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by Ryan Seven, TCRG Bout Reporter
The Terminal City Roller Girls ended their fifth season with one of the most spectacular nights in TCRG lore, with way too many highlights and memorable moments to keep track of.
I was feverishly trying to keep up with the action, and every time I would scribble something in my notebook, it seemed like the Kerrisdale crowd would erupt to another huge hit or big play. So, even while this is an already mammoth-sized recap, there’s still tons of action that I missed. It was that good.
Public Frenemy jammer Deathly Innocent takes a hit from Faster Pussycats' pivot Eight-Mean Wheeler. Photo by Bob Ayers.
The rivalry between the two teams has been at the center of the last three championships, and the bout made a very tasty appetizer for the championship match. The Bad Reps won after a strong 140-70 showing, following a bittersweet intro for the team.
The three-time champs had to surrender the Mercury Shield trophy to the night’s winner of the championship bout. But before they did that, the Bad Reps took a moment to reflect on some touching moments they’ve spent with the trophy, via a tribute video montage set to Sarah McLaughlin’s “I Will Remember.”
With Kerrisdale Arena already baking from a late-summer afternoon, things were about to get a lot hotter as the crowd awaited the two teams vying for the championship; the undefeated Faster Pussycats and the rookie-fueled Public Frenemy -- both looking for the perfect ending to their storybook seasons.
The audience was primed for a scorcher after Public Frenemy skated out to the ‘Final Countdown’ and the Faster Pussycats pulled off another memorable intro-routine to Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin.’
In the first jam, 8Mean Wheeler drilled Pretty Painful during some jammer-on-jammer action, and the strategy began to unfold on both sides, with both teams trying to hold each other back with trapping – a strategy the two teams would successfully execute throughout the night.
In the first jam, FPC was up 9-3. Three jams later, the score was 12-5 for FPC, but with their jammer serving a penalty, Frenemy struck on their first power-jam, trapping Ms. Shell Shockk and slowing the pack down. Shell Shockk was able to drill jammer Pretty Painful on her way around the track, but after a five-on-two for Frenemy, Pretty Painful shot the team-in-green back into the lead, 18-12 – the first of many lead changes of the night.
Things started to slip for the Pussycats, as Frenemy piled on the points after big jams by Didgeri Doom, Feis T. Roller and Deathly Innocent.
Frenemy, the team that had been shut out scoreless for a full-half earlier this year by FPC, momentarily returned the favor, keeping FPC off the scoreboard for five consecutive jams by setting up brick walls that the ‘Cats jammers couldn’t scatter around. It was 46-12 after seven jams for Frenemy.
Feeling the match slipping away from them halfway through the first half, FPC regrouped. Sissy Straight-edge and 8-Mean disposed of Frenemy jammer Pretty Painful quickly in the next jam, while Mary Queen of Shotz was able to start mounting a comeback, shooting through the pack and picking up a huge 15 points. FPC railed 46-27.
In the very next jam, Mick E. Knocks seemingly flattened almost the entire FPC line, making room for Frenemy jammer Didgeri Doom. Doom was able to pick up points, but got sent to the sin bin in the process.
In the next jam, Sissy Straight-edge took advantage of the power-jam and picked up another much-need 15 points, while Player 1 and Shotz were able to hold back Didgeri Doom after she served her penalty. Suzy Shameless laid a lethal hit on Doom, and the momentum seemed to be swaying back towards the Faster Pussycats.
The FPC’s comeback was almost complete two jams later, when Amazombie brought her team one point within tying it up.
In one of the final jams of the half, 8Mean, Sissy and Shotz set up a trap, and FPC jammer Lucky Breaks swung around the track, giving FPC a 10-point lead, 65-54.
But Feis T. responded for Frenemy in the very next jam, typing it up at 67 in speedy fashion, as the FPC jammer sat the jam out, watching from the sin bin.
The crowd was going nuts, cheering on both teams as they headed to the locker room, with things tied at 69.
The second half started with a great moment, when Amazombie flew through the pack, but seemed to take a huge hit. Instead of going down, she climbed out of the pack that was falling in her wake -- and Didgeri Doom followed in pursuit, and the stalemate continued until the next jam.
Mick E. Knocks threw more huge hits on FPC and single-handedly opened a huge hole for Deathly Innocent to get lead jammer. Lucky passed the star to 8Mean, but the jam was called off before anything could have been made of it, with PF taking a 5-point lead 74-69.
In the next jam, Fies T. blew through the pack and started to approach her scoring pass, while Tiki was still fighting her first way through the pack. Just as Fies T was about to pick up points, Tiki got through and called the jam off.
Then Shotz got FPC their first points of the second half – bringing yet another lead change – bringing FPC up 78-74.
The Faster Pussycats’s pack-work and defense froze PF at 74 points for five more jams, while the ‘Cats attacked. After jams by Tiki, Amazombie and Sissy Straight-edge, FPC was up 90-74.
The hits in the pack were getting bigger and bigger as the night went on, and every time a jammer entered for a pack, they were likely to take a beating. Frenemy’s Miss E. Masculator was relentless in the pack all night, throwing tough hits. Her biggest might have been on a jamming Shotz, who still managed to recover, take lead jammer and pick up 4 points.
A pivotal jam came with Andi Struction and Pretty Painful lining up. Andi recovered from a huge hit from Aunt Jam Imma and was able to take lead jammer, but then took a penalty, while Doom recaptured Frenemy’s lead, 103-100, with only eight minutes left.
Everything seemed to be going Frenemy’s way, with Fies T. starting on a power-jam and Frenemy trapping Sissy Straight-edge. But when Fies T. skated around for her first lap, Sissy belted the jammer, and skated back up front. Fies T. was sent off on a penalty shortly after, and Andi shot out of the sin bin, creating another lead, taking FPC 110-107, and averting a potential meltdown.
After Amazombie got lead jammer against Deathly Innocent in the next jam, ‘zombie was sent to the sin bin for cutting the track. Sissy was all over the Frenemy jammer, knocking her out of bounds and slowing any chance for more Frenemy points, with three minutes left and the crowd losing their minds.
With the score at 114-107 for the FPC, Pretty Painful jammed like she was ready to put the team on her back, knocking almost everyone out of her way. Lurking behind her was FPC’s jammer, who was able to catch up and prevent any sort of a comeback.
The clock ticked down in the final two minutes, with ‘Zombie getting a power-jam, all but cementing FPC’s name on the trophy. The noise in Kerrisdale had never been louder, with everyone hoping the bout could go on at least a little longer.
With zero time left, the crowd’s wishes were granted with one final two-minute jam, and the chance for Frenemy to overcome the 22-point deficit. The crowd exploded – some prematurely celebrating FPC’s first championship victory, while others rallied Frenemy on for a final comeback that ultimately couldn’t materialize.
And when it was all over, Faster Pussycats continued on with their undefeated season, and were crowned Season 5 Champs.
Even though only one team took home the trophy, players on both teams should be extremely proud of their seasons – and even prouder of carrying around the only derby prizes that really matter; fashionable bumps, bruises and rink-rash.
Derby fans in Vancouver will have lots of time to recover too, when derby returns to Vancouver in early 2012.
The undefeated Faster Pussycats celebrate their final win of the 2011 season, Mercury Shield in hand. Photo by Bob Ayers.
All contents are copyright ©2011 Terminal City Roller Girls, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.
Promotional photography courtesy of Nicolas Charest for Rollergirl Roller Skates and Bob Ayers, unless otherwise noted.