Gotham to the World – We’re Ready
by: Thomas GerbasiAugust 14, 2011
Gotham to the World – We’re Ready
by Thomas Gerbasi
It’s been over two long years since the Gotham Girls Roller Derby All-Stars have stood atop the roller derby world as WFTDA Champions, but in a bout both teams described as a 2011 tournament preview on Saturday at Brooklyn's Aviator Sports and Events Center, the number two DNN-ranked New Yorkers finished their regular season with a statement-making 187-116 win over the number four squad in the nation, the Denver Roller Dolls' Mile High Club.
That statement by the 2008 Champs? It’s time to regain the title.
Anchored by Captain Bonnie Thunders’ 105 points, the 7-0 GGRD All-Stars saved their best for the last bout before tournament season, breaking open a tight game with a 49-2 second half run that put them in control for good.
For Denver, it was the final bout of a grueling three week stretch that saw them score wins over Bay Area and Detroit. They first shot out to a 7-0 lead, which even early on, could instill doubt into a team like Gotham who is used to being the hammer, not the nail. But Gotham steadied themselves and quickly got back on the board, settling into the back-and-forth pace that typified the first half.
Wild Cherri powers past the Mile High Club during Saturday's Gotham victory. Photo: Manish Gosalia
After a series of low-scoring jams that would see one jammer earn lead status, only to see her counterpart race out of the pack seconds later, Gotham pecked their way out to a 17 point advantage, only to have Denver’s Teresa Rusk deliver 22 of her team high 40 points to bring Denver within seven, 36-29.
Two jams later, a 12 point effort by Julie Adams gave Denver their second lead, 41-40, serving notice to the Captain to awake, and Thunders’ 19 point jam put Gotham back ahead for good, 62-45.
There was plenty of derby left to play though, and neither team backed down in the final 30 minutes. Gotham’s Donna Matrix, Fisti Cuffs, and OMG WTF battled it out at close range with Gabrielle Begeman, Vicky Cruz, and November James, while Sweet Sherry Pie and Papierschnitt directed traffic against the Mile High Club’s Tracy Akers and Ariel Quigley. After an exciting 16-8 jam led by Heather Juska, Denver pulled to within eight points.
Some of Team USA’s representatives on the upcoming Roller Derby World Cup decided to take over from there. Sexy Slaydie thundered to fifteen unanswered points during her only two jams of the bout (catching the notice of the Denver crew, who voted her the bout's MVP). Thunders and Suzy Hotrod chipped in a total of 34 more during the crushing second half 49-2 sequence that put Gotham up 135-80. There would be no letup in the intensity the rest of the way; Denver (9-2) put up a valiant effort as Gotham kept pressing to keep their opponents at bay.
The seven skaters from Saturday's action who will soon skate together on Team USA at the Roller Derby World Cup. L-R: Sexy Slaydie, Donna Matrix, Tracy Akers, Suzy Hutrod, Heather Juska, Bonnie Thunders, and Fisti Cuffs. Photo: Manish Gosalia
The next stop for Gotham? The East Coast regional tournament in Baltimore on September 16-18. The next weekend, Denver begins their quest for a tournament berth in Portland, and then it’s off to Nationals.
Don’t be surprised to see a rematch.
The 2011 Gotham Girls Roller Derby All-Stars. Photo: Manish Gosalia
GOTHAM vs. DENVER STATS
1 2 F
Gotham 78 109 187
Denver 62 54 116
Gotham MVP – Sexy Slaydie
Denver MVP – Tracy Akers
Leading Gotham scorers
Bonnie Thunders 105 points (16 jams)
Suzy Hotrod 33 points (11 jams)
Wild Cherri 21 points (5 jams)
Leading Gotham blockers
Fisti Cuffs 20 jams (+48)
Donna Matrix 20 jams (+42)
OMG WTF 14 jams (+7)
Leading Denver scorers
Teresa Rusk 40 points (9 jams)
Heather Juska 36 points (10 jams)
Julie Adams 23 points (7 jams)
Leading Denver blockers
Tracy Akers 21 jams (-67)
Ariel Quigley 20 jams (-5)
Gabrielle Begeman 20 jams (-24)
Vicky Cruz 20 jams (-52)
Minors: 59 Majors: 15 Box Trips: 26
Minors: 70 Majors: 16 Box Trips: 29
In the middle bout of the “Battle Over Brooklyn” tripleheader, GGRD’s Wall Street Traitors rebounded from their lone loss of the 2011 season to Windy City’s Second Wind on July 30th, taking a close 138-109 nod over Suburbia’s Suburban Brawl.
Put in a 15-2 hole almost immediately thanks to a 15 point jam from AWOL, the Traitors roared back, and after a 19 point jam from rookie sensation Brazilian Nut, they had taken a 33-27 lead.
A slugfest ensued, with neither squad willing to give an inch on the track, and though the New Yorkers were up 64-46 at the half, it was an advantage that was far from safe.
With all the hard hitting going on, the deciding factor was going to be who could stay out of the penalty box the longest, and slowly, but surely, the Traitors began pulling away, with the crushing blows being a 13 point jam from team MVP Care Bear Scare and a 28 pointer from Anne Frankenstein that put Wall Street up 124-58.
Yet just when it looked like things were over, fatigue and penalties began to haunt the Traitors, and the surging Suburbia, who just missed out on this year’s WFTDA East Regional tournament, made a ferocious late bout run, outscoring their foes 51-14 over the final nine jams before running out of time for their miracle comeback.
Pivot Mayday Malone, Anne Frankenstein, and Bitch Cassidy defend against the Suburban Brawl. Photo: Phillip Ng
TRAITORS vs. BRAWL STATS
1 2 F
Traitors 64 74 138
Brawl 46 63 109
Traitors MVP – Care Bear Scare
Brawl MVP – Charlotte Bupowski
Leading Traitors scorers
Brazilian Nut 50 points (12 jams)
Care Bear Scare 32 points (9 jams)
Anne Frankenstein 29 points (4 jams)
Leading Traitors blockers
Rat-A-Tat Kat 17 jams (-17)
Bunny McBones 17 jams (-49)
Bitch Cassidy 15 jams (+29)
Mayday Malone 14 jams (+60)
Leading Brawl scorers
Charlotte Bupkowski 43 points (12 jams)
Rita Wayward 16 points (1 jam)
AWOL 15 points (3 jams)
Leading Brawl blockers
Jeri Flingher 18 jams (-28)
Harlot Bronte 18 jams (-42)
Dina Sore Jr. 17 jams (0)
Minors: 31 Majors: 19 Box Trips: 21
Minors: 35 Majors: 25 Box Trips: 30
Early on in the opening bout, the potential was there for a knockdown, drag ‘em out clash between the New York Shock Exchange and Harm City Homicide. But eventually, the hometown heroes, who were actually playing for the first time on NYC soil, showed why they’re considered the Gold standard for Men’s roller derby, as they broke down their Baltimore foes and then poured it on en route to a 311-89 victory.
Leading a balanced NYSE scoring attack was Jonathan R with 107 points, followed by Ladies Knight (90) and Ronnie Mako (74).
In the first few jams, neither team was able to completely impose their will on the other, with the NYSE holding a 20-5 advantage after the first nine jams that was manageable from the view of the talented Homicide squad. But in the 10th jam against Harm City’s Truth Hurts, it certainly did, as Ladies Knight’s 26 point effort, which was followed by a 23-7 jam from Mako, put the NYSE up 69-12.
The Homicide scrapped to within 69-27 in the next jam, but Jonathan R’s 29 points continued to put Harm City in a hole, one that they weren’t able to eventually dig out of, putting NYSE in good stead for October’s Men’s Roller Derby Association Championship tournament.
Bout MVP Ace of Skates lays a hit on Homicide pivot Carnage Asada. Photo: gt8073
SHOCK EXCHANGE vs. HOMICIDE STATS
1 2 F
Shock Exchange 161 150 311
Homicide 55 34 89
Shock Exchange MVP – Ace of Skates
Homicide MVP – Abe Froman
Leading Shock Exchange scorers
Jonathan R 107 points (9 jams)
Ladies Knight 90 points (9 jams)
Ronnie Mako 74 points (10 jams)
Leading Shock Exchange blockers
Jefferee 18 jams (+131)
Abe Drinkin’ 18 jams (+79)
Filthy McNasty 17 jams (+96)
Maulin’ Brando 17 jams (+65)
Leading Homicide scorers
Quad Almighty 27 points (4 jams)
Truth Hurts 21 points (8 jams)
Carnage Asada 17 points (6 jams)
Leading Homicide blockers
Loch Ness Thomster 23 jams (-108)
Gearhead 22 jams (-87)
Quad Almighty 19 jams (-127)
Shock Exhange Penalties
Minors: 57 Majors: 15 Box Trips: 25
Minors: 58 Majors: 27 Box Trips: 37
Stats provided by Rinxter