abby capitalized on the advantage to net her team a ten-point jam. On the next jam, Blanche Devereauxx nearly got lead but due to a no-pass-no-penalty, that distinction actually went to Darkhorse, who patiently worked against the Vixens defense while her own blockers put the brakes on Blanche and waited for the period clock to expire. The Quad Squad cinched their victory and the championship, 173-162. It is their fifth league championship overall and their second in as many years.
For a look at the season stats overall, click here.
MRD takes the summer off before returning for their 14th season, starting in January 2018. In the meantime, be sure to follow along with and cheer for their all-star Dairyland Dolls, as they travel to represent Madison and compete on the international level. Their next game will be May 20 in Chicago, at the Windy City Rollers.
- Recap by Peter Rabid