(EUGENE, OR) Six games up and six games won.
That defined the weekend for the primary travel squads for Arch Rival Roller Derby and GateKeepers Roller Derby as they competed at the Big O 2016 invitational at the Lane Event Center.
The St. Louis-based flat-track roller derby leagues swept their respective games at the three-day tilt and successfully launched their seasons with three victories during an extremely competitive event.
Arch Rival, currently ranked tenth internationally by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), notched wins over #12 Minnesota (168-165), #13 Rat City (188-120) and #26 Terminal City (308-126) while the GateKeepers, the defending champions of the Men’s Roller Derby Association (MRDA), collected dominating dukes over Puget Sound (240-75), Bridgetown (227-119) and San Diego (377-60).
The Big O weekend revealed that St. Louis certainly possesses a solid “one-two punch” when it comes to international roller derby.
#10 ARCH RIVAL 308 #26 TERMINAL CITY 126
Any questions of uncertainty for ARCH’s first game of the year were quickly answered as the locals quickly pounced on the opponents from Vancouver, British Columbia.
Leading 29-11 eight minutes in, Arch Rival went on a 112-7 run over the next twenty minutes paced by the blocking of Shear-Ra Powers, Cloak N’ Drag-Her, Kayla Woodward, Shimmy Hoffa, Chewblocka, Party Foul, Jamheiser Bush, Salty, Molotov and Smarty McFly.
This enabled jammers Annie Swanson, Bricktator, CupQuake and Harmony Killerbruise to score multi-lap passes that swelled ARCH’s lead. With 3:45 left in the first half, St. Louis held a commanding 140-18 advantage following Bricktator’s eight-point strike.
Leading 163-30 at intermission, St. Louis continued the onslaught in the second period. ARCH reached the bi-centennial mark with Swanson’s eight-point rotation with 21:15 left that made the score 200-58.
St. Louis outscored Terminal City 145-96 in the second half to notch the 182-point season opening win. Swanson paced ARCH scoring with 94 points followed by Bricktator’s 84.
STL GATEKEEPERS 240 PUGET SOUND 75
The defending MRDA champs did not take long to establish a winning mindset against the Seattle-based rivals. With blocking provided by Percy Controll, Spin Diesel, Bled Zeppelin, Double XL, Wrecking Bill, Inquadable Hulk, The Saint and Monster Jam, St. Louis grinded a 64-32 lead following jammer Magnum P.I.M.P.’s 20-point strike in Jam 14.
After Corey Porter added nine on the next rotation, newly minted jammer Kyle Stark collected 19 that pushed the GateKeepers’ lead to 92-34.
Sporting a 104-35 lead at intermission, the GateKeepers kept racking up points via multiple lead jams obtained. The locals pushed past the 200-point barrier after Screecharound’s nine-pointer in Jam 33 made the score 201-58.
St. Louis outscored Puget Sound 136-40 in the second period to give the men’s squad its first victory of the season. Magnum finished with 80 points followed by Porter’s 42.
#10 ARCH RIVAL 188 #13 RAT CITY 120
The aforementioned women’s blocking battalion proved to be mighty in its Saturday tilt against Seattle-based Rat City. With its stellar play, they made Rat City jammers commit 14 penalties, which set the tone for the game and a 68-point duke.
Arch Rival raced out to a 21-0 lead after four jams and cultivated a 51-14 advantage after Bricktator’s 20-point power jam at the 18:20 mark.
Rat City methodically clawed away at the deficit and trailed 69-58 with four minutes left in the period following Luna Negra’s 13-point strike.
ARCH thwarted the momentum shift as Killerbruise collected ten points on the ensuing rotation to push St. Louis’ lead to 79-59.
Arch Rival sported a 81-59 lead at intermission and collected seven straight in the second period’s first two rotations that extended the score to 88-59.
With a pair of power jams obtained, Killerbruise nabbed an 18-9 rotation in Jam 3 and St. Louis widened its lead to 106-68 with 25:20 left in the game.
Leading 119-72 ten minutes deep, the locals proceeded to notch a 45-0 rally at the midway point via a trio of power jams. Accented by 19 and 10-point power jams by Bricktator, Arch Rival stretched the score to 164-72 with 13:00 left.
St. Louis outscored Rat City 107-61 in the second period to claim the 188-120 victory for its second win of the weekend. Bricktator topped the ARCH scoring ledger with 76 points followed by Killerbruise’s 59.
STL GATEKEEPERS 227 BRIDGETOWN 119
In Saturday night’s Big O men’s tussle, the GateKeepers were plagued by early penalties which enabled Portland-based Bridgetown to keep the differential tight early.
With the GateKeepers leading 43-34 with ten minutes remaining in the first period, a 15-point strike from Bridgetown jammer Don Juan flipped the scoreboard to a 49-43 Menace lead with 7:25 left in the half.
Magnum P.I.M.P.’s even-strength 17-4 jam on the next rotation resulted in a 60-53 advantage for St. Louis.
In the final three jams of the half, the GateKeepers went on a 43-11 run. David Metcalfe’s 10-4 strike was followed by Screecharound’s 23-4 power jam to push the score to 93-61 heading into the period’s final jam.
Magnum’s 10-3 tally on the half’s final rotation gave the locals a 103-64 edge at intermission.
In the second period, St. Louis maintained a 143-105 lead with 16:00 left to play and a 60-0 run collected over the ensuing ten minutes secured victory. The GateKeepers collected six straight lead jams and capitalized on a pair of power jams in the surge that resulted in a 204-105 lead with 6:05 remaining.
Magnum’s 24-point jam with 1:20 left dotted the final exclamation on Saturday’s effort. St. Louis outscored Bridgetown 124-55 in the second period and claimed the 227-119 victory to improve to 2-0. Magnum finished the game with 101 points followed by Screecharound’s 66.
STL GATEKEEPERS 377 SAN DIEGO 60
In the first-time meeting between the two franchises, the GateKeepers utilized a trifecta of uncontested scoring runs, including a triple-digit stretch in the second period, en route to the Big O sweep.
Leading 9-2 after two rotations, St. Louis produced a 54-0 rally over the next three jams. Punctuated by Magnum’s 33-point jam at the 22:15 mark, the GateKeepers possessed a 65-2 advantage.
Braced by solid blocking, St. Louis stretched the lead to 109-28 with 12:30 left in the half following Porter’s 19-5 strike.
St. Louis proceeded to tally a 75-0 run by claiming seven consecutive lead jams. Launched by Stark’s 14-pointer at the 10:40 mark and concluding with Metcalfe’s 15-pointer with two minutes remaining, the GateKeepers’ lead blossomed to 184-28.
St. Louis possessed a 200-40 lead at intermission…but its most dominating run during the Big O weekend was yet to come.
After three jams into the second period, and maintaining a 206-51 lead, the GateKeepers grabbed lead jam in the next nine rotations and produced a 118-0 run. Magnum’s 24-point power jam with 18:35 remaining and Stark’s 25-point collection at the 15:30 highlighted a series that saw St. Louis blocking, which now saw Uttendorf and The Doc into the fold, produce a 308-51 lead with 12:30 left.
Porter’s 20-point power jam with 7:40 left widened the differential as St. Louis outscored the Aftershocks 177-20 in the second period to claim the 317-point win and the three game season-opening sweep at Big O. Magnum topped GateKeepers’ scoring with 126 points followed by Porter’s 77.
#10 ARCH RIVAL 168 #12 MINNESOTA 165
The narrative came before the first whistle as Arch Rival, who now contains former Minnesota skater Killerbruise in their roster, was matched up against the team ranked two spots behind that now fielded former St. Louis skater Brickyard, who transferred to the Gopher State during the off-season. The game turned out to be a donnybrook that was determined as the period clock expired.
Both teams kept the game tightly-checked in the first period but Minnesota’s strong surge in the half’s waning minutes resulted in a 116-75 lead at intermission.
In the second half’s first twelve minutes, Arch Rival cultivated a 31-10 run and narrowed the game to ten points, 126-116, with 18:00 left following Killerbruise’s 18-3 jam.
Minnesota quickly stopped the bleeding as Brickyard notched a 17-point jam with 16:45 left that widened the Gopher State’s lead to 143-116.
Minnesota maintained a 158-132 advantage with 6:45 left but then Arch Rival produced an eye-opening, and game-winning, 36-7 stretch run.
Killerbruise started the rally with a 15-point strike that shored the score to 158-147 with 4:50 left. A 4-4 push with 3:15 left kept Minnesota sporting a 162-151 advantage. Bricktator’s 9-3 jam for Arch Rival with 1:28 left narrowed the game to 165-160.
On the game’s penultimate jam, Killerbruise gained lead and collected eight, resulting in a 168-165 scoreboard flip in favor of St. Louis with seven seconds remaining on the period clock.
After an extended time-out, Bricktator donned the star for Arch Rival in the final rotation while former teammate Brickyard jammed for Minnesota. With St. Louis down a blocker as the whistle blew, both teams battled as the seconds ticked off. With the period clock sporting goose eggs, Bricktator muscled her way to the front of the pack and was designated lead jammer. The co-captain immediately called off the jam as the team secured victory. A 168-165 nail-biting win was achieved and Arch Rival finished the weekend unscathed with three Big O victories.
With the weekend sweeps, both squads post 3-0 records. ARCH and GKRD co-host the inaugural Sibling Rivalry invitational at Midwest Sport Hockey in Ballwin, Missouri, June 24-26.
For more information on Arch Rival Roller Derby, go to archrivalrollerderby.com.
For more information on GateKeepers Roller Derby, go to stlgatekeepers.com.