Recap: Season 13 Game 4 semi-finals and all-star game

Ann Arbor Derby Dimes Brawlstars 180, Mad Rollin’ Dolls Dairyland Dolls 154 (stats)

Madison roller derby fans received a special treat on Saturday, March 4:.The Mad Rollin’ Dolls home season semi-finals was a triple header that began with the first WFTDA-sanctioned game of the 2017 season for their all-star Dairyland Dolls.

The #33-ranked Dairyland Dolls took on the #32 Brawlstars from Ann Arbor, Michigan in what was also the first sanctioned D1 game of the year, with a newly updated ruleset to boot.

The game was a defensive battle from the start. In the first 11 minutes of the game Black Velvet was the only Madison skater to get lead jammer status, but the Brawlstars still failed to get a decisive advantage, managing only an 18-8 lead. Helen Killer finally helped her team extend their lead with a 10 point run. Two jams later, Mau busted through on a power jam for 23 points, putting the Dairyland Dolls ahead for the first time in the game, 39-32.

The lead changed three times in the next five jams. Black Velvet spun through the pack for 10 of her game-high 57 points for Madison, and Lezzie Arnaz pushed through for eight for the Brawlstars. On the next jam, Helen Killer struck again, racking up16 of her team-high 56 points to finally get the Brawlstars some breathing room, 85-59. The half ended three jams later the same way it started, the two teams grinding it out on the track with little to show offensively, and 90-65 in favor of the visiting Brawlstars.

Madison charged out of the gate in the second half with three straight lead jam calls and hard-hitting defense from Block Ness Monster, Tipsy Velvet, and Lips Macker. Mau pounded out 14 points on a power jam and Mouse got her team to within five points, 91-86. The DDs continued to get lead jams over the next ten minutes, but could not get any closer due to the staunch, coordinated blocking from the Brawlstars’ Jadzia Smax, Michelle O’Bomb Ya, and Emma Pistol. Finally, Hellen Killer widened her team’s lead on a 17-point jam to go up 140- 116. Fracture Mechanichs extended that lead with an 18-point jam, but Darkhorse answered back immediately with a 15-point jam of her own keep Madison in the mix with the game clock running down.

The Brawlstars’ defense kept the Dairyland Dolls off the board for the next five jams, adding a few points to their lead, but more importantly, eating up the clock. On the last jam of the game, Black Velvet made a valiant effort to bring her team back, contributing 15 points, but it wasn’t quite enough. Ann Arbor held off Madison, ending with a score of 180-154.

Vaudeville Vixens 218, Reservoir Dolls 140 (stats)

The second bout of the night featured the 0-3 Reservoir Dolls against the undefeated Vaudeville Vixens, who were on a mission to get back into the league Championship game. The first ten minutes were a back-and-forth defensive battle with the Res Dolls clinging to a small 21-14 lead. On the next jam, the Vixens’ Shantastic McAwesome cruised through the pack on a power jam for 25 points. Dalek Doll then streaked through for 23 of her game-high 78 points on the ensuing jam to put the Vixens up 62-34 halfway through the first period.

Not to be outdone, Tenacious D slashed through the pack for 13 on a power jam to get the Res Dolls closer, but the Skate Crime Syndicate was then held scoreless for the next three jams due to solid Vixen defensive efforts from Bonnie Riot and Whiskey ChaseHer. A 19-point jam from Jostlin’ Hell put the Vixens over the century mark and a 32-point scamper from Dalek Doll put the Res Dolls in an even deeper hole. The half ended with the Vaudeville Vixens on top 139- 76.

The Vaudeville Vixens came out in the second half intent on preserving their advantage by getting lead on the first four jams of the period, but couldn’t keep their opponents totally off the board. Reservoir Doll Nat Splat scored 10 of her team-high 42 points during one of those jams, getting sprung by blockers Miss Mechanix and Lips Macker. However, it seemed as the game went on, any headway they made offensively the Vixens countered with a near-equal scoring effort. The Res Dolls could not get any closer than 70 points for the remainder of the game.

The Vixens reached the Championship game for the second straight season, this time as the #1 seed, with a 218-140 victory over the Reservoir Dolls.

Quad Squad 207, Unholy Rollers 152 (stats)

The Quad Squad was intent on defending their title going into their semi-final bout against the Unholy Rollers, as evidenced by the first jam of the game. Booty Callins, Wendy U. Wannadie, Allie Gator, and returning vet Haser clamped down on Unholy jammer Gertrude Awakening while jammer Hammer Abby cruised through the pack for 32 of her game-high 94 points. The Unholies were not demoralized, though, and three jams later jammer Toast grabbed 18 points while their defense held the Quad Squad scoreless for three jams. They clawed their way back steadily and eventually took the lead halfway through the period, as newly-acquired pivot Shananaguns sprinted through for 19 after receiving a star pass.

Ahead 61-51, the Unholies added to their lead, assisted by stifling defense from Splatter Alice, Goldman Smacks, and Scarlett O’Snareya, and scoring from Toast, who led the Unholy Rollers overall with 34 points. At halftime, the Unholy Rollers led 83-72.

The Team in Green would not go down without a fight and came out strong in the second half. Darkhorse skated for eight and 19 points on lead jams to put her team back in the lead, 111-96. The Unholies tried to keep the Quad Squad reined in, but Mack the Knife scored 18 points on a power jam, further extending her team’s lead. Small scoring efforts and effective time management kept their opponents from narrowing the deficit. Going into the final stretch, the Quad Squad led, 164-105.

Gertrude Awakening and Micromauler combined for 14 points on the next jam, and a few minutes later Tango de Muerte scored 10 to get the Unholies back within 33, but a final 25-point jam by Hammer Abby sealed the deal. The Quad Squad won the contest 207-152, poised to defend their championship title and the Leggy trophy in a rematch with the Vaudeville Vixens on April 29 at the Alliant Energy Center.

– by Peter Rabid

Huge thanks as always to all the roller derby photographers who work hard to make us look extra awesome – photos in this post by Steve Jurkovic (see full albums of these games at his page)