The 2018 Home season came to a close on Saturday, April 28th at the Alliant Energy Exhibition Hall.
Vaudeville Vixens 205, Reservoir Dolls 231 (STATS)
In the first game of the night, the Vaudeville Vixens took on the Reservoir Dolls. The Res Dolls won their previous meeting with the Vixens in game 2 by 40 points; however, both teams came into this game looking to end their season on a high note after having lost in the semi-finals earlier this month. The Reservoir Dolls got out to a quick start with a 34-0 lead, having earned lead jammer in each of the first 5 jams and keeping Vixens scoreless. The crowd roared as Shantastic McAwesome earned lead jammer for the Vixens in the 6th jam and picked up the first 10 points for her team. In the next jam, Black Velvet took advantage of a power start and some offense from teammate DieAFram to get lead jammer and another 5 points for her team. Unfortunately, she found herself in the penalty box at the end of the jam, allowing the Res Dolls a power start of their own. Jammer penalties would play a major part of the 1st half as 14 of 18 total jammer penalties happened in the first half, and all 11 of those penalties were within the first 10 jams of the game.
Momentum shifted back to the Vixens following the timeout called prior to the 11th jam. Shantastic McAwesome again earned lead jammer status despite excellent blocking by Calla Dewilde who seemed to be everywhere on the track. The excellent offense and defense by Vixens’ blockers DieAFram, LaMarche Madness, Hoppe Go Lucky, and Wolframmer helped clear the way for Shan to earn 18 points, while holding the Reservoir Dolls to just 4 points. Two jams later, Dalek Doll put up 21 points for the Vixens in the highest single jam for a skater for either team. Yet as it sometimes is with roller derby, this came in the same jam that the Res Dolls put up their highest scoring single jam with 20 points from Lady WhoHa. The Vixens would come to within 16 points of the Res Dolls, but trailed by 24 at the half.
The second half started much like the first as the Reservoir Dolls held the Vixens scoreless for the first 4 jams. By the end of the 10th jam of the half, the Res Dolls had built a 53 point lead. Whereas the first half was mired in jammer penalties and longer, higher scoring jams, the second half was quite the opposite with shorter, lower scoring jams. Both teams were able to spring their jammer before the other team could make multiple scoring passes. Eight times in the half a jam would end with either no points or only a single point scored.
The streak of low scoring jams came to an end in the 27th jam of the half when Vixens’ jammer, Black Velvet, capitalized on her 11th lead jammer status of the game and a power jam to pick up 19 of her team leading 67 points. The Vixens had clawed to within striking distance of the Reservoir Dolls. In the next jam, the Res Dolls’ veteran and ever patient jammer, Mouse, waited for the right opportunity and exploded through the pack for lead jammer and extended the Reservoir Dolls’ lead. It would come down to the final jam. Vixen’s jammer, Jostlin’ Hell, got through the pack first but did not earn lead jammer due to a no pass-no penalty call. She was around the track and scored a grand slam before the night’s highest scoring jammer, Lady WhoHa (100 points), would escape the pack, earning lead jammer and the ability to end the game. Reservoir Dolls won the grudge match with the Vaudeville Vixens, 231-205.
Unholy Rollers 136, Bad Squad (Quad Squad) 149 (STATS)
In the final bout of the season, The Unholy Rollers faced off against the two-time defending champion Bad Squad (Quad Squad). The Unholy Rollers were 1-2 in the regular season and made it to the final with a semi-final win over the Vaudeville Vixens. The Bad Squad went 0-3 but picked up their first win of the year in the upset victory over the Reservoir Dolls in the semi-finals. There is no questioning the level of talent on both teams, so it was anyone’s guess as to who would skate away with the title of Champion.
The Unholies drew first blood with 3 points in the 2nd jam and lead 13-5 after 3 jams. The Bad Squad kept pace with the Unholy Rollers and took the lead after the 8th jam. The very next jam, however, the Unholies took the lead right back on a 4-0 jam from Gingah Snap and strong blocking from the Manipulator, Hell Woods, Pegasass, and Rhubarbarian. They would extend their lead to 43-20 over the next 6 jams, including 14 points from Shananaguns. The next 10 jams would be very tight and evenly matched as neither team had more than a single scoring pass. That streak ended when Gingah Snap of posted 18 points while Spam (of the Bad Squad) posted 14. The Bad Squad got caught with their hand in their evil bag of tricks and began filing into the penalty box, leaving only 1 blocker in the pack. Despite this, the Bad Squad was able to hold the Unholy Rollers to only 8 points, thanks in part to the individual blocking of Crocodopolis and Anita Donut. The half ended with the Unholy Rollers on top with a commanding 95-56 lead.
Just as it was the best of times and the worst of times, this bout was the tale of two halves. Bad Squad came out in the second half looking determined; they held the Unholies scoreless for the first 3 jams of the second half. Not going down without a fight, the Unholies took the next 2 jams with 3 points from both Gingah Snap and Shananaguns. Unholy Rollers still had a commanding lead of 101-68. The tide began to turn green in the 6th jam of the half, when jammer penalties started to take their toll. Bad Squad blockers Poison Dart, Murderface, Sharknado Allie, and Electrikill Disturbance were able to help their jammer, Spam, on the power jam as well as successfully contain the Unholies during the penalty kill. The Bad Squad would hold the Unholies to only 1 point over the next 6 jams.
Slowly but surely the Bad Squad kept scratching away at the Unholy’s lead. Finally, in the 18th jam of the half, the Bad Squad would wrestle the lead away from the Unholy Rollers on a 13 point jam from their leading scorer, Upset. The Bad Squad continued to put up 3 and 4 points a jam while holding the Unholy Rollers mostly scoreless and had a 133-114 lead with 1:07 remaining on the game clock. A win was far from guaranteed as once again, the Bad Squad was again taking up residence in the penalty box. Two blockers were sitting and one standing leaving only 1 blocker on the track going into what could be the final jam of the game. The Unholy Rollers sent Shananaguns to the line against Upset and Chick Chick Boom would be the only Bad Squad blocker to start the jam. Shananaguns earned lead jammer status and began working to pick up as many points as she could while Bad Squad blockers continued to file in and out of the penalty box. Bad Squad jammer, Upset, wasn’t going down without a fight and was out of the pack and picking up points for her team. When the burst of 4 whistles finally ended the jam, Shananaguns had picked up 22 of her 61 points and Upset had countered with 16 of her 61 points and secured the win. Bad Squad took the win, 149-136.