14 April 2013

Bout Recap: HARD April Double Header

Before we get to today's bout recap, an announcement:

This will be the last recap we post. We're at a point in our fandom where we'd rather just watch bouts than write about them, and there are so many other things on the calendar that we're lucky to catch a bout every month or two. So Pack Is Here is retiring. You'll still see us at bouts now and then, but without the notebook. Thank you to all the skaters and leagues that inspired our love for the game, and we look forward to watching the evolution of this wonderful sport.

So, without further ado, let us fill you in on what happened last night in Connecticut!

Hartford Area Roller Derby hosted a double-header, with the Wailers up against the Scranton Roller Radicals and the Bedrockers facing Shoreline's Bella Donnas. The A-team bout went off first, and it was quite the nail-biter.

Bout 1: Hartford Wailers vs. Scranton Roller Radicals

Of the first ten jams, the Radicals had lead jammer for seven of them, and took what appeared to be a strong 54-21 lead. Then something clicked for the Wailers, and with a couple of power jams they switched things up, grabbing an 89-58 lead over the Radicals with 13 minutes left in the first period. It seemed like they had things sorted at halftime, sitting 31 points ahead, but that halftime pep talk can be a real deal-changer sometimes.

The Radicals came screaming back from the break, taking the lead back over the course of seven jams, and holding it until there were less than ten minutes left on the clock. Hartford got a power jam that brought them into the lead at 177-175, but two minutes later the Radicals got their own power jam and switched up the lead again. Another Hartford power jam in the next jam put the Wailers back in the lead at 209-190, and when the final whistle blew a few minutes later, the unofficial score was 221-117, Wailers over Radicals... and then the NSOs did their review. The Radicals' score came up a few points, the Wailers gained one, there seemed to be a tie, things got a little fuzzy, and when everything was said and done, the Wailers had won, 222-221. Both teams put on quite a show, and the sportswomanship really impressed us. Congrats to both teams on a fantastic bout!

Bout 2: Beat City Bedrockers vs. Shoreline Bella Donnas

This bout wasn't nearly as close as the first one, but it was just as much fun to watch. Once again, it took the home team a good chunk of the first half to figure out their opponents, but once they did, it was in the bag. The bulk of the points for both teams were scored during power jams, and there were a LOT of them.

Halfway through the first half, the scorekeeper's computer bricked, but the venue swooped in and had their old-school analog scoreboard hooked up within a couple of jams, so we barely noticed the interruption. The new scoreboard lighting up coincided with the Bedrockers taking the lead, and the Bella Donnas, despite a strong effort, couldn't get it back for the rest of the bout. Things wrapped up with the Bedrockers winning 288-192.

With that, we bid the derby-blogging world farewell. Thanks for everything, and we'll see you around!

03 March 2013

Bout Recap: Hellions vs. Green Mountain

Howdy, derby fans! It's been a loooooong off-season, and we're excited to get back in the swing of things. A little warning before we get to the good stuff: this year promises to be full of non-derby activity and changes, so we may not be able to get to as many bouts as we have in the past, but we are still in love with the game (especially the new WFTDA ruleset), and we'll keep the recaps coming for as many bouts as we're able to attend. If you'd like to contribute a recap, email Flocci (link in sidebar) and she'll hook you up!

Yesterday was Flocci's birthday, and what could be more fitting than going to see two of her favorite leagues duke it out on the track? Our beloved Green Mountain Derby Dames made the trek to Schenectady to play the Hellions of Troy, and it was the best bout a birthday girl could ask for.

From a points perspective, the bout looks pretty straightforward: the Dames took a commanding lead right off the bat and never let the Hellions get close enough to even consider a lead change. Sitting trackside, though, watching the skaters employ their skills and feeling the energy in the room, that was a different story. This bout was exciting, packed with talented skaters, and incredibly fun to watch.

Just a few minutes into the game, we saw Scarlet Menace (GMDD) and Baby Nuclear (HoT) step up to the jammer line. As they made their initial pass through the pack, both picked up penalties, and there was some confusion at the penalty box, but once that was sorted out and they both got back out on the track, they both picked up penalties again! The second penalty box transition was much smoother, but the jam was still one of the oddest we've seen in a while.

With less than five minutes on the clock in the first half, ref Headless Horsman gingerly skated over to the EMT to have her knee iced and taped, and there was an extended official time out while John Shankem Jingleheimer Strict donned his stripes to take her place. Once the action picked up again, it was just a few jams before halftime was called, with the Dames leading 107-54.

The second half saw one jam without a lead jammer, and only seven (of 22) jams with a Hellions lead jammer. The Dames owned the track, outscoring the Hellions roughly 2 to 1. This isn't to say the Hellions didn't put up a fight -- they more than doubled their points in the second half -- it just wasn't enough to catch the Dames. The gals from Vermont wrapped up the night with an impressive 223-110 win over the Hellions, which will serve as motivation for the Hellions to train even harder for the next time these two teams hit the track together.