(ST. CHARLES, MO) For the fourth consecutive year, the “Skate to Thrill” invitational, a two-day women’s flat-track roller derby affair, lived up to its hype.
Held at Lamborghini Gold Coast Athletic Centre in downtown St. Charles this past weekend, the two-day frenzy featured a dozen games competed within eight leagues sanctioned by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA).
The event’s hostesses, the St. Chux Derby Chix, saw their primary travel squad, the Pack in Black, finish the weekend 1-2 against a trio of formidable opponents. Currently ranked #69 internationally by the WFTDA, St. Chux fell to weekend powerhouse #43 Houston (376-43) and surging #78 E-Ville (302-166) on Saturday but then rebounded and claimed a 203-177 triumph over #72 Twin City Sunday.
“One of the things that I really noticed, even with a couple of setbacks, is that we kept a really positive attitude when we were in the locker room,” reflected SCDC captain ShaKilla afterwards. “We reset and just problem-solved. That was one of the things that just warmed my heart.”
The jamming rotation of Jedi Knight-N-Gale, Ankle BiteHer, Calamity Cat and Annieville Horror saw their individual per game point totals rise as the weekend progressed with walls provided by blockers Pixie Dust-Ructions, Slaughterhaus, Big Red, Whip L’Ash, Blue Bear,Judy Boom, #smashtag,Bad Mutha T, Rockie Who, Dani Disaster and the aforementioned ShaKilla.
With Sunday’s come-from-behind victory over their Illinoisan adversary, the Pack in Black (1-3) will use the high point for WFTDA-sanctioned play at the “K-Town Shakedown” invitational held April 28-30 in Kallamazoo, MI.
“It set a nice tone for moving forward,” ShaKilla said. “Having a win, regardless of who it was with, just really allows us to dig deep and apply those positive things moving forward.”
#49 HOUSTON 376 #69 ST. CHUX 43
SCDC’s “Thrill” opener against Houston saw the return of high-scoring jammer Knight-N-Gale in the rotation, however, it did not take long for the Texans to quickly thwart the Pack In Black’s plan of attack.
By capitalizing on non-lead scoring passes in the first three rotations, St. Chux trailed Houston 28-19 five minutes deep.
The Lone Star State reps then cultivated a five-jam, 97-0 run that quickly decided SCDC’s afternoon fate. Highlighted by a 24-point strike from Diamond Cut-Her and supplemented by 20-point-plus rotations from Arrak-kiss, Slayer Moon and EnJen, Houston pushed the score to 122-19 with 13:30 left in the period.
Knight-N-Gale claimed SCDC’s first lead jam of the afternoon at the 12:00 mark and posted a pair of points that made the score 122-21.
As impressive as Houston’s first rally was, their next collection surpassed it. Paced by the solid blocking of Erma Gerd, Hot Assets, Kelly Killpowski, 2x Force, Betty Watchett and others, HRD rolled out a 102-0 stretch run that ended the first period. Highlighted by Cut-Her’s 35-point backbreaker in the half’s penultimate rotation, Houston possessed a 227-21 lead at intermission.
Houston continued in the momentum in the first three jams of the second period, posted another 44 points, and concluded the 146-0 wipeout after Arrak-kiss’ 30-point jam with 23:50 extended the score to 271-21.
As the period progressed, SCDC tried to keep pace on the scoreboard, and its overall play improved, but Houston maintained its physical flat-track presence and outscored the Pack-In-Black in the second half, 149-22, en route to the 333-point victory.
All four Houston jammers had 80-plus point performances, paced by Moon’ 105 output.
Knight-N-Gale topped SCDC scoring with 19 points.
“We were a little overwhelmed, but we were ready for the challenge,” reflected ShaKilla. “When you are aspiring to be in the (WFTDA Division 2) playoffs, you’re going to be playing teams like Houston. In order to get to that level, you have to know what it takes.”
#77 E-VILLE 302 #69 ST. CHUX 166
The Pack in Black’s inaugural meeting with a hard-charging squad hailing from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada saw the hostesses sporting a lead heading into the first half’s final jam, but then the visitors cultivated an onslaught that resulted in an easy triple-digit win.
Trailing 20-0 four jams in, SCDC gained a power jam in the fifth rotation and with Ankle BiteHer’s 15-point strike, the locals sliced the E-Ville Dead’s lead to 20-15.
In the next jam, Knight-N-Gale returned to form and with a 23-4 strike, St. Chux flipped the scoreboard to their favor, 38-24.
The lead was soon lost as Edmonton claimed a 31-12 jam from Shania Pain on the next rotation, resulting in a 55-50 scoreboard flip.
The game’s fourth lead change occurred on the next jam as SCDC’s BiteHer snared a 10-pointer that handed the lead back to the Pack In Black, 60-55.
Both teams scored nearly identical points as the period progressed and St. Chux maintained a 107-103 advantage heading into the period’s final rotation.
In the first period’s final fracas, E-Ville’s Pain claimed lead and her blocking sistren helped produce a 29-4 tally that resulted in the Canadians’ 132-111 fixer at intermission.
More waited in the wings for the E-Ville Dead in the upcoming frame. After a 2-1 non-lead strike that favored Edmonton, E-Ville’s F’N Fury claimed a 20-point power jam that widened the score to 154-112.
If that wasn’t enough of a gut buster for St. Chux, then Pain’s 34-4 follow-up in the period’s third jam certainly was. At that point, SCDC trailed 188-116.
St. Chux could never find any offensive traction against the stubborn Edmonton squad. In the last twelve minutes of the contest, the E-Ville Dead sported a 264-166 lead and with a 38-0 run in the final seven jams, pushed the final differential to over triple digits.
E-Ville’s 302-166 win handed St. Chux its second Saturday setback. Upon reflection, SCDC’s ShaKilla felt that Saturday’s output offensively showed signs of upward trajectory.
“We were able to execute a lot better than what we did against Houston,” the captain said. “E-Ville was a wonderful team to play.”
In the loss, BiteHer chomped 53 points to top SCDC’s ledger followed by 32 apiece from Knight-N-Gale and Cat.
(Statistical Information Provided By Russell Stanners)
#69 ST. CHUX 203 #72 TWIN CITY 177
The penalty-plagued nail biter between friendly rivals was not determined until late and was decided by the locals’ 32-0 five-jam surviving sprint. ShaKilla considered the narrow outcome, and her team’s lone win during the weekend, a character builder.
“I saw some smiles, maybe a few tears a little bit,” she said.
SCDC capitalized on numerous Twin City jammer penalties early and possessed a 48-18 lead midway through the first period.
The Evil Twins immediately sliced into the deficit as Mitchell Mayhem’s 24-point strike at the 12:45 mark shored the score to 48-42.
St. Chux’s 13-7 push over the next rotations extended the locals’ lead to 61-49 with ten minutes left in the period.
The Illinoisans grabbed their first lead of the game with 9:00 left as veteran jammer Houchebag, assisted by blockers Tank, Jamie Lee Cutthroat and Regina S.P.E.C.T.R.E., notched a 14-point jam that handed TCDG a 63-61 edge.
Back-to-back four-pointers from Knight-N-Gale and BiteHer landed the locals back in the lead, 69-63 with seven minutes left in the period.
Twin City then collected 29 straight points over the next two jams. With Houchebag’s 20-point power jam and Natty Slice’s nine-pointer that followed, TCDG held a 92-69 lead with 4:10 left in the period.
St. Chux whittled away at the deficit as the period continued but still trailed 101-83 at intermission.
Twin City pushed its lead to 123-87 after the second period’s first three jams, but then SCDC claimed 18 points straight to narrow the score to 123-105 with 21:30 left in the game.
Both squads continued to trade leads, points and penalties as the period progressed. With 9:30 remaining, Twin City maintained a 166-150 advantage.
St. Chux then proceeded to display its most disciplined derby of the week to claim its first victory of the season. By capitalizing on a power jam, SCDC’s BiteHer churned a 22-pointer that resulted in a 172-166 scoreboard flip with 7:40 left in the game.
Knight-N-Gale followed with a grand slam that pushed the margin to 177-166 and Calamity Cat’s five-point power jam with 5:05 left concluded the Pack in Black’s 32-0 rally that resulted in the locals’ 182-166 lead.
Twin City attempted a late surge but was thwarted as St. Chux finished the period outscoring the Evil Twins, 120-76, en route to the 203-177 victory that netted the team their first victory of the season.
Knight-N-Gale topped SCDC scoring with 72 points followed by BiteHer’s 62 and Cat’s 40. Houchebag paced Twin City with 55 points.
During the weekend, a pair of hard-charging WFTDA Division 2 squads finished the weekend with perfect 3-0 records. The aforementioned Houston and E-Ville squads used their momentum found during their games against St. Chux to sprint to “Thrill” trifectas. The Texans topped Ohio (259-203) and No Coast (187-171) while the Albertans bested Killamazoo (254-207) and Happy Valley (226-163).
Ohio finished the event 2-1 via victories over No Coast (199-169) and Killamazoo (375-83) while Utah’s Happy Valley Molly Morbids claimed a similar record with toppers over Twin City (250-97) and Kallamazoo (296-126).
#34 No Coast, the highest ranked league competing this weekend, finished 1-2 with its 259-40 Sunday morning victory over Twin City. Michigan’s Killamazoo and Twin City finished the weekend 0-3 but were mighty competitors throughout.
Late Sunday, “Most Valuable Player” awards were presented to an athlete from each competing league, as voted on by participating skaters.
E-VILLE: Shania Pain
HAPPY VALLEY: Wild Child
HOUSTON: Slayer Moon
OHIO: Pain Train
NO COAST: Anna Maniac
ST. CHUX: Jedi Knight-N-Gale
TWIN CITY: Houchebag
SKATE TO THRILL RESULTS
HOUSTON 259 OHIO 203
E-VILLE 254 KILLAMAZOO 207
HAPPY VALLEY 250 TWIN CITY 97
HOUSTON 376 ST. CHUX 43
OHIO 199 NO COAST 169
HAPPY VALLEY 296 KILLAMAZOO 126
E-VILLE 302 ST. CHUX 166
NO COAST 259 TWIN CITY 40
E-VILLE 226 HAPPY VALLEY 163
OHIO 375 KILLAMAZOO 84
ST. CHUX 203 TWIN CITY 177
HOUSTON 187 NO COAST 171
For more information on the St. Chux Derby Chix, go to their official website.